Blackstone Makes $2 Billion Bid For Finnish Real Estate Firm Sponda

By Dominic Chopping Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group L.P. (BX) has made a 1.76 billion euro ($1.98 billion) takeover bid for real estate investor Sponda PLC (SDA1V.HE) sending the Finnish company's shares surging over 20% on Monday.

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The cash offer of EUR5.19 a share represents a 20.7% premium to Friday's closing price and has been recommended by the Sponda board as well as its largest shareholders representing 46.9% of the shares.

Blackstone has acquired control of more than EUR4 billion of properties in the Nordic region since 2015, of which more than EUR1 billion is 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 firm said.

"Blackstone can confirm that it intends to maintain Sponda as a going concern and would look to make further acquisitions over time in Finland managed by Sponda, where feasible."

Sponda specializes in commercial properties in the largest cities in Finland and as of March 31, 2017 the fair value of its investment properties was approximately EUR3.8 billion.

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Goldman Sachs and Nordea advised Blackstone while UBS advised Sponda.

Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com; Twitter: @domchopping @WSJNordics

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 05, 2017 05:18 ET (09:18 GMT)