* Sale or spin-off condition for planned Immofinanz-CA Immo
* Immofinanz wants to close deal by year-end
(Recasts with O1 group interested in portfolio, adds details)
VIENNA/MOSCOW, June 1 Russian investment group
O1 is looking to bid for five Moscow shopping centres Austrian
real estate company Immofinanz is in the process of
selling or spinning off, two sources with knowledge of the
matter said on Thursday.
Austrian property group Immofinanz told
shareholders on Thursday it plans to close the delayed sale or
spin-off of its Russia portfolio by the year-end. The move is a
precondition of its planned merger with rival CA Immo.
A weak rouble had forced Immofinanz to offer rent reductions
to its Russian tenants, who would otherwise have struggled to
pay their dollar-denominated rents, weighing on Immofinanz's
Immofinanz said earlier this year it would invite bids from
around 25 "pre-qualified" parties which have expressed an
interest in the five Moscow shopping centres.
The portfolio had a book value of just over 997 million
euros ($1.1 billion) at end-March, including 698 million debt.
O1 Group, which the two sources said has received an
invitation from Immofinanz to tender, sold its 26 percent stake
in CA Immo to Immofinanz last year.
Immofinanz plans to resume detailed merger talks with CA
Immo, on hold until the Russia portfolio has been dealt with, in
"late summer", it said in a presentation to shareholders.
CA Immo has said Immofinanz must sell or spin off the
Russian assets, which have weighed on its results for years, or
risk the collapse of the planned merger.
O1 declined to comment.
($1 = 0.8912 euros)
(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla in Vienna and Olga Sichkar in
Moscow; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans)