„We changed our strategy and the only assets we are still investing in are the offices and only in capitals. We intend to develop in Romania through other acquisitions too, as our buildings are almost fully let. We are mainly interested in office buildings which already generate revenues, only A class and similar to those we already have in our local portfolio. We keep the properties on long term, for instance we Europe House for 13 years, so we are not selling, however we still take into consideration an exit opportunity“, has declared Hedwig Höfler, investment director for CEE within CA Immo.
She admits that there are not too many office buildings in Bucharest fitting the company’s demands, but trusts the new developments currently in different stages of works.
„There are some in the north of the city, but it is already getting too busy here, and Globalworth owns almost a monopoly in the area. Skanska has developed a project and I am sure they will start another, S Immo has as well a project, we have one in Orhideea area and there will be others too“, says Höfler.
She hopes that in the autumn to begin the development of the office project in Orhideea area, where CA Immo owns a plot of land from the former Spicul factory. The company intends to build here two towers of 11, respectively 15 floors, with a rentable area of 37,000 sq. m. The investment scheduled here reaches approx. EUR 70 million.
The investment strategy of the Austrians changed last autumn, after the Russian millionaire Boris Mints entered the company’s board. He purchased in October 2014, through his company O1 Group, a package of shares from UniCredit Bank Austria for EUR 295 million. The transaction brought him 16.35 pct of CA Immo. In a further transaction, closed this February, Boris Mints also bought 9.56 pct of the company’s shares, following a transaction of approx. EUR 180 million. Therefore, the Russian became the main shareholder of CA Immo, with 26 pct share, following total investments of EUR 475.2 million.
Boris Mints intends to increase its stake in CA Immo. „It is a tendency which can be seen in many Russian investors, placing their financial resources in European properties“, Höfler explained.
After the new capital infusion, CA Immo started to cleanse its portfolio in Romania from all assets outside Bucharest. Therefore, in November 2014, the company sold the space of the former OBI store in Sibiu to the German group Hornbach and the logistics park Europolis near Bucharest to P3, cashing out approx. EUR 130 million. Previously, last spring, the company had sold a plot of 8,200 sq. m in Barbu Văcărescu area to the Romanian entrepreneur Ionuţ Dumitrescu.
CA Immo currently includes in its portfolio the office buildings Riverplace Semănătoarea, Bucharest Business Park, Europe House and Opera Center, all in Bucharest, as well as the 7,200 sq. m plot in Orhideelor area and another 16 ha in Sibiu. The company’s assets were evaluated in the end of last year at approx. EUR 400 million.
With a rentable area of approx. 93,000 sq. m, CA Immo occupies the fourth place in the top of the largest office buildings owners in Romania, after Immofinanz, Liviu Tudor and Globalworth. The Austrians have registered last year revenues from rents of nearly EUR 33 million and have an occupancy rate of 92.2 pct. (source: capital.ro)