Poland’s dominant retail property owner trades as EPP from today

JSE-listed EPP – the leading owner and operator of shopping centres in Poland, began trading under its new, shorter name today.

This follows its announcement on 29 May of the name change from Echo Polska Properties, which it said concluded the company’s eight-month rebranding process. This includes a new EPP logo.

Hadley Dean, EPP’s CEO, said: “In two short years, we have built Poland’s dominant retail property firm, with high-class shopping centres in the best locations to draw in the country’s thriving consumer base. The change in our name should ensure there is no confusion over who tenants, consumers, and investors should look to for the best retail experience in Poland.”

EPP Chief Executive, Dean Hardley.

EPP has been developing rapidly by pursuing its long-term strategy of consolidating the retail market in Poland. In December 2017 the company acquired 12 shopping centres and retail parks from the M1 portfolio. The acquisition totalled €692 million and was one of the biggest transactions in the history of the commercial property market in Poland.

The takeover will be executed in three tranches and will be completed in the next two years. The first stage was closed in January this year and the remaining two are scheduled for June 2019 and June 2020. Following the finalisation of the deal, EPP’s portfolio will include at least 26 shopping centres in a total Gross Leasable Area (GLA) of nearly 1 million sqm. EPP’s portfolio is likely to surpass the million sqm mark, with it also announcing on 29 May its acquisition of the 45,353m² King Cross Marcelin Shopping Centre for €91.1 million, marking its first entry into Poznan.

EPP manages its asset and real estate portfolio in-house using proprietary technology to maximize tenants’ profits and allowing it to procure the highest lease values, while maintaining the lowest vacancy rates. The company has developed Poland’s premier asset management team responsible for lease and asset value growth.

“Our strategy of providing our tenants with robust business support to ensure a great experience for Poland’s consumers has proven to be successful and translates to a better bottom line for our investors. We are constantly monitoring the market to meet its needs,” Dean said.

With the resolution of the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders held on 24 May 2018, all companies operating within the former Echo Polska Properties Group has now changed their names, including Echo Polska Properties Sp. z o.o. and Echo Polska Properties N.V., which will operate as EPP Sp. z o.o. and EPP N.V., respectively.

EPP is a company operating in a formula similar to REITs investing in the commercial property sector throughout Poland. Its diversified asset portfolio currently consists of 18 retail properties, 6 office buildings and two multi-function projects under construction, offering a total of over 790,000 sqm.

The buildings are located in Poland’s 19 biggest cities, which represent the fastest growing and highest-spending portion of the country’s burgeoning consumer market. EPP is creating the largest income-generating platform of profitable retail assets in Poland, resulting in strong rates of return as well as great shopping experiences. EPP is listed on the stock exchanges in Johannesburg (JSE) and Luxembourg (Euro MTF).

* Content edited by Suren Naidoo.