P & O Netherlands’ Sale of Stake in Technologicky Park Brno
P & O Netherlands B.V. sold 50% of their stake in the Technologicky Park Brno business centre to the city of Brno for an estimated EUR 21.5 million.
As a result of the deal, the city, which was advised by Hladky Legal and the Kroupahelan Law Firm, became the majority owner of the park.
As reported by Cee Legal Matters, according to Clifford Chance, “Brno owns[ed] half of its shares from the beginning, the other half belonged to the Dubai-based P&O company, [and] one share is held by the University of Technology in Brno.”
Hladky Legal’s team, who we speak to below, included Partners Lucie Hladka and Jan Hladky, Senior Associate Nikola Chalupska, and Junior Associate Pavla Stojaspalova.
Clifford Chance’s team was led by Partner Emil Holub and included Senior Associate Aneta Disman and Junior Lawyer Ondrej Dolensky.
The Kroupahelan Law Firm’s team included Managing Partner Jiri Helan and Attorneys Matus Svanda and Maros Sovak.
Interview with the team at Hladky Legal
Please share more about your involvement in the deal
Sale of the shares of P&O in the Technology Park Brno has been discussed for a long time, but there were no realistic options how to navigate a quagmire of relations with the other shareholders, City of Brno and Brno Technical University. We were at first approached by one of our clients, South-Moravian Innovation Centre, to help devise a coherent strategy to strengthen up an innovative ecosystem; the acquisition of the Technology Park Brno by the local government quickly became a priority. We worked on the deal subsequently for both South Moravian Regional Authority and the City of Brno.
Why is this a good deal for all involved?
The deal closes some 20 years of cooperation between P&O and local authorities in creating South-Moravia a technological powerhouse in Central Europe. Instead of having to cope with real estate developers with relatively short term interests, local authorities can focus on long-term goals in providing innovative start-ups and technology companies such as IBM and Red Hat office space and easy access to innovative potential created by three universities in Brno. P&O exited from a project started in the ’90s originally by Bovis Lend Lease, which was not easily saleable due to a complicated set of option rights, for a price that reflects optimistic real estate market in Brno.
What challenges arose? How did you navigate them?
More than in other deals, we had to focus on all parties being present at the table and not to walk away in critical moments. We were lucky to have colleagues from Clifford Chance working for P&O, with whom we have very long term and good working relations, as mutual trust was essential in a common push to finalise a deal that nobody was able to negotiate and complete in years.