Netherlands, 20 May 2014
Multi takes over management of Blackstone’s Polish retail property investments
Real estate funds managed by Blackstone announce that effective May 1, 2014, Multi Corporation has taken over the management of Blackstone’s King’s Street Retail portfolio, a collection of seven high-quality shopping centres located throughout Poland, comprising more than 250,000 square meters, including the flagship 100,000 square meter Magnolia Park in Wroclaw, one of Poland’s largest shopping centres.
King’s Street Retail will be integrated with Blackstone’s Multi Corporation, one of Europe’s largest owners, managers, and (re)developers of urban retail destinations. Blackstone’s combined King’s Street Retail / Multi portfolio of ten standing, or under development shopping centres, represents one of the leading retail investment ventures in Central and Eastern Europe (“CEE”). Multi manages a further two centres in the region for third parties.
To oversee the venture, Blackstone has appointed Brian Jenkins as head of the King’s Street Retail platform. Previously, Mr Jenkins managed the New England region mall portfolio for Simon Property Group in the United States. He had lived and worked previously in Central and Eastern Europe for 14 years and was a founding officer for TriGranit Development in 1997, before becoming Retail Partner for AIG/Lincoln in 2004. He has been in the shopping centre industry for over 28 years and has held various executive positions in both development and asset management. Recently he was awarded the designation of Certified Retail Executive by the International Council of Shopping Centres.
Brian Jenkins said: “It gives me great pleasure to return to CEE retail as part of the Blackstone team, one of the world’s leading real estate investors. I look forward to working with my colleagues at Multi and at Blackstone to further strengthen the position of these retail centres as attractive places for customers to shop and meet.”
Ken Caplan, head of European Real Estate at Blackstone, said: “We are delighted to welcome Brian to the team. His extensive expertise in CEE retail will greatly benefit the growing Multi platform, as we deliver high quality, innovative services to both retailers and customers in our shopping centres. Bringing Brian on board reflects our strong commitment to this business and follows a series of senior executive hires, including Jaap Blokhuis as Chief Executive of Multi Corporation and Paolo M. Bottelli as Chairman of Multi Italy.”
The shopping centres had previously been sourced and managed by Master Management Group (MMG), headed by founder and CEO Paul Kusmierz, and by George Mula of Integrated Finance Group, a leading real estate investor in Poland. Both partners have finalized an exit from the King’s Street Retail portfolio.
Ken Caplan continued: “We would like to thank Paul and George for their perseverance in identifying high-quality investment opportunities for Blackstone. Together, we established one of the leading retail property ventures in CEE. We wish both Paul and George continued success in their future activities.”
Paul Kusmierz, founder and CEO of MMG, said: ”With the development works at Magnolia and a successful leasing campaign well underway, we look back on a successful cooperation between MMG and Blackstone, and are very pleased to have worked on the creation of one of Poland’s most exciting shopping centre businesses and are very pleased with this exit.”