On January 8, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Gide Loyrette Nouel had advised Yareal on the sale of buildings A and B in its LIXA project to Commerz Real, acting on behalf of South-Korean investor Hana Financial Investment. CEEIHM spoke with Eric Dapoigny, Managing Director of Yareal International N.V. and President of Yareal Polska, to learn more about the deal.
CEEIHM: Tell us a bit about Yareal.
Eric: Yareal Polska, a leading property developer operating in Poland, is part of Yareal International N.V. and Yam Invest Group, which operates throughout the European real estate market. Projects developed by Yareal in Poland’s residential and office real estate market sectors stand out in terms of the highest quality and flexible solutions. Our long-term strategy, based on commitment and tailored to best serve our clients` expectations and needs, is a guarantee of safety and increasing investment value.
CEEIHM: What about the targets of the deal – buildings A and B of the LIXA project? What do you believe made them particularly attractive to the buyer?
Eric: The agreement covers two separate buildings with a total area of 28,000 square meters as well as 410 parking spaces in underground garages. The complex’s primary tenant is BNP Paribas, and its new headquarters will occupy the entirety of the office space in LIXA’s largest building. LIXA’s architectural plan, which covers an entire city block, combines innovation with traditional pre-war modernist architecture and will surely transform the landscape of Warsaw’s new business center. Yareal’s flagship investment is located by one of Warsaw’s new second metro line stations – Rondo Daszynskiego – providing employees with easy access to the city’s public transport routes. Its campus-like character, combined with the functionality of its buildings and shared spaces, makes it an attractive alternative to other high-rises in the area. The LIXA complex envisages another three office buildings being erected by the project’s main walkway, creating a convenient link between Kasprzaka and Giełdowa Streets and offering access to green terraces and an open garden. As a result, the complex will ultimately offer over half a hectare of green areas – in addition to a total of 75,000 square meters of office and retail space. The project is to receive an “Excellent” rating on its BREEAM certification for sustainable building, thus confirming the effectiveness of the complex’s numerous eco-friendly solutions.
CEEIHM: What would you say were the most challenging aspects of the deal – either in terms of negotiating the deal itself or from a legal perspective?
Eric: The rather extensive period of time between the preliminary contract and the closing of the transaction, with an interim period covering the time it took to construct the first buildings along with interference caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, definitely served to complicate matters. Moreover, closing the transaction while simultaneously handing over the premises to BNP, all under ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, was another challenging issue.
CEEIHM: How was the legal work related to the transaction divided between your in-house team and that of your external legal advisor?
Eric: The lease transaction with BNP and the forward sale transaction were handled by our team of external advisors at Gide, led by Blazej Czwarnok and including Rafal Osetek and Agnieszka Dabrowska. Our in-house team, led by Marta Zieniewska, was in charge of the development process and leasing the project’s other premises.
CEEIHM: While on the subject, why did you choose Gide Loyrette Nouel as external counsel on this deal?
Eric: We have a long history of fruitful cooperation with Gide Loyrette Nouel – with the support of their trusted lawyers, we closed several very successful transactions at Yareal’s earlier office investments. We are more than satisfied with their professional approach and their flexibility and commitment. Moreover, another key element that the team at Gide Loyrette Nouel brings to the table is their significant experience, an important factor that allows us to continue and successfully develop our business here in Poland.