3 November 2016 – Expansión
The Baraka Group, owned by the businessman Trinitario Casanova, has made another payment to the Chinese group Wanda for Edificio España. With this payment, which will be added to the amount that the Murcian group handed over in July, another step is taken in the negotiations. The transaction is expected to close at the end of 2016 or during the first few months of next year.
Wanda, which acquired Edificio España from Banco Santander for €265 million in July 2014, decided to abandon the project following disagreements with the Town Hall of Madrid regarding the conservation of the exterior façade. It signed an agreement in principle with the Baraka Group in July 2016 to sell the property for €272 million.
In July, Baraka paid a deposit of €1 million and so Wanda promised to not negotiate the sale of the property with any other candidate at least until the middle of October. Casanova’s offer for Edificio España specifies that the acquisition will be made using the group’s own funds, although Baraka is now looking for financing in order to undertake the subsequent renovation of the property.
In parallel, the Baraka Group’s holding company is making progress in its conversations with the Hard Rock hotel group, which has expressed interest in operating the hotel that will occupy most of the building. Specifically, the Baraka Group’s plans involve opening a retail space on the first few floors of the building, and using the rest of the property to house a luxury hotel with 600 rooms, which will open its doors between the end of 2018 and the middle of 2019.
The property has a surface area of 71,000 m2, of which 15,000 m2 will be used for the retail space between the first basement floor and the third floor, and the rest will converted into the five star hotel.
Casanova has promised to conserve the main façade and the rest of the building’s external structure and whereby comply with the demands imposed by Madrid’s Urban Development team.
Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake