REAL ESTATE

Northwestern and Phillips Edison join forces on a REIT

BY Al Urbanski

Northwestern Mutual, a large investor in commercial real estate, announced it will acquire an 85% interest in Grocery Retail Partners, a real estate investment trust managed by Phillips Edison & Company.

The REIT’s portfolio of 17 grocery-anchored centers across eight states is valued at $368 million, according to PECO, which will retain ownership of 15% of the company.

PECO, which owns and operates some 300 grocery-anchored centers, intends to use the proceeds of the sale to strengthen its balance sheet, fund redevelopment projects, and further expand its portfolio.

“Entering into this joint venture with Northwestern Mutual is a compelling illustration of the continued strength in grocery-anchored real estate,” commented CEO Jeff Edison in a press release.

In addition, Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT III, which is currently sponsored and managed by PECO, has entered into a separate joint venture with Northwestern Mutual to create Grocery Retail Partners II. Northwestern Mutual will acquire a 90% interest, valued at approximately $46.5 million, in three grocery-anchored shopping centers currently owned by PECO III.

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