Well now, this is interesting:
“Plaza Centers announces it has successfully completed the sale of 100% of its interest in a vehicle which holds the interest in the Prague 3 project (“Prague 3”), a logistics and commercial center in the third district of Prague. Earlier this year, Plaza completed its successful application to change the zoning use of Prague 3 to a residential scheme. The transaction values the asset at circa €11 million and, as a result, further to related bank financing and other balance sheet adjustments, Plaza has received cash proceeds of net circa €7.5 million.
Ran Shtarkman, President and CEO of Plaza Centers N.V., said:
“Less than two months after our first exit in India, we are pleased to announce the sale of our holding in Prague 3 in the Czech Republic. The sale is in line with our strategy and disposal programme of deleveraging and reallocating realised capital from stabilised completed projects and non-core assets to the core yielding assets across our portfolio.”
The recent flooding in Prague was big on drama, but surprisingly light on damage. People in this part of the world seem to be allergic to admitting that the state has gotten something right, but to a large degree, the flood control measures implemented and built after the horrendous 2002 deluge seem to have done the trick.
That being said, the post-event analysis will no doubt turn out lots of problems and shortcomings. One of the issues will be that new flood barriers definitely did the business as far as fighting a 2002-style event, but it turns out that each flood is different (shocking, isn’t it?). This time, with the rain advancing quickly from the north, the local creeks accounted for much of the local flood damage that occurred.
By now, most people will have seen the rather depressing aerial pictures of Crestyl’s DOCK project, a view that made things at the ongoing project look grim indeed. These fears seem to have been overblown. Crestyl’s director Omar Koleilat is quite relaxed about sending pictures from the site, and is even inviting us for a visit. Which we’ll of course take him up on. He explains that while there was obviously water in the underground portions of the scheme, the rest of the damage was thankfully quite minimal. We’ll go see for ourselves and report back. For now, you can check out the pictures.
These two shots are from last week, the day after the flood.
And these shots are from yesterday:
CBRE has helped a private Austrian group dispose of the Prague 13 office project Metronom. The 34,000 sqm office project has been waiting to happen for at least a decade, but somehow never got built. That’s surprising, on the face of it, considering it sits right on top of the Nove Butovice metro station and across from a shopping mall (granted, not exactly the most successful one ever).
The owners, originally connected in some fashion with Doughty Hanson (which also used to own the Nove Butovice Business Park) seem to have decided the current development environment didn’t suit them and sold it to a company (i.e. HB Reavis) better suited to the times. Originally, the project was being sold along with a 20,000 sqm residential component, but the owners were advised to split the plot into two separate investment packages to increase the final price (and probably its sell-ability). The residential portion could end up being sold soon as well, as it happens.
“I wouldn’t say it’s the best time to sell such projects,” says one market observer. “But it’s a good time to buy. A lot of companies are coming under pressure from the banks, so they have to sell. They’re not selling for the price they wanted to achieve, but the price that the market is telling them.”
This should be music to the ears of agents everywhere, but they’re hoping someone will turn up the volume a bit higher…
The credit committee of ECM Real Estate Investments has chosen to entrust the reorganization of the company to the development group Crestyl.
The reorganization of ECM REI was accepted back in March as the outcome by the courts of an insolvency process that had taken a year. Crestyl’s goal will be to minimize the impact of insolvency on ECM’s position and its properties.
Crestyl’s director Omar Koleilat said “This is a very interesting experience and I believe we’ll be able to complete the assignment successfully. We intend to work very closely with the credit committee and with the whole management of ECM.”
The option before the committee, and which was reportedly preferred by some, would have been to simply liquidate all the property of the company. The implication would seem to be that with a professional property company running the show, considered decisions on how best to proceed with ECM’s assets will be taken, meaning some properties may yet be developed in order to produce a greater level of return. Part of the deal is that ECM REI’s management structure will be changed, including the appointment of Koleilat as board member. ECM’s various companies will then be moved to Crestyl’s offices “in order to maximize the synergies of both teams.”
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.
Orco Property Group has announced the sale of the Radio Free Europe building in Prague to a subsidiary of the L88 Companies (www.l88llc.com), for what it describes as an overall transaction value of USD 94m, “which is at DTZ valuation after taking into account all taxes on the transaction.” At the closing L88 handed over $80m in cash, $2m in concessions and a $12m note convertible “into a 20% stake in the parent company of the entity acquiring the building.”
The companies have also created a strategic alliance to develop and build a broad based building platform for the U.S. Department of State. After successfully concluding the development and sale of the Radio Free Europe building, “Orco is pleased to enter into this transaction with the L88 Companies and looks forward to working with the L88 Companies in the development of premium standard buildings for the U.S. Government. The Strategic Alliance for this broad based platform is a natural progression for Orco as it looks to new development opportunities following its successful financial restructuring,” stated Jean-François Ott, OPG’s President & CEO. Salans advised the vendor in the transaction.
PPF has filed an injunction against potential changes to the board of directors at the failed developer ECM. A Prague court was due to decide whether to accept a proposal under which top board members in ECM would be replaced by three people from the Prague developer Crestyl. There’s a great deal at stake, with interests as diverse as the creditors of EMC themselves, so that someone has filed an official complaint should come as little surprise.