13 February 2015 – Expansión
With this purchase, Santander will assume ownership of 55.8% of the share capital, whereby taking control of the real estate company.
Santander has received authorisation from the National Markets and Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia or CNMC) to purchase Bankia’s 19% stake in Metrovacesa and whereby assume control of the property company, by taking ownership of 55.8% of its share capital.
The ‘super regulator’ has authorised the first phase of the operation, which is not deemed to generate any competition concerns, according to the records of the body.
Thus, by virtue of the transaction, the bank chaired by Ana Patricia Botín takes control of the real estate company and Bankia fulfils a new milestone in its plan to divest its industrial holdings, and also records a profit of €13 million as a result.
The Sanahuja family
The company has been controlled by the aforementioned financial institutions since February 2009, when they foreclosed the debt held by the Sanahuja family, the then controlling shareholder of the company.
For Metrovacesa, which was delisted from the stock exchange in May 2013, the takeover by Santander represents a new phase in its share ownership.
The real estate company, which was once controlled by BBVA, was acquired from that entity in 2004 through a takeover bid (oferta pública de adquisición or OPA) by Bami, the company owned by Joaquín Rivero. Subsequently, the company was the subject of a ‘takeover war’ between the businessman and the Sanahuja family, but eventually the banks took control.
Metrovacesa is dedicated to the rental of real estate assets. Its portfolio includes buildings covering more than 1.1 million square metres, comprising offices, shopping centres and hotels, which are mainly located in Madrid and Barcelona. Amongst others, it is the owner of the iconic Torre Madrid in Plaza de España in Madrid, which will soon house a hotel to be operated by the Barceló chain.
Original story: Expansión
Translation: Carmel Drake