On March 27, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Dorda had advised Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate on the sale of a multi-story office building in the Summering part of Vienna to a real estate fund managed by Luxembourg-based Blue Colibri Capital. We spoke with Jana Wetzel, Real Estate Manager at Warburg-HIH Invest, about the deal.
CEELM: What is Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate?
Jana: Warburg-HIH Invest is one of the leading investment managers for real estate in Germany and Europe. We adopt a future-oriented approach to finding, developing, and managing properties in the interests of our clients. Decades of experience, proximity to the real estate markets, and a tight-knit network allow us to identify real estate opportunities and quickly implement them in the right phase of the market. Around 150 institutional clients have entrusted their investments to Warburg-HIH Invest. Our specialists for structuring, product development, real estate management, and market development all work to develop the right investment solutions for them. Warburg-HIH Invest is represented at ten locations throughout Europe. As part of the HIH Group, our in-house capacities cover the entire real estate investment value chain.
CEELM: What about the office building in this deal specifically — what do you think made it particularly attractive to the buyers?
Jana: The main tenant of the property with a strong credit rating is the Federal Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Austria with an above-average remaining term. This crisis-proof and financially strong tenant is not often found on the market. Thanks to our active asset management, we were able to satisfy the tenants and sell the property in good condition with high development opportunities.
CEELM: Our story on the sale reported that it "took place via a limited bidding process and was done via a share deal.” Can you elaborate a bit on that?
Jana: We were approached about the property by a few longstanding partners. This then developed into a very small, cooperative, and transparent bidding process. We quickly realized that the bids were very fair and competitive. This enabled us to achieve the best possible result and to act efficiently. We took advantage of the great market opportunity in Vienna and profited from it.
CEELM: What was Dorda's mandate on this deal, exactly? What were the specific areas they assisted you with and what parts did you choose to retain in-house?
Jana: Dorda was mandated to advise us on this transaction on the vendor side. The content of the mandate included the legal negotiation of the purchase agreement with the buyer, including the drafting of the purchase agreement. As this was a value-add property, there were extensive liability and warranty issues. Internally, the transaction was finally evaluated and approved by our legal department.
CEELM: What were the considerations that led you to choose Dorda specifically to assist you in this matter?
Jana: Dorda, as well as the real estate team around Stefan Artner, are personally highly valued on the Viennese real estate market and have a high level of expertise, not only legally but also professionally in the real estate sector. We have therefore known and appreciated Artner for many years. He knows our processes and needs and therefore advises our company perfectly every time. We are not only concerned here with excellent legal support, but also with a partnership at eye level, which we are happy to repeat.