30 November 2015 – Expansión
Villar Mir has found a buyer for its Madrilenian skyscraper Torre Espacio. The group led by Juan Miguel Villar Mir has signed an agreement with the Philippine group Emperador for the sale of its 236m-tall office building, located in the Cuatro Torres Business Area in Madrid.
Emperador, the largest spirits company in the Philippines (it holds agreements with the Andalucían group González Byass) will pay €558 million for the property (around €9,200/m2), somewhat below the €600 million sales price that the seller was hoping to secure.
Inaugurated in 2007, Torre Espacio contains 60,000 m2 of office space, spread over 57 floors. It houses the offices of British American Tobacco and Red Bull, as well as the embassies of Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Its occupancy rate is 85%.
The building’s main tenant is the Villar Mir group itself and its subsidiaries, which occupy 55.1% of the property. According to the President, Juan Miguel Villar Mir, the construction company and the other subsidiaries, such as Fertiberia and Ferroatlántica, will continue to have their headquarters in the Madrilenian skyscraper.
In fact, to make the purchase more attractive, the owner of OHL offered to remain as a tenant in order to guarantee rental income of €34/m2/month, according to real estate sources.
Emperador has succeeded in taking ownership of Torre Espacio despite being a very late joiner to the process, which was launched in June, when Villar Mir engaged the consultancy firm Aguirre Newman. In recent few weeks, the best positioned candidate has been the real estate fund Invesco. The real estate company Colonial had also initiated a due diligence process for the building, according to sources close to the operation. Other investors studying the purchase of Torre Espacio included Corporación Financiera Alba – owned by the March family – , the German fund Deka and Pontegadea – the real estate company owned by Amancio Ortega.
The Philippine group Emperador forms part of the Alliance Global business conglomerate led by Andrew L. Tan, who also owns real estate businesses through his company Megaworld. With this purchase, Emperador joins the huge list of investors that have purchased real estate assets in Spain in 2015.
Funding for OHL
With the transfer of Torre Espacio, Villar Mir will generate significant income, having reduced its stake in the listed companies Abertis and Colonial to cover its part of the €1,000 million capital increase in its construction company OHL. Villar Mir invested €400 million in the construction of the building, including the purchase of the land.
However, the businessman is not abandoning his real estate investments at the Cuatro Torres complex; he has been working on the construction of a fifth tower on an adjacent site for several months. (…).
The Villar Mir group is also working on the Canalejas complex, in the centre of Madrid, where it plans to invest €500 million.
Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz and C. Morán)
Translation: Carmel Drake