Avance advised Mercator Fastigheter Ab, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Föreningen Konstsamfundet r.f., in relation to financing arrangements for the acquisition of all shares owned by the City of Helsinki in real estate company Fastighets Ab Glaspalatset i Helsingfors, which owns the building Lasipalatsi in the centre of Helsinki. The transaction comprised 30.85% of the shares in the company for a purchase price of 33.5m€ and, as a result thereof, Föreningen Konstsamfundet became its sole owner. Fastighets Ab Glaspalatset i Helsingfors was established in 2014 by the City of Helsinki and Föreningen Konstsamfundet and has carried out extensive construction works on the building, both restoring the old building and building new parts, including the well-known Amos Rex museum, completed in 2018. During the joint ownership, the City of Helsinki operated the commercial premises of the building while Föreningen Konstsamfundet operated the museum and other cultural premises.
The Lasipalatsi building was completed in 1936 and is one of Helsinki’s most notable functionalist buildings. It was originally designed as a temporary building but the initial plans to tear it down were postponed decade after decade and in 1998 the building was finally declared protected and renovated into a culture and media centre.
The association Föreningen Konstsamfundet r.f. was founded in 1940 by Mr. Amos Anderson, business man and cultural patron. Konstsamfundet’s main purpose is to support arts and different fields of culture for the Swedish speaking Finns in Finland.