Dragon Capital Group plans to finalize deals worth $250 million by the end of 2019, Dragon Capital CEO Tomas Fiala has said.
“We have several deals at the completion stage that we will finish anyway. Before the [presidential] elections we closed deals that we already had on the pipeline for six months or a year. We did not work on the new pipeline because we wanted to see what the outcome of the elections will be. So far, everything that President [Volodymyr] Zelensky and his team are doing does not scare us..,” Fiala told Interfax-Ukraine on the sidelines of the RAU Investment Forum 2019 in Kyiv on Tuesday.
He said that the company has now resumed the process of creating a pipeline and plans to close about 10 deals in real estate and private equity by the end of this year.
“Within 12 months, if there are the correct appointments to the government, if the ministers suit investors, if they are clean reformers who can implement key structural reforms, if the president and the government do everything to restore the rule of law in the country, we will close about 10 transactions, and it can be an amount of about $250 million,” Fiala said.
He said that despite the rising cost of real estate offered on the secondary market, the growth potential for the company remains enormous.
“After the [parliamentary] elections, we and our partners can quietly double our investments in real estate and private equity in two or three years. We have invested $500 million in the last three and a half years and this figure can be doubled in two or three years. With the right policy of the state, we can invest up to $1 billion,” he said.
In particular, according to Fiala, Dragon Capital is interesting, first of all, in warehouse and office real estate. He predicts further growth in rental rates in these segments due to limited new supply.
At the same time, in connection with the planned large volumes of commissioning new retail real estate in Kyiv, Dragon Capital is more interested in retail real estate in the regions.
“In the warehouse real estate segment it will not make sense to build new facilities until the rates increase by 20%,” he said.
According to Fiala, since 2015, Dragon Capital has acquired 22 properties with a total area of 620,000 square meters in different segments.
“Half of this portfolio is warehouses, and more than 150,000 are offices, as well as commercial real estate… This is a big load on our resources… We had to create a real estate management team from scratch – more than 100 employees. The portfolio shows an increase in operating income of 10-15%. This year, growth may be even higher,” he said.
Meyer Bergman international investment fund (London) has finalized a deal to sell the Aladdin shopping and entertainment center with gross building area (GBA) of 16,500 square meters located at 3A, Hryshka Street in Kyiv to UCPIH Ltd, a member of the Dragon Capital group of companies.
“We are very pleased to have completed this acquisition and add Aladdin to our portfolio of shopping centers, which now will consist of Piramida and Aladdin (Kyiv), Sky Park (Vinnytsia) and Victoria Gardens (Lviv) occupying in total over 160,000 square meters,” Managing Director of Private Equity at Dragon Capital Volodymyr Tymochko said.
He said that Dragon Capital is determined to capitalize on it by optimizing the center’s concept and tenant mix. The deal value is not disclosed.
Aladdin Shopping Mall, with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 10,571 square meters, is located in a densely populated residential district right next to Pozniaky metro station and close to Piramida, a shopping center the company acquired in 2016.
As reported, Meyer Bergman acquired Aladdin center in 2008 for $60 million.
Dragon Capital Investments Limited, a member of the Dragon Capital Group, and Dragon Capital New Ukraine Fund L.P. managed by the company led a new investment round and became minority shareholders in Ciklum, a global digital solutions company with major footprint in Ukraine.
According to a press release of Dragon Capital, AVentures Capital participated in the investment round and acquired a minority stake in the company.
The size of minority stakes of all three companies is not disclosed.
“We believe that ongoing global digital transformation will support increasing demand for IT solutions and services, and that Ciklum is very well positioned to capitalize on this sustainable trend. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in London, Ciklum has one of the largest footprints in Ukraine, great expertise and access to IT talent. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to support one of the leading companies in the segment, which is run by great management and shareholders,” Managing Director, Co-Head of Private Equity at Dragon Capital Andriy Nosok said.
“We are excited to welcome Dragon Capital and Aventures Capital to our shareholder base. This investment will continue to propel Ciklum’s rapid growth in delivering cutting edge technologies to clients around the globe,” Chief Executive Officer of Ciklum Michael Boustridge said.
