Logistics And Frieght Forwarding

Blackstone signs deal to buy Sponda of Finland

Blackstone[1], the US buyout group, has agreed to buy Sponda, a Finnish real estate company, for roughly EUR1.8bn in cash as it looks to expand its presence in the Nordic region. Sponda shareholders will be offered EUR5.19 per share in cash, which represents a premium of 20.7 per cent to Sponda’s last closing share price on Friday, Blackstone said on Monday. The Finnish company’s board has decided unanimously to recommend the offer to its shareholders.

The price would give Sponda, which has assets in office and residential real estate, retail and logistics, an enterprise value of EUR3.8bn. Sponda’s shares surged more than 20 per cent following the announcement, which would see Blackstone eventually owning 100 per cent of the company. “Our proposed acquisition represents another step in Blackstone’s longstanding strategy of investing in high-quality real estate assets and businesses across the Nordic region,” said James Seppala, head of European real estate acquisitions at Blackstone.

The deal comes days after Blackstone sold Logicor, a pan-European logistics company, to China Investment Corporation[2] for EUR12.5bn. Since 2015, Blackstone has acquired control of more than EUR4bn of properties in the Nordic region including EUR1bn of assets located in Finland. “The acquisition of Sponda represents a unique opportunity for Blackstone to increase its investment in the Nordic region and Finland, in line with its strategy to acquire and grow high-quality platforms globally,” the private equity group said.

Industry experts had called for the company to be sold or liquidated because the value of its portfolio was materially higher than Sponda’s share price.

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  1. ^ Blackstone (markets.ft.com)
  2. ^ China Investment Corporation (www.ft.com)

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