The EUR 422 million offer made by the two partners for a larger package of shares within Immofinanz, which would have contributed to create a real estate giant in Central and Eastern Europe, has attracted a hostile response from the former executive director of the aimed company, a moment when the two parties remained in an unclear situation for the market.
CA Immo, 26 pct owned by Russian tycoon Boris Mints (56 years) through O1 group and Immofinanz are the largest foreign office building owners in Romania. A company resulted from the fusion of the two players would control in Romania a portfolio of real estate assets evaluated to more than EUR 1.3 billion.
Immofinanz owns locally properties of EUR 957 million, including eight office projects, four malls and three logistics centres, as well as more than 100 ha of land.
On the other hand, CA Immo owns the office buildings Riverplace Semănătoarea, Bucharest Business Park, Europe House and Opera Center, all in Bucharest, a land in Orhideelor area in Bucharest and another in Sibiu, all evaluated at approx. EUR 400 million.
Dmitry Mints, the son of Boris Mints and the CEO of O1 Properties, investment vehicle of O1 Group, has recently declared that no strategy for the acquisition of Immofinanz was adopted yet.
„We didn’t decide yet if we sell or buy shares in Immofinanz. US, like any portfolio investor, could go in any direction.... The company has a anew CEO, we will see what he will do, how we build our cooperation with them“, has declared Mints, cited by Reuters.
O1 Group and CA Immo placed a takeover offer of approx. 13.5 pct of Immofinanz in March, but the executive director of Immofinanz at that time, Eduard Zehetner, has strongly opposed to this move.
Subsequently, the two parties sued each other, Immofinanz saying they wanted to prevent CA Immo to buy more shares or to exercise its voting rights, while CA Immo says that they sued Immofinanz due to comments made by the CEO in a press interview.
Meanwhile, Immofinanz has also lunched a buying-back program of its own shares, and Mints says that O1 and CA Immo, which succeeded in buying only 6 pct. of Immofinanz’s shares will wait the end of the program in order to make further steps.
The repurchase is expected to complete by the end of the year, except the case when the targeted package of shares is bought back earlier. Mints says that he expects the program to close earlier.
„Immofinanz is interesting if we obtain the operational control and if we could work at the business’s restructuration, including the activities of the properties in Russia“, although the share of 6 ct, does not guarantee a place in the company’s board, Mints said. He added that O1 didn’t have the intention of growing the shares in CA Immo over the level of 25 pct., as the current share offered him almost a position of control.
Asked by Capital if she expected that O1 Group to increase its shares in CA Immo, Hedwig Höfler, the investment director for Central and Eastern Europe within CA Immo, answered that „it is a trend which could be observed in many Russian investors, placing their financial resources in properties across Europe“. (Source: capital.ro)