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TriGránit expands into Russia, mulls future listing in Moscow

TriGránit Zrt, a Hungarian property developer that built east Europe's biggest shopping mall, will spend €5.5 billion ($7.1 billion) developing Russian real estate and is considering an initial public offering in Moscow.

„Russia is a difficult and complicated market, but it's developing fast and opportunities are enormous,” TriGránit Zrt's Vice Chairman Ferenc Bartha said in a phone interview from his Budapest office yesterday. The Budapest-based company announced it was entering Russia last week through a €1 billion joint venture with Gazprombank-Invest, the real estate unit of ZAO Gazprombank, to build shopping malls and offices in Russian cities in the next five years.
Separately, it will spend €5 billion on its own property projects in Russia, Bartha said. „We may organize our Russian projects into a subsidiary and take it to the bourse there,” Bartha said, adding that London was another possible market. The company wants to develop property into offices, apartments, supermarket chains and shopping malls in Moscow, St. Petersburg and 10 other cities outside the capital, he said.
TriGránit manages property development projects in 12 east European countries and is owned by Hungarian real estate tycoon Sándor Demján, one of the richest citizens in Hungary. Its main markets outside Hungary are Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Austrian property developer Immoeast Immobilien Anlagen AG spent €400 million last August buying 20% of TriGránit and increased the company's capital on condition it sell shares in five years.

Chief Operating Officer Sándor Nyúl said in August London or Vienna were the most likely venues for an initial public offering around 2010, when the company expects capitalization of around €5 billion, Nyúl said. TriGránit, which already spent €1.5 billion on projects in central and eastern Europe over the past 10 years, has more projects worth the same „in the pipeline,” and plans to spend as much as €10 billion in the region in the next five years, Bartha said. Atticus Capital LLC's Nathaniel Rothschild and Sándor Csányi, Hungary's second-richest man and CEO of OTP Bank Nyrt, together bought a 25% stake in TriGránit a year ago. (Bloomberg)