19/03/2014 – El Mundo
At the moment, Santander is negotiating sale of one of his real estate jewels with the most affluent person in China, Wang Jianlin. Emilio Botín, the bank´s chairman, received an offer from the Chinese multi-millionaire for the emblematic Edificio España building, situated in the Plaza de España Square in Madrid and regarded as the first skyscraper raised in the country. According to sources with knowledge of the transaction, Jianlin´s Dalia Wanda Group is ready to pay €260 million that means by 33% less than the amount Botín paid nine years ago.
The bank acquired the property in 2005 from Metrovacesa for €389 million and since that time it has been unsuccessfully trying to sell the building. (…).
The Chinese businessman vistited Madrid one week ago and confirmed the purchase. Another reason for the visit was to see the performance of Chineese football players training in Madrid, involved in so-called “Wanda Project”. (…)
Less than six months ago, Wang Jianlin revealed his plans to invest in construction, hotels and entertainment in Spain. (…) The groups leads in the Chinese real estate market with a particular focus on cinemas. (…).
A survey published recently shows that Edificio España is considered the most underused property in Madrid. The property covers an area of 76.000 square meters, is 117 meters tall, 28-floor and was born as a symbol of greatness the Franco era wanted to give to Madrid, outshining the U.S. skyscrapers from the 50s. Two architects from San Sebastián, Joaquín and Julián Otamendi Machimbarrena designed it. In 1953, Edificio España began to reign over the capital. (…).
In 2005, Gestora Santander Activos Inmobiliarios management company bought 50% of the building through its trust Santander Central Hispano Banif Inmobiliario. (…) The property became a flagship of Banif Inmobiliario that had invested €1.300 million in it.
Jianlin weights up establishing a hotel and a shopping center within the building. To be precise, the project assumes a luxury hotel and shopping zone, apart from apartments for customers of high-income profile. (…) By 2006, the property was occupied by Crowne Plaza and from that year on it has been vacant.
Three months ago, Santader acquired 8% of Bank of Shanghai´s capital for €470 million, by deed tightening relationship with China.
Original article: El Mundo (Marisa Recuero)
Translation: AURA REE