26 September 2016 – Expansión
Grupo Villar Mir, the controlling shareholder of OHL, is making progress with its aggressive divestment plan, through which it aims to reduce its own level of indebtedness, as well as that of the construction company, and solve the financial problems that it finds itself immersed in. To this end, the industrial holding company has accelerated the search process to identify an investor willing to buy some of the complex of Canalejas buildings in Madrid.
Specifically, the Villar Mir group, which controls the project through a holding company (75%) and OHL (25%) has engaged the real estate consultancy Colliers to analyse the sale of a minority stake in the Canalejas complex, the real estate project that it is currently developing in the centre of Madrid.
The aim is to analyse the proposals that various investment groups have submitted to the owner of OHL, to participate in the project, which is expected to require an investment of €500 million. “This analysis phase will be completed in October and only then will we be able to take a decision regarding the possible partial divestment, whilst retaining control over and our commitment to the project”, said sources at the company.
According to El Confidencial, a number of possible interested parties are presenting themselves as contenders, including the international funds TH Real Estate and Lone Star.
In any case, Villar Mir will retain a majority stake in the project, given that its intention is to sell a stake of between 30% and 49%.
At the beginning of 2013, Villar Mir purchased seven buildings from Banco Santander, located between Calles de Alcalá, Sevilla and Plaza de Canalejas, for €215 million. The complex will house a luxury hotel managed by the Four Seasons chain, around 20 homes associated with the hotel, a shopping centre covering 15,000 sqm and a 500-space car park.
Initially, Villar Mir hoped to open the complex at the end of 2016, but problems with the Town Hall of Madrid relating to the renovation work delayed the project and it is now not expected to open until 2018. The construction company has launched a comprehensive divestment plan. Its portfolio of assets available for sale include 7% of Abertis, the industrial division, and the Mayacobá Mexican hotels. (…).
Original story: Expansión (by C. Morán and R. Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake