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Merlin Buys 50% Of Arturo Soria Plaza Shopping Centre

16 November 2016 – Expansión

Merlin is continuing to make selective purchases following its merger with Metrovacesa. The Socimi, which presented its quarterly results to analysts yesterday, reported a net profit of €255 million during the 9 months to September, compared with losses in €130 million during the same period in 2015 – when it integrated Testa and Obraser. And today, it has announced the purchase of the remaining 50% stake in the Arturo Soria Plaza shopping centre from Acciona, as well as the acquisition of an office building in the same area, for (a combined price of) €44.2 million.

Merlin, which spent almost €30 million last year when it bought half of this shopping centre, located in Madrid, has now acquired the rest of the property a year later. Arturo Soria Plaza, which has a gross leasable area of 6,965 m2, is spread over four floors in total (two floors of shops and another two floors of parking), generates gross annual rental income of €4.5 million and has a 100% occupancy rate.

The firm, which has not consolidated Metrovacesa onto its balance sheet yet, given that the operation was only closed in October, owns assets worth €6,568 million according to the latest accounts. At the end of September, shopping centres accounted for 11.9% of its total asset value, behind offices (35.8%) and high street premises (30.8%).

During his presentation to analysts, Ismael Clemente highlighted Merlin’s presence in the A-1 corridor in Madrid, following its purchase of Adequa for €380 million. The company will complete the purchase of this complex, located in the Las Tablas area, in the northeast of Madrid, in December.

Adequa, which is home to the offices of firms such as Técnicas Reuindas, Renault and Costa Cruceros, has a gross leasable area of approximately 75,000 m2 (currently leased) and a licence to construct another two buildings with an aggregate surface area of almost 45,000 m2, including one 24-storey tower.

In addition, the firm has purchased an office building in Ática (Pozuelo de Alarcón) from Värde. As such, Merlin owns six of the seven buildings in that business park.

With these acquisitions, the company’s real estate portfolio contained 1,013 assets at the end of September, with a gross leasable area of almost 2.5 million m2.

In terms of Merlin’s plans for next year, Clemente explained to analysts that the company is going to analyse several options for its hotel assets, including the sale or spin-off of the business through a similar formula to the one applied in the case of Testa. Merlin’s hotel portfolio has grown considerably as a result of the merger with Metrovacesa.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake