A Luxembourg company named Lintgen Adjacent Investments S.à r.l. was the winning, and in fact only, bidder at Wednesday's auction of the bankrupt T1 Mall of Tallinn, ERR reports.
Lintgen paid €55 million to snap up the mall, which is still open to the public, but is largely devoid of tenants and so has little to nothing on sale.
ERR reports that the other registered bidders at Wednesday's auction – the third after to previous rounds had failed to find a buyer – included the Astri Grupp, which owns malls in Estonia's four largest cities, AS Kapitel, which owns the Delta Plaza, Viru Keskus and Sõpruse developments in Tallinn, as well as the under-development Liivalaia quarter, plays a mall in Riga. Another registered bidders were MM Grupp, which owns the Apollo cinema chain, the bookshop chain of the same name, and also the Postimees media group and a large pharmaceutical chain.
Real estate agency Novira was also registered.
As noted, Lintgen, which, ERR reports, is a foreign company representing T1's creditors, was the only participant to actually bid during the auction, which was held online.
The S.à r.l. abbreviation denotes a private limited company (Société à responsabilité limitée) in any of several Francophone countries; a source told ERR News that Lintgen Adjacent Investments S.à r.l. is registered in Luxembourg.
Lintgen itself said Thursday that the auction result: "Suggests that the bankruptcy proceeding will be concluded, making Lintgen the new owner.
"We are determined to turn around the center and give it a new life," Lintgen added, via a spokesperson, and said that the building is to become a multifunctional center.
"Retail will be concentrated on the two lower floors, a new entrance will be built facing the rail line and Ülemiste Center, and we will improve the movement between the 1st and 2nd floor," Lintgen added.
"The third floor will have new functions - offices, sports and hobby activities, health services and public services," the statement continued, adding that major changes to the fourth floor are not needed since the development's most iconic feature, its rooftop ferris wheel, will stay as is.
The location given the planned Rail Baltica terminal nearby in Ülemiste was one of the selling points, Lintgen said, while proper management could make the project work, they added.
T1 declared bankruptcy in April.
An initial auction for the property earlier in the year had a starting price of €85 million and, when it failed to attract any bids a second auction with a €65-million reserve price, while it attracted four participants who registered, also saw no bids.
Built on land which had long been unused, the T1 mall opened in late 2018 to great fanfare and, despite the supposed attraction of the ferris wheel in particular, was in difficulty right from the get-go and even before the arrival of the Covid pandemic caused malls to be largely closed for weeks at a time, in the initial 2020 spring wave.
The mall's location, on Peeterburi 2, is within walking distance of one large mall, the Ülemiste Keskus, and one smaller one at Sikupilli, meaning it struggled to compete and never managed to fill all units with commercial tenants.
Editor: Andrew Whyte