On April 17, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Greenberg Traurig had advised IAD Investments on its acquisition of the company holding the D48 office building in Warsaw from Penta Real Estate. We reached out to Vladimir Bolek, Member of the Board at IAD Investment, to learn more about the acquisition.
CEELM: To give our readers a bit of background, please tell us a few words about IAD Investments.
Vladimir: IAD is the oldest independent asset manager in Slovakia with over 28 years in the market. We currently manage 15 mutual open-ended funds. IAD has a subsidiary in the Czech Republic – ZFP Investments. We manage two real estate funds denominated in EUR and CZK.
CEELM: What was it about this specific target that you found particularly appealing and what are your short- and mid-term plans for it?
Vladimir: Basically, we wanted to enter the Warsaw office market and the D48 fulfilled all our basic investment criteria: its location in the business district, its tenant mix, the building quality (green certification), etc. Plus we know that Penta, as a developer, has a high standard in terms of its processes during the whole construction phase.
In the short-term, especially in the current COVID-19 situation, we would like to finalize a smooth takeover, keep the asset in good condition, and create a good relationship with tenants by listening and understanding their needs. In terms of mid-term plans, we would like to improve some asset management points which we usually apply in our assets and we have identified as currently missing. The main issue is securing the value of the asset and building upon it.
CEELM: What would you say was the most challenging/complex aspect of this deal? Where there any unforeseen hurdles along the way in getting the deal across the finish line?
Vladimir: As a newcomer to the Warsaw market we had to go through some new obstacles beyond simply adapting to local standards. The whole transaction was under the influence of the COVID-19 context and its impact on the market. This was especially the case given that one of the financing parties is a Chinese bank. This meant that we felt the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic in this transaction even before the virus really hit Europe. It was a very new situation for everybody involved in the transaction and I think all teams showed a great deal of flexibility.
CEELM: What was Greenberg’s role specifically in advising you on this deal? Where they involved in the negotiations themselves or where they brought in only after the terms were generally agreed upon?
Vladimir: The GT team was involved in negotiations from an early stage of the transaction and we discussed a lot of our business ideas and issues with them during the whole process. I appreciate their flexibility, professional approach, and help.
CEELM: What were the reasons you chose to retain GT in particular for this deal?
Vladimir: We received a strong recommendation and, during a personal meeting in Warsaw during the tendering process, GT showed a lot of professionalism, which they retained during the whole process.