Wing is set to become a majority stakeholder in the Polish investor and developer, Echo Investment and, through it, aims to become what the Hungarian developer describes as a “significant” player in the region.
“Wing will enter Echo as a strategic investor to support their long-term growth program. The transaction will become effective upon approval by the Polish competition authority, and make Wing, a Hungarian company, a significant property business also at a regional level,” the company said in a press statement.
Under the sale and purchase agreement, Wing will acquire a 100% stake in Lisala, which in turn owns a 55.96% stake in Echo Investment, a company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (GTW).
“Following its successes in Hungary, as a long-term, value driven, financially stable strategic investor, Wing set regional expansion as a strategic goal and identified the Polish market as the most attractive target destination,” says Noah Steinberg, Chairman and CEO of the company.
“Wing sought to invest in a platform, a profitable operating company with long-term growth potential. Wing and Echo will mutually strengthen each other on multiple levels and lead to further opportunities for development for both companies. With our acquisition of Echo, we will establish [ourselves as] a market-leading regional player in CEE,” he adds
From the perspective of development and supply, Poland benefits from the overall size of the country and the fact that it has several large regional cities with established office, retail and industrial development and investment markets.
Poland remains the clear Central European front-runner with almost 50% of the CEE 2019 investment volume at EUR 2.7 billion as of the first half year, according to JLL figures. Around 290,000 sqm of retail space was delivered to the Polish retail market up to September, bringing the total modern retail stock to 14.5 million sqm according to Cushman & Wakefield.
Total office stock in Warsaw stands at 5.5 million sqm with 850,000 sqm under construction. In Krakow, the office stock stands at 1.3 million sqm with 270,00 sqm under construction.
Echo Investment is one of the largest developers in Poland with operations across the residential, retail and office segments. The company is focused on seven major Polish cities: Warsaw, Krakow, Łódź, Wrocław, Katovice, Gdansk and Poznan. To date it has developed almost 1.7 million sqm.
“During the last four years we successfully turned the company from a long-term holder of completed assets to a pure developer in line with the Strategy of Profitable Growth,” comments Nicklas Lindberg, CEO of Echo Investment.
“Echo Investment is well prepared to continue growth of development activity in Poland in residential, office and the urban destination projects. Currently, Echo Investment has almost 90 projects in the pipeline, with a total estimated usable area of circa 1.3 million sqm. We are convinced that with the support of a new, long-term investor also being a developer, Echo Investment will continue its growth and strengthen its market position,” he adds.
Wing operates across all market segments in Hungary as both an investor and developer. Over the past 20 years, it has developed properties with a total floor space of around one million sqm according to Wing. The company started its international expansion in 2018 by purchasing two office buildings in Sofia.