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offices Market News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

Merlin Leases 3 Floors in Torre Glòries to Oracle

16 July 2018 - Eje Prime

Torre Glòries is welcoming a new technological giant to its facilities. Merlin Properties is going to be Oracle's landlord after it leased three floors in its building, located in the 22@ district, to the US firm. The multinational will join Facebook in the property after it signed up to lease ten floors from the Socimi back in May.

Oracle has leased 3,500 m2 of office space in the property, known in the city as Torre Agbar (after the former owner of the building) to locate some of its Netsuite team there, the cloud services company that it acquired in 2016, according to Expansión.

Merlin’s flagship property in Barcelona, standing 142 metres tall and with a gross leasable area of 37,614 m2, has been reformed in its entirety in recent years with an investment of €15 million. After being ruled out by the EMA (European Medicines Agency), the Socimi decided to convert its building into a multi-tenant space for the office sector.

The property contains 34 floors of offices, of which Merlin has now let thirteen at a variable price of around €25/m2/month. A new major operator is entering the 22@ district, Barcelona’s techie centre and currently the most sought-after neighbourhood in the Catalan capital. During the first quarter of the year, the office market grew by 4% in Barcelona with the leasing of 76,000 m2 of space.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

 
Blackstone Acquires Planeta's HQ from the Lara Family for €210M

12 July 2018 - Expansión

Inversiones Hemisferio, a company owned by different branches of the Lara family, has reached an agreement with the US fund Blackstone to sell the headquarters of the editorial and media group Planeta before Banco Sabadell can repossess the building in exchange for the debt taken out at the time by the family holding company.

According to sources close to the operation, Blackstone is going to pay €210 million for the property located on Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona, where Planeta will continue as the tenant. The rental income will generate a yield of less than 4% for the investor.

In May, the Lara family, owner of Planeta, agreed to transfer the building, worth €170 million, to Banco Sabadell, but was given until September to try to find another buyer on its own and attempt to agree a higher price.

The complex has a total surface area of 27,000 m2, of which 25,000 m2 correspond to office space, leased to Planeta and other tenants, therefore Blackstone will be paying €8,000/m2. The same sources assure that that buyer and seller have already reached an agreement on the price and conditions and that the operation is just pending the signatures.

In 2001, the Lara family purchased the building – the former headquarters of Banca Catalana – for around €100 million. In 2006, Inversiones Hemisferio, together with other real estate companies, such as the firm owned by Mango’s boss, Isak Andic, Joaquín Folch Rosiñol (Industrias Titán) and Héctor Colonques (Porcelanosa), purchased 12% of Banco Sabadell for €1.295 billion. The Lara family controlled 3% of the bank, but during the crisis, Sabadell’s share price plummeted and Hemisferio was obliged to offer up the building on Avenida Diagonal by way of guarantee.

Hemisferio’s debt with the bank matures in September. Sabadell and the Lara family agreed to transfer the asset two months ago if Hemisferio did not manage to sell the building sooner on its own for a higher price. This situation forced the real estate company owned by the family behind Planeta to organise the sale of the building in record time and to find a buyer with sufficient financial standing to fork out the more than €200 million that it was asking for with the utmost speed. The process was entrusted to the consultancy firm CBRE.

With this operation, Blackstone is further strengthening its commitment to Spain, where it has invested in the real estate sector through the purchase of Anticipa, the former real estate division of Catalunya Caixa, and of HI Partners, created from the hotel assets of Banco Sabadell.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

 
Spain's Popular Party May Sell its HQ in Central Madrid for €60M

12 July 2018 - Eje Prime

The Popular Party could receive a handsome cash injection for the national headquarters that it renovated using dirty money. The sale of the building located in central Madrid could generate up to €60 million for the PP in the event that it decides to sell it.

As one of the candidates to take over the leadership of the party, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, explained recently in an interview with La Cope, many grassroots members have told her that, the national headquarters, located at number 13 Calle Genova, was “too big” and that she should “given some consideration” to this matter, according to Cinco Días.

The property is located in the most prime office area of Madrid, which runs from Recoletos to Azca, along Paseo de la Castellana. It is an asset that will spark interest amongst international funds, the most active players at the moment in the Spanish real estate sector, and family offices with significant resources looking to take advantage of the few office spaces that remain available in the area.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake