Blackstone to buy Finnish property firm Sponda for €1.76bn

Blackstone has made an offer to buy listed Finnish property firm Sponda for €1.76bn.

The Helsinki-headquartered company owns 1.2m sqm of office and retail properties in Finnish cities.

Blackstone said it is offering €5.19 for each share, representing an aggregate equity purchase price of approximately €1.763bn.

Sponda’s portfolio was valued at €3.8bn at the end of March this year.

Finnish pension insuer Varma is one of four major shareholders, along with Sponda Mercator Invest, HC Fastigheter Holding, and Sponda’s chief executive Kari Inkinen. They own 46.9% of all shares.

Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, chairman of Sponda, said: “The board of directors of Sponda has carefully evaluated the tender offer and has unanimously decided to recommend the shareholders to accept it.

”The tender offer is an acknowledgement of Sponda being the prime real estate investment company in Finland with a clear focus on high-quality commercial properties in growth areas and the Helsinki central business district in particular.

“The board of directors of Sponda believes that the tender offer is in the best interest of all shareholders and that the offer price being equal to Sponda’s net asset value per share offers a favourable opportunity to Sponda’s shareholders.”

Inkinen said: “With the support of Blackstone, we will further develop our business, our properties and our portfolio. We will continue to offer high-quality business premises and working environments to our customers.”

The deal comes two years after Blackstone invested €3bn in a Nordic logistics platform, immediately increasing its presence in the region.

James Seppälä, head of European real estate acquisitions at Blackstone, said: “Our proposed acquisition represents another step in Blackstone’s long-standing strategy of investing in high-quality real estate assets and businesses across the Nordic region.”

Blackstone last week confirmed the €12.25bn anticipated sale of its European logistics arm Logicor to China Investment Corporation.

Blackstone recently overtook Brookfield Asset Management as the world’s largest real estate investment manager, according to a survey.

The New York-headquartered company has gross assets under management (AUM) of €143.2bn, according to the annual ANREV/INREV/NCREIF fund manager survey, beating Toronto-based Brookfield, which manages €140.5bn.

In April, Blackstone revealed it had $32.2bn of “dry powder” to invest in global real estate.

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