by Property Forum | Investment

Hungarian investor and developer Wing has signed a preliminary agreement to acquire majority interest (c.a. 56% of shares) in Echo Investment, a Polish developer listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Echo Investment has almost 90 projects in the pipeline, with the total estimated usable area of c.a. 1.3 million sqm.


Lisala, which is the main Echo Investment shareholder and owns c.a. 56% of shares, informed Echo Investment on the anticipated change in its ownership structure. According to the signed preliminary agreement, Hungarian real estate company Wing intends to acquire 100% of Lisala. The transaction is subject to approval by the Polish antimonopoly authority.

Based on 16 October’s closing price of 4.61 PLN per share, the market value of the 230,930,856 shares to be acquired by Wing is around €248 million (PLN 1.06 billion).

‘During the last four years, we successfully turned the company from a long-term holder of completed assets to a pure developer, in line with the Strategy of Profitable Growth. Echo Investment is well prepared to continue growth in Poland, building residential, office and the urban destination projects. We have almost 90 projects in the pipeline, with the total estimated usable area of c.a. 1.3 million sqm. With the support of a new, long-term investor also being a developer, we are convinced that Echo Investment will continue its growth and strengthen its market position’, says Nicklas Lindberg, CEO of Echo Investment.

Nicklas Lindberg

Nicklas Lindberg

CEO
Echo Investment

Nicklas Lindberg joined Echo Investment in the first half of 2016 and, as chief executive officer, is responsible for all areas of the company’s activity. In 2001–2015, Nicklas was with Skanska, where he worked as President for Skanska Commercial Development Europe (CDE), Skanska’s business unit that develops properties in Central and Eastern Europe, and as the head of Skanska Property Poland, a unit within Skanska Commercial Development Europe. Prior to that, he had worked with Residential Development in the Nordics and for Skanska Russia as both CFO and CEO.

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Wing is a long-term regional strategic investor and sees great potential in Echo Investment. The new investor intends to continue growing the business consistent with the Strategy of Profitable Growth established by Echo Investment in 2016. This strategy has been executed by Echo Investment management team with whom the new shareholder Wing will work with the goal of continuing to develop the company and its properties.

‘Following its successes in Hungary, as a long term, value-driven, financially stable strategic investor Wing set regional expansion as a strategic goal and identified the Polish market as the most attractive target destination. Wing sought to invest in a platform, a profitable operating company with long term growth potential. In Echo we believe that we have found the ideal opportunity to enter the Polish market. The company is a highly professional, reputable, market-leading developer staffed by an outstanding team. Wing’s success has been based upon having the finest team in the Hungarian market, a team made up of ethical, hardworking professionals who are reliable and deliver the highest levels of performance. Wing’s track record of delivering complex building solutions to major international tenants underlines this performance. Wing and Echo will mutually strengthen each other on multiple levels and lead to further opportunities for development for both companies. With our acquisition of Echo, we will establish a market-leading regional player in CEE, and we look forward to generating exciting new opportunities in the future’, says Noah Steinberg, Chairman and CEO of Wing.

Noah Steinberg

Noah Steinberg

Chairman & CEO, WING
Chairman of the Board, RICS Hungary

Noah Steinberg is the chairman and chief executive officer of WING, one of the largest privately held Hungarian real estate companies of which he is a shareholder. An American citizen, he has worked in Hungary since 1990. In his current position since 1999, he was responsible for establishing WING and oversees the company’s investment and development businesses, its office, retail, industrial, hotel and residential projects and its real estate services. He is also the Chairman of RICS in Hungary. Mr Steinberg is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University (BA), and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria (MA). He speaks French, German, Spanish, Hungarian and English. More »

Wing is one of the largest privately-owned Hungarian real estate companies and a leading Hungarian developer and investor. Wing has developed over 1 million square meters of buildings in Hungary in the 20 years since it was founded. Wing owns a large development and investment portfolio as well as subsidiaries specialising in asset management and property & facility management and architectural design. Wing has delivered complex building solutions for major international tenants such as Telekom, Ericsson, Allianz, E.ON, Siemens, Accor, GE Oil and Gas, Philip Morris and many others. The company was established in 1999 and today has a development pipeline of approximately 325,000 sqm and owns a standing portfolio of 740,000 sqm. The company is active in all segments of the real estate market including office, retail, industrial, hotel and residential. Wing was the first real estate company to list bonds on the Budapest stock exchange and remains the leading real estate bond issuer in Hungary.

Wing launched its international expansion in 2018 by acquiring two office buildings in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Echo Investment is the largest Polish developer, the only one on the Polish market with extensive experience in three sectors of the real estate market: residential, retail and office. As a socially responsible developer, Echo Investment is involved in large city-creating projects combining various functions. It creates places where people can work, live, play, and satisfy their everyday life needs.

The company is a pure developer focused on seven major Polish cities: Warsaw, Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Katowice, Gdańsk and Poznań. It has already completed over 160 projects with a total area of 1.7 million sqm.

Since 1996 Echo Investment has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.