Multi back in UK after buying stake in retail expert Realm

Amsterdam-headquartered retail management and development company Multi Corporation has acquired a majority stake in UK specialist retail asset and property manager Realm in a deal which Multi said heralds its return to the country.

Dan Mason.

The company is now to be known as Multi-Realm in the UK. Realm managing director, Dan Mason, and leasing director, Christine Grace, will remain as co-owners of the business and, along with all 40 members of the existing Realm teams based in the UK and Denmark, will continue to work for the combined company.

Christine Grace.

Realm, which was founded in 2001, operates retail destinations and designer outlets in the UK where its clients include a number of institutional investors, having worked on 19 properties that collectively represent 45% of the UK outlet market. Its client base has included LaSalle Investment Management, Blackstone, DTZ Investors, CBRE Global Investors, The Crown Estate, Nuveen Real Estate, ARES, Hermes Investment Management and Quintain.

Realm’s current portfolio includes high profile venues such as the London Designer Outlet, Wembley Park; Resorts World, Birmingham; Lakeside Village, Doncaster; Ringsted Outlet in Denmark; and the development of the Cotswolds Designer Outlet, Tewkesbury, which will open in Spring 2025.

Multi Corporation had a significant presence in the UK between 2001 and 2021 having developed or managed retail venues including the Southgate Centre in Bath, Victoria Square in Belfast, and Glasgow’s St Enoch centre.

Multi is owned and led by co-chief executives Elmar Schoonbrood and Steven Poelman, following the management buyout from Blackstone in 2022. Multi has since entered four new countries, Switzerland, France, Denmark and now the UK. The company has €5 billion of assets under management, 6,000 tenants, 550 full-time employees, and operates in 15 countries. Multi also manages other retail asset types including retail parks, convenience retail, and high street retail, and has extensive experience of developing and repositioning retail destinations, including converting retail assets to residential.

Multi will manage over 160 assets in the UK and Europe with a GLA of approximately 2.7 million sq m.

Elmar Schoonbrood, Co-Chief Executive of Multi, said: “We see a huge opportunity in the UK market for a best-in-class retail specialist. Multi has a proven track record of (re)developing, managing, and turning around retail assets across Europe and together with Realm, under the leadership of Dan and Christine, we look forward to implementing our ambitious growth plans for the UK market.”

Dan Mason, Managing Director of Realm, said: “Multi and Realm have the same business model, offering clients and investors a fully integrated suite of services and systems. Our experience in operating outlet centres, provides us with extensive sales and performance data, and this intelligence enables us to pursue very active asset management, maintain excellent occupier relationships and drive performance with our brand partners and clients. “Multi’s operation of a large portfolio of shopping centres will give us pan European leasing insight and contacts with brands, and a service to clients and investors which, we believe, will be second to none.”