employees work in all our companies
Tishman International Companies (www.tishmanintl.com) has appointed Cushman &Wakefield (www.cushmanwakefield.com) and its Bulgarian associate Forton International as an exclusive advisor and letting agent on its first project in Sofia, Bulgaria – Sofia Airport Center (SAC).
The proposed business park will be the first in Sofia to offer office and warehouse space in excess of 115,000 m2, and will be constructed over the next two or three years. It is located about 300 m away from the Sofia airport’s new terminal (designed to accommodate up to 2.6 million passengers per year). The Center will be developed and managed by Tishman Management Company EOOD (www.tishmanmanagement.bg), part of Tishman International Companies.
By accepting the first instruction of that kind in Sofia, Forton International has confirmed its leadership position in the industrial property segment of the Bulgarian market, and has come to stay the most reliable business partner, providing a complete range of commercial real estate services.
Forton International (www.forton.bg) has been instructed to provide advisory and property letting services on the first mall in Varna – the third largest city in Bulgaria, and the largest one at the Black Sea coast.
Investor in the project is Interservice Uzunovi JSCo (ww.isu.bg) – a leading electronics and furniture retailer in Bulgaria, and one of the largest Bulgarian companies, with a business portfolio diversified in real estate, retail trade, and production and distribution of vegetables.
The EUR 30 million project will be the first shopping center in Varna, providing retail and entertainment space in excess of 30,000 m2. The center will be the first in Bulgaria to offer shopping, leisure and entertainment facilities on five aboveground levels.
Address Academy has been licensed for providing professional education by the National Agency for Professional Education at the Council of Ministers. The Academy was first established in 2004 with the aim to provide in-house training for Address’s employees. The company has developed gradually, and in September 2006 Address Academy organized its first public educational course for real estate brokers and consultants. The Academy publishes different training materials, among which is the first manual for real estate consultants – “The Professional Consultant’s Manual”. The catalogue of the Academy’s library includes a wide variety of sources available to the company’s employees.
In order to provide continuous professional education to the company’s employees, the Academy has developed a branch network of offices in Sofia, Varna, Bourgas and Plovdiv.
After more than a decade of experience, Address Group has affirmed itself as the largest Bulgarian holding company investing in businesses related to real estate. During all those years the Group has achieved to lay the foundations of its subsidiaries as strong, competitive, and independent companies. In 2006 the aim has been accomplished. Address Group comprises nine companies, most of them ranking among the top three in their respective business segment. Achieving its strategic goal of developing these businesses as independent and competitive, Address Group has managed to concentrate solely on strategic planning and business development, financial management, and control.
In line with the holding structure’s new corporate mission, Address Group has announced its new name (AG Capital) and logo. AG Capital will focus on business planning and development, ensuring a balanced portfolio of business activities. New ventures, both local and international, will be announced soon.
The company’s new logo is designed to express AG Capital’s leadership position in each of its business segments, as well as the company’s dynamism in finding the most entrepreneurial and innovative decisions, related to real estate. The logo will incorporate the “Address Group” ensign as a reference to the development of the holding structure and as a tribute to the established brand.
In December 2006 CreditCenter expanded its branch network with office additions in prime locations in Sofia and Varna. The two new offices will offer better opportunities to customers to find their best lending partner among the 13 largest banks in Bulgaria.
The excellent end-year results mark a year of success for CreditCenter. The company’s brokerage and financial intermediation team has facilitated credit allotments that position CreditCenter as the largest distributor of mortgages to several banks. CreditCenter is positioned as the mortgage broker in the two largest real estate portals in Bulgaria and has a fully operational call center. The team of the company consists of over 60 professionals nationwide.
Address Real Estate has already recruited its first three franchisees in Bulgaria, and has signed its first franchising agreements. The ADDRESS FRANCHISING program is designed to help local entrepreneurs achieve their business goals by increasing their operating revenue and market share, benefiting from the experience and expertise of a strong business partner such as Address Real Estate, with a proven success track record.
The national franchising programme is the centerpiece of the company’s growth plan. Franchisees will receive support by the company in terms of extensive market knowledge and experience, best business practices, strong brand, highly qualified, motivated and dedicated franchise team, as well as a sophisticated property database and IT system.
The development of the first Bulgarian real estate franchise programme reflects Address’s innovative spirit and entrepreneurial focus, combined with strategic vision. Following a period of careful planning and meticulous work, Address Real Estate has grasped the opportunity to lead the future growth of the highly competitive Bulgarian market.
Unique Estates, the company focused on the high-end niche of the residential property market, has opened a brand new office at Kempinski Hotel Zografski – Sofia (www.kempinski.bg).
The new luxury office, located in one of the few five-star hotels in Sofia, is best suited to catch exclusive and VIP clients’ fancy. It has the top location in one of the most prestigious areas of the capital city (Lozenetz District), and offers to customers easy access, free of charge guarded garage and parking lots, as well as the comfort and convenience to use the hotel’s facilities. The new company office is located next to the reception of the hotel. The adjacent VIP lounge reserved for Unique Estates clients further provides for the elite atmosphere and exclusive customer service.
Address brand was chosen the strongest brand in the real estate industry in Bulgaria for 2006-2007 by the global Superbrands Organization (www.superbrandsbulgaria.com) – the independent arbiter on branding. Mrs. Katya Tsenova, CEO of Address Real Estates, was granted the special award, recognizing the brand’s success, at the prestigious Tribute Event – defined by the media in many countries as the „Oscars of branding”.
The history of the Superbrands Organization starts in UK. After ten years of successful expansion, the organization has now offices in 55 countries across the world. In January 2006 the organization launched its programme in Bulgaria. At the first stage of the programme over a 1,000 leading brands on the Bulgarian market were nominated. Following an online customer survey, and other research programmes, the list of leading brands was brought down to 70 top brands. The Superbrand award was reached by just few top local and international brands in the country that were rated against several criteria such as: market dominance, longevity, goodwill, customer loyalty, and overall market acceptance.
Address was the only real estate company in Bulgaria to receive the award.
Mr. Iliev has become a co-founder of the first in Bulgaria family business association, and has been chosen a member of the Managing Board of the Bulgarian Association of the Family Business (Family Business Network).
The Family Business Network-Bulgaria’s Constituent Assembly was held on the 22th of November 2006 at the office of PM Group JSC in the presence of the association’s constitutors – Petar Mandjoukov (PM Group), who was also appointed a Chairman of the Association, Ivaylo Mandjoukov (PM Group), Christo Iliev (AG Capital), Daneta Zheleva (Allianz), Dinko Dinev (Dinevi Group), Julian Indzhov (ISA 2000), Ivan and Kiro Kirovi (Kirov & Son).
The Association of the Family Business is the first organisation of its kind in Bulgaria, established to preserve and hand down the traditions in the family business, and promote the success and sustainability of family owned business. Some of the major aims of the association are: to help the development and recognition of the family business in Bulgaria and promote and encourage the success of the family business by assuring wide access to information resources, providing technical and consultancy services, as well as planning, organisation and realisation of different projects, related to the family business in the country.
