One of Russia’s largest property companies, Sistema-Hals, has joined forces with European developer Apsys, to form a retail strategic alliance.

The 50:50 alliance will co-develop and asset manage retail properties across Russia.

It will start operations with the purchase Sistema- Hals’ Leto City retail and entertainment centre for an undisclosed sum.

The centre totals 807,300 sq ft on a 43 acre site in Pulkovskoye Schosse to the south of St Petersburg.

Felix Evtushenko, president of Sistema-Hals, said: ‘This partnership will contribute to the high-grade growth of our retail activity, through a combination of Apsys’ recognized expertise in the development, leasing and management of retail properties, and the strong track record of Sistema-Hals as a leader in the Russian real estate development market.’

The tie-up marks the first activity for Paris-listed Apsys in Russia. The company, led by president Maurice Bansay had focussed much of its attention on France and Poland where it has 17 shopping centres across the two countries.