One of the best-known shopping center in Lithuania Babilonas I, situated in Panevezys city in Lithuania, has been sold to a Finnish private investor Pontos Group.
Panevezys is the fifth largest city in the country with over 110,000 inhabitants, located on an intersection of two trans-European transportation arteries, connecting major Baltic and European cities. The strategic location makes Babilonas I a key retail destination in the region.
Stressing the importance of the deal for the whole Baltic region Ricardas Cepas, CEO of Newsec Baltics, says: "The economy in the Baltic States has passed the economic downturn and internal devaluation process and this transaction shows that the real estate market in the Baltics is bottoming out financing of real estate transactions is available, prices and returns on investment are much more attractive than in Scandinavia, and cash flow and the lease structures within properties is stable with the tendency to go up, which is not the case for other European countries.
"We feel that the volatility of other investment instruments and the uncertainty of the euro zone's future attract capital to be invested into real estate asset classes with stable cash flow. The Baltic States today seem to be a perfect target and timing to invest in, if you know the local market."
The shopping center has been sold through a share deal. Pontos Group has acquired 100% shares of the center from Carpathian plc. The gross sales price is approximately 24.1 million. The deal closed yesterday (December 7, 2011).