22 December 2016 – El Confidencial
Real estate investors are making the most of the last few days of 2016. The Catalana Occidente group, through its subsidiary Plus Ultra Seguros, has purchased the building at number 55 on Paseo de la Castellana from Standard Life. The asset is located on Madrid’s most important thoroughfare and represents an geunine object of desire for all of the major real estate investors. The group has paid almost €60 million for the building, which represents a yield of around 3%. For Standard Life, selling the building for this amount signals the finishing touch to a perfect operation, given that the insurance company invested €35 million when it acquired the property.
The building has a surface area of 5,625 m2, distributed over seven above ground office floors of 734 m2 each. Moreover, it has a garden for exclusive use by its employees and 27 parking spaces. The property was completely renovated in 2007, but its main architectural and protective features were respected, such as the façade that overlooks Paseo de la Castellana, the entrance hall and the main staircase.
The process has been advised and managed by CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield – the consultancy firms that have conducted a competitive process involved a restricted number of investors.
Castellana 55 is one of the most iconic buildings in the prime area of Madrid and its surface area is leased out in its entirety. Moreover, it is one of just a handful of assets that has gone up for sale in the most prime area of Madrid. Sources familiar with the operation say that the process has received a lot of interest, given the vast shortage of prime products in the market.
Sales and Brexit
The sale of Castellana 55 is the second major divestment that Standard Life has made in Spain this year, after it sold the Las Mercedes Business Park to GreenOak for €140 million. Las Mercedes is an office complex measuring almost 80,000 m2, comprising 10 buildings. It is located on the outskirts of Madrid, next to the A-2 highway and close to the Campo de las Naciones Exhibition Centre and Barajas airport.
The manager completed this operation in June, just one month before it was hit by Brexit and was forced to announce the suspension of trading of its fund Standard Life Investments UK Real Estate Fund. The vehicle, which has funds amounting to GBP 2,900 million (€3,420 million), focuses exclusively on investments in the UK, although in October it announced that it has returned to normality.
Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)
Translation: Carmel Drake