Merlin Finalises its First Major Property Sale & Negotiates with Apollo, Amongst Others

22 January 2019 – Voz Pópuli

Merlin Properties has been negotiating the sale of a portfolio of assets with Apollo for several months and it looks like the operation is beginning to take shape. Project Juno comprises assets in secondary locations, which the Socimi does not classify as core, according to financial sources consulted by this newspaper.

The portfolio includes assets such as Miniparc, in La Moraleja; Európolis, in Las Rozas; a building on Calle Josefa Valcárcel and another one on Ronda de Poniente. The portfolio has a market value well below €300 million, given that it comprises assets that are not located in the financial centre of Madrid.

In parallel, the Socimi has created Project Jupiter, a better quality portfolio than Juno, but “very dry”, worth around €300 million.

In that portfolio, Merlin has included the Trianon business park, on Vía de los Poblados; another business park in Las Tablas on Calle Federico Mompou; another building located in Campo de las Naciones; the Elipse building (Manoteras) and the Ulises building, in Arturo Soria.

Merlin Properties is also looking to create a third portfolio following the sale of those two portfolios and whereby unify it with the assets that it does not manage to sell. The Socimi has decided not to award a mandate for these portfolios in order to market them with the greatest discretion possible.

Merlin’s plan

Merlin Properties wants to increase the presence that it has in the office market in Lisbon and acquire other buildings to add to the six properties that it already owns in the Portuguese capital.

The commitment of the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente to the Portuguese market forms part of the slight rethink in the structure of the assets owned by the group.

Currently, office buildings account for 46% of the company’s assets, followed by commercial properties, which represent 40%, and logistics assets, which represent 14%. But given the pull of the logistics market right now (…), Merlin expects to increase the weight of its logistics division to 20%.

At the time of its IPO, four years ago, Merlin reported that logistics assets would account for 15% of its total portfolio.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by David Cabrera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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