October 12 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian blue-chip financial and insurance group Eurohold Bulgaria said on Monday it sold its wholly-owned subsidiary AvtoUnion Center to private equity investment fund Bluehouse for 27.3 million euro ($40.2 million).
"The deal is part of the consistent continuing efforts of EuroHold to divest non-core assets," it said in a statement.
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The net cash proceeds worth 10.5 million euro will be used to strengthen the financial stability of Eurohold and allow it to explore further growth opportunities in its core activities - insurance, leasing and car sales, it added.
The remaning 16.8 million euro will go to early repayment of a group's loan to Piraeus Bank Bulgaria. Eurohold said its accounting gain from the sale is 7.0 million euro.
AvtoUnion Center is part of the wholesaler and distributor of automotive products and services Avto Union which Eurohold bought earlier this year. It owns a building which will house an auto centre considered to be the first Car-Mall in Bulgaria with nine car brands and 47 car models on display.
"As part of the deal, EuroHold which currently occupies around 95% of the building, also has signed a long-term rental agreement with Bluehouse," the group said.
Bluehouse (www.bluehousecapital.com) is a private equity investment management firm with a focus in the property and infrastructure markets of southeast Europe. Since its foundation in 2005, the fund has invested in over 20 property transactions in office, residential, retail and industrial sectors. Bluehouse manages some 320 million euro through three funds.
Shares of Eurohold Bulgaria, part of the SOFIX index on the bourse in Sofia, last traded 4.7% higher at 1.57 levs ($1.18/0.8 euro) at 0940 GMT,
($ = 0.6786 euro)