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Thai mall adds Japan touch with Mitsubishi Estate investment

Developer takes $33m stake in Central Group's premium outlet center

Thailand's Central Group opened the Central Village premium outlet mall in August. (Photo courtesy of Central Village)

BANGKOK -- Tokyo-based property developer Mitsubishi Estate spent 1 billion baht ($33 million) for a share of Thailand's first premium outlet mall, looking to add Japanese flavor to the shopping experience.

Mitsubishi Estate will provide expertise in operating Central Village, of which it is a 30% owner. The mall opened at the end of August near Suvarnabhumi Airport, which serves the capital, Bangkok.

"We wish to incorporate the know-how for Japanese hospitality, and draw Japanese and other international brands," Preecha Ekkunagul, CEO of Central Pattana, the mall's parent company, said Tuesday.

Central Village is a showpiece of Central Group, Thailand's largest retail conglomerate. The mall covers 40,000 sq. meters, and expansion is planned. Mitsubishi Estate also will collaborate in designing the new facilities.

"We will look for opportunities to cooperate with Central in offices as well as other projects," said Yutaro Yotsuzuka, managing director of Mitsubishi Estate Asia, headquartered in Singapore.

Mitsubishi Estate runs the Premium Outlets chain in Japan, but Central Village is the first Thai shopping center in its portfolio. The company aims to earn 35 billion yen ($321 million) in offshore operating profit for the year ending March 2020, up 30% from fiscal 2016.

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