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Deal 5: Apollo-Rida CEO Rafal Nowicki on Sale of Jerozolimskie Business Park

Deal 5: Apollo-Rida CEO Rafal Nowicki on Sale of Jerozolimskie Business Park

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On February 5, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Penteris had advised a joint venture formed by Rida Development Corp and Mack Real Estate Group on its acquisition of the Jerozolimskie Business Park in Warsaw from A&T Holdings. CEEIHM spoke with Rafal Nowicki, CEO at Apollo-Rida, to learn more about the deal.

CEEIHM: Could you start by telling our readers a bit about Apollo-Rida?

Rafal: Apollo-Rida was one of the early investors in commercial real estate in Poland following the fall of the Wall. We started our operations in 1994 and, over the years, our group has been involved in nearly twenty transactions spanning nearly 1 million square meters of space in all asset classes, including logistics, retail, office, and residential real estate. The aggregate value of these transactions is in excess of 1.5 billion EUR.

CEEIHM: Your company recently acquired the Jerozolimskie Business Park in Warsaw. What made that project particularly attractive to you?

Rafal: We focus our business on quality, which means acquiring strategically-located office assets offering prospects to enhance value in the mid- and long-term. Jerozolimskie Business Park enjoys a highly visible, prominent location along one of the most important business corridors in Warsaw. The property also comes with additional development potential which will allow for expanding the existing buildings by an additional 10,000 square meters of office space. First and foremost, however, it is let to a group of well-regarded, quality tenants. All these factors combined made it an excellent acquisition candidate for our portfolio.

CEEIHM: What are some of the next projects Apollo-Rida will focus on?

Rafal: As an international investor, we strongly believe in the prospects of Poland as a rising global office hub. This view remains unchanged, and, in some respects, it was even strengthened by the events of 2020. Poland has proven well prepared to move into “crisis mode” with very little loss to the efficiency of the business processes. It offers skilled and dedicated labor and modern infrastructure. As such its office market is well poised to develop at an accelerated pace. In fact, the Jerozolimskie Business Park is our second acquisition since the breakout of the Covid pandemic, following the purchase of the Equal Business Park in Krakow in June last year. Our goal is to expand our portfolio of similar well-leased, well-located properties across major Polish regional cities. 

CEEIHM: It was reported that Penteris advised your company on the acquisition of the Jerozolimskie Business Park. What were some of the intricacies of that deal and how did Penteris assist you with them?

Rafal: Penteris offered us a very comprehensive service covering all aspects of the transaction, including due diligence, contract negotiations, structuring, and bank financing matters. The deal was all the more complex as it involved multiple jurisdictions, such as Poland, Luxembourg, and the USA, with teams working remotely from Germany, Poland, the USA, and the UK. That is why the project was especially hard to manage, and the support we have received from Penteris has surely helped us to a great extent along the way. 

CEEIHM: Finally, could you tell us why your company chose Penteris? Will Apollo-Rida continue its cooperation with Penteris in the future?

Rafal: We have been working with Penteris for a number of years and they assisted us in several transactions in the past. We have developed an excellent level of cooperation and our organizations understand each other very well. Penteris gathers strong professionals in all disciplines of law that concern us as a real estate organization. I find it very valuable to be able to rely on a single firm with respect to matters spanning from planning, construction, leasing, banking, and transaction support – the full life cycle of property development and investment projects. We will definitely turn to them in the future as one of our key advisors.

Originally reported by CEE In-House Matters.

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