The Association of Family Business-Bulgaria was officially incorporated and registered at the Sofia City Court on the 17th of January 2007. The official opening of the Association was announced on the 12th of February 2007 at a press conference at Grand Hotel Sofia, attended by leading Bulgarian journalists and other media representatives. Among the honored guests, representatives of FBN International and participants in the conference, were: Olivier de Richoufftz – the Executive Director of FBN International, and Thiery Lombard – a member of the Board of Directors of FBN International and an owner of a family private banking business, established in 1976.
After signing a contract on the 16th of February 2007, the Association has been accepted as full member – chamber, of the Family Business Network-International, headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Family Business Network International is the world’s leading network of business owning families. Founded in 1990, FBN is present today in 45 countries on 5 continents, and unites 1 800 families – members of the organisation. Some interesting facts – between 60 and 85% of the business in England, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and Portugal is family owned. 25% of the top 500 USA companies are family owned, and a half of the top French and German public companies have remained family owned such as: Michelin, Wallenberg, Marriott…
The Board of Directors of FBN International is comprised of 11 members. The Chairman of the Board is Hans – Jacob Bonnier, a 6-th generation member of the Bonnier family (paper industry), and the other members are members of the world known families: Lombard (private banking), Monodor (coffee manufacturing), Fumagalli, Murugappa Group (Indian finance), Van Oord Family (marine contracting), Wates Group (building and construction), Darbonnes Family.
On the 26th of April 2007 the Association of the Family Business – Bulgaria has been appointed a full member of the European organisation – European Group of Family Enterprises (GEEF), headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. The European Group of Family Enterprises unites several organisations, whose members exceed 8 000 companies.
In April 2007 Mr. Iliev joined the Board of Superbrands Bulgaria – the Bulgarian branch of the international Superbrands organisation. The nomination for the highly honoured position has come after Address Real Estate has been chosen the only Superbrand in real estate in Bulgaria.
The global Superbrands organisation was founded in 1995 in UK. Since then the programme has been constantly expanding, and the organisation has been recognised as the independent arbiter on branding. Superbrands has operated programmes in 60 countries and at present the organisation works with over 5 000 brands worldwide.
At the heart of each program is an independent and voluntary council of experts – Board of Superbrands, each member of which has an in-depth knowledge and deeply appreciates the brands’ performance on the market and sector being examined. Usually the Board consists of renowned individuals – representatives of different marketing and advertising agencies and consultants, leading company managers, and outstanding journalists and powerful media representatives.
The start of Superbrands programme in Bulgaria was announced in January 2006. Address has become a Superbrand for 2007, together with other world known brands such as: CocaCola, Actavis, DHL, Shell, Danone, Nokia, and other Bulgarian brands such as: Mtel, BTV, Kamenitsa etc.
In April 2007 Mr. Iliev was elected as member to the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (BBLF). The Chairman of the Board is Mrs. Maria Shishkova (AIMS Human Capital), and Vice-chairman is Mr. Mario Al Jebouri (Forem Consulting). Among the other members of the board are: Anthony Hassiotis (Post Bank), Borislav Stratev (Deloitte Bulgaria), Christo Iliev (AG Capital), Ivan Vassilev (TNT Bulgaria), Konstantin Tilev (Radio FM+), Nikolaj Hadzitonchev (Actavis), Rositsa Kostova (USIT Colours), Silva Zurleva (Nova TV), Stoyan Neshev (Siemens), Valentin Panayotov (Pari Daily), Vanya Kaneva (Overgas), Zoya Paunova (Astra Zeneca).
BBLF was founded in 1998 with the aim of establishing and promoting the values of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The organisation is associated to the International Business Leaders Forum and is under the auspices of the Prince of Wales. Nowadays BBLF has over 200 company members, and the BBLF Business Ethics Standard has already been accepted by over 1500 companies.
The leading international luxury real estate brand Christie’s Great Estates entered Bulgaria by choosing as its exclusive affiliate Unique Estates Luxury Properties – a leading Bulgarian luxury real estate company. The contract was signed and became effective on 27 June 2007 in Sofia.
Christie’s Great Estates is the world’s largest network of real estate agencies specialized in luxury property brokerage. Christie’s Great Estates is a wholly owned subsidiary of Christie’s, the biggest auction house worldwide. The network covers 35 countries worldwide, and comprises 850 offices and more than 35 000 associates. The combined annual turnover of all Christie’s Great Estates affiliates exceeds $125 billions.
Unique Estates is a Bulgarian company specialized in luxury property brokerage and management. The company is also a part of the Bulgarian largest real estate holding structure – AG Capital. Unique Estates was established in 2006 and the negotiations, regarding the exclusive affiliation, have been lead by the holding company for more than two years. Besides being the executive Christie’s real estate affiliate in Bulgaria, Unique Estates will also have the opportunity to participate in the auctions conducted by Christie’s.
“It’s a great honor for us to have gained the confidence of a renowned and prestigious company such as Christie’s Great Estates. We are very proud that Christie’s has chosen as a partner in Bulgaria a company from AG Capital’s portfolio. The association between Unique Estates and Christie’s is also a recognition of the degree to which the Bulgarian real estate market has developed in the last couple of years. Unique Estates has become one of the three executive associates in Christie’s network in Europe this year”, declared Christo Iliev, CEO and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of AG Capital at the ceremony of the official signing of the contract between the both partners.
What Bulgarian clients will gain from that exclusive association is an access to the worldwide database of unique luxury properties and services of Christie’s Great Estates. Unique Estates will process inquiries regarding luxury properties in Bulgaria generated from Christie’s worldwide network and will offer its services to all customers within that network. “We have already prepared the first Bulgarian properties to be presented in the Christie’s Great Estates’s magazine and website”, said Vesela Ilieva, CEO of Unique Estates. “The Bulgarian entry of a global brand such as Christie’s Great Estates means that the luxury real estate services in Bulgaria have already met the highest standards in real estate, and is also an opportunity to meet the market supply and demand, as well as to further expand the specific market segment”, she added. “We have already started to work hard for satisfying the numerous inquiries for Bulgarian properties, coming from customers of the companies within the Christie’s European network”, announced Mrs. Ilieva.
On August 15th 2007 Domika is going to open its first international office in Moscow, Russia. The office will be associated to the company’s headquarters in Varna, Bulgaria, and will offer a full range of real estate services – real estate consultancy in property acquisition in Bulgaria, professional advice in defining property characteristics, viewing trips organization, in-depth consultancy, regarding the process for obtaining a visa etc.
Only few months after the establishment of Domika as an independent subsidiary of AG Capital, the company has succeeded in positioning itself as the only nationwide real estate consultancy company, provided with an office in Moscow, Russia and focused on servicing the needs of Russian-speaking customers in Bulgaria. The new office addres is: 17, Krasnaya Mayaka Str., Center of Bulgarian Industry in Moscow, Moscow, Russia.
Address Real Estate has made its first step towards expansion in residential brokerage to Southeastern Europe by establishing Address Serbia. The company is headquartered in Belgrade, and will focus primarily on the residential market segment in the capital city.
The decision is in line with the constantly increasing interest in Serbia from Bulgarian and international developers and investors, who have long-lasting partnerships with Address Real Estate and AG Capital. Furthermore, the market provides for a growing number of transactions and for numerous opportunities on the residential market in Belgrade and the region.
