Pontos has divested shopping centre RYO in Lithuania’s Panevėžys. The value of the deal is EUR 47 million. With retail space of 24,200 sqm, it currently houses 132 tenants.
RYO is a thriving example of active, long-term ownership in the real estate business. The shopping centre underwent a complete modernisation over a period of seven years in collaboration with the local operator. Contracts with new anchor tenants were confirmed, the shopping centre was expanded and its building services were brought up to date and the entire commercial image was refreshed. All retail spaces have been let since the modernisation, and the rental revenues of RYO have shown a steady increase year on year. RYO has boldly established its market position as the leading shopping centre in Panevėžys.
Pontos’ strategy is to invest in an area where we see the potential for long-term growth. By 2011, the Lithuanian economy had bounced back from the depths of economic crisis. While the country’s economy was still facing multiple challenges, the forecasts were positive. The economic crisis took a toll on RYO, as on any other shopping centre, but Pontos saw unique development potential in RYO. Today, in 2018, Lithuania has adopted the euro and the unemployment rate has come down from fifteen to six percent. The positive outlook for Lithuania as a business environment as well as active property development and regeneration secured for Pontos a good outcome for its investment.
“RYO is an excellent showcase of Pontos’ ability to invest in the international property business and create considerable value through active ownership,” says Timo Kokkila, CEO of Pontos.
RYO is well-known in Lithuania as an example of an effective wide-scale upgrade and rebranding of a shopping centre. In addition to developing the RYO concept, the investment also increased the appeal of the entire area and injected new life into all business and industries in the area.
“RYO’s future looks bright thanks to the positive economic outlook and continuous improvement programs which will fuel its ongoing growth. Under Pontos’ ownership, the shopping centre evolved and took decisive steps towards a more profitable future, and we are immensely happy with our shared journey over the years,” says Santa Rozenkopfa, Senior Director for RYO’s external management team (CBRE).
“We congratulate the buyer Eften team. It was as always, a great deal with good quality/price ratio for both parties. It is also a success story for Pontos that made a daring decision to buy Babilonas in 2011 and managed to transform it into one of the most successful retail stores in Lithuania,“ states Neringa Rastenyte-Janciuniene, Partner of Newsec Baltics.
RYO transaction was advised by Newsec and Law Firm Sorainen acted as the legal adviser for Pontos.
For additional information, please contact:
Timo Kokkila, CEO, Pontos, +358 10 239 6359, @TIMOKOKKILA