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Bankia Buys Its IT Hub For €130 Million

24/12/2014 – Expansión

BUILDING IN THE ROZAS / The public bank will keep the building that houses its data center, a property that London & Regional fund had also made a bid for.

Not all real estate is in exile. Bankia has purchased an office building located in Las Rozas (Madrid), where the public bank holds its IT services, for €130 million. The property belonged to the Swedish group, Seb Group, which Caja Madrid had acquired back in 2010 for €108 million through one of its funds.

At the time, the Madrid-based company, one of Bankia’s seven founding savings banks, came out with a capital gain of about €48 million and agreed to remain as a tenant for thirty years through a sale & leaseback agreement. Moreover, the company reserved the right of first offer throughout the lease period if transmitted by the owner.

The building, which boasts an area of 43,700 square meters spread over six floors, began to house Bankia’s IT and computer-based services, once the seven savings banks were integrated.

Seb put the property on the market a few months ago in order to take advantage of investor appetite for office buildings in Spain. The asset aroused the interest of many investors, such as the British fund, London & Regional Properties, which had already bought Vodafone’s Madrid headquarters from Solvia, Sabadell’s real estate division. Seb was hoping to get a price close to €110 million.

However, Bankia decided to exercise its right of first offer and has bought the property for about €130 million, according to EXPANSION’s sources with insider knowledge on the transaction.

No need for capital.

Bankia jumped on the window of opportunity that opened when the owner decided to divest. The financial institution, under the chairmanship of Mr. Goirigolzarri, considered the purchase a good move as it was no longer restrained by the capital requirements that Caja Madrid had when it sold its IT offices in 2010. Today, four years later, and without these solvency problems, Bankia has bought the property at an attractive price, and in turn, will save in future rent and also complete a transaction which bears financial returns, explained the same sources.

Constructed in 1991, the former Office Building and Computer Center of Caja Madrid is the work of Jerónimo Junquera and Estanislao Pérez Pita, who won the prize of Architecture of the Community of Madrid and 2nd National Architecture Award.

Seb has recently sold off other assets in Spain, as have several other logistics platforms purchased by Blackstone.

Original article: Expansión (by Gemma Martínez)

Translation: Aura REE