Swedish real estate company Heimstaden Bostad has bought the largest privately-held residential portfolio in the Czech Republic from Round Hill Capital and Blackstone for €1.3bn.
The portfolio of 4,151 assets have been owned by Round Hill and Blackstone since 2015, when they acquired Czech residential company RPG before rebranding it Residomo in 2017.
The transaction will allow Heimstaden, which owns SEK108bn (€10.3bn) of assets in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Germany, to move into the Czech market.
Round Hill and Blackstone, which was invested through its “tactical opportunities” private equity arm, carried out refurbishment, maintainence and corporate and social responsibility (CSR) programmes during the four and a half years of ownership.
This portfolio of 42,584 residential units and 1,675 commercial units was also consolidated into an in-house management platform.
Round Hill said it had opened a number of community centres, digitalised tenant services, established caretaker services, increased the responsiveness of maintenance and placed a greater focus on the needs of more senior tenants.
The portfolio is located mainly in the Moravia-Silesia region, which has over 1.2 million inhabitants and is the most densely populated region in the Czech Republic after the capital city Prague.
Approximately one third of the portfolio is in Ostrava, the second largest urban area in the Czech Republic.
Michael Bickford, founder and CEO of Round Hill Capital, said: “This sale is in line with Round Hill Capital’s strategy of investing in high quality portfolios and improving the value and enhancing the quality of the underlying assets for the long term by optimising their operational performance in a responsible manner.
“Round Hill Capital’s proven track record and our professional, hands-on residential property management expertise ensures that we provide our tenants and wider neighbourhoods with well invested and improved homes, communities and management platforms and services that are sustainable over the long term.
“Round Hill Capital remains committed to investing in, developing and managing residential property across Europe and the US in a responsible manner, and we look forward to expanding our presence across these geographies.”
Patrik Hall, CEO of Heimstaden, said: ”Heimstaden is a value-driven organisation that believes in engaging and involving employees, customers and society in general in our business.
“In Residomo we see a great opportunity to live out the vision of Heimstaden with a well-managed and fully insourced platform, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen the work that has been done to improve the quality of offerings to the customers and society over the last years.
“Heimstaden’s investment in the Czech Republic and the Moravian-Silesian Region is a lifetime investment. We are a long-term owner that invest in our customers’ homes and neighborhoods.
“And we´re not just buying into a portfolio of apartments, but rather many individuals and important homes. We also invest into the work ethics and thriving business community of this country. We believe strongly in the future of the Czech economy and are here to stay.”
Jan Rafaj, CEO of Residomo, said: ”Heimstaden share our values and, from what we have seen from them up to now, we are truly impressed. We are a perfect match and are very much looking forward to getting to know and work closely with Patrik and his team.
“The standing of Residomo and the quality of our properties and services have improved greatly over the last five years. I am grateful that Round Hill Capital and Blackstone have supported massive investment projects in the Moravia-Silesia region, which have led to improvements in the quality of our apartments and tenant services and also increased the value of Residomo. With Heimstaden as our owner, we expect these improvements to continue.”