Friday, April 21, 2006

The Scoop on The Palms, the First Mega Shopping Mall in Nigeria

It's not a common occurrence to have a Head of State commission a shopping mall. When I saw the picture of two Nigerian Heads of State- Generals Obasanjo (current president, far right in the picture) and Babangida (former president; on the far left in the picture), and the King of Lagos at the commissioning the Palms Shopping Mall located on the Lekki Pennisula of Lagos, I wondered what the fuss was all about. After a couple minutes of probing the vast expanse of the cybernet, I discerned the reason for the fuss. And there is every reason for it.

What is The Palms?
The Palms is a $40 million greenfield shopping and entertainment mall located on a 44,000 sq. meter site (about 12 acres). The complex comes with off-road parking for approximately 720 vehicles, and has a "total built area of 23,600 sq. meter, a gross leasable area of 19,600 sq. meter with a wide range of retail and service outlets, a food court and a first floor five screen cinema."

The Sponsors
The Palms Shopping center is developed by the Persianas Properties Limited (PPL), an estate development company owned by Actis and Snap Blu.

Actis (formerly CDC Capital partners) is a UK based private equity investor with extensive portfolio in emerging markets, it underwrote the $40 million deal", and holds 64% stakes in Persianas. Snap Blu is owned by a Nigerian developer, Tayo Amusan and his family, it holds 34% stakes in Persianas. The websites of International Finance Corporation and Actis have additional information on the financing of the mall.

The Palms is also accessible online:, even though their website is grossly information-deficient, the complex is "100% already let".

Pictures: (Top left) from the Nigerian Vanguard newspaper and The Palms.