21 March 2017 – El Confidencial
ING has returned to the Spanish real estate market with a bang. The Dutch bank, which was one of the main foreign players in the years before the bubble, has become one of the most active entities in terms of financing in this market, which has taken an about-turn over the last two years.
Last year alone, ING Real Estate Finance granted financing amounting to more than €1,000 million to 13 different real estate operations, ranging from the purchase of offices, shopping centres and logistics assets to corporate refinancing agreements.
The most high-profile deal was the acquisition of Torre Espacio by Grupo Emperador, the Philippine holding company to which ING granted a syndicated loan amounting to €280 million in February last year. That loan has a 7-year term and represented a turning point in the entity’s commitment to this market.
A few months later, the bank, which is now led by César González-Bueno, also participated in the most important corporate operation ever recorded in the sector, the merger between Merlin and Metrovacesa, by granting €170 million to the Socimi and €200 million to the real estate firm.
By the time that merger happened, ING had already financed several operations for Merlin, such as, for example, the acquisition of a portfolio comprising seven logistics assets with a €67.9 million loan over five years, which was signed in January 2016.
Other giants in the sector that have also received support from ING over the last year include GMP, with corporate financing amounting to €75 million, and Axiare, to which the Dutch bank granted a €75 million loan to acquire the building located on Calle Almagro, 9 in Madrid.
The entity’s commitment to the real estate market spans the whole Iberian Peninsula, including Portugal, as the bank showed when it granted €50 million to the Vasco de Gama shopping centre, in Lisbon, which is owned by Sonae Sierra and CBRE GI.
And it was specifically in the shopping centre segment where the entity has closed its first major operation of 2017, granting a €57.5 million syndicated loan over 7 years to Trajano Iberia, funds that have been used almost in their entirety (€55 million) to finance the acquisition of Alcalá Magna.
“This operation strengthens the position of the Real Estate Finance area in the core asset segment, such as high quality offices, shopping centres and logistic assets. Our intense level of activity has allowed us to start 2017 as market leaders”, said Julián Bravo, Head of Real Estate Finance for Spain and Portugal.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake