Two Romanian investors take over 22-storey office building in Bucharest.

By bne IntelliNews August 1, 2012
Two Romanian real estate market investors, Ioannis Papalekas and Dragos Bilteanu, have taken control over 87% of a 22-storey office building located in the capital Bucharest for nearly EUR 50mn, Ziarul Financiar daily reported. The 20,000-square meter lettable area Tower Center International (TCI), under insolvency since August 2011, will consequently be up for rent after it had been held empty for more than three years amid disputes between owners (Alpha Bank and TCI company). As of June, the building was owned by the TCI developer (52.51%) and Alpha Bank (47.49%), according to a Romanian TV station, which quoted data from the official real estate registry. The two individual investors acted through Belize Islands-registered Lorient Limited, which bought a RON 190mn (EUR 44mn) claim held by Industrialexport against TCI. Notably, Industrialexport is a Romanian company with dispersed ownership - subject of mass privatisation - managed by Dragos Bilteanu. Out of the claim, RON 128mn (EUR 30mn) was converted into TCI shares; Lorient Limited also paid back a EUR 17.5mn loan extended by Alpha Bank to TCI as part of the deal. As a result, the Belize-registered company became an owner of 87% of the building.
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