Address has over a decade of experience in emerging markets, an innovative know-how, a well-developped network in Bulgaria, and a number of best practices and successful business models to offer – all good reasons to back the move to develop the residential market in Serbia and to explore the most of the opportunities available there.
Forton International has closed the biggest real estate investment transaction in 2007 which is also the biggest ever retail property investment transaction on the market. The deal, in which Miller Developments has acquired Mall Varna from Interservice Uzunovi, has a total value of € 120 M, and has been officially announced during a pressconference on 25.09.2007.
„The Mall Varna’s acquisition is the largest shopping center investment in Bulgaria, and is an indication of the real estate market development in the country. Forton, in close cooperation with its international partner Cushman & Wakefield, has proved its ablity to attract and negotiate with large institutional investors, to structure deals of such a size, and to represent its clients’ interests in achieving the highest possible price for their significant projects“, Valery Valchev, partner in Forton International, has explained.
Mall Varna is the first shopping and leisure centre to be developed in Varna. The centre has been designed by the English architectural bureau „Chapman Taylor“, specialised in the design of shopping centers and unique projects such as „Dubai Pearls“. Mall Varna will have 150 shops, many entertainment facilities, and will be anchored by a Piccadilly supermarket, and a 1300-seat, eight-screen Arena multiplex cinema. Construction works started in September 2006, and completion is scheduled for the end of 2007. The shopping centre is expected to open doors officially during the summer of 2008.
Mall Varna has a GLA of 32,000 sq.m. and a TBA of 70,000 sq.m., distributed on 3 underground and 5 aboveground levels. Mall Varna will offer its clients 700 parking places, 8 elevators, and 14 escalators.
The company was established in 1990 in Varna, Bulgaria. Mr. Krasimir Uzunov is its President and major shareholder. The company has a portfolio of several subsidiary companies, operating in different industries. Intereservice Uzunovi AD is an official exclusive representative of SHARP for Bulgaria. Besides electrical appliance import and distribution, the company also deals with furniture production and trade through Ralitza Furniture, as well as with property development, project management and vegetable production.
The company has a capital base of € 9 M and fixed assets of € 27 M. The investment in Mall Varna is expected to reach € 60 M.
Established more than 30 years ago, Miller Developments, a division of Miller Group, is one of the UK’s leading commercial property development companies. The Group turnover in 2006 was £1.2 bn. Miller Developments is a property development and investment company, focused on the commercial property market segment. 80% of its portfolio is comprised of office and retail properties. Company’s strategy for continental Europe includes both property development and acquisition. After completing several investments in Western Europe, the company has changed its focus and has also started to aggressively seek investment and development opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe. Its first projects are in Budapest, Hungary (Premier Outlets Center) and Varna, Bulgaria with the acquisition of Mall Varna. Miller Group has a property portfolio of 78 projects with a development value of £3.7 bn.
For a first time in its history as a holding company AG Capital took part as an exhibitor at one of the biggest international real estate exhibitions – ExpoReal 2007 in Munich, between 08-10.10.2007.
AG Capital was the only company among the 1,800 exhibitiors to present its subsidiary companies and the services they offer in Bulgaria and Serbia. Company representatives from Forton, Asta Bridge, BLD and Address discussed the latest trends in the real estate market development, and presented their portfolios of key projects to property developers, investors and other real estate professionals. Mr. Savov was also a speaker at the ExpoReal conference, and discussed the investment opportunities available in Bulgaria at the panel dedicated to Bulgaria as an investment location. All the companies in AG Capital’s portfolio registered an enormous interest in the services and projects they offer, and managed to register more than 150 enquiries from prospective clients.
ExpoReal takes place each year in Munich, Germany. The exhibition is one of the biggest trade fairs for commercial property in the world, covering 63,000 sq.m. of exhibition space, occupied by over 1,800 exhibitors. The interesting conference panels, as well as the diversity of real estate products and services offered, has brought in the attention of nearly 40,000 exhibitors and visitors – property developers, investors, financial institutions, consultants, as well as other real estate professionals.
Forton International is about to open its first office in Skopje, Macedonia. In the next months the new team will be trained in accordance with Forton’s corporate values and high quality services.
This step confirms AG Capital’s strategy to position as the Balkan property business group. AG Capital believes that Macedonia and its market has a lot to offer and challenge the entrepreneurs in the next years.
Forton International was established as a subsidiary of Address Group, currently AG Capital, and is specialized in providing commercial real estate services locally and internationally. In 2006 the company initiated its international expansion by opening an office in Belgrade, Serbia. Forton International is an associated office of Cushman & Wakefield – one of the largest real estate services firm.
Domika has stepped further on the Russian market and in March the company opened its second office in the country. The new office is located in St. Petersburg.
The team of professionals who will serve the clients from the Baltic region are ready to provide high quality services and detailed information for the constantly growing Russian market. Bulgaria is one of the most attractive destinations for Russians to invest.
Domika as an independent subsidiary of AG Capital, the company has managed to position itself as the sole nationwide real estate advisory company in Bulgaria, dedicated to servicing the Russian-speaking customers.
BLD and its joint venture partner Northridge Capital Ltd. have agreed to acquire the 29,000 sq m Dimitar Blagoev Printing House in downtown Sofia (the “Printing House”). The site is situated at the heart of the emerging Sofia CBD, on Tsarigradsko Chaussee, which is the main Sofia boulevard connecting the city centre with the airport and the Sofia-Plovdiv-Bourgas highway.
BLD and its joint venture partner will convert the five buildings into modern class A commercial space consisting of 23,500 sq m of office accommodation and 3,500 sq m. of retail space, together with 182 underground and 58 above-ground parking spaces.
Total project costs (including land acquisition and development) are estimated at Euro 50m (£40m*), while the gross development value is estimated at Euro 70m (£56m*).
Bulgarian Land Development plc is AIM listed Bulgarian residential and commercial development company. The company has a substantial pipeline of property development and land acquisition projects.
Forton International celebrated its birthday with seminar and fancy cocktail. This year the company invited interesting to the mass public lectors and property professionals to share their knowledge about latest trends in office space.
Speakers included Sergey Koinov, Ralph Holland, Matthew Stone and Andrew Thompson. They shared that the office of the future depends on the location but also on the specific needs of its tenants. The offices of the future are multifunctional projects and business parks suitable for both formal and informal meetings. To succeed investors and entrepreneurs should take into consideration these trends and follow the business needs and strategy of development of their tenants.
The real birthday party began in the evening when Forton gathered its friends, clients, consultants and colleagues, to celebrate its third anniversary as independent company.
Forton International was established as a subsidiary of Address Group, currently AG Capital, and is specialized in providing commercial real estate services locally and internationally. In 2006 the company initiated its international expansion by opening an office in Belgrade, Serbia, and in 2008 – in Skopje, Macedonia, as the next step of its development. Forton International is an associated office of Cushman & Wakefield – one of the largest real estate services firm.
Sheraton Sofia Hotel hosted the third conference Lux Only on June 12th and 13th and Unique Estates took part in it as golden sponsor. At the same time the company celebrated its first year on the market.
