Bridge Capital hands Olswang Czech deal

Olswang has advised new client Czech Property Investment (CPI) on a Eu89m (£62m) hypermarket portfolio refinancing in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Olswang clinched the instruction through the deal manager, Bridge Capital Partners, which it previously assisted with a German deal.

The Thames Valley office advised on all aspects of English law and was led by head of international finance Michael Benster, together with finance associates Drew Tetlow and Stephanie Lee.

The deal, which took several months to close, will see the hypermarkets being let to the Ahold group, Tesco and SPAR.

Debt financing was obtained from Hypo Real Estate Bank, which was advised by the Prague office of Clifford Chance, headed by partner Libor Vacek.

Olswang has a number of real estate clients in the region, having recently closed a retail and residential transaction in Warsaw and with deals in the pipeline further east.

Getting CPI on its books is a major step, given that the Prague-based firm has assets strung across the Czech and Slovak Republics, which are expected to total more than Euro600m (£418m) for 2007. A key sub-sector for CPI is hospitality and new developments include the Clarion Congress and Buddha Bar hotels in Prague.