News Article CEE CPIPG Globalworth Immofinanz investment Radovan Vítek report
by Ovidiu Nicolae | Report

Czech businessman Radovan Vítek has amassed a fortune estimated at around €4.1 billion while increasing his influence in the European property sector. Vítek holds firm control of CPI Property Group, the company he founded with assets topping €11 billion and has gradually built majority stakes in Globalworth and Immofinanz, both competing groups in Central and Eastern Europe. By purchasing controlling participations in these companies, Vítek could build his property investment empire across CEE to the tune of around €20 billion and 7 million sqm of developed space, covering every country and asset class in the region. This story is a prime example of the rise and strength of local capital in CEE, in addition to the gradual decline of influence held by Austrian companies over the region.

Founder and controlling shareholder of CPI Property Group

Vítek founded CPI Property Group in 1991 and as of now, the entrepreneur controls 93.9% of the company. CPI Property Group’s portfolio amounted to €11.2 billion as of June 2021, reporting revenues of €300 million in the first semester of last year, with a portfolio occupancy rate of 92.6%.

Almost 40% of the group’s portfolio is based in the Czech Republic, followed by Germany with a share of 24%. The rest is spread across CEE, mainly Poland and Hungary, and to a lesser extent in Western Europe. CPI’s gross leasable area totals 3.7 million sqm, including office, retail, and hotel projects. The group had 352 properties in mid-2021, close to 12,000 residential units and 6,850 hotel rooms.

Building a major stake in Globalworth

In early 2020, CPI Property Group became the largest shareholder in Globalworth after acquiring a 29.6% stake in the company.

In April 2021, CPI Property Group formed a joint venture with Aroundtown, a property group focused on the German and Dutch markets. The joint venture held a stake of 51.5% in Globalworth and announced a cash offer to fully acquire the remaining stake of 48.8% for €1.57 billion. The offer was partially accepted and Zakiono Enterprises – a company representing CPIPG and Aroundtown, ended up owning 60.6% of Globalworth by August 2021.

In December 2021, CPI Property Group and Aroundtown appointed four new non-executive directors to Globalworth’s Board and a new Chair of the Board.

As of June 2021, Globalworth’s portfolio amounted to €3.1 billion, covering the Polish and Romanian markets. Globalworth is the biggest office owner in Romania and is expanding rapidly in the industrial segment. The company’s leasable portfolio totals 1.3 million sqm, of which 81.4% are offices and 8.8% mixed-use schemes. Industrial projects have a share of 5.6% in the portfolio, while other assets classes cover the rest. The portfolio is spread across 12 cities, with Poland accounting for 52.2% by value and Romania for 47.8%.

Diversified investments

In 2020, CPI Property Group also purchased a controlling stake in Italian Nova RE SIIQ, a listed REIT with a property portfolio valued at more than €120 million. CPIPG made further acquisitions on the Italian market which included a shopping mall and land for development in Rome.

Snapping almost half of Immofinanz shares

CPI Property Group also continued to increase its stake in Austrian company Immofinanz. In December 2021, the group purchased an 11.4% stake in Immofinanz from Mountfort, a company owned by Vítek’s eldest son. In the same month, CPI purchased another participation of 10.6% in Immofinanz from RPPK Immo, as well as a 10.8% stake in S Immo.

By the end of January 2022, the group held 19.25% of shares in Immofinanz after buying 12.69% of shares from S Immo with another participation of around 28.92% conditionally contracted. CPI Property Group effectively grew its stake in Immofinanz to 48.18% because of the transactions.

CPI Property Group has announced an anticipatory mandatory takeover offer for all outstanding shares of Immofinanz back in December 2021. The offer price has been increased twice since then (from the original €21.20 to €23.00). The Executive Board repeatedly stated that the offer undervalues Immofinanz and recommended that investors not accept it. It remains to be seen how this takeover plays out and when can CPI take effective control of its competitor.

Immofinanz has office investments in Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and the Adriatic region, as well as the major cities in Germany. In addition, the company has built its retail portfolio to around 110 locations in more than eight countries, mainly in CEE. Its portfolio was valued at €5 billion and covered around 210 properties by September 2021, with a leasable area of 1.98 million sqm. Of the total surface, offices covered 909,847 sqm, while retail projects the rest.

The combined portfolio of CPI Property Group, Globalworth and Immofinanz has an estimated value of nearly €20 billion, with 7 million sqm of developed space, covering every country and asset class in the region. The market is anxious to see what strategy this diversified empire will take.