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Starwood in €200m Polish office deal

Starwood Capital Group has struck a €200 million deal to buy three offices in Poland amid further signs the CEE region is beginning to see more activity.

Starwood Capital Group, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity real estate firm, has added to signs that Central and Eastern Europe will see increased deal volume by opportunistic real estate buyers after acquiring three offices in Poland for around €200 million.

The transaction is one of the largest to take place in Poland this year, according to the seller, Ghelamco, which is a prominent real estate developer in the region.

The assets total 839,000 square feet, with two of them being in the capital Warsaw – the T-Mobile Office Park and Lopuszanska Business Park. The other office is called Katowice Business Point in Katowice. Tenants include accountancy giant Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Polish beer brewer, Zywiec.

Keegan Viscius, vice president at Starwood Capital, said in a statement: “We believe that these properties are well-positioned to benefit from the continued strengthening of Poland, one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies.

He also said that the deal “highlighted” Starwood’s “expanding presence in Europe”, adding that it was looking to capitalize upon a “prolonged recovery across the region”.

Starwood is acquiring the Polish offices for its latest global opportunistic property fund, Starwood Distressed Opportunity Fund X, which attracted $2.1 billion in commitments in less than three months upon first close, as PERE reported in July.

But the deal takes on added significance given it takes place against a backdrop of an expected increase in deal volume in the CEE region. According to broker Cushman & Wakefield, real estate transaction volumes rose 5 percent in the first half of this year, reaching €2.5 billion.

In one of the most significant examples of potential large deals to come, AnaCap Financial Partners, Bayside Capital and Deutsche Bank revealed at the end of July they had clubbed together to acquire a €495 million portfolio of Romanian loans. The portfolio consisted of 3,566 non-performing and underperforming loans secured against residential and commercial real estate and development land. It was sold by Volksbank Romania, which like many banks in Europe is seeking to restructure and divest non-core or nonperforming assets in order to comply with the new capital adequacy regime.

See the upcoming September issue of PERE for a Roundtable report on CEE.