DGKV’s real estate team advised NEPI Rockcastle plc (“NEPI”), a commercial property investor and developer, listed on the Main Board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Limited (JSE) and Euronext Amsterdam, on the 100% acquisition through its subsidiary NEPI Project two EOOD of the Paradise Center shopping center in Sofia from the Bulgarian company Bulfeld EOOD for EUR 252.9 million. This is the highest price paid for а real estate in Bulgaria! In an announcement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange NEPI stated that the purchase was funded by its cash resources and debt facilities, combined with sale of listed securities held. The signing of definitive binding transaction documents took place on 21st September 2017. Completion of the transaction is subject to approval of the Bulgarian competition watchdog.
The acquisition represents the consecutive investment in the region by the leading commercial property investor and developer of shopping centers in Central and Eastern Europe which previously acquired Serdika Center shopping centre in Sofia. With a gross floor area of more than 208,000 m2, Paradise Center is one of the largest retail centres in Bulgaria. Opened in 2013 and benefitting from the conference facility Sofia Event Center and the direct access to the newly built metro line, Paradise Center has an annual footfall in excess of 10 million visitors. The mall is let to major international and domestic brands and has a strong food and entertainment area.
“We were excited to support NEPI on this ground-breaking transaction and on building its portfolio and strengthening its position across the region. This acquisition further strengthens our commercial property expertise,” said Stephan Kyutchukov, Head of DGKV’s Real Estate Practice Group. DGKV’s team provided comprehensive legal support, including structuring the transaction, legal due diligence of the target, drafting the transaction documents and preparing the filing for merger clearance from the Commission for Protection of Competition, drafting the transaction documents, and supporting completion of the deal. DGKV’ team was co-led by Partner Stephan Kyutchukov and Senior Associate Valentin Bojilov, and supported by Senior Associates Nikolina Stefanova, Kaloyan Krumov, Maya Mircheva and Yassen Spassov and Associates Alexander Shpatov, Vladislav Antonov, Lora Aleksandrova, Martin Dimitrov, Silviya Apostolova, Tsvetelina Bayraktarova, Kamen Gogov, Patricia Cherkezova, and Simeon Vachev.
DGKV’s Real Estate & Construction Practice Group is one of the longest established and most prominent teams on the Bulgarian legal market. The law firm has been an undisputed leader on the real estate transactions market for more than 23 years due to the complex interdisciplinary legal solutions it provides to major clients, both Bulgarian and international, on a broad range of real estate and construction matters in Bulgaria. Our lawyers have played an active role as consultants in some of the corner-stone real estate projects in Bulgaria and the region, and more particularly on one of the most important public procurement projects; development, acquisitions and disposals of many commercial properties; and significant lease of industrial, office space, wholesale and retail deals.