20 September 2018 – Eje Prime
Catalana Occidente has given a boost to its real estate subsidiary to handle new purchases. Grupo Catalana Occidente Activos Inmobiliarios has carried out a capital increase amounting to €31.1 million, which has been fully subscribed by several group companies. Those funds have been earmarked for the acquisition of the WIP office building and the Bellesguard Tower, both located in Barcelona, according to sources at the company speaking to Eje Prime.
With this operation, the real estate arm of the insurance group is dealing with the strong investment activity in the real estate sector, with a cumulative investment of more than €200 million in two years. Following the increase, the share capital of Grupo Catalana Occidente Activos Inmobiliarios is set at more than €69 million.
In July, Catalana Occidente purchased the WIP office building from the property developers Castellví Group and the funds Stoneweg and 1810 Capital for €20 million. The property, located at number 121 Calle Ciutat de Granada, in the 22@ district of Barcelona, has a surface area of 4,400 m2 and is leased to the multi-national WeWork.
WIP is located next to two other buildings, Luxa Silver and Luxa Gold. They have a surface area of 10,000 m2 and 7,000 m2, respectively, and have formed part of Catalana Occidente’s asset portfolio since September 2017. The group spent €90 million on the purchase of the Luxa office complex, which is leased to Amazon and WeWork.
These three new buildings have been added to the one that the company purchased at the beginning of last year, also in the 22@ technological district, when it acquired the La Llave de Oro building, which houses the Atos headquarters, for €21 million.
A clear commitment to the office market
The other asset behind this capital increase is the Bellesguard Tower, a modernist building located in Barcelona and constructed by Antonio Gaudí. In July, Catalana Occidente reached an agreement to acquire that property, owned by the Guilera family, for €30 million.
The operation responds to the group’s intention to “add value to the company, and is exceptional nature”, according to a statement from the insurance company, which also plans to finance the conservation and restoration of the tower, which is open to the public.
At the end of 2017, Catalana Occidente had real estate assets worth more than €1.17 billion. Its portfolio mainly comprises offices (95%), a strategy that seems to have a lot of potential. In fact, in the last two years alone, the company has spent €208 million on the purchase of six business buildings located in prime areas of Madrid and Barcelona.
Original story: Eje Prime (by B. Seijo)
Translation: Carmel Drake