Catalana Occidente Finalises Purchase of Gaudí’s Torre Bellesguard for €30M

20 July 2018 – Idealista

Catalana Occidente is adding a new asset to its portfolio. The real estate investment arm of the insurance company Catalana Occidente is finalising the purchase of Torre Belleguard, constructed by Antoni Gaudí at the beginning of the 20th century, for €30 million. The Town Hall of Barcelona, the Generalitat and the Regional Council of Barcelona have declined to exercise their right of first refusal and preferential acquisition.

The Catalana Occidente Group, which is headquartered in Sant Cugat del Vallès, has expressed its interest and is willing to pay the owners €30.1 million, excluding taxes, such as the property transfer fee, which would increase the consideration to at least €33 million, according to El País.

The acquisition of this property (which has been classified as an Asset of National Cultural Interest since July 1969) is pending “a few finishing touches” and the intention is for the building “to continue to be open to the public because we are aware of its importance and great heritage value”, explain sources at the company.

Torre Bellesguard was threatened in 2008 when deteriorations caused by the passage of time forced its owners to undertake a comprehensive restoration project and invest €600,000 (a cost shared equally between the family, the Generalitat and the Town Hall).

The high cost of the renovation led the family owner of the property to open it to the public in 2013, organising guided tours inside the tower. It also opened its gardens for the celebration of cultural and social events.

Following this purchase, Catalana Occidente would increase its asset portfolio. The insurance group has invested up to €208 million in the purchase of properties in Spain over the last two years. In total, the company has acquired six offices buildings located in Madrid and Barcelona.

The largest purchase made by the company, which is itself controlled by the Serra family, was the acquisition last year of two properties (Luxa Silver and Luxa Gold) in the 22@ district of Barcelona for which it paid €90 million to the fund Stoneweg.

Moreover, at the end of 2016, the insurance company purchased the building at number 55 Paseo de la Castellana, in Madrid, for which it disbursed €60 million. The asset, which was sold by Standard Life with a 100% occupancy rate, has a surface area of 5,625 m2.

The €27 million that it paid for a second property in the Spanish capital, located in the Montecarmelo area (…) completes the number of acquisitions made by the group’s parent company since 2016.

With these investments, Catalana Occidente’s real estate portfolio in Spain amounted to €1.265 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2018. This line of business generates gains of €476.6 million for the group, in which the real estate component of the investment portfolio (€12.2 billion) amounts to 11.3%.

Original story: Idealista

Translation: Carmel Drake

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