FRANKFURT, March 11 Germany's Otto family are
setting up a new 800 million euro ($1.1 billion) fund to invest
in shopping centres across Europe, Alexander Otto told German
business daily Handelsblatt.
The Otto Group is one of Germany's best known retailers and
posted sales of 11.8 billion euros for its 2012/13 business
year. It says it is the world's second-largest internet retailer
Alexander Otto is the youngest son of founder Werner Otto,
who died in 2011 at the age of 102. He manages ECE, which runs
195 shopping centres in 17 countries.
With an estimated value of $9 billion, ECE represents about
half of the family's fortune, according to Forbes. The Otto
family are number 42 in the Forbes rich list with a net worth of
ECE's first fund, now fully invested, was focused on eastern
Europe. The new one, aimed at institutional investors, will look
more at southern Europe, including Italy and Spain and is also
interested in Turkey, Alexander Otto told Handelsblatt.
"Despite the fragile economic and political situation, the
medium-term chances for Turkey are very good," he told the
paper. "Population trends are good, the middle class is growing.
Therefore we will continue to invest."
The company on Monday announced a 240 million euro deal to
buy half of a Brazilian shopping centre joint venture from U.S.
group DDR Corp. The joint venture owns two-thirds of
listed shopping centre operator Sonae Sierra Brasil.
($1 = 0.7205 euros)
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Mark Potter)