Specially for the event in Bulgaria came Joachim Wrang Wieden, director for Christie’s Great Estates Europe. He and Vesela Ilieva, executive director of Unique Estates, made brilliant presentation on Symbols, Marks and Legends in the Luxury Business or how the Brand Becomes Global” and officially announced the anniversary and the successes for that time.
About Unique Estates
Unique Estates specialises in luxurious property sales and exclusive client representation. The company aims the high market segment. In 2007 Christie’s Great Estates, the leading global luxury real estate brand, has chosen Unique Estates as its exclusive affiliate in Bulgaria.
AG Capital starts Business Class in Property Management which will be held from Nov 24th to Nov 28th. The participation is free and all interested should only register at http://bc.agcapital.bg.
The Business Class in Property Management is for students and young professionals who have interest in one of the most dynamic elements of the Bulgarian economy. The aim is to provide practical knowledge and skills for the property management business.
The Business Class is organized in partnership with AG Capital – the Bulgarian property business group, DB Interconsult – Management & Human Resource Consulting and the University Career Center at University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The lectors are top managers from the structure of AG Capital. They will draw participants’ attention to the problems of the strategic property management, the management of retail, office and industrial projects, financing and investment in the property sector, residential and luxury properties.
The participation in the Business Class is free of charge and all participants will receive certificate.
Host of the event is the University of National and World Economy.
More information can be found at http://bc.agcapital.bg.
AG Capital attended Expo Real 2008 as exhibitor and was the only company from Bulgaria with its own booth. Our message this year was “The Balkan Property Business Group – New Opportunities” and our main focus were the countries on the Balkans in which we operate, Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia.
At 44 sq.m. co-exhibitors were our companies Forton International and Bulgarian Land Development. Colleagues from other companies from our portfolio also attended the event.
BLD draw visitors’ attention with its latest project BLD Office Park (the Print House) and its investment properties July Morning and Riverland.
Forton International took part in the conference panel dedicated to Bulgaria.
About Expo Real
Expo Real is the largest exhibition in Europe in the real estate investment opportunities, consulting, financing and software. The exhibition is held for already ten years starting from 1998 and each year it records strong growth in number of visitors, exhibitors and closed deals.
On a special press conference held on October 29th it was officially announced that April Risk Solutions starts operations in Bulgaria.
The new company is joint venture between AG Capital and April Group. Its activities will be focused on niche products in the general and life insurance sector. Two insurance companies part of April Group’s portfolio were already registered in Bulgaria. These are Axeria Prevoiance and Axeria IARD. Both will guarantee the insurance risk.
April Risk Solution’s strategy is to focus on alternative products instead of going to direct competition with already proven market players.
В последните дни на ноември завърши първият Бизнес клас по управление на недвижимата собственост организиран от AG Capital в партньорство с Междууниверситетския център за развитие на кариерата на Университета за Национално и световно стопанство и DB Interconsult.
Стотици студенти и млади професионалисти проявиха желание да се включат в безплатния Бизнес клас, но едва 80 студента бяха допуснати след селекция.
Отзивите от Бизнес класа са изключително положителни. В пет дни някои от топ-мениджърите от структурата на AG Capital застанаха пред аудиторията, за да разкажат своя опит в бизнеса. Участниците в бизнес класовете не се колебаеха да задават своите въпроси по актуалните теми за недвижимия сектор и финансирането.
AG Capital планира да продължи и разшири инициативата за Бизнес класа по управление на недвижимата собственост.
Научете повече за Бизнес класа по управление на недвижимата собственост на адрес: http://bc.agcapital.bg.
At the end of February AG Capital finalized the sale of its company specialized in business property Regent’s Property Advisors. The buyer is Mr. Stefan Kosev also known with its participation in the team that developed the brand Picadilly supermarkets and he is also their executive director.
“The sale is part of our strategy to create, develop and manage successful companies” commented Mr. Hristo Iliev, executive director of AG Capital. “We are selling the company because we want to focus 100% of our efforts in the business property segment developing Forton International and our partnership with Cushman&Wakefield, as well as the development of the Balkans – Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania.
АG Capital founded Regent’s in 2007 with main focus of the company being the agency and advisory services for corporate clients. At this moment the company has exclusive contracts for more than 350 000 sq.m. of office and retail properties among which are the Aksakov Business Center in Sofia and Sun City Mall in Burgas.
Three companies from AG Capital’s portfolio entered the social network Facebook in the last months. The initiative came first from Address, the leader brand in the real estate. Its example was followed by Unique Estates, the luxury property consultants and CreditCenter, the financial services specialists.
Social networking is contantly gaining attention among Bulgarians of all ages and social background. The companies use the features offered by Fecebook to keep in touch not only with current customers but also with everyone who is interested in the respective business. The regularly update their profile pages with hot news from the market, promotions, offers and interesting information.
Everyone is welcome to join their Facebook networks. Visit the links below to become part of them:
SOFIA, July 15, 2009: Address, the leading real estate company from the AG Capital’s portfolio, gave a press conference today. The main topics were the prices and the trends on the market in 2009.
The dropping prices in the last months make the purchase of property very attractive in this particular moment. The average drop for the country for the first half of 2009 is 23%. This is due to the highly overpriced quarters in the municipal cities or the capital.
The press conference was covered by the leading media. You can see short video archives in the AG Capital’s channel on YouTube.
The crisis is the best time to start and establish new business. This is valid as well in the real estate franchise at this moment.
Since July ADDRESS offers new and significantly more favorable conditions for starting a business in the field of agency services related to the property market:
Drop off the exclusivity requirement
Complimentary gratis period with no fixed taxes for the first 9 months after the contract is signed
The low initial investment, the possibility of the return of the investment in 2 years and the individual approach to every entrepreneur lead to new contracts signed in the last months.
Although this business is highly affected by the crisis, there are deals in every location. The differences between then and now are the efforts that are needed and the longer period to reach certain growth levels, but all this is possible and the successful partners of Address continue to achieve good results.
To receive more information on the franchise offered by Address you can visit the company’s web page: www.address.bg.
FrontEx International signed with Postbank a contract for debt collection.
This happened after the company participated in a competition launched by the bank. The team of proven professionals competed with established debt collecting companies.
FrontEx got the confidence to work with one of the leading banks in the country.
Facility Optimum Bulgaria signed contract for fire alert with the telecom recently named VIVACOM.
Facility Optimum will take care for the fire-alarm systems of BTC Group (Bulgarian Telecommunication Company) at nearly 900 points across the country. The contract was assigned after participating and winning tender.
The success of this professional trial once again establishes the public image of Optimum Facility Bulgaria as the only facility management services company with nationwide coverage.
The Summer internship program at Address Real Estate in Sofia finished successfully
Four students chose Address for their summer internships. They got familiar with all aspects of the work in the company – the regional offices and in the functional units.
Marietta, Lydia, Momchil and Danislav invested in themselves more than 1600 hours and as result they learned the basic concepts in dealing with buyers and sellers, hiring new employees, suppliers, working with databases, analysis of the effectiveness of the work, techniques for improving the results … and of course maintaining a strong team spirit!
The process was bilateral. Lydia and Momchil did on site photographic training at all offices and helped the overall photo training in August.
Interns leave Address with excellent recommendations, and company’s sphere of influence among the young prospective buyers of properties expands.
