T1 Mall of Tallinn fails to sell at auction with €85 million starting bid
The T1 Mall of Tallinn shopping center failed to sell at auction this week with a starting price of €85 million. Another auction will take place in the coming days with a lower starting bid.
Bankruptcy trustee Indrek Lepsoo said a new price will be decided on Friday and a new round of bidding will start on Monday (September 6).
More than 50 creditors have filed claims against the mall's owner Tallinna Moekombinaat (TMK) totaling €123 million.
Sworn advocate Toomas Vaher, who is representing the creditors, told ETV's daily current affairs show "Akutaalne kaamera" on Thursday there is hope the price will rise at auction.
"We don't really know what the final price will be. We are waiting for the results of this second round," he said.
Lepsoo said interest in the shopping center has been surprisingly high but the final transaction price and buyer will be revealed at the public auction.
Aleksandrs Tralmaks, a partner at corporate finance advisor Catella's Baltic branch, said T1's troubles stem from its current location - opposite the popular Ülemiste Keskus mall - and an already saturated market. But he believes with the right business model it could work.
"A multi-level shopping center with many tenants is a very complex investment. You have to be the right investor, the property must be acquired at the right price and the right business model must be found. A much larger area must be left for entertainment and other non-retail services," he said.
However, Tralmaks believes the €85 million starting price was too high but added given the center's location next to Rail Baltic it could be successful in coming years but no one knows for sure.
The analyst said shopping malls, not only in Tallinn but across Europe, need to reorient themselves in a marketplace where people increasingly prefer to shop online.
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Editor: Helen Wright