New Nordic property company to take over 22 Finnish retail properties

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Swedish investment company Ratos steps into a new Nordic property company, Serena Properties, as a major shareholder together with Finnish Varma who will contribute with 22 commercial retail properties in Finland as the first platform for the company.

Redito will handle the property management and have the CEO-position.

”We look forward to a long collaboration with Varma and Ratos,” says Jan Björklund, CEO of Redito.

Ratos will acquire 56 percent of the shares in Serena Properties AB, which is a newly formed real estate company with a portfolio of 22 commercial retail properties in Finland. Finnish pension insurance company Varma, the current owner of the properties will have 43 percent, and the management company Redito 1 percent.

Serena Properties will own and manage 22 commercial retail properties located across 14 mid-sized towns in Finland. The properties are located in established retail areas with tenants that are attractive and largely comprise grocery and discount retailers. The largest tenants are Kesko and S-group. The total leasable area is 152,046 square metres.

The properties are currently 100% owned by Varma, which following the sale, will retain 43 percent ownership in Serena Properties. Redito will be the manager of the portfolio and will acquire 1 percent of the shares.

“The company’s tenants of grocery and discount retail chains have performed well in recent years in an otherwise weak Finnish retail market. Ratos and Varma are together strong owners with joint focus to develop and increase the value of the portfolio through more active management. Ratos has previously owned and developed several successful property portfolios. We regard Serena Properties as an attractive investment opportunity to which we can contribute as active owners,” says Susanna Campbell, CEO of Ratos.

Marc von Melen from Redito will be appointed president of  Serena Properties. He has held senior positions with companies such as Aberdeen and Newsec. Arja Talma has served as Ratos’s industrial advisor during the acquisition process and will remain involved in the company’s development in the position of Chairman of the Board.

The acquisition is subject to approval by the relevant authorities and is expected to be completed at the latest in January 2016.