26 March 2013
Watson, Farley & Williams (WFW), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it has been appointed to advise the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) on the sale of 28 public buildings in Greece to investors, which will then be leased back to the Hellenic Republic on 20-25 year commercial leases.
The privatisation is hoped to raise a considerable amount, based on expected annual lease income of around €30 million, and the money generated from the sales will go towards reducing Greece’s financial obligations. HRADF is a Greek fund for the development and exploitation of state assets in Greece, and of assets owned by Greek state-owned companies. The Greek privatisation programme is a condition of the country’s bailout: the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund want Greece to sell €19bn worth of state assets by 2015.
The two-stage project will involve a number of the country’s major public buildings, including the Thessaloniki Police Headquarters, the Hellenic Police Forensic Science Division, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Justice, among others.
This 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. This project is now in its second phase with London & Regional Properties, the Israeli property group Elbit Cochin Ltd, the Greek Lamda Development and Qatari Diar all in the running.
Virginia Murray, partner and head of WFW Athens, said: “With a long and proud history of working in Greece, WFW is delighted to have been appointed. These are complex and interesting projects which will allow us to contribute positively to helping Greece get its economy back on track and reduce its debt.”
Mark Prevezer, head of WFW’s Real Estate sector, said: “This is a prestigious project which demonstrates WFW’s real estate sector expertise, and reach, in the sale and purchase of quality private and public property assets throughout the world.”