Merito Partners will invest EUR 4.5 million to develop the first Box Storage facility in Vilnius

Box Storage, a Merito Self Storage Fund portfolio company managed by investment company Merito Partners (Merito), has acquired its first property in Vilnius at Laisvės prospektas 62.  Merito will invest EUR 4.5 million to transform the retail building into a Box Storage facility with 650 self storage units and a leasable area of at least 3,300 square meters.

The building, constructed in 2000, has an area of 5,150 square meters. Merito will reconstruct the building, keeping the cargo elevator, as well as the rooftop solar power panels to produce green, environmentally friendly energy.

Mārtiņš Baumanis, Partner at Merito: “The demand for self storage premises in the Baltic capitals exceeds supply. Our focus is to acquire and convert existing buildings into specialized, modern storage facilities and to develop the largest self storage facility network in the Baltics. We considered the decision to acquire our first property in Vilnius carefully and are convinced that the location is perfectly suited for a storage facility – it is located adjacent to a busy intersection connecting four densely populated Vilnius districts.”

The Vilnius Box Storage facility like the portfolio’s other self storage buildings in Riga and Tallinn will offer modern technology, including a mobile app providing instant access to the premises, as well as remote online transactions and automatic payment for services. Customers will have 24/7 access to their storage units.

Last autumn, Merito established Merito Self Storage Fund, a specialized real estate fund with a target size of EUR 30 million. The fund aims to secure an additional EUR 50 million in debt co-financing to establish the leading pan-Baltic self storage network within five years. It will consist of 10 to 15 self storage facilities with at least 50,000 square meters of leasable area and over 10,000 individual self storage units. 

Merito Self Storage Fund owns the largest self storage facility network in Latvia consisting of three operational buildings and the former “Go Planet” entertainment centre that will be reconstructed and transformed into a self storage facility. There will be 3,700 individual storage units available after the reconstruction of all the premises, with an area of at least 20,000 square meters. The Fund also acquired its first property in Tallinn this summer. A former supermarket building will be transformed into a Box Storage facility with 400 individual storage units and a leasable area of at least 1,500 square meters.

Merito Partners has secured over EUR 8 million in capital from 24 private and institutional investors and is actively continuing to fundraise. Several properties are currently being evaluated across the Baltics, additional assets expected to be acquired in the next months.

Merito Partners will invest EUR 2.5 million to develop a Box Storage facility in Tallinn

Box Storage, a portfolio company of Merito Self Storage Fund managed by Latvian investment company Merito Partners (Merito), has acquired its first property in Tallinn at Punane 46.  Merito plans to invest a total of EUR 2.5 million in transforming the building into a Box Storage self storage facility with 400 individual storage units and a leasable area of at least 1,500 square meters.

The total area of the former Selver building is 1,700 square meters with 4,800 square meters of land and 56 parking spaces. The reconstruction plans include construction of a mezzanine floor, creating a leasable area of at least 1,500 square meters.

Mārtiņš Baumanis, Partner at Merito: “The demand for self storage premises in the Baltic capitals exceeds the supply. In order to develop the largest self storage facility network in the Baltics we focus on acquiring and converting existing, underutilized buildings into specialized storage facilities. We carefully considered the decision to acquire our first property in Tallinn and are convinced that the location is perfectly suited for storage facility. It is located in one of the most densely populated districts of Tallinn in Lasnamäe, next to a street with 10,000 cars daily traffic.”

Tallinn’s Box Storage facility, like portfolio’s other self storage buildings, will have energy-efficient construction solutions and security technologies. The facility will offer modern technologies, including a mobile app that provides instant access to the premises with one touch, as well as remote online transactions and automatic payment for services. Customers will have 24/7 access to their storage units.

Last autumn, Merito established a specialized real estate fund Merito Self Storage Fund with a target size of EUR 30 million. The fund aims to secure an additional EUR 50 million in debt co-financing to establish the leading pan-Baltic self storage network within five years. It will consist of 10 to 15 self storage facilities with at least 50,000 square meters of leasable area and over 10,000 individual self storage units.

Merito Partners has secured over EUR 8 million in capital from 22 Latvian investors and is actively continuing to fundraise. Several properties are currently being evaluated across the Baltics, and additional assets are expected to be acquired in the next several months.

The largest solar power plant in Latvia commissioned near Daugavpils

The largest solar power plant in Latvia – Kalkūnes SPP – has commenced production in the Augsdaugava district. The project was developed by Merito Partners and Saules Energy with EUR 10 million investment from Latvian investors and co-financing from Swedbank. Kalkūnes SPP will supply at least 6,500 households of the Daugavpils district with environmentally friendly energy. 

