Vienna (pta004/12.12.2014/08:55) - conwert Immobilien Invest SE (conwert), listed on the Austrian ATX, announces the signing of the sale of its entire portfolio in the Czech Republic, measuring 46,249 sqm, to a Czech company. In addition, conwert has sold the majority of its Slovakian portfolio - two properties in Zilina and an undeveloped plot in Bratislava - to a Slovakian investor under a share deal. The total usable space of the Slovakian properties is 9,235 sqm, the plot has an area of around 2,300 sqm. conwert resolved to sell the Czech and Slovakian portfolios as part of the portfolio streamlining and focus on the German and Austrian markets as early as 2011, although it had failed to find a buyer in the past years.
The combined transaction volume is EUR48.5 mn and is therefore in line with expected proceeds on sale; the sale is also at the carrying amounts. Recently, the Czech portfolio has had a significantly higher vacancy rate than the conwert portfolio as a whole (average 10.4% at 30 September 2014) of 27.7%. Also, the latest vacancy rate of the two properties in Zilina was above average at 12.5%. The sale of the Czech portfolio is subject to the condition precedent of a merger of the Czech conwert companies.
The sale of the Czech portfolio and the majority of the Slovakian properties has enabled conwert to divest more than half of its remaining assets in other countries. Although they account for only a fraction of the overall portfolio at 3.3% of total space, they tie up management resources with small portfolios in various CEE countries. At 30 September 2014 conwert held properties in Austria and Germany with total space of 2.4 mn sqm and a market value of EUR2.7 bn. The sale, which is designed as a share deal, will also free up additional liquidity for conwert of around EUR26 mn (N.B. after settling all liabilities).
"With the sale of this major part of the portfolio in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, we have achieved a very significant step in streamlining the portfolio in Eastern Europe in 2014", said Clemens Schneider, conwert CEO.
As a property owner and developer, conwert has set the goal of selling its entire CEE portfolio and concentrating on residential property in the major urban areas of Germany and Austria.
Clemens Schneider said: "I am confident that we will be able to achieve additional success in the coming months by focusing on our property assets in Germany and Austria".
Closing of the Slovakian property sale is likely to take place before the end of 2014. conwert expects the closing of the sale of the Czech portfolio by the third quarter 2015 and will still collect rental income during this period.
This report contains forward-looking estimates and statements that were made on the basis of the information available at this time. Forward-looking statements reflect the point of view at the time they are made. We would like to point out that the actual circumstances and. consequently, the actual results realised at a later date may differ from the forecasts presented in this report for a variety of reasons.