On October 8 Bulgarian Land Development held a presentation to members of the newly established Bulgarian-Nordic Chamber of Commerce. The event took place at the Radisson Blue SAS Grand Hotel Sofia and attracted more than 40 participants.
As a new member of the organization BLD introduced its representatives to the scope of its activity, indicating the positions of the real estate market in the world. The emphasis was on the project Poligraphia (Print-house) Office Center, which counts on the modernist vision in the heart of one of the most emblematic buildings in the capital.
The President of the Chamber of Commerce Mr. Goran Svensson gave a welcoming speech and expressed his hopes to maintain active business cooperation among the members of the organization.
Advance Address Valuations, company of the group of AG Capital now offers new service line – Insurance Assistance.
The Insurance Assistance is an independent activity within Advance linked to the work of the insurance companies and brokers. In time when the cost optimization is not lust but a necessity, insurers are interested to outsource their inspection activities and servicing of insurance claims to outside companies.
The new service offered by Advance could be summarized as insurance assistance in the following cases:
at damage to property
at damage to vehicles
at valuation and in determining the insurance value
To learn more about the service and take advantage of it, do not hesitate to contact Advance: www.ocenki.bg.
The exhibition was attended by more than 2000 people. About 40 companies offered business opportunities for starting small and medium businesses in a variety of areas – real estate, fitness salons, pizzerias, fast food restaurants, bakeries, fresh bars, education centers.
At the stand of Address were recorded 10 specific requests for franchise by Address in Sofia, Plovdiv, Bourgas and other cities.
During the expo was held the first conference “Franchise Business in Bulgaria”, which was visited by 215 owners and managers of small and medium businesses, professionals and experts in the franchise.
The first Bulgarian lecture after the foreign language speakers draw special interest. It was Veselin Venev, Director of Address Franchise System. The topic was skillfully selected “Management of Franchise Sites and Support from Franchisor”. After the presentation, many participants of the conference, and journalists from leading media congratulated personally Veselin Venev for the interesting lecture, presented in an unconventional manner.
Vesela Ilieva, CEO of Unique Estates, was speaker in the panel “Market of Real Values”.
She answered questions on the quality of the environment, which are the crucial factors to the success of a project and what is the limit price of luxury, which the client would pay today.
Bisera Ivanova, CEO of Facility Optimum Bulgaria, took part as speaker in the forum Energy-Efficient Solutions in Construction and Industry.
The event was met with great interest by investors, representatives of public authorities and journalists. It was hosted by Mr. Andrew Sloan – Managing Director of Schneider Electric Bulgaria, and speakers at the forum were representatives from the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, the Energy Efficiency Chamber, the European Bank for Reconstruction, National Company Industrial Zones PLC and Development and others.
Bisera Ivanova presented to the guests the effects and benefits of the services of a facility management company. The main emphasis in her exposé was the amount of savings achieved by each company using integrated facility services. Energy-efficient solutions, implemented and managed by the facility management company, are just one way of saving money and along with this they allow to demonstrate tolerant attitude towards the environment.
See a short video of Bisera Ivanova’s presentation at the AG Capital channel in YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTU0jB3IdLg (speech in Bulgarian)
From the beginning of December, April Risk Solutions launches on the market completely innovative insurance products. This is the Guarantee for Used Cars – April, which is intended to cover the owner’s cost for invested labor and parts at the occurrence of internal mechanical and electrical damage in the car. Along with this the guarantee covers any damage to other parts if they are caused by damaged parts included in the cover.
Key benefits for users of this guarantee are that along with the coverage, its beneficiaries receive attentive service and use of original parts, 24/7 technical support and most of all – a comprehensive service history, which adds significant value to the car. If the initial owner decides to sell the car, the warranty remains in force for the new owner. Guarantee for Used Cars – April has three levels of coverage depending on age and mileage of the vehicle.
To learn more about the conditions to use this product or to recommend and offer it, you can contact April Risk Solutions right now at: www.aprilrisksolutions.bg.
Address Real Estate was awarded Superbrandsfor fourth year in a row and recognized as the most powerful brand in the real estate segment for the 2009/2010. This happened during a ceremony held on November 30th 2009 in Sofia.
The Superbrands award was received by Ms. Tsvetelina Taseva, executive director of Address Real Estate.
This year an independent panel appointed seven well-known brands in the property sector, which then were subjected to online voting. The result of this is that once again the undisputed leader is Address, the biggest Bulgarian real estate agency.
The company was declared a Superbrand in the first year of the announcement of the award for Bulgaria in 2006 and subsequently was awarded in 2007. In 2008 Address topped the chart for Business Superbrand.
AG Capital recently became active on Twitter! Twitter is the fastest growing social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read short messages.
The team will post fresh news from the Group and links to our favorite places online.
Interested? Follow us and contact us in 140 symbols here: http://twitter.com/agcapital
Income Protection – April is one of the most anticipated insurance solutions on the market. Unlike the unemployment insurance, which is required for withdrawal of credit and benefits the creditor bank, The Income Protection – April can be used by absolutely anyone and the beneficiary is the insured himself.
Insurer of insurance income protection – April is Axa Group (www.axa.com) – one of the largest insurers worldwide. The company started its activities in France in 1985 and today has established its good name worldwide, has over 80 million customers and more than 91 billion revenue in 2008. For Bulgaria, the company has done several studies over the years but only started working here after meeting a stable and professional broker in the face of the team on April Risk Solutions.
Income Protection – April is designed to meet the financial needs by providing regular monthly benefits of up to 70% of the net salary of the insured for 6 or 9 months in cases of involuntary unemployment, temporary or permanent disability. The insurance solution is designed to meet the needs in times of personal crisis, and provide with a regular monthly income while the insured person is back on the labour market.
You can learn more visiting April Risk Solution on http://www.aprilrisksolutions.bg
Forton Macedonia started the active offering of Office Centre Megi in Skopje. This is a key building for the new look of the local business.
Office Centre Megi is a Class A project with GEA 8500 in Skopje. It is the result of the partnership between a Bulgarian investor and local businessman. The building was designed by Italian architect. This project is unique in Skopje. There is a strong identity and contemporary architecture, making it the only of its kind on the Macedonian market.
The investors in the development appreciated Forton’s pragmatic and honest vision: the market is small and difficult. The company offered them to work based on a systematic down-top commercial action, combined with marketing actions.
The slogan for the campaign is “Inspire you business”. The identity of the building and its location can bring new perspective and inspiration for business. Forton is coming up with something fresh in Skopje.
From left to right: Zoran Trajkovski, Xavier Pinchart, Bilyana Malinova, Georgi Pavlov.
At the end of March Forton attracted the attention of customers, colleagues and media with its seminar “How to sell successfully in crisis”.
How to sign a snip for the sale of investment property and what are the advantages of professional property management? These were the main topics of the business seminar which provoked great interest.
The event was opened by Sergei Koynov, Executive Director of Forton.
This was followed by the presentation of Michaela Lashova, Head of Capital Markets and Consultancy Department. She explained in detail the specifics of the business and the trends for 2010. “At a time of crisis, buyers are few, as opposed to sellers. Therefore, they are aggressive in pricing, but price value is not the only condition in deciding to buy an investment property, “said Michaela.
