Hungarian property company Wing is now the majority owner of Polish real estate developer Echo Investment, a company traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, marking a milestone in Wingʼs efforts to become a major real estate firm in the region, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
The transaction was concluded on December 13. Wing says that it will support Echoʼs long-term growth program, entering as a strategic investor. At the operational level, the two firms will carry on independently, the press release says.
With the completion of the transaction, Wing has acquired a 100% stake in Lisala, which in turn owns a 56 % stake in Echo Investment, which is involved in the residential, retail, and office segments
"Wing, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is Hungary’s leading property company," says Wing chairman and CEO Noah Steinberg. "Building on its success in the Hungarian real estate market, it 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"
He adds that the first phase of international expansion was mapping out regional markets, where based on property development opportunities and the features of the investment market, the Polish property market proved to be the most attractive investment target.
"Echo shares Wing’s values of great performance, integrity and professionalism, which are the foundations for both companies. 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," Steinberg explains.
Nicklas Lindberg, CEO of Echo Investment adds, "During the last 4 years, the company has transformed from being a developer that keeps parts of the completed assets to a pure, dividend-generating developer, in line with the strategy of the profitable growth. We have become the market leader in office and retail real estate sectors in Poland and we are on a good way to achieve such a position with 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 says.
Wing cooperated with CEE private equity real estate investment manager Griffin Real Estate over the course of the transaction. Wing anticipates a co-investment from Griffin Real Estate in the upcoming months.