18 May 2015 – El Mundo
The real estate group Restaura closed the sale of the building at Puerta del Sol, number 9, for more than €32.2 million on Wednesday. The ground floor of this historic property houses Casa Labra, the famous restaurant-cafeteria where Pablo Iglesias founded the PSOE on 2 May 1879.
A consortium created by the US fund Kennedy Wilson and Renta Corporación acquired the main property for €30 million; meanwhile, the owners of Casa Labra paid €2.3 million to purchase the ground floor, according to reports published yesterday by the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia. The property, which occupies 4,000 square metres, is currently in the process of obtaining a licence to accommodate shops; it is located in one of the most important retail areas of Madrid, next to El Corte Inglés and the Apple store.
The bid submitted by Renta Corporación and Kennedy Wilson beat those presented by other funds, including Axa Real Estate, Meyer Bergman and Thor Equities, which is some cases offered more money but with less immediate payment conditions and, therefore, less attractive for Restaura. Allegedly, the real estate consortium chaired by Xavier Solana needed immediate liquidity to meet the obligations arising from its bankruptcy – it owes Sareb €14.2 million, the Tax Authorities a further €6.2 million and Barclays another €3.7 million. As one of its creditors, Sareb tried to foreclose the mortgage and repossess the building.
Renta Corporación and Kennedy Wilson have created a company that has starred in some very important real estate transactions in Madrid and Barcelona (in recent months). Most notably, it purchased an office building in the district of Chamberí, which is going to be converted into luxury homes.
Original story: El Mundo
Translation: Carmel Drake