Värde Partners to sell 31.7% stake in Greek mall owner for $116.3m

The Värde Partners office in AT&T Tower, Minneapolis. Photo: bdh+young

Global alternative investment firm Värde Partners, an active investor in the Asia-Pacific region, will sell a 31.7% stake in Lamda Malls to its majority shareholder Lamda Development for €109 million ($116.3 million), according to a statement on Tuesday.

Lamda Malls owns two major shopping centres in Greece — the Golden Hall in Athens as well as Mediterranean Cosmos in Thessaloniki.

The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2022 and is subject to customary approvals.

Värde Parnters, which is known for its credit and investments in distressed companies, had bought its stake in Lamda Malls for €61.3 million in 2017. Since then, the company has undertaken several initiatives to create value, including securing a long-term extension of Mediterranean Cosmos’ ground lease. It also redeveloped the western wing of the Golden Hall by adding around 11,500 square meters of gross leasable area.

The completion of the redevelopment works at Golden Hall brought the mall’s gross leasable area to 46,000 square meters. Meanwhile, Golden Hall has a gross leasable area of 52,500 square meters, making it the second-largest shopping centre in Greece.

“Over the last five years we have worked closely with Lamda Development to successfully unlock value and help the assets realize their potential,” Tony Iannazzo, Senior Managing Director at Värde Partners said in the statement.

He added that both the shopping centres under Lamda Mall “continued to perform well” and are close to full occupancy despite the lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The re-opening in Greece has since brought about stronger footfall and retail sales at the mall.

Founded in 1993, Värde Partners has invested $90 billion in corporate and traded credit, real estate and mortgages, private equity, and direct lending. It has invested across 15 countries in the Asia Pacific, and has offices in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.

Its latest announcement comes hot on the heels of the Rs440 crore ($56.7 million) in debt it had provided to the Indian real estate developer Omaxe in April. Omaxe, which has a presence in 27 cities across eight states in India, has a diversified product portfolio including hi-tech townships, integrated townships, group housing, shopping malls, office spaces, and a hotel.

Prior to this, Värde Partners was in the news for raising close to $2.5 billion for its thirteenth flagship vehicle, the Värde Fund III, in December 2019. The fund was slated to invest in credit and credit-related assets globally ranging from liquid traded credit, special institutions, real estate, and financial services.

The fundraising surpassed the $1.7 million that its predecessor fund had raised in 2017.

Värde Partners had also raised around $400 million for its first dedicated Asia Credit Fund in December 2018.

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