4 September 2018 – Ali Market
The Riu Hotels & Resorts group has closed the sale to the investment firm Corpfin of the commercial space in Edificio España. The space is split over three floors (of a total of 27 in the property) and spans a total surface area of 15,000 sqm. This operation has caused the businessman Trinitario Casanova (Baraka), who intervened in the sale of the property by the former owner, the Chinese Wanda group, to the current Mallorcan owner, to file a lawsuit in the courts against Riu for breach of contract, on the basis that he understood that he had the right to recognise that commercial space in his name. Sources at Corpfin declined to deny or confirm the purchase, whilst sources at Riu confirmed that a sale has taken place (without specifying the buyer) and that the contract with Casanova has been cancelled.
Specifically, sources at Riu explain that “the current owner [of Edificio España] is the Riu group, which is undertaking the necessary work, in accordance with current legislation, to convert Edificio España into a reference hotel in Madrid from 2019 onwards, in addition to maintaining the identity of an architectural example that is of great value to the Spanish capital. In this sense, “Mr Casanova says that he purchased the building and sold it hours later, something that is false. Mr Casanova played an intermediary role between the Riu group and Wanda. Subsequently, a contract was signed whereby Mr Casanova exercised an intermediary role to sell the commercial space in Edificio España, owned by the Riu group, in exchange for a commission on the sales value. Mr Casanova breached the contract, given that he did not look for any buyers and merely submitted an offer to Riu in his own name. That offer was assessed by the Riu Group’s Board of Directors, which considered it insufficient and rejected it. “Given that Mr Casanova was not fulfilling the obligations established in the contract signed between the two parties, Riu received a higher offer for the commercial space in Edificio España and decided to accept it, as well as to cancel the contract with Mr Casanova after more than a year of inactivity by him”.
In all other regards, the Riu group, “as the legal owner of Edificio España” is undertaking the necessary remodelling and maintenance work to strengthen the structure and ensure that the front and side façades of the building are preserved “in order to protect the work of the Otamendi brothers, as established by the Law for the Protection of Historical Buildings”. This work requires a series of modifications and reinforcements to the structure of the building to ensure the preservation of the building and façade in perfect condition. “This work is being carried out in continuous dialogue with the municipal experts. None of the reviews by the municipal architects has led to the issuance of an unfavourable report regarding the execution that is being carried out by the Riu group, which always follow the instructions of the Town Hall’s architects”.
Original story: Ali Market (by Paco Mota)
Translation: Carmel Drake