Dragon Capital group of companies was founded in 2000 and it is one of the largest on the Ukrainian investment market. It works in the field of direct investment and financial services, provides a full range of investment banking and brokerage services for corporate and private clients.
Dragon Capital New Ukraine Fund L.P. was created in November 2015. Dragon Capital manages the funds. Soros Fund Management (SFM) acts as the co-investor in the fund.
Ciklum is a leading global digital services and software engineering company founded in 2002. Ciklum provides services to design and test software, it is involved in innovative research and design, works with Big Data and engineering consulting services.
AVentures Capital was founded in 2012. It invests in IT companies at various stages of their development.
President of the European Business Association (EBA) Tomas Fiala, his group of companies Dragon Capital and its employees contributed a total of UAH 22.6 million for charity and sponsorship purposes in 2018 to support Ukrainian projects for economic and social development, while in 2017 over UAH 10 million was sent for these purposes.
According to a press release of Dragon Capital issued last week, the Centre for Economic Strategy, an independent policy think tank, analytical platform VoxUkraine and its VoxCheck project, the New Leaders National Project, Anti-Corruption Action Centre, Transparency International and other NGOs working to support economic reforms, improve the business climate and help fight corruption in Ukraine together received close to UAH 12 million compared with UAH 6.1 million a year ago.
More than UAH 4.9 million was raised to finance the development of children’s hospital Ohmatdyt, help patients fighting cancer, buy a hemo-analyzer for the Western Ukrainian specialized children’s medical center (Lviv), support orphanages, repair a kindergarten, and sponsor the IWCK Charity Bazaar.
Last year Dragon Capital said in the report that the group contributed some UAH 1 million to Army SOS and IWCK Charity Bazaar. The group said that this year Dragon started to cooperate with Veteran Hub, Ukraine’s first open space for veterans of the war in eastern Ukraine and NGOs serving to protect their rights, as well as with other veteran associations in order to facilitate former soldiers’ social adaptation, particularly through employment.
According to the press release, over UAH 5.1 million went this year (UAH 3 million a year ago) to finance the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program at Stanford University, the Prometheus educational platform, the GoGlobal program aimed at promoting studies of foreign languages in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Academy of Leadership, etc.
According to the press release, Dragon Capital also donated UAH 0.6 million to support a public organization, whose mission is to preserve and promote the cultural, historical and archaeological heritage of Ukraine; the Lviv Media Forum, etc.
Dragon Capital group of companies, founded in 2000, is one of the largest in the Ukrainian investment market. Fiala said that in the past three years jointly with partners from the EU and the United States the group invested almost $500 million to Ukraine.
Dragon Capital Investment Fund, together with its partners, has invested $400 million into Ukrainian real estate since 2016, the press service of Dragon Capital has reported.
“Since 2016, Dragon Capital, together with its European and American partners, has invested $400 million into Ukrainian real estate. Our future investment plans will significantly depend on the pace of reforms in Ukraine, above all in judiciary and law enforcement,” Dragon Capital CEO Tomas Fiala said.
The partners of the fund are Goldman Sachs, George Soros, and OPIC.
As reported, Dragon Capital Group jointly with co-investors since 2016 has been actively investing in purchase of commercial real estate, mainly in Kyiv city and region.
The portfolio of the investment fund, as of October 2018, includes several business centers – Kyiv’s Prime and Eurasia, business center located at 98, Velyka Vasylkivska Street, Horizon Park, Business Center Platinum, and Zaporizhia-based Eco Tower Business Center.
The portfolio of shopping centers includes the Victoria Gardens shopping center (Lviv), Sky Park shopping center (Vinnytsia), Pyramida shopping center (Kyiv), logistics centers near Kyiv — West and East Gate Logistic, Omega 1 and Omega 2; a logistic complex and industrial complexes in Brovary.
Dragon Capital Investments Limited is part of Dragon Capital group of companies, founded in 2000 and one of the largest in the Ukrainian investment market. It works in the field of direct investment and financial services, provides a full range of investment banking and brokerage services for corporate and private clients.