Genoveva Borisova, Head of Property Management Department, introduced the audience into the world of property management. She pointed out the advantages of professional management companies buildings.
You can see some of the presentations in the channel on YouTube AG Capital: http://www.youtube.com/agcapitalbg
In the last months Address Real Estate added new partners to its franchise network. To the network in the last months were added colleagues from Sandanski. The territory of the office also includes the areas of the towns Kresna and Strumyani.
Since the beginning of July the franchise team of Address opened doors of a new office in the town of Balchik. It is located in the very center of the town, near the central post office, municipality and public administration buildings. The area is popular among local people and guests of the town, as well as buyers and property owners from the region.
The team of Advance Address Valuations celebrates five years since the company was started.
For this period the company managed to become among the leading in its sector and many banks, institutions, public and private companies and clients are trusting its professional service. Thousands of hundreds valuations have been done for this period. Among the most intriguing valuations in its corporate history are airport, marina, emblematic factories and companies in Bulgaria and houses abroad.
One of the aims of Advance for the next months is to implement ISO 9001:2008. The certificate will guarantee the quality of its services.
Starting from this month Topins.bg (www.topins.bg) increases the insurances that offers. Among the other services that are ordered and delivered online the company’s team launches the Kasko insurance.
Topins.bg is one of the latest projects in the AG Capital portfolio. It was launched in the beginning of this year.
In the very beginning the website offered only the Liability Insurance package and with its intuitive navigation, competitive prices, accurate and relevant service shortly after its launch it won many loyal clients.
GfK Bulgaria signed for a rental of 1 600 sq.m. in the Polygraphia Office Center. The company will move to the new offices in early 2011. GfK Bulgaria is part of GfK Group, one of the largest marketing research companies. The Bulgarian unit offers full range of sociological tools and provides information for the industry, retail and service sectors.
The executive directors of Facility Optimum Bulgaria and Forton International took active part in the Fifth International Facility Management Conference that was held in Sofia.
What are the latest trends in the facility management in Bulgaria? This was the question many journalist asked to specialists, managers and participants in the conference. See what shared with Human Capital magazine Bisera Ivanova and Sergey Koinov in the video material below:
See more video news and trends from the companies from the AG Capital group in our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/agcapitalbg
The teams of CreditCenter and Frontex International are relocating to a new office in Sofia. The new address is 110 Kozlodui Str.
The new office is large, suitable and comfortable for the constantly growing call-center team of Frontex International.
Recently CreditCenter also opened a new front office in the same building. It is on the ground level and offers all clients looking for mortgage or insurance services.
Address Real Estate has been assessed and certified as meeting the requirements of ISO 9001:2008.
The certificate is valid for the activities of agency in buying, selling and rentals of real estate. The document also covers the property management of real estate.
Forton International has been acknowledged as real estate appraiser. The certificate is issued by the Chamber of Independent Assessors in Bulgaria.
The certificate gives Forton important competitive advantage against other companies working on the same market. It will allow it to deliver better services for its local and international clients.
Facility Optimum Bulgaria added a new bank to its portfolio. This is Raiffeisen Bank.
The company will be in charge of the maintenance of more than 1000 air conditioning systems across the country. The achievement is a result of the hard work of the whole team working on this project.
For a fifteenth year in a row the international show gathers some of the leading companies in the real estate sector. There were agents from the most attracting markets for the Russians such as Bulgaria, Spain, France, Cyprus, Turkey, Montenegro, the United Kingdom and USA. More or less exotic property destinations such as Costa Rica or Australia also had their representatives.
Among the other companies from all these countries Address attracted the Russian clients valuable and professional service and attractive property offers.
Emporiki bank is the newest client of Facility Optimum Bulgaria. The company will take care of the cleaning of over than 30 bank sites across the country.
Emporiki Bank – Bulgaria EAD was founded in 1994 under the name Bulgarian Investment Bank by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a group of Bulgarian banks and other shareholders. In 1998 Emporiki Bank of Greece acquired the majority of shares of Emporiki Bank – Bulgaria, and since 2003 holds 100% of shares. In 2007 the French Crédit Agricole Group acquired the majority of shares of Emporiki Bank of Greece.
Advance Address Valuations and Facility Optimum Bulgaria opened doors of its new office in the city of Ruse.
The companies share an office which was officially opened this month. Guest of the official opening were members of the management team, colleagues, partners and media representatives.
AG Capital encourages the synergy among the companies from its portfolio. The work of the teams of Advance Address Valuations and Facility Optimum Bulgaria in Ruse is an example of excellent partnership.
On December 17th Poligrafia Office Center received Act16, the usage permit that allows the become fully functioning.
Poligrafia Office Center is a Class A multifunctional office complex. It has 16 500 sq.m. office space and more than 2200 sq.m. commercial space. The tenants can get advantage of 230 parking spaces within the complex.
Tenants at the Poligrafia Office Center are known international companies as well as large Bulgarian firms. With the already obtained usage permit it is expected that these will relocate their offices here in the very near future.
Investors in Poligrafia Office Center are Bulgarian Land Development, part of the AG Capital group and Northtridge Capital.
The contract was signed in the last days of 2010 with the professional agency and advisory services of Forton International. It is expected that Ernst & Young will relocate its office to the Poligraphia Office Center later this year.
With the rise of the location-based services and the geosocial networking we are happy to join the fun. Since March 2011 AG Capital can be found on 4sq and Vivo!
Foursquare (4sq.com) is a location-based mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. Foursquare guides real-world experiences by allowing users to bookmark information about venues that they want to visit and surfacing relevant suggestions about nearby venues. In January 2011, Foursquare was named Best Location Based Service and you can check in with us here:
Vivo.bg is fast fast growing service similar to 4sq but it is mainly popular among the Bulgarian users. Visit us with Vivo on:
The employees of its Sofia office will occupy a total area of 1428 sq.m. The company has also leased 15 parking lots at the office building.
The Bulgarian division of the Ubisoft team is about 100 professionals in the development of electronic games in various genres and for different platforms: artists, programmers, animators and other professionals. To provide a creative atmosphere for its employees, the company chooses to lease the fifth floor of Building B at the Polygraphia Office Center, specific for its high ceilings and inspiring view over the Sofia city center.
Companies from the AG Capital Group will take active part in the events:
Address Real Estate with a booth and speaker at the conference: George Pavlov
Forton International with speakers: Sergey Koinov and Vladislav Kayzerov
CreditCenter with a stand in the exhibition
Visit the stands of Address and CreditCenter in TheMall, Sofia, to get free advice and learn about special offers from the companies.
See also the presentation of Sergey Koinov Lifestyle Mall which has already been uploaded to the website of the conference.
Advance Address Valuations now offers home inspection service.
Have you ever wondered what is the quality of construction of the property in which you live or intend to buy?
Advance works exclusively with the company Hexagon Build specialized in the inspection of buildings for energy efficiency and energy issue passports. Trained professionals can optimize air conditioning and heating systems for each apartment, and made comprehensive recommendations for the renovation of existing buildings.
The activities of the inspection are made based on infrared thermography technology images. It allows to report the smallest variations in surface temperatures of the studied objects – such temperature anomalies are caused by moisture, leaks, mold, poor electrical connections, missing thermal insulation, condensation.
