Evli steps up investments in emerging Estonia

The Finnish bank has invested in the capital Tallinn as it seeks to cash in on the Baltic region.

Evli Bank has secured its fifth investment for EPI Baltic I, acquiring a retail property in Tallinn, Estonia.

The 11,000-square meter property is leased to Rautakesko AS, the operator of hardware store K-Rauta, the firm said.

EPI Baltic I has so far invested in a commercial building in Vilnius, as well as a production facility in Saku just outside Tallinn whose population is estimated at 400,000, the De La Gardie shopping center in Tallinn and a logistics facility in the same city.

The portfolio is managed by Catella Property Oy.

Helsinki-based Evli launched EPI Baltic I in April 2005 with a target of €30 million ($42.4 million) but raised close to €150 million by the fund’s close in December 2005.

Since then, the bank has launched other vehicles, a Russia-focused fund, EPI Russia I, and EPI Healthcare, which is looking to raise €60 million of equity targeting investments in Finnish healthcare real estate. The fund’s largest investor is Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company.

Peterri Nurminen is managing director of Evli’s property investment business.