3 October 2016 – La Opinión A Coruña
On Friday, the founder of Inditex, Amancio Ortega, completed the acquisition of Torre Cepsa in Madrid, for around €490 million, according to sources close to the operation. Ortega submitted his offer through his real estate company Pontegadea to IPIC, the Abu Dhabi state fund, owner of the oil and gas company Cepsa, which has leased the property, owned until now by Bankia, since 2013.
The building, one of the four towers in the north of Paseo de la Castellana, has a surface area measuring more than 109,000 sqm, including offices covering a gross leasable area of 56,250 sqm and a five-storey car park measuring 37,500 sqm.
The operation was completed in two phases. In the first phase, Khadem Al Qubaisi, the former director general of IPIC, exercised his purchase option, worth around €400 million to acquire the building. He then immediately sold the property onto Pontegadea for €490 million.
In October 2013, Bankia signed an agreement to lease the tower, designed by Norman Foster, which houses the corporate headquarters of Cepsa. The contract had an eight-year term, extendable for another seven years on a year by year basis. But it included a future purchase option, which the tenant had the right to exercise for a price to be determined at the time of the operation, on the basis of objective criteria agreed in advance.
As such, Amancio Ortega has acquired his second skyscraper on La Castellana, following his purchase of Torre Picasso, in 2011, for €400 million. The richest man in Spain and the second wealthiest man in the world also owns number 32 on Madrid’s Gran Vía, which makes him the landlord of some of Zara’s key rival brands such as Mango, H&M and Primark.
This purchase expands Ortega’s property portfolio, which used to be worth around €6,000 million – and is now worth more, if only because of the significant income that will result in terms of rental payments -. And the buildings that Pontegadea buys have a clear profile: iconic, historical buildings, dedicated to commercial and office use that can be rented to companies and institutions that are significant because of their size or solvency. The firm has a genuine real estate empire in Madrid, Barcelona and the main capital cities of Europe and the USA, but in recent months, it has also started to set its sights on Asia. (…).
Pontegadea’s bid was most favoured by IPIC even though it was not the highest – it had received others for €530 million – but the fund ruled those out because it preferred the liquidity and seriousness of Ortega’s offer.
Original story: La Opinión A Coruña
Translation: Carmel Drake