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French Consortium to Buy Paris Mall for $964M

The Beaugrenelle shopping center has drawn more than 3.7 million visitors since it opened last October.

PARIS — A French consortium said Thursday it has agreed to buy the Beaugrenelle shopping center in Paris for 700 million euros, or $964 million at current exchange, in what it is billing as the most expensive deal to date for a single commercial property in France.

The group is composed of Apsys, which operates the mall located near the Eiffel Tower; real estate investment firm Groupe Madar and Financière Saint James, the holding company of Michaël Benabou, cofounder of flash sale site Vente-Privée.

Apsys and Groupe Madar each own a 40 percent stake in the consortium, with Financière Saint James holding the remaining 20 percent. The sale is expected to go through during the first half of 2014, and Apsys will remain in charge of the project’s asset and property management.

The Beaugrenelle mall, featuring close to 540,000 square feet of retail and leisure spaces on six floors, opened on Oct. 23, 2013.

Philippe Depoux, chief executive officer of Gecina, the listed real estate investment trust that owns a 75 percent stake in the project, said it cost 500 million euros, or $688 million, and was the largest opening of its kind in the French capital since Italie 2 in 1976 and the Forum des Halles in 1979.

The mall hopes to draw 12 million visitors a year initially, rising to 15 million once it hits “cruise speed,” Depoux said at the time. To date, it has drawn more than 3.7 million visitors.

The center, designed by architecture firm Valode & Pistre, features more than 100 brands including Guerlain, Baccarat, Sephora, Michael Kors and Silvera, alongside a flagship Marks & Spencer covering 50,500 square feet, France’s largest Zara store and the first Hollister unit within Paris.

Gecina — which also owns the building housing the flagship Louis Vuitton store on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées — said it wanted to sell its stake in Beaugrenelle in order to focus on its core segment of offices.