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Barclays Sells Its HQ In Colón To CBRE GI For €50M

24 January 2017 – Cinco Días

The international asset manager CBRE Global Investors has acquired the Barclays Bank building, located on Plaza de Colón in Madrid, on behalf of one of its main clients. The operation has been closed for more than €50 million, according to sources in the market.

The building, which has a surface area of 3,910m2 and which was constructed in 1971, has a basement, ground floor and three upper floors.

At the beginning of October, sources at Barclays said that the firm had started to explore the possibility of putting the iconic building up for sale, and that at the same time it was studying the possibility of relocating its headquarters to a place that would offer a better service in terms of facilities, technology and comfort.

The property is located at the intersection of Plaza de Colón with Paseo de la Castellana and Paseo de Recoletos. According to CBRE Global Investor’s Director General in Spain and Portugal, José Antonio Martín-Borregón, the operation represents a great opportunity to reposition the asset and offer an attractive, mixed use property, in accordance with the profile of the businesses located in this area.

In fact, market sources say that the building displays all of the necessary characteristics to house an international brand’s flagship store. In this sense, Martín-Borregón is certain that the building will spark interest amongst many firms in the international sphere.

It is CBRE Global Investor’s third acquisition in Spain in the last 12 months, taking its total investment to more than €200 million. Moreover, this investment vehicle has significant available capital from its clients to buy up more retail, office and logistics assets during 2017 across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Reduction in Barclays’ business in Spain

In August 2014, CaixaBank agreed to acquire the British entity’s retail, wealth management and corporate banking businesses for €800 million. At the time, as a result of the operation, CaixaBank proposed 1,120 job cuts at Barclays in Spain, which ended up affecting 975 people and culminated in the dismissal of 112 workers.

Moreover, in April last year, Barclays sold its credit card business in Spain and Portugal to Bancopopular-e, the online subsidiary of Banco Popular. This division, Barclaycard, held around €1,500 million in assets and generated a profit of €45 million in 2015. Following these operations, the British entity now only operates its investment and corporate banking businesses in Spain.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A.S.)

Translation: Carmel Drake