Vastned Retail and Vastned Belgium announce merger

Vastned plans to merge with its Belgian subsidiary Vastned Belgium.

Retail investor Vastned wants to merge with its Belgian subsidiary. This is called a reverse cross-border legal merger in which Vastned Retail would merge with and into Vastned Belgium.

Vastned reports this in a press release.

The new merged entity Vastned Group will be listed on the Brussels and Amsterdam stock exchanges. The combined company will be named ‘Vastned’ and will be headquartered in Belgium. The Vastned Group will continue the activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain with total gross rental income of 72.1 million euros (reported consolidated gross rental income in 2023).

CEO Reinier Walta calls the proposed merger an ‘important milestone in the completion of our strategic reorientation’. This reorientation was announced in 2023 due to rising interest rates, increasing returns on retail real estate and the abolition of the FBI regime.

Vastned is being hit hard by increased interest rates and a proposed tax measure from the Dutch government. As a result, a tax-friendly FBI status for real estate funds will no longer apply, leading to a higher tax burden from 2025.

In addition, the retail investor had long wanted to merge its two entities. The Dutch Vastned Retail has a majority interest in Vastned Belgium, but to date it has not been possible to rally the other shareholders of the Belgian company behind a takeover bid. Now the merger is the other way around, with the company leaving the Netherlands.

With the proposed merger, the company hopes to save around two million annually and to be more attractive to investors.

Vastned is a European publicly listed property company (Euronext Amsterdam: VASTN) focusing on the best property in the popular shopping areas of selected European cities with a historic city centre where shopping, living, working and leisure meet. Vastned’s property clusters have a strong tenant mix of international and national retailers, food & beverage entrepreneurs, residential tenants, and office tenants. The property portfolio had a size of approximately 1,373 million euros as at 31 December 2023.

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