17 September 2018 – Eje Prime
Blackstone is strengthening its commitment to Spanish property. The US fund, which has been very active in the domestic real estate market in recent years, has just completed the purchase of 50.01% of Testa from Merlin, Santander and BBVA, according to a statement issued by the parties.
Testa is the largest manager of rental homes in Spain, with 10,615 real estate assets in its portfolio and a turnover of €85 million in annualised gross income. Most of the shares of the Socimi, which has been listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) since July, will now be owned by Tropic Real Estate Holding, a company managed by Blackstone.
One of the largest shareholders of the company, the real estate firm Merlin, has pocketed €321 million from this operation, which means valuing the own funds of Spain’s largest Socimi at €1.895 billion. With the funds obtained, the company led by Ismael Clemente plans to reduce its debt, within the framework of the company’s objectives.
Following Merlin’s exit from the company, Acciona Inmobiliaria, the real estate investment arm of the energy firm, has been left as the main domestic shareholder of the listed company.
Testa’s homes are primarily located in Madrid, although the firm also has a presence in other major cities in the country such as Barcelona, San Sebastián, Valencia, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Valencia and Palma, amongst others.
Testa, created in 2001 by the construction company Sacyr, invested €228 million in March in the purchase of 4,500 homes from the BuildingCenter, the real estate arm of CaixaBank. Moreover, following its incorporation onto the MAB, one of its largest shareholders, Acciona Inmobiliaria studied the possibility of becoming a reference shareholder of the Socimi.
Original story: Eje Prime
Translation: Carmel Drake