Facility Optimum Bulgaria became member of ISSA, the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association.
ISSA is the most prestigious professional organization in the world, bringing together specialists from wide range in the field of cleaning.
Facility Optimum is part of the global database of the Association, including worldwide suppliers of cleaning products and services.
Address Real Estate has a new franchise partner in the town of Pernik. The company is General Land OOD.
The partnership contract was signed on May 9th in the Address’ central office in Sofia.
Pernik and the region of the city become more attractive for the real estate market.
The necessary information was gathered by a consultant of Eurostat through interviews with representatives of selected real estate agencies who have met the professionalism criteria of Eurostat and take active part on the Bulgarian market.
New coffee chain opens its first site in the Polygraphia Office Center later this summer.
The first Via Cafe will be located on the ground floor occupying an area of 173 sq.m. in the Business Center on the Tzarigradsko Shose Blvd. Via Cafe will offer coffee specialties in new and original recipes, all carefully prepared by professional baristas.
Through this establishment on the Bulgarian market comes the famous Turkish dessert chain “Caucasus”. The ambition of the founders of the coffee chain is to become a favorite meeting place for both business meetings and life and the moments chosen for relaxation and entertainment.
The chain is owned by a Bulgarian company whose plans include opening new locations in Sofia and the country by the end of the year.
Advance Address Valuations updated its valuation certificate. The Chamber of Independent Valuators In Bulgaria issued a new certificate for the company’s appraiser qualification. It officially certifies Advance as valuator of:
August brought improvements on the website of Address Real Estate. The innovations aim more visits and customer interaction.
Some of the improvements include the introduction of the advertising module “Properties in Campaign” which lists the most attractive offers for sales and rentals. The property fans will be able to share the offers in social networks lie Facebook and Twitter. This is great opportunity for the owners selling with Address because it guarantees better market exposer to their offers.
In mid-October AG Capital and the companies from the group have moved in their new home the POLYGRAPHIA OFFICE CENTER. The modern business center is situated at 47 A, Tzarigradsko shosse boulevard.
The building is one of the Sofia’s famous architectural symbols. Genuinely transformed into a contemporary business location, it combines in a unique way modern and functional business premises, comfortably seated in a building which brings the remarkable architectural spirit of the 50’s of the XX th century.
Especially made for satisfying even the highest business demand for comfort, functionality and representative appearance the building is unique because of its location in the heart of the city, in close proximity to Borissova gradina city park and all main city roads.
The POLYGRAPHIA OFFICE CENTER is the prestige choice of well renowned companies such as: Ernst and Young, GfK Bulgaria, Raiffeisenbank, Groupama, Ubisoft, the Swedish Republic diplomatic mission, Bulgarian – Scandinavian Commercial Chamber, SAAB International, Timeline, Piccadilly chain food, Via Café and others.
Polygraphia Office Center has won a new client in the contest between the business complexes for attracting renowned tenants. The Raiffeisen Bank Bulgaria signed a contract hiring 2400 square meters in the building. “Because of the Raiffeisen’s expansion in the last years the building of its central management department wasn’t enough for our employees”, The bank’s General Manager Mr. Momchil Andreev said. “We made an investment in order to work in better working environment and to serve our clients better. In Vienne where the Headquarter of the Raiffeisen Bank is located many office buildings of good quality are in fact well modernized and refurbished old buildings of historical significance. The same situation here we see here with the Polygraphia office center, built in the fifties of the XX century – entirely preserved from outside and completely modernized inside.
The official opening ceremony took place on 5th of March 2012. The evening cocktail was organized under the motto “Classic style, modern function” inspired by the preserved classic architectural facade elements of the building and its entirely new function of a modern business center.
According to the Bulgarian inauguration tradition the building was officially opened by its owners, the shareholders at BLD Office Park Mr. Christo Iliev, Mr. Dimitar Savov and Mr. Raymond Terafranca and by cutting the Bulgarian national ribbon.
Special evening attendees were many bank CEO’s, business partners, companies with offices in Polygraphia, suppliers and media.
The museum gallery of modern art showcased its fine pieces – works of Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Miro and Andy Warhol.
For all the guests there was a special surprise. The Polygraphia Grand Opening Ceremony had its celebrity participating in the program – the Hollywood actor Ben Cross, who had prepared its music show program accompanied by Tony Zlatanov Trio.
The first football tournament from the initiative “Polygraphia cup” hosted by AG Capital and BLD Asset Management took place on 20 and 21 April 2012 on the fields of the complex Sport’s Sofia in the Borisova garden city park. Six football teams in total participated in the contest – GfK, Groupama, AG Capital, Raiffeisen bank, Polygraphia united and the team of the “24 hours” national newspaper.
The tournament is the first sports event from the initiative planned with the purpose to build friendly corporate environment between the companies having their offices in the Polygraphia Office Center. Referees on the tournament were professionals licensed by the National futsal league.
After the challenging replays the bronze medals go to the team of “24 hours” national newspaper. The final match between Raiffeisen bank and the AG Capital ended in a result 2:5 and the Polygraphia cup has been won by the team of AG Capital.
In a recent transaction Frontex International, the leading debt collection company in Bulgaria has received significant amount of private equity capital which will be used by the company to acquire non-performing receivables from bank, telecoms and utility companies.
Investor in the Company is Emerging Europe Accession Fund (EEAF), a private equity fund managed by Axxess Capital. EEAF has acquired the controlling stake in Frontex International. The investment of EUR 6.5 million represents to the largest part a direct investment in the company and aims to provide the financial resource needed to support company’s investment plans for acquisition of non-performing receivables.
Established in 2009 by AG Capital, Frontex International has experienced fast development by offering to the market efficient integrated debt collection services at each stage of delinquency. Frontex has built and maintained a strong and diversified client portfolio consisting of most of the banks in Bulgaria, all telecom operators, as well as a lot of insurance and utility companies. Frontex has developed a CRM solution, individually designed for the needs of the company, which has been integrated with one of the world’s best call center platforms of CISCO. At the time of transaction the company employed over 120 employees. Frontex is a member of the International Association of Collection Agents – ACA International, as well as of the Association of Debt Collection Agencies in Bulgaria, members of which are only the largest and most respected debt collection companies in Bulgaria.
In 2012 Frontex has started a new business line – acquisition of delinquent consumer receivables and until the date of transaction has acquired debt portfolios with a value exceeding EUR 3.2 million.
„AG Capital’s strategy involves establishing and developing successful companies and we are happy to have international partners in many of them”, said Christo Iliev, President of the Board of Directors of AG Capital. „By attracting financial partner such as Axxess Capital we aim to enter actively on the debt acquisition market and to develop the company into an indisputable leader – both in receivables collection and acquisition. ”
„Frontex is our most recent investment in the financial services industry. We have been monitoring the market both in Bulgaria and in other countries in the region for several years and believe in its potential for a dynamic growth. The company is fully consistent with our investment strategy – Frontex has secured a large portfolio of clients and has the necessary capacity and potential to become the market leader.“, said Pavlin Petkov, Regional Director for Bulgaria, Axxess Capital.
