Northwestern Mutual to invest in 20 shopping centers in joint venture with Phillips Edison

The Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons office building in downtown Milwaukee.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:49 pm

Milwaukee-based life insurance company Northwestern Mutual has entered a joint venture with Cincinnati-based retail real estate investment trust Phillips Edison & Company, Inc. to invest in 17 grocery-anchored shopping centers, the companies announced.

The Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons office building in downtown Milwaukee.

Under the deal, Northwestern Mutual will acquire 85 percent interest in a 17-center portfolio currently owned and operated by Phillips Edison & Company. The portfolio is valued at $368 million.

Phillips Edison & Company will maintain 15 percent ownership while providing asset management and property management services for the joint venture, according to a news release.

The shopping centers are located across eight states.

“This joint venture with PECO creates an opportunity to invest in a portfolio of necessity-based retail real estate currently managed by one of the leading operators in the sector,” said Rob Francour, portfolio director of commercial real estate acquisitions at Northwestern Mutual. “We’re confident these assets will produce consistent cash flow that complements our current commercial real estate portfolio.”

In a separate joint venture, Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT III, Inc., has entered into a partnership with Northwestern Mutual on another portfolio of three grocery-anchored shopping centers in three states. Under that deal, Northwestern Mutual will acquire a 90 percent interest, valued at approximately $46.5 million, in the centers, which are currently owned by PECO III.

The aggregate value of the two joint ventures makes it the the largest shopping center real estate transaction in 2018, the companies said.

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