European Real Estate Firm Set for $1.3B Investment

CPI/Gazit Holdings Ltd., a joint venture involving Tel Aviv-based international real estate investment company Gazit-Globe Ltd. and CPI Austria Holdings Ltd can take the next step in its planned investment of as much as $1.3 billion in Meinl European Land Ltd., now that Meinl certificate holders have given the deal the go-ahead. CPI/Gazit plans to rename the Channel Islands-headquartered real estate investment and development company Atrium European Real Estate. Meinl presently has a portfolio consisting predominantly of retail assets across Central and Eastern Europe. As of the close of 2007, the company owned 162 properties with an aggregate market value of approximately $3 billion, in addition to development projects carrying an ultimate investment price tag of $5.2 billion, and nearly 445 acres of land. CPI/Gazit’s anticipated billion-dollar equity infusion will come in the form of a subscription for $800 million of convertible securities and a potential $476 million rights issue to Meinl certificate holders. The investment deal will result in the appointment of new board members and the incorporation of Meinl’s management into in-house operations. If all goes as planned with the transaction, the joint venture expects to waste precious little time upgrading Meinl’s shopping centers. Additionally, the acquisition of existing properties and new developments will also be a priority. At the core of Atrium’s corporate strategy, however, will be the pursuit of the company’s evolution into one of Europe’s leading real estate investment and development concerns.