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In March 2021, our Diversified Property Investments business sold a 10% share of Sonae Sierra, the Portuguese headquartered multinational property company and real estate services provider, to Sonae SGPS, the majority shareholder.
We retain a 20% interest and continue to value the high-quality management and strong relationship that has evolved over more than two decades.
During 2021, the shopping centre portfolio began to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, with year end sales and footfall figures close to those of 2019, and occupancy rates levelling at 97%. At a strategic level, Sonae Sierra continued to evolve and expanded its activity beyond its core shopping centre expertise.
It launched a German fund focused on grocery-led assets, which attracted €45m in the first round of fundraising. The Sonae Sierra development team also expanded its activity and now has nine European development projects in the pipeline, in diverse sectors from residential, to offices and mixed-use.