Kalkūnes SPP is located in Kalkūne Parish, Augsdaugava municipality, 10 kilometres from the centre of Daugavpils. With a capacity of 13.3 megawatts, it will produce at least 13,500 megawatt hours of renewable energy annually. The new power plant has been constructed with a direct connection to the distribution grid ensuring that the generated electricity is available to local residents and businesses.  

Kaspars Melnis, the Minister for Climate and Energy stated: “Augsdaugava municipality is among the first in Latvia with an industrial-scale solar power plant. The successful implementation of the ambitious green infrastructure project near the border of the European Union is a symbolic and at the same time significant step in strengthening the energy independence of Latvia and our region.” 

Kalkūnes SPP was funded by Latvian investors and EUR 4.7 million loan from Swedbank, with investment totalling EUR 10 million. Kalkūnes SPP is owned by Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I, the largest solar power plant operator in Latvia. Last year the Fund commissioned four solar power plant projects in Zilupe, Brenguļi, Inčukalns and Carnikava with a total capacity of 25 MW. Three additional solar power plant projects in Koknese, Cēsis and Valmiera will be completed in 2024. 

“Eight SPPs will generate at least 70,000 MWh of electricity annually, providing green energy to over 35,000 households in Latvia. This is an investment in renewable energy infrastructure funded by more than 80 Latvian private and institutional investors. This is a project with a significant return potential and added value – a benefit for residents and municipalities,” says Mikus Janvars, co-founder and managing partner of Merito Partners. 

The general contractor for the Kalkūne SPP project is a Latvian company KL Systems, with many years of experience in constructing industrial solar parks in Germany and across Europe. 

During the construction and operation of Kalkūnes SPP, significant attention has been paid to environmental protection and the preservation of biodiversity. There is a natural meadow on the territory with a specially designed habitat for insects and animals. It will also eventually be available for bee colonies and herds of local sheep. The 22,300 solar panels located at the solar power plant will be recycled after their exploitation with components being reused. 

“Merito Partners” launches new real estate investment strategy by acquiring two landmark properties in Riga Old Town 

“Merito Partners” (Merito) has acquired two historical multi-apartment buildings in Riga Old Town: Kalēju Street 18/20 and Pasta Street 6. These transactions mark the first steps of the company’s new real estate investment strategy. 

To enter the real estate market, Merito launched two investment funds in 2023: the Merito Real Estate Special Fund I with EUR 1.2 million capital, and the Merito Real Estate Special Fund II, with EUR 1.9 million capital. 

Merito Real Estate Special Fund I has acquired the property at 18/20 Kalēju Street, which is a 3,000 square metre building consisting of 12 apartments and two commercial spaces along with more than 820 square metres of land. This transaction was co-financed by Signet Bank. 

Merito intends to renovate the facade of the building and introduce additional sustainability measures while keeping with the original 1999 architectural design by Zaiga Gaile’s office. 

Meanwhile, Merito Real Estate Special Fund II has acquired property at 6 Pasta Street. It is 1,900 square metre residential building with 630 square metres of land. The building with 85 apartments will also be renovated while preserving its historical value. 

“Riga and the broader Latvian real estate markets have significant growth potential compared to neighbouring countries. The demand for affordably priced, renovated apartments in Riga Old Town currently surpasses the supply, offering a promising return on investment,” explains Mikus Janvars,  co-founder and Managing Partner of Merito Partners. 

“In following Merito’s real estate strategy, we are committed to investing 100% local capital to renovate the Kalēju and Pasta Street buildings. We also plan to expand our portfolio in Riga – several other properties are currently being evaluated, and additional assets are expected to be acquired in the next few months,” says Mikus Janvars

Merito Partners Newsletter (April 2024)

Merito Self Storage Fund acquires Box Storage – the largest self storage chain in Riga

Merito Self Storage Fund, managed by Merito Partners, has successfully completed the acquisition of Box Storage, significantly expanding its footprint in Riga to become the city’s largest network of self storage facilities. This expansion will be further solidified with the transformation of the Go Planet building into a self storage complex. Consequently, the fund’s holdings in Riga will increase to approximately 2,000 individual storage units and 10,000 square metres of leasable area.

