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Deal 5: Immofinanz's Stefan Frommel On Acquisition of Retail Parks from Mitiska REIM

Czech Republic
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On December 30, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that BPV Braun Partners had advised Immofinanz on the acquisition of retail parks in the Czech town of Litvinov and the Horni Mecholupy neighborhood of Prague from Mitiska Reim. CEEIHM spoke with Stefan Frommel, Head of Transactions at Immofinanz, to learn more about the matter.

CEEIHM: To start, please tell us a few words about Immofinanz.

Stefan: Immofinanz is a commercial real estate group with activities focused on the retail and office segments of seven core markets in Europe: Austria, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania – we are also active in Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. The core business covers the management and development of properties, with the Stop Shop (retail), VIVO! (retail) and myhive (office) brands representing strong focal points that stand for quality and service. The real estate portfolio has a value of approximately EUR 5 billion and covers more than 210 properties.

CEEIHM: What about the targets of the acquisition – what made the retail parks particularly attractive for you?

Stefan: Both assets perfectly fit into our retail park portfolio — called Stop Shop — because of the size of the assets, the tenant mix, and the micro-location.

CEEIHM: How was the deal financed — and did BPV Braun Partners advise on the financing for the deal as well?

Stefan: The deal was mostly financed by our own equity, however, we also took advantage of existing financing. BPV Braun did also advise us in this regard.

CEEIHM: What would you say was the most challenging/complex aspect of the deal?

Stefan: As the deal in the Czech Republic was linked to another portfolio from the same vendor in Serbia, we had to consider more parameters for this deal in order to align both acquisitions in terms of timing and commercial aspects. Since legal advisory in Serbia was not covered by BPV, it had to cooperate with a Serbian firm in this deal. Other challenging aspects were related to the structure of the deal (it was a share deal) as well as several topics that came up during the due diligence process.

CEEIHM: What were the considerations based on which you opted to turn to BPV Braun Partners for legal advice on this deal?

Stefan: We have a very close relationship with BPV for several years and have worked many times together in M&A transactions. We appreciate that BPV has a hands-on mentality as well as deep legal knowledge, and a good commercial understanding, which is important to us.

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