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Case studies

Bulgarian Land Development PLC had CLS and AG Capital as its major shareholders and was an AIM (LSE) listed company until 2010. The business operated from 2006 to 2015 developing residential and commercial real estate assets in Bulgaria. The company’s portfolio included a mixture of premium commercial properties, sea and ski holiday properties as well as an off-plan and ready-to-use buildings along the Black Sea coastline in Bulgaria. Through the years, Bulgarian Land Development PLC acquired 200 000 sqm of land and sold more than 500 apartment units.

 

Facility Optimum Bulgaria (FOB) was established in 2008 for the purpose of exploring new opportunities in the property management sector. As a fully integrated facility management company within the AG Capital Group, the business focused on providing facility management services to corporate clients nationwide. The company soon became the market’s leader employing more than a 1,000 people and servicing nearly 2,000 different locations. Among its biggest customers in Bulgaria were Postbank (Eurobank Group), A1 (Austrian Telecom Group) and United Bulgarian Bank (KBC Group).

In line with AG Capital’s new strategy, FOB was sold in 2016 to funds managed by Empower Capital and KJK Capital. At the time of the sale, FOB’s revenue exceeded EUR 5m.

 

Frontex started operating in 2009 as part of AG Capital’s post global financial crisis strategy to diversify its operations. The firm became the frontrunner in unsecured NPL services. Frontex provides its debt collection services to institutional clients in the banking, telecommunication and insurance sectors. Following the Axxess Capital equity investment in 2012, Frontex commenced investing in unsecured NPL portfolios.

Refocusing its group strategy to the real estate sector, AG Capital exited Frontex in 2017. As a result, Axxess Capital became Frontex’s fullowner shareholder with PwC acting as the main sale-side advisor. By then Frontex had already invested in several NPL portfolios including 170 000 credit files with loan nominal value of over EUR 181 million.

Advance Valuations was formed in 2005, as part of the AG Capital Group, and later became the largest valuation company in Bulgaria. Professional valuators carry out over 15 000 expert valuations per year and operate in 50 different towns. The company is now RICS regulated following international professional standards and continues to provide expert valuations in many different segments such as real estate, commercial enterprises and receivables, machinery and equipment, agricultural land and forests, and intangible assets.

In 2017, AG Capital sold 100% of Advance Valuations to Weston Growth Capital, a company investing in Bulgarian enterprises in several sectors.

Imoteka is a real estate agency that started in 2015 from AG Capital, to utilize the market recovery. This company provided opportunities for the group to achieve larger market shares in Bulgaria. Today the business is focused on buying, selling and renting commercial and residential properties, and operates in two major cities – Sofia and Varna. A new office will be opened in Plovdiv, in 2019.

After AG Capital, Imoteka holds the second place position in the Bulgarian real estate brokerage market and leverages support functions like HR, Marketing and IT to the Holding Group. Since its inception, the agency has doubled the volume of intermediated transactions and has successfully closed more than 20 deals (with brokerage fee of over EUR 10K).

Polygraphia Office Center project initially started as a joint venture between BLD PLC and Northridge Capital as a redevelopment of a landmark historic building in the Sofia center (Phase 1). In 2011 BLD PLC took a strategic decision to exit the investment, and its shares were sold to AG Capital and Northridge Capital. The landmark office building achieved 96% occupancy in 2012, it first year of operation and during the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis. AG Capital invested further into the project to develop Phase 2 – a brand new office development attached to Phase 1. In mid-2017 Northridge Capital decided to exit from the region, and AGC acquired 100% of Polygraphia. When in 2018 Lion’s Head was created as a JV between AG Capital and Old Mutual Property, Lion’s Head acquired Polygraphia as the first addition to its regional prime office portfolio. Polygraphia is 100% occupied by premier global tenants such as EY, Bosch, Stars Grouo, GfK, Groupama, OTP Group.