Havlová sells majority stake in Lucerna Palace to BTL Group for a billion

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2024-06-24   12:35
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Dagmar Havlová has sold a majority stake in Prague's Palác Lucerna for almost CZK 1 billion to the BTL group. President Václav Havel's sister-in-law retained a 25 percent stake. The Forbes news server reported today on the basis of statements by Havlová and BTL's technical director Tomáš Drbal. According to Havlová, the money from the sale will be used for the reconstruction of the building, which has been a national cultural monument since 2017.

According to Forbes, the previous sole owner of the Lucerna has put the Lucerna into a newly created company, Palác PL, in which BTL Healthcare Technologies, owned by Jan Vild according to the Register of Beneficial Owners, now holds a 75 percent stake, while Dagmar Havlová, the widow of Ivan Havel, continues to own the remaining quarter. "I have known Honza Vild since the revolution," Havlová told Forbes. "There are plenty of billionaires who would gobble up Lucerna. It was important for me to connect with someone who would preserve the tradition, values and social purpose of the whole place," she added.

Havlová decided to sell her stake in Lucerna because of the high cost of renovating the palace. "Everything will go to extensive renovations and related repairs, I am not taking money out of the deal," she said of the sale. According to Forbes, the proceeds from the sale will help cover loans for earlier renovations to the air conditioning system or the installation of a lift for the disabled. Future plans include restoring the historic railings on the roof terraces, the part of the palace facing Stepanska Street, the passages or portals.

"In the Czech Republic, we were founded on a green field, we grew up on Czech people and we think we have something to give back to the country. It is exactly the people that Lucerna should serve," Drbal of the BTL Group told Forbes. Havlová will continue to run Lucerna, he said.

The Lucerna between Vodičkova and Štěpánská Street was built by Vácslav Havel, the grandfather of the late President Václav Havel and his brother Ivan. Soon after its construction it became the centre of cultural and social life in Prague. After 1948 it was nationalized, in 1992 the palace was given back to Václav and Ivan Havel in restitution. Disputes and complications followed, after which the courts ruled that the entire building belonged to Ivan Havel's wife Dagmar Havel.

Source: Forbes and CTK

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