The fund’s recent expansion includes the strategic acquisition of three Box Storage facilities totaling 4,000 square metres. These facilities are located in Berģi, on Siguldas Road 11, and in Riga, at Daugavgrīvas Street 49-K1 and Antenas Street 4. The buildings will be expanded, modernizing the infrastructure, and increasing the total leasable area to at least 6,000 square metres. Merito Fund’s pan-Baltic network of self storage facilities will be developed under the Box Storage brand.

Augusts Iesalnieks, Member of the Board at Box Storage explains, “We have expanded our territorial coverage in Riga on our path to developing the largest self storage network in the Baltics and are planning to open new self storage facilities in the Latvian capital. Existing and potential clients will be offered modern and convenient self storage solutions near their homes and offices.”

Merito Self Storage Fund is funding the transaction with co-financing from Luminor Bank. “We plan to expand the Box Storage network by acquiring additional properties in Riga. The reconstruction of our first facility – the former Go Planet entertainment centre – will start soon with about 1,000 individual self-storage units being built during the initial phase. We appreciate our collaboration with Luminor Bank and their trust in a business developed by Latvian investors,” says Mārtiņš Baumanis, Partner and Co-Founder at Merito Partners.

The renovated self storage buildings will have energy-efficient construction solutions. The facilities will offer modern technologies, including a mobile app that provides instant access to the premises with one touch, as well as remote online transactions and automatic payment for services. Customers will have 24/7 access to the storage facilities.

Last autumn, Merito Partners established a specialized real estate fund, the Merito Self Storage Fund with a total target size of EUR 30 million. The fund aims to secure additional EUR 50 million in bank co-financing to establish the leading pan-Baltic self storage network within five years. It will consist of more than 10 self storage facilities with at least 50,000 square meters of leasable area and over 10,000 individual self storage units.  Merito Partners has secured over EUR 5 million in capital from more than 20 Latvian investors and is actively continuing to fundraise. Several properties are currently being researched in Lithuania and Estonia, and additional assets are expected to be acquired in the next few months.

Swedbank has issued a loan of EUR 5 million for the construction of Kalkūnes SPP

As a result of collaboration between the Latvian investment company Merito Partners (Merito) and Swedbank, a new solar power plant (SPP) Kalkūnes SPP with a capacity of 13 MW is currently under development in Augšdaugava district. This SPP will supply green energy to at least 6,500 households in the Daugavpils region next year. This project will receive a total investment of EUR 10 million, including EUR 4.9 million in funding from Swedbank. At the time of completion, Kalkūnes SPP will be the largest solar power plant in Latvia.

A total of 24,000 solar panels will be installed in the Kalkūnes SPP, projected to generate 13,500 MWh of electricity annually. This new power plant will be connected to the existing distribution infrastructure, ensuring that the solar electricity produced will be consumed by residents in Augšdaugava Municipality and Daugavpils.

Kalkūnes SPP is owned by Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I, which has engaged experienced experts from the company Saules Energy to supervise the project’s implementation. As the largest solar power plant operator in Latvia, the fund has commissioned four new SPPs this year in Zilupe, Brenguļi, Inčukalns, and Carnikava, with a combined capacity of 25 MW.

Kalkūnes SPP is scheduled to commence operations by the end of this winter, followed by three additional power plant projects in Koknese, Cēsis, and Valmiera by autumn 2024. Together these eight SPPs will generate at least 70,000 MWh of electricity annually, providing green energy to over 35,000 households in Latvia.

As Mikus Janvars, co-founder and Managing Partner of Merito Partners, explains, “Kalkūnes SPP is the second solar power plant developed by Merito Fund with co-financing from Swedbank. This year, Swedbank has allocated EUR 4.5 million in funding for the successfully launched solar power plant in Carnikava. Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I will invest a total of EUR 50 million in Latvia from over 63 private and institutional investors – a part of the financing has been secured through loans. We appreciate Swedbank’s commitment as the Baltic sustainability leader, contributing to this green infrastructure project funded by Latvian investors. The initiative is expected to benefit residents and different entities in Latgale and other regions of Latvia.”

According to Jevgenijs Ivanovs, Board Member and Head of the Corporate Banking at Swedbank, “At the core of Swedbank’s operations stand sustainable changes and environmentally friendly investments that contribute to the development of the Latvian economy. At present, when there is an urgent need to increase Latvia’s energy independence, we need to seek for opportunities to transform ourselves from electricity consumers into producers. The Latvian investors’ solar power plant project represents a significant step in this direction.”

