Meinl European Land Limited

euro adhoc: Meinl European Land Ltd.
Board of Directors (Appointments and Changes)

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Company Information


St Helier, Jersey, 12 May 2008:

On 20 March 2008 the Board of Directors of Meinl European Land Limited ("MEL" or the "Company") and CPI/Gazit Holdings Limited ("CPI/Gazit"), a joint venture between Gazit-Globe Ltd ("Gazit"), a multinational real estate investment company listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE:GLOB), and CPI Austria Holdings Limited ("CPI Austria"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CPI Capital Partners Europe LP (and its parallel funds), a real estate fund advised by Citibank International plc through its business unit, Citi Property Investors ("CPI"), together announced signing of an agreement whereby CPI/Gazit, Gazit and CPI Austria are to make an investment of up to EUR800 million in the Company as part of a total investment of up to EUR1.3 billion (the "Transaction"), accompanied by a transformation of MEL´s governance and management structure.

The Company is pleased to announce that Rachel Lavine, formerly President and Chief Executive Officer of Plaza Centers (Europe) BV ("Plaza Centers"), a major developer and operator of shopping and entertainment centers in Central and Eastern Europe, has agreed to take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Company and to join the board of the Company upon and conditional on the closing of the Transaction, subject to relevant regulatory approvals and shareholder approval.  It is proposed that, in addition to Rachel Lavine, the new board of the Company will consist of five independent directors and four directors appointed by CPI and Gazit.

Rachel, aged 42, has extensive experience in both international real estate development and construction and the management of publicly quoted companies. Most recently, Rachel was executive vice chairman of U. Dori Engineering Works Corporation LTD, a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange listed real estate development and construction company with assets of over EUR250 million. Between 2005 and 2006 Rachel was president and CEO of Plaza Centers, a central and eastern European property developer (which is now listed on the London Stock Exchange with a capitalisation of over £500 million). From 1999 until 2006 Rachel was president and CEO of Elscint Limited, a real estate development company then listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Rachel has been working as a consultant to Gazit for the past two months, during which time she has been studying the Company and advising Gazit on possible strategies to advance the growth of MEL and its portfolio going forward. Upon assuming the position of CEO of the Company, Rachel will be exclusively employed by the Company and her consultancy arrangement with Gazit will be terminated.

Commenting on the appointment, Georg Kucian, chairman of MEL, said: "We are pleased that Rachel has agreed to serve as CEO of the Company.  We hope that her experience in real estate and capital markets, and as a director of several high profile publicly quoted companies, should help develop MEL´s position as a leading central and eastern European property development company."

Chaim Katzman, chairman of Gazit-Globe Ltd, said: "Rachel´s appointment will represent the first step towards building a new experienced and knowledgeable management team within MEL. We are excited that Rachel has agreed to take the position of the new CEO as we view her as being the cornerstone of the new management team."

Rachel Lavine said: "I am honoured to be offered this position. I will be joining MEL at a transformational time for the business. With the proposed investment by CPI/Gazit, Gazit and CPI Austria, and the resulting changes, MEL should be ideally positioned to pursue growth opportunities, develop its robust existing pipeline and actively manage its portfolio. I look forward, following approval of the Transaction, to having the opportunity to lead the business in this exciting phase of its evolution."

Closing of the Transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including shareholder approval and regulatory consents, including from the Jersey Financial Services Commission.  The appointment of Rachel Lavine is also subject to fulfilment of appropriate Jersey Financial Services Commission approval requirements and shareholder approval.  The implementation of the Transaction remains on track and the Company, CPI and Gazit continue to work towards a shareholder vote in the 2nd quarter of this year to approve the Transaction.

Contacts for enquiries:

London                            Austria
Citigate Dewe Rogerson  Trimedia
Michael Berkeley            Bernhard Hudik
Sarah Gestetner              +43 676 842 44381
+44 20 7638 9571            +43 1 5244 300

For questions pertaining to Rachel Lavine:

London                            Austria
Financial Dynamics         Dr. Viktor Bauer PR GmbH
Stephanie Highett          Dr Viktor Bauer
+44 (0)20 7831 3113        Mag. Anita Köninger
                                      +43 (1) 320 95 45 18

Notes to editors:

About Meinl European Land MEL is a real estate investment and development company whose primary focus is on retail assets in Central and Eastern Europe. At 31 December 2007 it had 162 operating investment properties with a market value of approximately EUR1.9 billion and a significant portfolio of development projects with an expected investment requirement of EUR3.3 billion, of which EUR0.8 billion had been spent by 31 December 2007. In addition, it has established a land bank of over 1.8 million sqm.  The Company has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 2002 and is currently capitalised at EUR1.8 billion.

About Gazit-Globe Ltd Gazit is a leading multinational real estate investment company with in excess of EUR8 billion of properties under control in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel and Brazil. Gazit and its public subsidiaries are corporate governance leaders in their markets and are governed by world class boards of directors. Gazit actively pursues growth opportunities, both organically and through strategic and accretive acquisitions.

About Citi Property Investors CPI is a global real estate investment manager with offices in major financial centers and with more than $12.9 billion in assets under management as of 1 February 2008. CPI employs more than 125 real estate professionals and its senior leaders have an average of more than 20 years of commercial real estate experience. CPI is the real estate investment center of Citi Alternative Investments which as of 31 December 2007 had EUR59.2 billion of un-levered assets under management.

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ots Originaltext: Meinl European Land Limited
Im Internet recherchierbar:

Further inquiry note:
Bernhard Hudik
+43 676 842 44381
+43 1 5244 300

Branche: Real Estate
ISIN:      AT0000660659
WKN:        066065
Index:    Standard Market Continous
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official market

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