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UPDATE 1-Israeli investor backs Conwert's focus on residential property
May 15, 2015 / 11:01 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Israeli investor backs Conwert's focus on residential property

(Adds details, background)

VIENNA, May 15 (Reuters) - Israeli investor Teddy Sagi’s MountainPeak, the new top shareholder in property group Conwert , said on Friday it would back the Austrian company’s focus on its residential portfolio including via acquisitions.

Sagi’s Cyprus-based MountainPeak Trading Limited bought a 24.8 stake in Conwert from The Haselsteiner Foundation and Albona Limited last week after a billion euro ($1.14 billion)takeover bid from Deutsche Wohnen fell through.

At the end of last year, around 74 percent of Conwert’s Germany-focused property holdings were residential and it has said it wants to raise this to 80 percent by selling off commercial assets.

Sagi, billionaire founder of online gaming software group Playtech, also wants Conwert to restructure its finances to reduce costs, a step other Conwert shareholders have already demanded. Conwert has been struggling with expensive interest rate swaps.

Conwert parted company with Chief Executive Clemens Schneider in the wake of the takeover episode. MountainPeak said it would work with all shareholders to appoint a new CEO and to strengthen Conwert’s administrative board with real estate experts.

Conwert’s shares jumped as much as 4.4 percent to 11.89 euros ($13.51), hitting their highest since late March. ($1 = 0.8799 euros) (Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman)

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