24 December 2015 – Expansión
The operation has been closed for almost €65 million and reflects ECI’s strategy to selectively divest real estate assets to reduce its debt.
El Corte Inglés is continuing with its policy to selectively sell its real estate assets to reduce its debt. The company led by Dimas Gimenos has sold one of its properties in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid to the US fund Thor Equities for almost €65 million, according to market sources.
The building, which houses a bookstore, is located in one of the most important retail areas in the capital (on the corner with Calle Preciados) and has a total surface area of 1,344 m2 spread over three floors. El Corte Inglés has agreed with the fund Thor that it will continue to occupy the building as the tenant for one more year.
The department store group has a large portfolio of properties, worth almost €15,800 million, according to appraisals performed by Tinsa in 2014. Two years ago, it begin its new policy to divest its non-strategic assets with the sale of a building located next to the Plaza de Cataluña to the fund IBA, which also acquired another property from ECI on Calle Preciados in Madrid a few months later.
But not all of its activity involves property sales. Last year, the company acquired a plot of land that Adif had put up for sale on the Paseo de la Castellana. The plan is to expand the shopping centre that the distribution group has in that area, which is the great jewel in its asset portfolio.
The fund Thor made its first investment in Spain in September, with the acquisition of a property, also in Puerta del Sol, worth €9.5 million, which was previously owned by Kutxabank. It has also purchased number 16 Calle Fuencarral. In all three operations, Thor has been advised by the real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank.
Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake