A1 sells an island
The plot in the Sofiyskaya found its owner
The Investment Company А1 may sell this year already the project of the hotel Four Seasons in the "golden island". The purchaser will be most likely its partner in the project – DB Development. The transaction value is about $180 mln.
DB Development intends to purchase from the investment company A1 lease rights for plots in the Sofiyskaya embankment where it was planned to build a multifunctional complex with the hotel Four Seasons. This information was confirmed by the CEO of DB Development Dmitry Garkusha and the president of А1 Mikhail Khabarov – they signed a letter of intent. Execution of the transaction is planned by the end of the year. The value of the transaction is $180 mln. According to Garkusha, payment will be made at several stages.
DB Development is a joint venture of Deutsche Bank and Sberbank (it purchased a share in Strabag last year) for implementation of development and infrastructure projects in Russia and CIS. Its projects include – BC "Two Captains" (together with A1) in the Moscow Region, a residential complex (68,700 square meters), a complex of administrative buildings for Sberbank in Nizhni Novgorod etc.
Khabarov told from the very beginning that A1 would exit the project upon obtainment of construction documents. The right of lease for one of the most perspective plots in Moscow – 3 he in the Sofiyskaya embankment between the Big Stone Bridge and the Embassy of Great Britain right opposite the Kremlin was obtained by A1 with difficulties. That right belonged to OJSC "Kamennyi Most" and OJSC "Kremlin Site". Their founder was Brookemil who was related to the developer "Decra" and structures of the former deputy of the State Duma Ashot Egiazaryan. However, in 2011 it became known that A1 purchased the controlling stock in "Kremlin Site and "Kamennyi Most". Last November the district court of Nicosia prohibited upon the claim of Brookemil any transactions with shares in "Kamennyi Most" and "Kremlin Site believing that they had been exposed to a raid. А1 managed to prove to the court that that was not so and the prohibition was withdrawn this September. In October the Moscow city building commission approved the project though reduced the area of the planned complex to 47,000 square meters.
We did not manage to contact Egiazaryan yesterday. According to Khabarov, the main problem associated with the plots had been resolved. Anyway, according to the contract A1 is responsible within three years from the transaction date for the title of shares, according to Garkusha. He added that DB Development would purchase 100% in each OJSC, therefore A1 should also repurchase shares from minor shareholders. According to Khabarov, A1 now holds over 90% shares.
Garkusha plans to build in the Sofiyskaya embankment an ultra lux apart-hotel to be managed most likely by Four Seasons. This may be both a purely apartment complex or an apartment-hotel complex. The company plans to invest about $100 mln. into construction, plus finishing works. The director of the Investment Department Knight Frank Evgeny Semenov estimates the amount of project investments at about $200 mln.
A source familiar with the project says that maximum 42,000 square meters of the total 47,000 square meters may be offered for sale (provided that apartments take all the area). The deputy director for development of the hospitality industry CBRE Stanislav Ivashkevich supposes that apartments in the Sofiyskaya embankment may be sold at $30,000–80,000 per square meter depending on the floor, view from the window and management company. According to estimates of Khabarov, the final value of the entire complex may be about $900 mln.
There are competitors
A source familiar with the project says there have been other competitors for the facility including NBM-stroyservice of Mikhail Babel and the bank "Peresvet". Babel and the bank's representative refused to give comments.