The Von der Heyden Group may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of legacy real estate and investments in Malta, but perhaps it should be.
the Cluster is globally recognized for high-quality, high-cost real estate developments throughout Europe, spanning commercial, residential and hotel projects. In the more than 30 years since its inception, the Group has been hailed as the name behind the international franchise IBB Hotel Collection and Cugó Gran Hotel, the exclusive yacht dealer Riva and several other companies involved in real estate investment, asset management, yacht , travel, hospitality, catering and private equity.
In particular, the Von der Heyden Group has recorded investment programs, impending acquisitions and new developments valued at more than €600 million since 1989, while total revenues have increased by 58% year-on-year from 2021 actuals to 2021 forecasts. 2022, figures that cannot be denied.
With the relocation of its operations to Malta in 2014, the history of the Von der Heyden Group dates back to 1989, when Mr. von der Heyden was a young bank employee working in his native Germany. “I have a deep passion for history and historic architecture,” shares Mr. von der Heyden. “And the fall of the Berlin Wall, architecture that symbolized the lack of Freedom, marked a real turning point in my life.”
This, coupled with a lack of appreciation for his work on the stock market, pushed Sven von der Heyden to start his own business renovating old buildings in Dresden and Leipzig, and he has never looked back since.
A legacy of excellence
In 1990, Von der Heyden expanded to Poland, where the team gained extensive market knowledge and experience in commercial real estate. “Poland, along with Malta, is one of the countries that has given us the most,” says the founder. And while that may be true, Poland has certainly also received a lot in return from the Group, in line with the spirit of giving back that Sven staunchly espouses.
von der Heyden describes how he was moved by the story of the Frederic Chopin Monument in Warsaw and the political turmoil that had surrounded it for decades. “When I heard there were plans to restore it in 1999, I knew we had to take it on.” The restoration was carried out under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland and remains a moment of great pride for the Group.
“This is the kind of thing we love to do as a company driven by human values, because it’s long lasting, rewarding and gives something back to society. We always make sure to take care of the people, countries and cities we invest in, so we try to give back, before we expect to receive.”
This is something that sets the Von der Heyden Group apart, and Mr. von der Heyden believes it is also one of the reasons it has earned the trust of so many renowned banks, engineers, construction companies and architects. “The fact that there are companies that have worked with us for up to 25 years should be testimony to that,” he reflects.
An ongoing project of profound proportions is Andersia Silver in Poland, marking the fourth and final phase of the Group’s development and co-investor partnership with the city of Poznań. This follows the completion of the Poznań Financial Center, the Andersia Tower and the Andersia Business Center. Andersia Silver is an ESG-oriented smart building in the heart of Poznań, and it is also the tallest building in the city at 116 meters high.
The beginning of this regional project dates back to 1996, when the Group convinced the city not to sell the predestined plot for only 5 million euros as planned. This marked the beginning of a successful public-private partnership that has, to date, generated €30 million for the city, attracted the global multinational corporation as tenants, shaped the city’s financial district and helped secure thousands of jobs. of work.
It is remarkable to note that the Group paced each phase of the project carefully, neither rushing to the finish line nor greedily trying to complete everything at once. “We never look for quick money, nor do we attract shady deals. This has always led us to deliver on what we promise,” says Mr. von der Heyden. With this project, as with all the others, the Group entered each phase when it felt the market was ready for it.
An aptitude for time
This approach points to the company’s unmatched intuition for market sentiment. Mr. von der Heyden elaborates: “Our guiding principle as an investment firm is that timing is everything, and quality is self-evident. Our track record shows that we have a nose for the right market and often do things counter-cyclically; we are often ahead of the crowd and tend to enter new markets early. We also know when it is time to leave the party and we are proud to say that we have repeatedly invested in the right markets at the right time.”
Flagship projects include the Poznań Financial Centre, Warsaw’s Liberty Corner which houses the Irish embassy, the first major lease with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Warsaw, and Bavaria Towers in Munich, the latter of which only very few believed could be the great success it is today.
And the President goes on to recall several cases in which the Group also sold properties at the right time, practically on the eve of major world events such as the financial market crashes of 2002-2003 and 2008-2009, and the outbreak of the COVID pandemic. -19 in 2020. Shaking his head with a smile, he attributes this success to a complex recipe that is due to more than luck: a recipe that combines the unique insight of the Group’s investment team and the company’s investors.
Looking ahead, the Von der Heyden Group offers new and exciting opportunities for investors. By issuing a new bond renewal on a €25 million bond issued five years ago, existing bondholders can switch from a 4.4% coupon to a substantially more profitable 5% coupon, in exchange for a longer period of 10 years. The Group obtained approval from the Malta Financial Services Authority for the inclusion of the new €35 million bond issue on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange. This provides both the bondholders and the company itself with a secure long-term planning horizon.
Going into detail about that plan, Mr von der Heyden explains that projects typically have a useful life of three to seven years, which led to the decision to issue a bond with a longer duration that would allow the Group to embark on more projects. “With a short-term bond, we would not have been able to dispose of the funds due to the upcoming bond redemption. Therefore, we decided to redeem the existing bond early and raise €10 million of additional capital. This gives everyone involved continuity and stability.”
With the Group share actively managed in Malta by a multi-disciplinary team of qualified and ambitious individuals, the future looks bright for the Von der Heyden Group and its 38 subsidiaries in seven European countries.
“Locally, we are proud to do our bit for the regeneration of the south of Malta, as we did with the Hotel Cugó Gran Macina in Senglea. We are now looking forward to our next project in the south, which is currently in its planning stage,” says Mr. von der Heyden, looking out at the stunning view of the Tigné waterfront from Hammett’s Monastik, a recently opened restaurant that brings to the kitchen stages a new concept of dishes from continental Europe, made with local seasonal and sustainable products. He goes on to explain that Monastik is the fifth restaurant in the Hammett’s Collection restaurant chain, which is associated with the Group, to open in five years.
When asked about his views on Malta as a foreign investor, Sven von der Heyden admits that after living in Malta for nine years, he dreams of a change where all stakeholders look for building opportunities that suit the big picture. ‘We need to build places for families to have fun, green areas, well-built playgrounds, be cleaner, drive less aggressively and take care of each other. I have met many wonderful Maltese and sometimes influential people who agree with me on most of these points. I love Malta for its diversity and for the traditions that are still upheld, but I firmly believe that the future of the island lies in quality and not quantity.”
And now, as the Group looks to the end of 2022 and enjoys a hard-earned global reputation for excellence with a strong portfolio of real estate development projects that have shaped cities, markets and communities, the company is as ready as ever to face what is to come. And the even better news? Investors are welcome to join Von der Heyden’s success story and can look forward to the many benefits they are sure to reap along the way.
With the issuance of its new €35 million bond, the Von der Heyden Group offers bondholders the opportunity to renew their investment of its first €25 million bond issued five years ago and move from a coupon of 4 .4% to a higher coupon of 5%, in exchange for a longer period of 10 years. Subscriptions are already open, and through an offer of intermediaries from November 18. Subscriptions will close on or before December 2 if the bond issue is oversubscribed.
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