[LONDON] Ikea, the world's biggest furniture retailer, has selected asset manager Pradera as the lead bidder to buy 27 European retail parks surrounding its stores, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Pradera has offered about 1 billion euros (S$1.5 billion) to buy the assets which are being sold through broker Cushman & Wakefield Inc, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Spokesmen for Ikea, Pradera and Cushman & Wakefield declined to comment.
Buyers are investing record amounts in European shops to benefit from the region's growing economy and rising property values.
More high street and shopping mall retailers are opening in the region's retail parks because of their lower costs, the opportunity to test new store formats and the need to supply click-and-collect services to customers, Cushman & Wakefield said in an August report.
Twelve of the Ikea properties are in Germany, with the rest scattered across Poland, Sweden, France, Finland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, a spokeswoman said in May when they were offered for sale.
Ikea will have 25 retail parks in Europe after the sale is complete, she said at the time.