Signet Bank invests EUR 750,000 into Merito Self Storage Fund to develop a network of self storage facilities in the Baltic States

AS Signet Bank has invested EUR 750,000 in the development of the largest self storage facility network in the Baltic States owned by the Merito Self Storage Fund, a specialized real estate fund managed by the Latvian investment company Merito Partners.  

This year, Merito has established a specialized real estate fund Merito Self Storage Fund with total target size EUR 30 million. The company also aims to secure around EUR 50 million in bank co-financing. Fund’s objective is to establish the largest pan-Baltic network of self storage facilities over the next five years. It will consist of more than 10 self storage facilities, with a total leasable area of at least 50,000 m2 and over 10,000 individual self storage units.  

According to Roberts Idelsons, Chairman of the Board of AS Signet Bank, “Signet Bank supports local entrepreneurs’ business growth not only with traditional bank loans but also through alternative instruments such as organizing share and bond issuances. For our economy to grow faster, we need sustainable business ideas that are scalable across a broader market. An excellent example is a plan to develop an international self storage network by the Latvian investment company Merito Partners. This project has a significant upside and potential return of investment. Given that this project currently requires capital investments, we have made the decision to invest in the Merito Self Storage Fund.” 

In developing the most ambitious self storage facility network in the Baltics, the Fund focuses on acquiring and converting existing under-utilized buildings. The fund’s first real estate transaction was the acquisition of the former ‘Go-Planet’ entertainment building on Gunāra Astras Street 2B, Riga in September 2023. With a total investment of EUR 6 million, the building will be transformed into one of the largest self storage facilities in Eastern Europe with approximately 10,000 square metres of leasable area.  

“We are delighted that AS Signet Bank has placed its trust in the potential of Latvian investors since the establishment of the fund. Merito Partners has successfully secured almost EUR 5 million in capital from over 10 Latvian investors and actively continues to fundraise. With the recent investment from Signet Bank, the fund’s total value is expected to reach at least EUR 10 million in the next few months. We are currently in active negotiations for the acquisition of additional properties, and we aim to conclude these discussions in the next months. This will allow us to further develop the self storage facility network in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania,” explains Mārtiņš Baumanis, Partner and Co-Founder at Merito Partners.  

About Signet Bank 

Signet Bank was founded in 1991 and is one of Latvia’s first independent banks. The bank’s strategy focuses on providing financing and capital management services to local entrepreneurs and their businesses. Since the start of 2021, Signet Bank has provided customers with almost EUR 500 million of financing in the form of loans and bonds. Signet Bank’s shareholders are nine Latvian and international private investors, of whom the biggest is Signet Acquisition III (25%), whose sole shareholder is US investor Aleksandrs Solovejs; AS RIT Group (19.50 %), a Latvian company owned by the Rapoport family, and SIA Reglink (15.93 %), founded by banker Irīna Pīgozne.  

The newly commissioned Carnikavas SPP will now provide electricity for over 5,800 households in Ādaži municipality

‘Merito Partners’ in partnership with the renewable energy project developer ‘Saules Energy’, has opened Latvia’s largest solar power plant ‘Carnikavas SPP’, located in in Ādaži municipality. The project was implemented with EUR 8 million investment from Latvian investors and financing from Swedbank. Carnikava SPP has a capacity of 12 MW and will generate more than 12 300 MWh of electricity annually, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of more than 5,800 households. 

The newly opened SPP is situated in Carnikava Parish within Ādaži municipality and spans 11.7 hectares with 22,300 solar panels installed. 

During the opening of Carnikavas SPP, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Saeima Deputy Speaker, emphasized: “With every kilowatt of electricity generated in Latvia, we are enhancing our security, economic strength, and most importantly, our independence. The construction of this solar power plant in Ādaži municipality marks a significant milestone in advancing energy independence for both the region and Latvia. The beneficiaries of the development of green infrastructure sites are both residents and businesses. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the investors for their visionary initiative and investment. I encourage them to actively collaborate with Latvian scientists to jointly create innovative technologies that will enable the full utilization of renewable energy generated.” 

Carnikavas SPP is owned by Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I, the largest solar power plant operator in Latvia. This project was implemented in collaboration with experienced experts from Saules Energy. Carnikavas SPP is the fourth SPP commissioned by the fund this year and the total capacity of operational portfolio is 25 MW. The Fund plans to commence the next project Kalkūnes SPP, located in Augšdaugavas municipality, by the end of this year. Three additional solar plant projects are scheduled for 2024. Overall, eight SPPs will generate at least 70,000 MWh of electricity annually, providing green energy to over 35,000 households in Latvia.  

