3 November 2015 – Expansión
Grupo Villar Mir is pushing ahead with the process to sell Torre Espacio, the skyscraper it owns in the Cuatro Torres complex in Madrid. By Wednesday 21 October, the company, which commissioned the consultancy Aguirre Newman to advise on the sale of the property back in June, had received at least five binding offers for the building, located on Paseo de la Castellana.
Villar Mir, which owns the building through its real estate company Espacio, has ruled out three of the five offers, since they all made demands on the vendor, which will now become the main tenant of the property, with its companies OHL, Espacio, Ferroatlántica and Fertiberia, amongst others, occupying 50% of the tower. According to sources in the sector, two international funds and the subsidiary of a European insurance company, which some sources have identified as Axa, demanded corporate guarantees from Villar Mir, such as shares in some of its group companies (Abertis and Colonial), by way of aval for the payment of the rent, however the owner of Torre Espacio is not prepared to go down that route. According to Juan Miguel Villar Mir himself, the vendor is willing to secure the payment of the rent for the approx. 50% of the surface area that it will occupy, but not through shares of the listed companies that it owns.
In this way, the owner of OHL has pre-selected two offers – one made by the fund Invesco Real Estate, which has teamed up with a partner, and the other made by Corporación Financiera Alba, the investment arm of the March family. Both offers must amount to around €600 million, as that is the minimum amount for which Villar Mir has said it would be willing to sell the building.
Now, the vendor is evaluating whether to invite both candidates to participate in a final round of analysis (a more comprehensive due diligence of the property), something the bidders would rather avoid, or to opt for one of the bids only. Another option being considered is to accept a third candidate if one of the investors were to make changes to its original bid.
In both cases, Villar Mir would end up closing the operation before the end of the year, although other sources say that the deeds will not be signed now until 2016. (…).
Torre Espacio, opened in 2007, is 236m tall and has 60,140m2 of office space. Villar Mir invested €400 million on its construction.
Besides the Villar Mir group, other tenants of the skyscraper include companies such as Red Bull, British American Tobacco and Sonatrach, as well as the Dutch, British, Canadian and Australian embassies.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake