Monthly Archives: May 2012

Ales Vobruba and Ott & Co. SA resign from Orco board

At the same time Orco Property Group’s board of directors welcomed new board members David Ummels (Astin Capital Management) and Benjamin Colas (MTone), it was bidding adieu to OPG veteran Ales Vobruba as well as to Ott & Co. SA.

“The board thanked them for their decision and validated the cooptation,” read the statement.

Ott & Co. is the personal holding company of Jean-Francois Ott, who stays on as president of the board.

Ales Vobruba is to stay on as deputy CEO and MD of Orco in Central Europe, and the company has vigorously denied any validity to reports that he was no longer at the company at all.

Ummels and Colas have won their seats as part of the deleveraging process at Orco, as bonds were traded in for equity. The shift in the structure of the board, says Orco, reflects the shift in structure of the shareholders. Mtone for example currently holds 9.8% of Orco (9.9% in voting rights). Orco also revealed that Credit Suisse Securities now holds a 4.2% stake in the company. Ott & Co. SA currently controls just 0.7% of OPG. (details here)

The make-up of the 12 member board now is:

-J.F. Ott, Nicolas Tommasini who are described as “executive members representing the management of the Company”.

-5 “independent members” (Silvano Pedretti, Guy Wallier, Bernard Kleiner, Alexis Juan and Robert Coucke)

-And 5 non-executive members “representing the shareholders” (Bertrand Des Pallieres, Gabriel Lahyani, Richard Lonsdale-Hands, Benjamin Colas and David Ummels)

Top Plastics Poland takes 2,800 sqm with Segro

Segro Industrial Park Tychy in Poland has a new tenant, following the conclusion of a lease deal with Top Plastics Poland for nearly 2,800 sqm of warehouse and production space. The company develops and produces automobile components for companies such as Fiat Auto and Denso. It’s moving into an industrial development that should eventually offer 56,000 sqm of leasable space, located 22 km from Katowice. Cushman & Wakefield advised the landlord in the transaction.

Top Plastics Poland has leased almost 2,800 sq.m of warehouse and production space with an office and social unit in SEGRO Industrial Park Tychy. 

AkzoNobel takes 700 sqm at Building Beta – BB Centrum

AkzoNobel is moving its Czech headquarters to Building Beta in BB Centrum in Prague 4. CBREImage worked with the landlord (CBRE Global Investors) on the transaction, the company is due to move in on June 1. “AkzoNobel have taken advantage of the landlord´s current keen interest on leasing the available office space at Beta and have as such been able to lease good quality office space in a BREEAM certified building,” says Bert Hesselink, head of Office Agency at CBRE. Other tenants at the beginning include Marks&Spencer, Goodyear Dunlop Tires, Areva, Spar, Česká obchodní společnost and others.”

Savills lands Commerz Real assignment

Tulipan House

Savills announced it has been selected to manage two Warsaw office buildings, Harmony Office Centre and Tulipan House, by the German fund Commerz Real Investmentgesellschaft. Its team will work with the buildings’ existing occupiers and will assist in finding new tenants for remaining vacant space. Harmony Office center is a 19,267 sqm building almost entirely leased to Millenium Bank, while  Tulipan House, an 18,600 sqm office building in Mokotów, currently has 1,302 sqm available for new tenants. For both properties Savills property management team will coordinate technical services, commission work and repairs, manage rent and service charges and monitor insurance issues.

Hines closes Polish/Russia fund

 Hines has closed its most recent property investment vehicle focusing on Poland and Russia, a 900m Luxembourg-based fund that’s been collected 390m in capital. The money’s come from a range of financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, pensions, trust and other investors from around the world. The fund will take advantage of Hines’ local teams. Its Polish office  led by Mietek Godzisz, while Lee Timmins leads the Russian operation. Around 20 percent of the acquisitions are planned to be made in Poland, with the rest to take place in Russia. Equity has already been placed in three Russian assets.

Lessons in corruption

A fine example of how to fix a tender is reported on in today’s Hospodarske noviny. It goes back to the now disgraced Social Democratic power broker David Rath, the governor of the Central Bohemian region, who became involved in the reconstruction of an old castle not far from the Prague airport.

It had already come out that some bright sparks realized that a tender for the work had come up with a price that failed to, shall we say, realize its full potential. So the tender was scrapped and a new one was held.

Lo and behold, the new project came out tens of millions of crowns more expensive (but who cares, since the EU was going to foot a lot of the bill, right). Turns out, writes HN, that the winning company, Konstruktiva Branko, actually prepared the documentation for all the bids of all the shortlisted companies. As in, they all agreed to take a back seat in order to provide cover for the winner. Very professionally done, all in all. A real textbook example that criminals everywhere can learn from. Except that someone in the whole complicated web of relationships had been talking to the police about it for months.

The real wonder of it all is that no one in the police team investigating the plot tipped off any of the actors, making it possible for Rath to be nabbed, red-handed, with CZK 7m in cash, in his car (he was also carrying a gun).

Skanska sells City Green Court to DEKA

The German property fund DEKA Immobilien has landed one of the major transactions for 2012 in Prague, the City Green Court building by Skanska. The building hasn’t even opened yet, but it’s basically fully leased at this point, including a mouth-watering 10-year lease to PwC, which is abandoning its long-time downtown headquarters. City Green Court is the first office building in the Czech Republic to have been pre-certified as a Platinum LEED project. The transfer of the property will take place towards the end of the year, but will be recorded in Q2 2012. The transaction, in which CBRE represented Skanska,  went through at a price of €53.7m.