Cerberus launches sale of German cash & carry markets, say sources: Reuters

(Reuters) Private equity group Cerberus has launched the sale of German cash & carry markets after an initial plan to float the retail property assets has been put aside, three people familiar with the matter said.

Cerberus has asked UBS to find a buyer for the real estate assets which may reap up to 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in a potential deal, the people said.

Real estate funds from Europe and Asia as well as other property groups with a penchant for retail assets are being targeted in the auction, they said.

“Germany is seeing stable private consumer demand and new licenses for green-field big box retail are scarce, so the property will likely generate a fair amount of interest,” one of the people said.

Cerberus and UBS declined to comment.

Cerberus in 2013 planned to list the property – comprising mainly Metro wholesale markets – as a real estate investment trust (REIT).

But after several banks were mandated, the project failed to get off the ground with investors criticising that the property had no manager of its own but was being operated by external firm Acrest.