Wing Completes Acquisition of Echo Investment
Wing is now a majority owner of Echo investment, one of the largest developers in Poland, as the Hungarian company follows through on its strategy to become a dominant player in the CEE region.
The Magyar Telekom HQ, purpose built by Wing.
Having established its position in the Hungarian market as a developer and investor the company is looking at extending its activities to the Poland market.
“The transaction, which was concluded on December 13, saw the Wing Group become the majority owner of the leading Polish real estate developer Echo Investment, a company traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange,” Wing said in a statement.
Wing acquired a 100% stake in Lisala, which in turn owns a 56% stake in Echo Investment, a company that has extensive experience across the residential, retail and office segments.
“Building on its success in the Hungarian real estate market, it [Wing] has identified international expansion as its next strategic goal. With this transaction, we can now state that we have taken a major step forward in this direction. We are now a group that is significant at the regional level,” Noah Steinberg, chairman and CEO of Wing, commented on the regional expansion strategy of the company.
“The first phase of international expansion was mapping out regional markets; based on property development opportunities and the features of the investment market, the Polish property market proved to be the most attractive investment target,” Steinberg said.
“The company next sought out a strategic investment opportunity that would not only provide stable and profitable operation, but long-term growth potential. Echo Investment SA met these criteria decisively.
“By combining the Polish company’s achievements and Wing’s unique professional expertise and leading position in the Hungarian market, our objective was to become a major player at the regional level. Wing enters the transaction as a strategic investor supporting Echo Investment’s long-term growth program; however, operationally the two companies will continue to remain independent,” he added.
The relationship with Wing is seen as opening the door to new opportunities for Echo Investment.
“During the last four years, the company has transformed from being a developer that keeps parts of its completed assets to a pure, dividend-generating developer, in line with the strategy of the profitable growth,” said Nicklas Lindberg, CEO of Echo Investment.
“We have become the market leader in the office and retail real estate sectors in Poland and we are on a good way to achieve such a position with the residential part of our business. We have interesting years ahead of us, transforming parts of the cities around Poland by developing our mixed-use projects, benefiting from all the competences and experience inside the company,” Lindberg added.
Echo Investment has residential, retail and office development projects in Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz and Wroclaw. This reflects the size of the Poland market, which, unlike Hungary, has established real estate sectors in several large cities across the country.
Wing cooperated closely with the investor, Griffin Real Estate in the course of the transaction. Griffin Real Estate is part of same group as Echo and one of the largest and most active investment managers of private equity real estate in CEE. In the coming months, a co-investment with Griffin Real Estate is anticipated.
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