26 February 2016 – Expansión
It was the major real estate transaction of 2015. The sale of Torre Espacio to the Philippine group Emperador, owned by Andrew Tan (pictured above), last November was the grand finale to a year that all of the experts agree was the year during which the real estate sector finally began its recovery.
But the financial arrangements for this great purchase remained to be seen. The price agreed was €558 million, a figure to which almost €200 million of debt linked to the company Torre Espacio Castellana must be added. The company owns the skyscraper and served as the vehicle through which the Asian businessman acquired the building.
ING Wholesale Banking has now granted a syndicated loan amounting to €280 million with a seven year term, which will be used exclusively to finance this operation. The loan perfectly represents how the financial sector has reopened its appetite for high quality real estate assets.
According to sources, the rest of the operation will be financed directly by the Philippine businessman, one of the wealthiest people in the world according to the Forbes list. It ranks him as the 330th richest person on the planet and the third richest in his country, thanks to his fortune, estimated to be worth $3,700 million (equivalent to around €3,300 million at the current exchange rate).
Torre Espacio is one of four skyscrapers that were constructed on land that formerly housed Real Madrid’s Ciudad Deportiva in the North of the Madrid. The building has a gross leasable area of 60,142 m2, spread over 56 floors and 1,173 parking spaces. It is regarded as one of the most important office buildings in Spain and its main tenant is the former owner, Grupo Villar Mir, which occupies more than half of the property.
ING, which has acted as the sole underwriter and agent bank, highlights that this loan is a clear example of “the bank’s commitment to real estate financing in Spain and its significant profile in the Asian markets”, according to a statement made by Íñigo Churruca, CEO of ING Wholesale Banking. The entity is currently working to share the risk with other banks, although it is expected to take on the majority of the financing itself.
The entity also closed a financing agreement with Merlin Properties in January this year, amounting to €67.9 million and with a five year term, to finance the purchase of a portfolio containing seven logistics assets.
In addition, last year, it granted a syndicated loan amounting to €125 million, with a seven year term, to Acciona Inmobiliaria, which the company allocated to Urbanizadora Coto, a subsidiary of the group owned by the Entrecanales family that owns seven residential buildings and two offices, as well as a 50% stake in the Arturo Soria shopping centre, in one of the best areas of Madrid, close to Parque del Conde Orgaz.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake