Jelmoli Holding Ltd has completed its review of the Group's strategy. The Board of Directors has decided to sell the Swiss real estate portfolio to a consortium comprising Igal Ahouvi's Blenheim Properties, Delek Global Real Estate and Delek Belron International Ltd. at a price of CHF 3,400 million (approx. €1,913 mln). The consortium has also been granted an option until the end of this year to acquire the Jelmoli House of Brands, the majority of Jelmoli Bonus Card Ltd and the Jelmoli Service Ltd. Within the framework of its strategic reorientation, Jelmoli intends to restructure itself into an investment company.
After reviewing all the options, the Board of Directors of Jelmoli Holding Ltd is convinced that selling the Swiss real estate business and working together with the new owners of the real estate to find a suitable long-term solution for the Jelmoli House of Brands in Zurich as well as the majority of Jelmoli Bonus Card Ltd and the Jelmoli Services Ltd, provides the best possible chances of creating added value for its shareholders and simultaneously securing the workplaces in the individual divisions of the Group in the long term.
The sales price is CHF 3'400 million including financial liabilities. Execution of the transaction is subject to various conditions, including approval of the responsible authorities; it is planned for the second half of 2007.
Blenheim and Delek Global Real Estate are internationally well known real estate investors and have a long-term strategy with regard to investing in Switzerland. Blenheim has to date participated in transactions totalling approximately CHF 12 billion, of which CHF 1 billion was in Switzerland. Delek Global Real Estate is an established real estate group which is listed on the AIM London Stock Exchange. Delek Global Real Estate and Delek Belron International Ltd. are subsidiaries of Delek Real Estate which has to date participated in transactions totalling approximately CHF 13 billion. Recent investments in Switzerland include 5 WTC office buildings in Lausanne, a building of the University of Zurich in Oerlikon, the Credit Suisse Building in Dübendorf, a building of the Swiss Confederation in the Luna Park in Berne and the Matran Shopping Centre in Matran.
The current transaction is a follow-up to the disposal of the retail business (Fust) to Coop. Jelmoli Holding Ltd will continue to manage its investment in Tivona as well as its real estate development projects outside Switzerland. For the other investments Molino Ltd, Beach Mountain Ltd and Fundgrube Bonne Occase Ltd, a suitable new owner will be sought in due course without any timepressure.
"We are convinced that in Delek and Igal Ahouvi we have found the right buyer for our extensive Swiss real estate portfolio," says Walter Fust, Chairman of the Board of Jelmoli Holding Ltd. "The internationally successful real estate investment group provides assurance of the careful further development of the first-class properties".
The current disposals represent a further milestone in the development of Jelmoli. Having successfully transformed itself from a chain of department stores into a company with a focus on real estate, Jelmoli is now making use of the favourable market conditions in order to realize the market value of its real estate and other investments for its shareholders. As part of the new strategy, it is the intention that the proceeds will not be distributed to the shareholders but reinvested with a focus on generating superior returns for shareholders. The Jelmoli Group will thus become primarily an investment company.
In connection with the change of strategy, the Board intends to convene an extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders at the end of September 2007, at which the shareholders will be invited to approve the new strategy of the company. The Board members Prof. Dr. Christian Belz, Daniel Bürki, Carlo Magri and Prof. Dr. Hugo Tschirky resigned from the Board of Jelmoli Holding Ltd as at 31st July 2007. Walter Fust, Chairman of the Board, comments, "The r