MAS Real Estate to divest from Western Europe

The real estate company wants to expand in Central and Eastern Europe.

JSE-listed MAS Real Estate plans to divest from Western Europe so it can focus on fast-growing Eastern Europe.

Over the past two years, the real estate company has reviewed its investment portfolio, and has resolved that it will continue to expand in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

MAS Real Estate is hoping to take advantage of the fact that many countries in the CEE regions don’t have large shopping malls and remain largely underdeveloped.  MAS Real Estate is working with PKM Developments, which builds shopping centres and housing in Central and Eastern Europe.

“The impressive performance and growth of the CEE portfolio has led the board to consider that the continued expansion into the CEE, combined with full divestment from Western Europe, is the most appropriate strategy for the group,” the company said in a statement.

MAS Real Estate’s investment and property portfolio will focus on the retail sector and residential property, only through PKM Developments. MAS Real Estate said it can achieve higher growth from assets in countries such as Romania, Poland and Bulgaria. 

Werner Behrens (pictured), recently appointed CEO, said his aim is for MAS to become the pre-eminent real estate investment and development company in CEE, focused on delivering sustainable dividend growth to shareholders.

“We believe this will be achieved through a focus on the CEE markets, with an emphasis on retail, but also with exposure through PKM Developments limited to the exciting residential opportunities in the principal growth centres across the region,” he said.

“In pursuit of this strategy we will re-deploy capital currently invested in Western Europe to the CEE in a focused and disciplined manner, as well as strengthening our institutional capability to manage and grow our CEE investments with the focus on income growth.”

MAS has grown its asset base from €300 million in 2016 to €900 million in 2019.