Chinese group CEFC continues to consolidate its position in the Czech Republic. In the latest development, it is priming to take over office complex Florentinum in central Prague.
The commercial register shows the group very recently established a new joint stock company, CEFC Florentinum, in line with the common real estate market practice of “parking” extensive properties in dedicated business entities. If concluded successfully, Florentinum will mark the first big Chinese acquisition in the office segment of the Czech real estate market.
For Penta, the office complex’s current owner, the Florentinum sale will mark its biggest real estate exit in this country. A recent report on online news server iDnes.cz said the Chinese were prepared to fork out more than EUR 280m for the property. Penta billionaire Marek Dospiva is rumoured to have already received a non-refundable advance payment of an undisclosed figure.
CEFC has been looking for modern offices in the capital ever since it arrived in this country. The group initially negotiated for the purchase of the ArtGen office compound in Prague’s Holešovice quarter from PPF, but that deal eventually fell through. Fears also surround the possible collapse of the Florentinum sale but neither involved party was willing to detail the current state of affairs. “No comments will be made available until the transaction is concluded,” said Penta spokesperson Ivo Mravinac. Lawyers and advisers involved in the transaction also kept mum.
In terms of real estate purchases in the Czech Republic, CEFC has taken the biggest strides when it comes to buying up hotels. The group acquired the five-star Mandarin Oriental in Prague’s Lesser Town in the summer, following its earlier purchase of another luxury hotel, Le Palais in U Zvonařky street in the Vinohrady district.