German company ECE was disappointed in the Russian retail real estate

The German ECE, which ran shopping centers "The Four Seasons" and the Central Children's Shop in Lubyanka, left Russia. Previously, their local business was closed and associated with ECE common owner of online stores Quelle and Otto.
Origin source
German ECE left the Russian market of retail property management in Russia, told RBC in four consulting companies. ECE headquarters confirmed that it does not have any more in the management of facilities in Russia, refusing any clarifications.

In Russia, the German company provided property management services, that is, on behalf of the owner of the trade complex was responsible for relations with tenants, led bookkeeping, provided legal support, was engaged in marketing and advertising. ECE itself in its presentation (available from RBC) indicated that it had collected the largest portfolio in external management: a year ago it was 417 thousand square meters. m suitable for lease areas (with a total area of ​​objects 740 thousand square meters). In the Moscow region these were the shopping malls "Seasons" on Kutuzov Avenue, Dream House in Barvikha, "Golden Babylon Rostokino", Mari in Marino; in Yaroslavl and Surgut - "Aura". Last summer, the company also took over the Central Children's Shop in Lubyanka.

To work in Russia, ECE has found partners: since 2015, LLC "EUE Rusland" belonged on an equal footing with the German ECE Projektmanagement International GmbH and the Avica foundation, founded by the ex-owner of Troika Dialog Ruben Vardanyan and owner of the development group RD Group Gagik Adibekyan. This year the partners have divided the business - Vardanyan has been withdrawn business centers, and Adibekyanu - shopping complexes. Together with the shopping complexes in RD Group, the management of these facilities has also been transferred, the source in the commercial real estate market explains. The RD Group and the press service of Ruben Vardanyan did not respond to RBC's request.

World executives

ECE was founded in 1965 by German entrepreneur Werner Otto, who also founded the Otto Group mail order business. Since 2000, the company is managed by the son of Werner Alexander. In 2018, he took 127th place in the ranking of the richest people in the world according to Forbes - the state of Alexander Otto is estimated at $ 11.8 billion.

ECE is engaged in the development, construction, leasing and management of large commercial facilities. In total, under the management of ECE there are more than 200 shopping centers in 14 countries, most of them located in Germany. The total area of ​​the company's shopping centers is more than 7.1 million square meters. m, which is about 20 thousand stores. Total under the company's management are assets worth € 34 billion. Financial indicators are not disclosed.

The Russian ECE portfolio began to crumble at the end of last year. Last December the St. Petersburg Fort Group bought five retail complexes of the Austrian company Immofinanz in Moscow. The transaction included, among others, the "Golden Babylon Rostokino" shopping mall, the largest facility in the ECE department (the lease area is 178,000 sq. M.). Fort Group has its own management company, so it does not resort to intermediaries.

Aura shopping complexes owned by Renaissance Development, after the contract with ECE, also went under the management of its own developer structures, Anna Collins International partner Anna Nikandrova said. The same fate, according to her, was overtaken by the Central Children's Store - they are now directly controlled by the group of VTB's "Hals Development". In the case of the Central Children's Shop, ECE has never acted on its own, the key decision was still taken by the owner of the building, which eventually took over the management, says Key Capital Sergey Kamlyuk. The press service of "Hals Development" did not respond to the request.

The analysts of Colliers International estimate the share of external management on the Russian market of retail real estate in just 3.5%, or 1.57 million square meters. m total area (964 thousand square meters suitable for rent). ECE in 2015 spoke about 5%. After its withdrawal from the market, the largest players are JLL and Colliers International, each of which manages approximately 300 thousand square meters. m of rental space.

It is noteworthy that this year another business connected with Otto's family, the founder of the ECE, refused from business in Russia. In April, it was decided to close online stores in Quelle and Otto. This step in Otto Group was explained by the desire to concentrate on the marketplace for German-speaking countries. In July, stores stopped accepting orders from Russian buyers.