AG Capital is the largest Bulgarian privately held investment group, specialized in offering full scope of real estate and financial services. AG Capital has developed its first company – Address Real Estate, 20 years ago, and currently owns 10 companies with over 1600 employees. Among AG Capital’s most successful companies besides Frontex are also: Address Real Estate, Forton International, Facility Optimum Bulgaria, Advance Valuations, Unique Estates and others.
Axxess Capital is a private equity fund manager currently managing approximately EUR 250 million in three different funds, designed to take advantage of investment opportunities in Southeastern Europe, and focusing primarily on Bulgaria and Romania. Major investors in Emerging Europe Accession Fund funds are: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Fund (EIF), Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) as well as other institutional investors. Until now the Axxess Capital has invested in over 35 companies in Southeastern Europe. Investment targets are successful and well managed companies with strong growth potential primarily in: business services, financial services, logistics, IT&C, healthcare and other industry sectors. Among the most important selection criteria for investment are the company management integrity and the overall industry and market perspectives.
In presense of the special guests at the General Assembly Martina Strong – Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission, U. S. Embassy and Maria Galindo, U.S. Commercial Attaché were held elections for Board members of AmCham. 20 candidates applied their candidacies for nine vacant seats. Mr. Sergey Koinov, CEO of AG Capital was re-elected for his second run as Member of the Board.
Empower and KJK acquire Viki Comfort and Facility Optimum
Investment funds advised by Empower Capital (Empower) and KJK Capital (KJK) will acquire the leading facility management company in Bulgaria Facility Optimum, a subsidiary of AG Capital, and a majority stake in the leading cleaning company Viki Comfort 2004 through a newly created holding company – Mundus Services AD. Viki Comfort’s current owner – Lachezar Petrov, will retain a minority stake in the new holding company, where he will also undertake the position of the Chief Executive Officer. AG Capital sells 100% of Facility Optimum. The current CEO of Facility Optimum, Bisera Ivanova, will undertake the position of a deputy-CEO of Mundus Services. Elvin Guri, Managing Partner of Empower commented: “The management of Viki Comfort and Facility Optimum have built a very impressive business over the years, creating the two leading companies in the facility management sector in Bulgaria. We are looking forward to taking Mundus Services, now by far the largest facility management group in the country, to the next stage in its life cycle.”
Kustaa Aima, Founder and Managing Partner of KJK, said: “Viki Comfort and Facility Optimum, with their leading market position, form a very attractive business with strong prospects for future growth. We are confident we can play an active role in supporting the management’s plan to further expand the companies’ commercial activity both organically and through further acquisitions.”
Christo Iliev, Chairman of AG Capital and Founder of Facility Optimum commented: “I am really satisfied that for its eight years of existence Facility Optimum grew into the leading facility management company in Bulgaria and managed to attract the interest of funds of such size and reputation. This also is a great indicator for the renewed international appeal of the Bulgarian economy. The transaction is in line with AG Capital’s strategy to focus on its core business, real estate investment and development.”
Lachezar Petrov, the founding shareholder of Viki Comfort said: “This investment by Empower and KJK bears witness to the achievements of Viki Comfort and its management and employees in becoming a leading player in the Bulgarian facility management sector. I strongly believe that this transaction will take Mundus Services to a new and exciting period of development, which no doubt will bring enormous benefits to all those involved.”
Bisera Ivanova, CEO of Facility Optimum said: “As a result of the merger we will be able to utilise economies of scale, improve the efficiency of our operations and offer a wider range of services over the long run to our combined customer base.”
AG Capital has acquired 100 % of the capital of Polygraphia Office Center.
After the successful closing of the deal Dr. Christo Iliev, Executive Chairman of AG Capital, announced that this is the largest investment in a separate project so far for AG Capital.
It is expected any moment now the second phase of the project to be completed.
Among the tenants with new offices in Phase II are leading companies such as GfK, Ubisoft, Groupama, EY, Melon, Allianz Bank, DSK Bank.
The entire complex boasts 27,000 sq m of highest quality office space in which EUR 10 million have been invested.
The concept of the building also includes a modern, high-tech conference center featuring two meeting rooms with total capacity of over 120 people. The mix of tenants providing extra services is to be expanded like the latest concept of K Express - a combination of dining room and a grocery store, located on the ground floor facing Rakitin Street.
At a special press conference Family Business Network – Bulgaria, FBN Bulgaria presented its 10-year activity in the country. Günter Verheugen, Advisor to the Management Board of the European Family Business (EFB), was in Sofia for the event.
The Network’s Anniversary continued with an official dinner. The event gathered representatives of the Bulgarian family business together with their families, institutions as well as diplomats, members of the boards of the international organizations in which the association is a member.
Family Business Network - Bulgaria is a non-governmental organization established in 2007. Today its members are 64 Bulgarian families, along with their family companies from different sectors of the economy, including high tech, tourism and hotel, construction and real estate, agriculture, and others. The companies provide employment for over 25,000 people in the country. The Bulgarian members of the Network have a total annual turnover of more than € 1.5 billion.
The chairman of the Board of Directors at AG Capital Dr. Christo Iliev is the only chairman of the Network with two mandates in the period 2009-2014. During this period, the number of member companies tripled and the Next Generation group was created. The purpose of the group is to create an environment in which young people exchange valuable experience and entrepreneurial spirit. The young people take part in many conferences, trainings, lectures and seminars for family companies at national, regional and international level.
During the period of Dr. Iliev’s chairmanship, an agreement was reached with the National Statistical Institute (NSI) in Bulgaria, and a special question about family companies was included in NSI’s National Annual Survey. Thus, for the first time, information on the number, size and share of family companies in the Bulgarian economy was officially collected.
BLD-ALBA building was awarded the first prize in the annual Building of the Year contest.
The 16th edition of the national competition was held in the Sofia Event Center and gathered over 500 professionals from the construction and investment sectors as well as representatives of the state and local authorities.
The 32-member jury voted for more than 60 projects divided into 13 categories.
BLD-ALBA was featured in the category "Residential Buildings over 10,000 square meters" and received the highest number of votes from the jury.
"The year was very successful in all market segments that have again put Bulgaria on the European investment map. This trend is easily seen in the projects participating in Building of the Year - one of the most prestigious real estate events in the country, Dr. Christo Iliev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AG Capital said, during the opening of the ceremony. The event was broadcasted on Bulgarian National Television.
AG Capital is among the leading Bulgarian companies to support 25 young students.
Bulgarian students aged 18-24 participate with an essay themed Your 25 reasons to choose Bulgaria.
An expert jury selects the winners to be announced on March 1st 2018 at an official ceremony.
The winners receive a one-year scholarship amounting to € 3,000 (12 months x € 250) and internship in the company with a minimum duration of 2 months.
In AG Capital’s video on this campaign Dr. Christo Iliev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AG Capital, said: "My advice to the students is to travel and seek the best of the world. Appreciate the local, but do not limit yourself within the confines of Bulgaria. I have three sons, and in my interactions with them, I see their fresh views, interesting ideas for the business and the desire to achieve everything now. I think it is like this with all young people. The internship program will help in giving you insight into real business, and the way to achieve your dreams quickly. I hope you achieve this here, in Bulgaria - one of Europe's top 5 countries by economic growth."