First Retail International (FRI) is a Belgium based real estate club deal with a specialist focus on pheripheral retail properties in Europe. Total equity commitments for FRI are EUR 75 million from a high quality and diverse investor base including pension funds, insurance companies, family offices and high net worth individuals. Taking leverage into account, FRI has up to EUR 200 million of funds available, which will be invested across the European retail real estate sector. Mitiska has committed EUR 10 million to FRI as the sponsor of the club deal.
FRI is a Belgian NV/SA and is structured as a closed-end club deal with an 8 year life. Alfred Bouckaert, ex-CEO AXA Northern Europe and ex-Chairman of Belfius Bank is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of FRI.
FRI pursues ‘value added’ and ‘opportunistic’ real estate opportunities in the European retail real estate sector through direct equity and structured financing activities. FRI’s investment strategy is exclusively focused on pheripheral retail properties, both clustered standalone units and integrated retail parks, where value can be created through repositioning assets, leasing vacant spaces, extending leases, renovations, redevelopment, new development, and rezoning and selling land.
For investments outside Belgium, FRI will in principle invest via joint venture relationships with experienced local partners. FRI already benefits from an exclusive country partnership with Alpha Property Development (InterCora Group) for Romania, and discussions relating to several other countries across Europe are underway.
FRI is managed by Mitiska REIM, a specialist team which has more than 100 years’ combined experience of investment, management and operations in the European retail real estate sector. By combining hands-on, specialist real estate expertise with local market intelligence and a disciplined investment approach, Mitiska REIM is well positioned to source and execute attractive investment opportunities in a timely manner, and to achieve superior risk-adjusted returns for its investors and partners.