MRM is refocusing its activities on retail properties

A strategic turnaround initiated at the time of SCOR’s investment in MRM

The arrival of SCOR SE as MRM’s majority shareholder in May 2013 was followed by the decision to adopt a new strategy. Originally a mixed real estate company, MRM is now refocusing on the ownership and management of retail properties by gradually selling its office properties. The company has set a medium-term time frame for an optimum roll-out of this strategy.

Enhance the potential value of retail properties

MRM owns a portfolio of retail properties located in city centres or suburban areas, including six shopping centres. These properties are well positioned within their respective catchment areas and let to both national retailers and independent stores. In order to improve their attractiveness, MRM has initiated a major investment plan in order to exploit their potential for value-enhancement. This will enable MRM to make the most of their strengths.

Since 2008, MRM has acquired real expertise in the refurbishment and redevelopment of retail properties. Its development projects aim to create an attractive retail mix that is consistent and suited to each shopping centre’s positioning, while also improving the shopping experience for customers. These projects have been designed taking into account recent changes in the retail sector in terms of retailers’ expectations and consumer behaviour.

These projects represent a potential investment of €35 million. They concern various local shopping centres such as Les Halles in Amiens, La Galerie du Palais in Tours, Le Passage de la Réunion in Mulhouse and Sud Canal in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, as well as its other properties such as Carré Vélizy, a mixed-use retail and office complex, the Aria Parc retail park in Allonnes (Le Mans conurbation) or the shopping mall at the Carrefour Ecole-Valentin shopping centre (Besançon conurbation). MRM’s solid financial position following the recapitalisation operation of May 2013, as well as the execution of its plan of selling office properties, has given sufficient financial leeway to carry out these projects.

Reinforcing the rental situation of office properties to sell them under the best conditions

In May 2013, MRM owned nine office properties. With the exception of one property that is to be sold vacant (Urban in Montreuil), MRM’s policy is to sell them when they are stabilised with a high occupancy rate and a secured rental status. MRM is therefore making a gradual withdrawal from the office property sector, giving itself time to continue to let the premises that are currently vacant before selling them. At the end of 2014, three properties had been sold, and a fourth was sold in April 2015. Three new sales of office buildings in 2016 took the total number of disposals to seven. The process of selling the two office properties still in the (Nova in La Garenne-Colombes and Urban in Montreuil) has been initiated and MRM is aiming to withdraw from the office segment in 2017.

Dynamic management of the retail portfolio

With 2017 just beginning, MRM is well on track for a complete withdrawal from the office sector. The Group will now be able to focus all of its resources on its retail property portfolio. Priority will be given to executing the value-enhancement programs, but also the possibility of opportunistic acquisitions or disposals to initiate a dynamic portfolio management.