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Plethora of Practitioners Advise on Benson Elliot Office Building Acquisitions in Poland

Plethora of Practitioners Advise on Benson Elliot Office Building Acquisitions in Poland

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SPCG has advised Dyskret Polska group on the sale of the Vinci Office Center in Krakow to Benson Elliot — one of five Polish office buildings Benson Elliot acquired on behalf of its pan-European fund for a total of EUR 100 million. Benson Elliot was advised by Hogan Lovells on all five acquisitions, with the real estate team advising Benson Elliot on the Vinci transaction — the last of the five — moving to Greenberg Traurig in September 2017, though Hogan Lovells continued advising Benson Elliot on Banking/Finance aspects and Tax matters on that, as on all five acquisitions.

According to a Benson Elliot press release, "the five properties have all been recently delivered or refurbished to a high specification, and are situated in central locations in their respective markets. The buildings acquired are: Opera (Gdansk): A Class A office building completed in 2012 and located in Gdansk, Poland’s principal seaport. The 8,290 square meter building is arranged over ground and five upper floors. Let to eight tenants, including Raiffeisen Polbank, KPMG, Lloyd’s Register and Metsa Group Services. Vinci (Krakow): A Class A office building completed in 2010. The 20,400 square meter building arranged over 13 floors [and] let to international corporates including Akamai, Heineken, Genpact and Rolls-Royce. Forum 76 (Lodz): A Class A office building, located on a prominent plot in the centre of Lodz. The 7,910 square meter building was completed in 2009 and is arranged over ground and six upper floors. The property is let to BNP Paribas, Bank Zachodni WBK, Airbus, Philips Lighting, Magellan, and Deloitte Polska, among others. Okraglak and Kwadraciak (Poznan): Two landmark, architecturally significant office buildings located in the city center of Poznan. The buildings, totaling 7,900 square meters, are arranged over ground and nine (Okraglak) and five (Kwadraciak) upper floors. Originally completed in 1955 as the Central Department Store (designed by renowned Polish architect Marek Leykam), the buildings were later converted to office use in 2012. The buildings are let to GFT Group, PKO Bank, and Bank Zachodni WBK, among others."

Joseph DeLeo, Benson Elliot Senior Partner, said: “Poland remains one of Europe’s strongest economies, with GDP growth averaging more than 3% over the past decade. With 75% of trade geared into the EU, the country is a principal beneficiary of Europe’s broader recovery, and continues to be a favored destination for global outsourcing and shared services. With these four acquisitions we feel we’ve established a solid position for Benson Elliot in strong regional markets, with prime properties offering real value growth potential.” 

According to SPCG, a preliminary contract was signed for the Vinci Office Center in June 2017, and the final sale contract was signed in September 2017. According to the firm, "Centrum Biurowe Vinci is a modern A-class office building, one of the largest in Krakow. It offers a total space of 20,400 square meters. The facility has 13 stories. In June 2011, the facility was awarded The First Class Prize in the Building of the Year 2010 competition organized by the Minister of Infrastructure and the PZIiTB Construction Association. The office space in the building is let to international corporations such as Akamai, Heineken, Genpact and Rolls-Royce."

The SPCG team was led by Partner Wawrzyniec Rajchel, who explained that: “The turn of the year 2016 and 2017 was unfavorable for the office building sales market in Poland. This situation has led to the suspension or even collapse of a number of similar projects. We are very happy that we were able to finalize the sale of Vinci Office Center in a way satisfactory to both the seller and the buyer in this environment.” Rajchel's team included Partners Jakub Gorski and Agnieszka Soja, Senior Associate Lukasz Przyborowski, and Associates Lukasz Koc, Pawel Lekawski, and Piotr Sitarek.

The seller in the Gdansk transaction was EURO STYL, which was advised by Jasinski Kancelaria Radcow Prawnych. 

The seller in the Lodz transaction was Virako, which was advised by Dentons.

The seller of the Okraglak and Kwadraciak offices in Poznan was Immobel, advised by Bieniak Smoluch Wielhorski Wojnar i Wspolnicy.

The Hogan Lovells team on the Gdansk transaction included Anna Wisniewska, Agata Jurek-Zbrojska, Pawel Gnas, Piotr Zawislak, Andrzej Debiec, and Zbigniew Marczyk.

The Hogan Lovells team on the Vinci transaction included Piotr Zawislak, Mateusz Dereszynski, Dominika Sulak-Seyfried, Anna Wisniewska, Agata Jurek-Zbrojska, Agnieszka Biernacka, Pawel Gnas, Andrzej Debiec, and Zbigniew Marczyk.

The Hogan Lovells team in the Lodz transaction included Anna Wisniewska, Agata Jurek-Zbrojska, Pawel Gnas, Andrzej Debiec, and Zbigniew Marczyk.

The Hogan Lovells team in the two Poznan transactions included Anna Wisniewska, Agata Jurek-Zbrojska, Pawel Gnas, Andrzej Debiec, and Zbigniew Marczyk.

Hogan Lovells lawyers Agata Jurek-Zbrojska and Agnieszka Biernacka both moved to Greenberg Traurig in September, 2017, though both continued working for Benson Elliot on the Vinci acquisition in Krakow after the move.

Editor’s Note: After this article was published, Act BSWW informed CEE Legal Matters that its team advising Immobel on the sale of the Okraglak and Kwadraciak offices in Poznan was led by Managing Partner Marek Wojnar and Marta Kosiedowska.

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