8/09/2014 – Expansion
Telefonica has excercised its pre-emptive right as a tenant and bought its Barcelona headquarters for an amount of €107 million. When the sale of the 24-storey, 34.000 square meter skyscaper to insurance firm Axa was being taken for granted, the phone operator barged in, equalled the purchase price and outbid the rival.
Telefonica will pay a total of €129.4 million (€107 million plus VAT), the cap price that the vendor Consorcio de la Zona Franca (Free Trade Zone Consortium, aka CZF) had expected to obtain at the bidding.
Apart from Axa, Qatari Ibrahim Hassan Al Asmakh has taken part in the tender, offering €100 million, whereas the bid of the third bidder, Antenor Group, was discarded for lack of a guarantee. Telefonica had not attended the process on purpose to equal the final offer and excercise its pre-emptive right.
This way, the operator becomes the owner of its two main Spanish headquarters in Madrid and now also in Barcelona. The Catalonian premises building, called the Diagonal 00, is located in an emerging office area, adjacently to the building known as Forum at the very beginning of the Avenida Diagonal avenue.
The skyscraper was built by CZF in a framework of a turn-key project for Telefonica which was bound to rent it until 2060.
The seller is going to intend the proceeds from the sale for cutting in its indebtness and for some core investments, such as improvement of the industrial area of the Free Trading Zone of Barcelona and raising a new housing development in the La Marina Port Vell neighborhood in the Catalonian capital.
With the acquisition, Telefonica positions among the 2014 top investors in Barcelona real estate market. Year-to-date, transactions like the purchase of the building of Deutsche Bank by KKH for €90 million or the sale of the Torre Agbar tower to Emin Capital for €150 million are noteworthy. In the last months, also newly listed Reits (Socimis) acquired several properties in Barcelona. For instance, an office property belonging to the Cornella World Trade Center complex (Barcelona) was bought by Socimi (or Reit) Merlin Properties that paid €47 million for it, as well as the Anec Blau shopping mall in Castelldefels (Barcelona) purchased by another Socimi, Lar, for €80 million.
Original article: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)
Translation: AURA REE