IZAKI Group, the property firm run by Israeli businessman Ron Izaki, has taken over London and Warsaw-listed Atlas Estates in a deal valuing the Polish investment trust at £265m.
Having floated Atlas on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) in 2006 with co-investors Elran Investments and RP Capital, Izaki upped its stake to 94 per cent this week with an offer at an 11 per cent premium to Atlas’ undisturbed price.
The move gives Izaki control of Atlas’ portfolio of commercial and residential properties in eastern Europe, including the Warsaw Hilton hotel. It is understood Izaki became frustrated with the slide in Atlas’ share price since its initial public offering and now plans to revitalise the trust through a capital injection or refinancing.
Izaki was advised on the deal by Excellion Capital, a boutique corporate finance house launched three years ago by former JPMorgan Cazenove bankers Robert Stafler and Raffael Johnen.
Stafler said: “Izaki will be getting its hands dirty, rolling up its sleeves and doing some hands-on property development. The plan is to propel the company to the glory it aimed for but never quite reached.”
EXCELLION Capital is a young bank, but its founders have years of experience in the natural resources space.
Robert Stafler and Raffael Johnen started Excellion in 2007 after long stints at JPMorgan Cazenove. Stafler worked in the Wall Street giant’s capital markets, M&A and structured equity teams, advising on transactions such as mining group Xstrata’s $5.5bn (£3.7bn) rights issue in 2006. At the time, the cash call was the largest-ever capital raising in the UK.
Izaki’s buyout of Atlas is Excellion’s fifth deal this year. Stafler said the boutique had a strong pipeline of work, meaning it could pick and choose contracts.
“We are able to be very selective about the transactions we work on,” he said. “Being selective is key, especially in volatile times when completing transactions, even good transactions, is not always straightforward.”
Excellion works for clients including Petropavlosk, the London-listed gold miner, Kazakhmys and state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland.