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AIMCo, Portus Retail, Equilis and TPF announce acquisition of Docks Bruxsel

The acquisition of Brussels’ newest urban shopping centre, Docks Bruxsel, has been announced by retail property specialist, Portus Retail, and its investment partner, the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), on behalf of certain of its clients.  The sale represents a unique opportunity for the incoming owners to enhance an already contemporary scheme to perfectly meet the multi-channel shopping needs of today’s consumer.

Portus Retail and AIMCo intend to build on the success of Docks Bruxsel’s unique shopping ‘district’ positioning.  Portus Retail will act as Asset Manager to implement the strategic marketing programme and a proactive leasing campaign.  The vision involves refreshing and strengthening the tenant mix and investment in the customer experience to develop a long-term, sustainable retail business.

Docks Bruxsel was developed by Equilis and TPF and opened in 2016.  It is the first new shopping centre in Brussels for over 30 years and provides an entirely modern retail format designed to suit Brussels’ international and cosmopolitan population. Docks Bruxsel appeals to the modern consumer, offering fashion and lifestyle retailers, impressive leisure attractions, event space and a strong food and beverage offer, all fronted by stunning, contemporary architecture.  Docks Bruxsel was awarded the best new large shopping centre development in 2018 by ICSC Europe.

Peter Todd, Founder of Portus Retail commented, “This is a really exciting opportunity for Portus Retail. Docks Bruxsel is a genuinely unique shopping destination, which already provides a relevant and fresh retail offering to Brussels and the surrounding areas. Our intention is to enhance this by creating memorable experiences for visitors and building on the existing mix of retailers, introducing attractive new brands to the scheme.”

Micheal Dal Bello, Senior Vice President Real Estate at AIMCo, added, “AIMCo’s investment in Docks Bruxsel builds on the strong relationship we have developed with Portus Retail and adds an exceptional asset to our growing European portfolio.”

Carl Mestdagh, Executive Chairman of Equilis Europe said, “Equilis is delighted with this transaction, which is part of the company’s development strategy in Europe. As a real estate developer, Equilis always intended to enhance the value of Docks Bruxsel and this is why we are pleased to sell to an investor with a long-term vision for this new and iconic scheme.”

Docks Bruxsel is home to a diverse range of fashion and lifestyle brands including Zara, H&M, Michael Kors, Guess, Pandora, Guess, Levis, MAC, Mango, Samsung, Superdry, Swarovski, and many more.

Portus Retail and AIMCo were advised on the transaction by Clifford Chance and CBRE; Equilis was advised by Linklaters, JLL and Cushman & Wakefield.



For more information contact:

Portus Retail’sUK press office:

T 01628 625900


EquilisMarketing and Communications Manager:

  1. +32 (0)71 91 95 92
  2. +32 (0)498 906 903

Notes to editors:

About Portus Retail

Portus Retail is a specialist property asset management company focused on the investment and management of shopping centres and retail environments across Europe. The team works with businesses seeking direct investment in retail property across Europe and those looking to create the right shopping environments for retailers and shoppers in an evolving market.

Portus Retail specialises in all retail property, from large-scale assets to convenience centres, retail parks to shopping centres, delivering the right strategies and ensuring best fit for purpose. A wealth of experience and expertise in the retail sector informs Portus Retail’s strategy for positioning individual and portfolio assets to optimize performance.

About Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo)

AIMCo is one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment managers with more than CAD 100 billion of assets under management. AIMCo was established on January 1, 2008 with a mandate to provide superior long-term investment results for its clients. AIMCo operates at arms-length from the Government of Alberta and invests globally on behalf of 32 pension, endowment and government funds in the Province of Alberta. For more information please visit

AIMCo’s $13.6 billion real estate portfolio includes Core strategy assets, comprising long term, direct investments in quality office, retail, industrial and multi-unit residential properties located in Canada’s major cities, and Foreign Program assets, comprising opportunistic investments targeted to quality real estate assets, in markets with long term growth characteristics, and supported by strong local management teams.

About Equilis

Founded in 2006 by Carl Mestdagh, Equilis is a real estate developer that supports ambitious projects across Europe, ranging from commercial and residential real estate to offices, including the redevelopment of former industrial sites, residences for the elderly or students, sites dedicated to leisure, car parks, cultural and public spaces, and many more.

In total, Equilis has built some 250,000 m² and 577 housing units and is currently working on an additional 125,000 m² and no less than 2,109 housing units. Equilis takes care of all aspects and professions of real estate development, has diversified its activities and expanded its portfolio to cover the entire European market. Equilis has offices in Belgium, France, Spain, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Poland.

About TPF

TPF was created in 1991. Originally, the main activities focused on energy and Third Party Financing. TPF has grown rapidly on the engineering market.

Over the years, the group successively expanded in Europe, Asia, Africa and America through a series of acquisitions and became a key player, internationally recognized in its field. Today, TPF is ranked among the most important multidisciplinary companies active in the following sectors:

  • building,
  • transport infrastructure,
  • water and energy

About Docks Bruxsel

Docks Bruxsel is a new generation urban shopping centre that provides customers with a unique experience in Brussels, combining leisure activities with shops, food and entertainment.  Boasting extraordinary architecture and located in Northern Brussels, adjacent to the canal and park of the Royal Palace.  The centre features 110 retail stores, food, leisure and event space. Accessible by foot, bicycle, car, bus and tram, Docks Bruxsel has 1700 parking spaces.

Docks Bruxsel Acquisition Release

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