MOSCOW – December 20, 2012: Morgan Lewis has advised Valartis Group AG (VLRT: SIX Swiss Exchange), the holding company of the internationally active Valartis banking and finance group, on its sale of a strategic stake of about 40 percent in Eastern Property Holdings Limited (EPH: SIX Swiss Exchange) to the Liechtenstein-based Aurora Value Fund ("Aurora"). Concurrently, EPH announced that Aurora has acquired an aggregate of more than 66.67% of its voting shares.
The value of the transaction is approximately US$ 110 million, including an initial payment of about US$ 62.2 million. The balance is to be paid in installments over a four-year period, and is partly linked to the successful completion of current EPH development projects.
EPH is a real estate investment and development company focusing on Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. It owns and develops projects in the office, retail, residential, and parking sectors, notably in Moscow and St. Petersburg. A Valartis subsidiary will continue to serve as the manager of EPH for the next few years, and will oversee ongoing real estate projects.
Valartis was advised by a team led by Brian Zimbler, a Morgan Lewis partner in Moscow and London, and including Claude Lambert of Homburger (Zurich) and other advisers.
Zimbler commented: "This transaction confirms the continuing strong interest in Russia's commercial property market, which is showing significant signs of recovery. EPH is well-known for its Russian projects, including two prestigious business centers in central Moscow, Berlin House and Geneva House."