(Boursier.com) -- Fitch Ratings says that Unibail-Rodamco SE's (Unibail-Rodamco) ('A'/Stable) announcement that it is buying a 51% non-controlling stake in major German shopping centre owner mfi Management fur Immobilien AG (mfi) is a positive strategic step for the group and will underpin the group's current ratings.
The agency believes that the purchase of mfi and Ruhr-Park is a logical and low-cost move for Unibail-Rodamco, giving it a significant presence in one of the largest and highest potential retail markets in Europe. The cash consideration of EUR383m (paid in 2 instalments with EUR316m at closing and EUR67m as of June 30, 2014) is modest as Unibail-Rodamco has one of the strongest liquidity positions in the EMEA REIT sector, with over EUR3.3bn of undrawn committed facilities and cash. The group's currently strong financial metrics are unlikely to be negatively affected by the purchase.
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