London & Regional Properties acquire Dividum hotel property company in Finland
32 hotels in Finnish urban centres to come under British ownership
Foreign investors' interest in the Finnish real estate market continues. On Tuesday, British property investment company London & Regional Properties (L&RP) announced that they would acquire the Finnish real estate firm Dividum in its entirety.
Dividum is a real-estate investment company that specialises in the ownership and development of hotel properties.
The Dividum shareholders Nordea Group, Sampo Group, the insurers Ilmarinen, and the estate of the now-defunct former Kansa insurance company, together with the British buyer, have agreed not to disclose the price of the transaction.
Nordea's share of Dividum was 47%, while Sampo, Kansa's estate, and Ilmarinen owned 33, 16, and 4 percent of the firm respectively.
Dividum owns the properties of 32 hotels, most of which are in prime locations in Finnish city centres. A few spa resorts are also included.
As the operators of its hotel properties, Dividum favours well-known Finnish or international hotel chains, such as Crowne Plaza, Cumulus, Holiday Club Finland, Holiday Inn, Radisson SAS, Ramada, Ranstasipi, Scandic Hotels, and Sokos Hotels.
Some of the prominent hotels that are rich in traditions and owned by Dividum include Hotel Aulanko in Hämeenlinna, Hotel Hesperia in Helsinki, Hotel Pohjanhovi in Rovaniemi, and Hotel Rukahovi at the popular Ruka ski resort near Kuusamo.
According to Dividum managing director Tomi Bergman, the company aim is to develop its business as a hotel property owner and to increase the return on the owners' investments, by working in close cooperation with the hotel operators.
Dividum's buyer L&RP is one of the largest privately-owned real estate companies in Britain. Its principal owners are two brothers, Richard and Ian Livingstone.
L&RP is not an exchange-listed firm.
L&RP first arrived on the Scandinavian real estate scene in 2002, when it purchased the properties of ABB, ICA Ahold, and Vasakronan, and established a Swedish subsidiary, LR Swedish Properties AB, to look after them.
Through the latest procurement, Dividum will in fact become a subsidiary of this Scandinavian arm of L&RP.
After the deal, the value of L&RP's Scandinavian portfolio is estimated at around EUR one billion, while the company's entire real estate assets are worth an estimated EUR five billion.
The Dividum portfolio in Finland is worth about EUR 300 million.
After the transaction, Tomi Bergman will continue at the helm of Dividum.
London & Regional Properties