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East Capital buys Gedimino 9 shopping mall from Swedbank

Prekybos centras „Gedimino 9“
Šarūno Mažeikos/BFL nuotr. / Gedimino 9 shopping mall
Šaltinis: BNS

Sweden's investment company East Capital, which has made equity investments in Lithuania before, said on Friday that it had acquired Gedimino 9, a high-street shopping mall in the center of Vilnius, from Ektornet, a real estate company owned by the Swedbank Group.

East Capital said that "it is the largest real estate deal in Vilnius to date this year," but did not disclose the value of the transaction.

Biljana Pehrsson, the deputy CEO of East Capital Private Equity, told BNS that she could not disclose the value of the deal.

The buyer of the 17,000-square-meter shopping center is East Capital Baltic Property II, an East Capital fund.

"New large and well-known international retailers are entering the market and domestic retailers are expanding. Gedimino Avenue is becoming the strongest retail street in the city. Our goal is to create a number one shopping center and meeting place for people in Vilnius," Pehrsson said in the press release.

The East Capital fund plans "to invest additional capital into commercial improvement and reshaping of Gedimino 9," according to the press release.

Ektornet Lithuania SPV 1, a subsidiary of Swedbank, took over Gedimino 9 last January for 80 million litas (EUR 23.2m, excluding VAT) from Ajolas, an Irish-owned company that went bankrupt. The former owner of the mall owed more than 103 million litas to Swedbank, its biggest creditor.

Gedimino 9 opened in April 2007 in the former building of Vilnius Municipality, which sold it for 45.521 million litas to Ajolas in 2004. It was said that another 121 million litas had been invested to turn the building into a shopping mall.

East Capital operates in Lithuania mostly as a financial investor. In the past, it had invested in Snaigė, the only refrigerator manufacturer in the Baltics, and the telecommunications company Teo LT. Currently, it holds stakes in Vilnius stock exchange-listed companies Apranga, City Service, Pieno Žvaigždės, and Linas Agro Group.

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