October 4, 2017 / 8:02 PM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Austria's Immofinanz close to agreeing Moscow mall deal

(Adds Immofinanz statement, book value of shopping malls)

MOSCOW, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Austrian real estate company Immofinanz is close to agreeing the sale of its five Moscow shopping malls to Russian company Fortgroup, three sources familiar with the talks said on Wednesday.

Immofinanz said in a statement later on Wednesday it was “now in advanced talks with one bidder for its retail properties in Moscow. However, the key conditions must still be finalised.”

It added other prospective buyers were still in the running.

Immofinanz plans to complete the delayed sale or spin-off of its Russia portfolio by the end of 2017 in a move which is a precondition of its planned merger with rival CA Immo.

Immofinanz’s Russian portfolio had a book value of around 976 million euros ($1.15 billion) at the end of June, including 674.7 million euros in debt.

Fortgroup, a St Petersburg commercial real estate developer, “has almost agreed” to buy Immofinanz’s Moscow malls, a source close to one of the parties to the talks told Reuters.

Two other sources familiar with the talks said Fortgroup was nearing a preliminary agreement on the deal and that they knew of no other contenders left on the short-list.

Maxim Levchenko, a co-owner of Fortgroup, told Reuters he was not aware of any agreements with Immofinanz. He said his company was “looking at all assets on the real estate market”.

$1 = 0.8502 euros Reporting by Olga Sichkar and Oksana Kobzeva in Moscow and Shadia Nasralla in Vienna; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Mark Potter

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