27 October 2016 – El Economista
Perry Partners has kept an ace up its sleeve during the sale of the 15.09% stake that it held in the Socimi Axiare to Inmobiliaria Colonial. The British fund, which is currently being wound up, is now playing a card that would allow the real estate company to record higher revenues (from the sale) if it decides to launch a takeover bid (OPA) for the Socimi, as explained by sources familiar with the negotiations.
The unstated objective of Colonial is to increase its stake in the Socimi’s share capital to acquire, at least, 25%, according to the same sources consulted, however the pressure in the market points to an offer or, at least, an effort to try and provoke one.
Meanwhile, the real estate company, chaired by Juan José Bruguera, said at the time that this purchase was a “quick and opportunistic gesture” by Colonial, which wants to strengthen its portfolio of prime office assets.
As this newspaper went to press, Axiare had notified the CNMV of its intention to look for investment banks and legal advisors “to analyse and study the possible effects of Inmobiliaria Colonial’s recent share purchase”.
This move by the Socimi’s Board of Directors may respond, according to sources in the sector, to the Board’s need to demonstrate that it is analysing the surprise operation, which clearly affects the company’s shareholders, given that Colonial is now Axiare’s majority shareholder. Similarly, Axiare may try to veto the inclusion of a board member from Colonial given that the firm is a competitor.
The move came on Friday 14 when the real estate company acquired 15.09% of the Socimi, off market, at a price of €12.50 per share, for a total investment of €135.6 million. Colonial paid a premium of 11.18% above the closing share price on Friday, but Banco Sabadell’s analysts said that the price represented an 8% discount compared to its estimate of Axiare’s NAV and an 11% discount on the target share price, which amounts to €14.10, compared with the closing share price on the day of the purchase (€11.18).
As a result of this operation, the real estate company will have a guaranteed flow of income in the form of dividends from Axiare, which, given its Socimi status, is obliged to distribute at least 80% of the profits from rental income to its shareholders. Colonial is hereby replicating the model that it has applied in France for years, where it is a shareholder of the Socimi Société Foncière Lyonnaise, with a 57.7% stake.
Original story: El Economista (by Rubén Esteller, Alba Brualla and Araceli Muñoz)