The Finnish group Stockmann signed an agreement with the Czech holding PPF Real Estate on the sale of the Nevsky Center shopping center to it, follows from the communication of the parties. The transaction is planned to be closed after approval of the antimonopoly authorities. The parties expect this to happen before the end of the year. “The deal will allow Stockmann to concentrate fully on the development of its stores in Finland and the Baltic countries. At the same time, it will give us financial flexibility and the ability to reduce the balance of the group, ”the words of Stockmann CEO Lauri Weihalainen are quoted in the message.
"Nevsky Center" area of 91,000 square meters. The complex was opened in 2010. The complex consists of a shopping center, the anchor tenant of which is Stockmann department store, as well as office premises and underground parking.
According to Stockmann's report, as of January 1, 2018, the Nevsky Center was estimated at 181 million euros, however, PPF Real Estate will get it with a small discount of 171 million euros. Managing partner of Capital Global Partners Svetlana Kara believes that this is the market price for the object. Director of Capital Markets Cushman & Wakefield Alan Baloev estimates the complex at 11-12 billion rubles (130-160 million euros). After taxes, Stockmann Group expects to receive 139 million euros, the company said.
The Stockmann Group has been looking for a buyer for its last asset in Russia, the Nevsky Center, from the end of 2016. Then, Colliers International, a consulting company, was chosen to search for potential buyers. The object was considered by various investors - American Hines, Russian Avica, Malltech, and Empire Holding, but the two companies reached real agreements to purchase the shopping center. In September 2017, the O1 Group of Boris Mints received exclusive rights to purchase the complex, but due to the situation in the banking market and legal proceedings against the Bank Otkritie FC, which had passed into the ownership of the Central Bank, the deal fell through. In February of this year, a fund managed by Morgan Stanley agreed to purchase the Nevsky Center. PPF Real Estate was to become her partner in the deal. But in August, Morgan Stanley left the negotiations. This could be due to the new US sanctions against Russia, the deterioration of relations between the two countries and the depreciation of the ruble against the euro, then explained two sources close to the parties to the negotiations. According to them, PPF Real Estate planned to buy it on their own.
PPF Real Estate is one of the most active foreign investors in the Russian real estate market. Among its projects are the Comcity business park (780,000 sq. M.) On Kievskoye Shosse, the Southern Gates warehouse complex, half of the office part of the Metropolis complex near the Voikovskaya metro station. The company has experience in the segment of commercial real estate. In its portfolio is the SEC “Fair” in Astrakhan and the SEC “M5 Mall” in Ryazan.
“The deal with Stockmann is another stage in the implementation of our long-term strategy aimed at developing and strengthening the group’s business in Russia, where the company has been successfully operating for over 20 years,” said PPF Real Estate Russia PR Director Vitaly Krasnyuk.