The solar power plants financed by the Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I are being constructed with a direct connection to the distribution infrastructure. This ensures that the generated electricity is available to its local consumers, including residents and businesses. 

“Ādaži municipality is one of the first regions in Latvia where environmentally friendly electricity is being generated by an industrial scale solar power plant. Working together, we must aim for an ambitious goal – to increase the share of renewable electricity nationwide to at least 70% by 2030. Sustainable energy production can provide greener and more cost-effective electricity with a stable consumption, while enhancing Latvia’s energy security. Each project that brings our country closer to a more environmentally friendly and climate-neutral policy sets a positive example to our society,” explained Kaspars Melnis, Minister of Climate and Energy

According to Mikus Janvars, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Merito Partners, “Carnikava SPP was funded by 63 Latvian investors and a EUR 4.5 million loan from Swedbank, with investment totalling EUR 8 million. Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I is investing EUR 50 million in total in green infrastructure projects. This investment not only strengthens Latvia’s energy independence but also offers significant potential for returns.” 

The general contractor for the Carnikava SPP project is a Latvian company KL Systems, with 12 years of experience in building industrial solar parks worldwide. During the construction and operation of Carnikavas SPP, significant attention has been paid to environmental protection and the preservation of biodiversity. For instance, the power plant’s territorial fence has been raised to allow smaller animals to freely access the territory, which also provides shelter to both amphibians and other animals. Furthermore, the project developers are actively building working relationships with local farmers so that the meadows on the SES site for the needs of beekeeping and grazing sheep next year.

Merito Partners commits over EUR 6 million to transform ‘Go Planet’ building into one of the largest self storage facilities in Eastern Europe

In September, Safe Storage Group, a portfolio company of Merito Self Storage Fund managed by Latvian investment company Merito Partners (Merito), acquired the ‘Go Planet’ entertainment centre building on Gunāra Astras Street 2B, Riga, for over EUR 2.7 million. Merito Partners plans to invest a total of EUR 6 million in transforming the building into the largest self storage facility in Eastern Europe. 

The ‘Go Planet’ building, spanning 15 025 m2, is situated on a 1.5656 ha plot of land. Safe Storage Group acquired the building via auction for EUR 2.791.700. An additional investment of EUR 3.5 million is planned for property refurbishment to develop one of the Eastern Europe’s largest self storage facilities with a leasable area of approximately 10 000 m². The facility will offer more than 1,600 individual self storage units in various sizes. 

According to Augusts Iesalnieks, co-founder and Chairman of the Board at the Safe Storage Group: “There is a rapidly growing demand for self storage facilities among both individuals and entrepreneurs. However, until now, there has not been a suitable offering widely available in the Latvian and Baltic markets. In developing the most ambitious self storage network in the Baltics, we are focusing on acquiring existing under-utilized buildings, such as ‘Go Planet’ building, to transform them into specialized self storage facilities. Refurbishment of ‘Go Planet’ building will be executed in multiple stages, with the first self storage facilities expected to be available to customers within the next 12 months.” 

The renovated self storage building will use energy-efficient construction solutions. The facilities will offer services facilitated by modern technologies, including a mobile app that provides instant access to the premises with one touch, as well as remote online transactions and automatic payment for services. Customers will have 24/7 access to the storage facilities. 

“The acquisition of the former ‘Go Planet’ building is the first investment by our specialized real estate fund Merito Self Storage Fund. We have devoted a long time to studying this property and carefully deliberated our decision to participate in the auction. The building has an outstanding location, situated close to the residential areas of Pļavnieki, Purvciems and Mežciems. Additionally, the building is in good technical condition and offers easy accessibility. Currently, we are actively engaged in the acquisition process for at least five additional properties in the Baltics. By the end of the year, our goal is to secure several additional properties to expand our network of self storage facilities across Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia,” explains Mārtiņš Baumanis, Partner at Merito Partners

Merito has established a specialized real estate fund Merito Self Storage Fund with total target size EUR 30 million. The company also aims to secure around EUR 50 million in bank co-financing. The Fund will develop the largest pan-Baltic network of self storage facilities over the next five years. It will be comprised of 15 to 20 self storage complexes with a total leasable area of at least 50 000 m2 and at least 10 000 individual self storage units. Merito Partners has successfully secured almost EUR 5 million in capital from over 10 Latvian investors and actively continues to fundraise. Over the next few months, the fund’s total value will reach at least EUR 10 million.