10/10/2014 – El Confidencial
Spanish builders FCC and Acciona (through its Transmediterranea arm) are insisting on the Port of Barcelona’s kickstarting the auction of the World Trade Center Barcelona (WTCB), a business park for which they expect to obtain some €150 million.
The complex is one of the most attractive hotel and office properties in the Catalonian capital. It has 40.000 square meters of office space, 4.500 square meters of conference rooms, a 900-space parking lot and a 5-star hotel with 291 keys owned by Testa and managed by Hotusa.
The Barcelona Port Authority is the majority shareholder of the company with a 52% stake. The rest of the holding rests in hands of FCC (16.51%), above mentioned Transmediterranea (16.51%), Santander (9.99%) and ACS (4.71%).
Finally, Barcelona’s Port responded to requests of the builders and named Deloitte to conduct a valuation of the business complex which, in line with the market prices, could be worth €150 million.
Both the firm led by Esther Koplowitz and the one belonging to the Entrecanales family are in urgent need of equity. They assure that the moment to sell the asset is perfect as it may boost the yield. Currenty, the WTCB’s occupancy rate posts high with more than 70 firms housed by three office buildings. Moreover, the cherry asset, the hotel, produces constant and considerable cash flows.
If the sale closes before the end of the year, it will win the top 2014 transactions in Barcelona, defeating even the purchase of Telefonica that acquired its own headquarters for €107 million.
However, when compared to that operation, the WTC disposes of bigger square metrage, central location and one fourth of it is occupied by a hotel which, facing huge international tourism demand, may be a pretty lucrative investment.
Actually, the Port of Barcelona agreed on management award until 2052. For this reason, the vendors hurry up to transfer the complex as with the time passing, less and less management right period will be left and therefore the asking price will shrink more and more.
Original article: El Confidencial (by M. Lamelas & R. Ugalde)
Translation: AURA REE