On October 12, 2016, CEELM reported that Lords LB Asset Management had entered into a management contract with Carlson Rezidor to open a Radisson RED hotel in Vilnius, Lithuania. Fund Manager Marius Zemaitis agreed to answer our questions on the deal.
CEELM: How does this project fit into Lords LB Special Funds I’s general investment portfolio?
M.Z.: The fund's strategy is to invest into development and/or cash flow generating commercial properties across the three Baltic capitals — Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn. This project is part of the fund’s long-term strategy.
CEELM: Why was the Radisson RED hotel brand chosen in this instance?
M.Z.: After conducting a thorough analysis and selection of potential hotel operators and brands, we decided to proceed with Carlson Rezidor hotel group, one the the largest hospitality market players in the world. This decision was made due to their strong track record and performance indicators in Europe and the Baltics. Radisson RED, Rezidor's new lifestyle segment brand, suits perfectly with the vision and ambition of our project — a vibrant, modern, tech savvy, and focal point of new city-center.
CEELM: Lords LB Special Funds I has a number of other hotels in its portfolio. Were the negotiations and ultimate form of the contract different in any significant way from other, similar contracts in the portfolio? If this is the first, did it involve any unexpected challenges or other aspects over other forms of investments in the past?
M.Z.: This is the first investment by the fund in the hotel segment. We found the process to be smooth, professional, and well-prepared by both participating parties.
CEELM: Sorainen advised and represented the fund and its subsidiary in negotiations with the hotel operator related to hotel management contract matters. What was your in-house legal team‘s role in the whole process?
M.Z.: As a part of our structure, we do not possess a large in-house legal team, and its role is rather supportive in a process like this.
CEELM: Why did you choose Sorainen as your adviser and how would you describe your working relationship?
M.Z.: Sorainen is one of the leading legal advisers in this field in the Baltics. We have worked with them on various assignments before. We are confident in their professionalism and were delighted to have them onboard while working on this deal.
Image Source: rezidor.com