Shopping centre operator Atrium European Real Estate said this week that it is considering the entry into the residential sector as part of a strategic review aimed at delivering strong, long term returns.
Atrium, which owns a €2.7 bn portfolio focused on retail assets, has also secured an option to buy a controlling stake in a residential tower development which on completion will offer 900 apartments in the heart of Warsaw.
In addition to diversifying into other classes of real estate, the strategic review also includes leveraging the operating platform in Poland and the Czech Republic, the company added.
Atrium is under more pressure from returns-starved small shareholders, as the fallout continues from a failed take-private bid by Gazit Globe. Minority shareholder, Icamap Investments, last week issued a strongly worded letter to Atrium’s board of directors - which Gazit controls as the majority shareholder.
The investor states it is ‘immeasurably displeased by the lack of communication and transparency,’ on the matter of when missed dividends will be paid and the ongoing absence of asset sales to generate value.
Gazit’s bid to acquire Atrium at €3.75 a share triggered a rebellion by small shareholders in October, who believed the offer significantly undervalued the company. The true value is €5.05 per-share, they said. Gazit's bid was rejected by shareholders in a vote.
An Atrium spokesperson told PropertyEU: 'Atrium remains focused on creating long-term value for the company and all its shareholders. As stated in Atrium’s third quarter trading statement, the board is reviewing the company’s distributions. The review process is ongoing and the company still intends to update the shareholders this year.'