2 November 2016 – Expansión
Omega Capital, the investment vehicle owned by Alicia Koplowitz, is analysing strengthening its presence in the real estate market, taking advantage of the boom in the sector at the moment. It is considering submitting a bid for Barclays’ headquarters in Spain, located right in the heart of Madrid.
The office building in question is located at number 1, Plaza de Colón, opposite the Torres de Colón – the 116m-tall twin skyscrapers owned by Mutua Madrileña -. The property is worth between €40 million and €60 million, according to market sources.
The building has a surface area of around 3,900 m2 spread over three floors – ground, first and second -, and a terrace with spectacular views over the central Madrileñian square.
The property was taken over by Barclays when the British financial institution acquired Banco Valladolid in the 1980s.
More than two decades later, the banking entity has now decided to put the iconic building up for sale and has engaged the real estate consultancy CBRE to advise it during the process. Several investors have already expressed an interest in the property, in addition to the company owned by Alicia Koplowitz. Sources at the consultancy firm declined to comment about the sales process or the possible candidates for acquiring the property.
The British bank, which is considering remaining as a tenant of the building for a few months following the sale, until it finds a new location for its headquarters in Spain, is using this operation to take advantage of the investor appetite for well-located office buildings in Spain’s capital and whereby generate cash.
The lack of buildings in the prime area of Madrid has caused the appeal of them to increase given the supply shortage and the problems involved in carrying out new constructions in the city centre. One of the most high profile purchases in recent months involved Pontegadea’s purchase of Torre Foster.
The British entity indicated recently that it has detected considerable appetite for the property on Plaza Colón and it had received informal queries regarding its sale.
Barclays also said that it is considering the option of relocating its headquarters to a place that offers a better service “in terms of facilities, technology and comfort” for the entity, in a property that is aligned with the needs of its corporate and investment banking business.
Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake