28 October 2013
Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors of the State-owned Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund S.A. (“HRADF”) has approved the final bidders for the sale and leaseback of 28 public buildings on which WFW was sole legal advisor for the second phase of the public tender.
HRADF is a Greek fund established in July 2011 for the development and exploitation of state assets in Greece, and of assets owned by Greek state-owned companies. The privatisation program is a condition of the country’s bailout: the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund require Greece to sell €19 billion worth of state assets by 2015.
This transaction concludes a competitive tender process in which NBG Pangaea REIC and Eurobank Properties REIC were declared the successful bidders, raising €261 million for HRADF. This privatization is expected to contribute significantly to the stimulation of the Greek real estate market.
A total of 9 international and Greek entities had initially expressed interest in participating in the tender in April 2013, of which 8 proceeded to the second phase, which included extensive legal and technical due diligence by the eligible investors and intense negotiation of the sale and lease agreements.
Pangaea REIC, a 100% subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece S.A., will pay €115.5 million for one portfolio and Eurobank Properties REIC will pay €145 million for the second portfolio. Each portfolio contains 14 properties, including ministries and other public buildings. Further investment in the buildings in excess of €30 million is expected, as the investors will assume the repair and maintenance of the buildings for the next 20 years.
This high profile tender follows WFW’s appointment in 2012 to advise HRADF on EU and international regulatory and other issues relating to the sale by HRADF of its shares in Hellinikon SA, which owns the rights to develop the landmark former Athens airport site.
The WFW team was led by Virginia Murray, supported by Margarita Kanava, Maira Galani, Eirini Portokalaki and Nikolaos Kostikas. Mark Prevezer and Emanuela Lecchi from the London office also advised on structuring issues.
Virginia Murray, head of WFW Athens, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in helping to close such a high profile deal where the stakes were extremely high. This privatization is one of the largest transactions which the HRADF has completed to date; every success brings greater confidence to the international investment community.”