“The thoroughness and order of the company is an asset: each document is examined down to the smallest detail and then checked off”

Forum Estates is a real estate fund that invests and makes acquisitions in so-called e-commerce-resistant commercial real estate. Mainly food supermarkets such as Spar, Delhaize, Lidl, Jumbo, Albert Hein, Colruyt or Carrefour, all together accounting for around 60 percent of their portfolio. In addition, the fund also targets e-commerce-resistant commercial real estate within the leisure industry (e.g. fitness chains such as Basic-Fit, and DIY stores). Specifically, Forum Estates makes the investment, after which it rents out the premises to the groups in question.

“The fund has a lot of shareholders, as we are buying up properties that need to be financed through capital increases,” said Stefan De Bock, CEO of Forum Estates. “Consequently, we have the very specific status of SREIF or Specialised Real Estate Investment Fund. Several of our purchases are made through a so-called asset deal, which means that we only buy the ‘bricks’ and just have to go to the notary for the deed. In addition, we realise many transactions via a share deal, in which we buy the company ourselves. Then we take over both assets and liabilities whereby important contracts have to be drawn up in order to avoid future conflicts – for example with regard to previously incurred costs or liability. Especially for those share deals, we needed a reliable legal partner. We opted for Four & Five, which draws up the acquisition contracts of the companies after examining the books and identifying the legal sensitivities. This is a very intensive process and each contract takes several weeks to draw up.”

“I particularly like the responsiveness of the office,” continues the CEO. “Their thoroughness and order are also an asset: each document is examined down to the smallest detail and then checked off. If a problem arises while doing so, we will be informed immediately. In short, we are absolutely satisfied with the collaboration.”

Stefan De Bock (CEO Forum Estates)