by Ákos Budai | Hotel

Warimpex announced the partial sale of its hotel portfolio to Thai investor U City Public Company Limited (U City). The transaction includes eight hotel participations – two of which are partially (50 per cent) owned by UBM Development AG (UBM) – which comprise approximately 50 percent of Warimpex's total real estate assets and which have a property value of approximately €180 million (excluding the stakes of UBM in that portfolio). 


The hotel portfolio that was sold includes the following hotels:
 
Czech Republic 
  • Vienna House Diplomat Prague 
  • angelo by Vienna House Pilsen (50 per cent share) 
Poland 
  • andel’s by Vienna House Łódź 
  • andel’s by Vienna House Krakow (operating company) 
  • Vienna House Easy Chopin Krakow 
  • angelo by Vienna House Katowice (50 per cent share) 
  • Vienna House Amber Baltic Międzyzdroje 
Romania 
  • angelo by Vienna House Bucharest
andel’s by Vienna House Łódź. Photo: warimpex.com

Warimpex expects from the transaction a positive earnings contribution, which is expected to range between €15 million and €20 million. The sale will increase the equity ratio of Warimpex to about 25%. The purchase contract is still pending subject to the fulfilment of the standard closing conditions for such real estate transactions. Warimpex expects closing to occur by summer 2017. 

“Since 2015, the transaction markets in CEE for hotel investments have become increasingly attractive again. We are taking advantage of this positive momentum. The current sale will broaden our scope of action significantly and we are thus well prepared for new projects,” says Warimpex CEO Franz Jurkowitsch. “We will use the proceeds from the sale to improve our capital structure and for new developments – potentially together with U City as a future partner, who takes a step into the CEE region for the first time. We continue to see our future in hotel and office developments in CEE and Russia, as the markets have matured and are developing further.” Poland will remain one of Warimpex’s core markets with current development projects in Łódź and Krakow, and Warimpex is currently weighing several options for further investment plans in the country. 
 
At the same time, Amber Privatstiftung and Bocca Privatstiftung, the two core shareholders of Warimpex, have signed an agreement to sell all their shares in VIENNA INTERNATIONAL Hotelmanagement Aktiengesellschaft (Vienna House), the hotel management company which manages all of the sold eight hotel participations, to U City. The closing is also expected by summer 2017.
 
U City is a listed Thai commercial property developer with 30 years of experience and a market capitalization of THB16.8 billion (€453 million). U City's strategy is to acquire or develop recurring income properties near mass transit lines both locally and overseas. On 20th April 2015, BTSG acquired a 35.64% stake in U City when it sold land plots and a hotel to U City in exchange for shares of the company