17 October 2017 – Expansión
Popular has increased the book value of the real estate complex that was going to house its future headquarters to almost €400 million. The complex, which is still under construction, is being built on two plots that Popular purchased from Vocento in 2008. The plots span a surface area of more than 100,000m2, alongside the A2 motorway in Madrid. The market valuation of the headquarters could amount to €200 million, according to calculations by real estate experts.
The property is one of the unique assets inherited by Santander following its purchase of Popular. For the time being, the group will retain control of the headquarters, given that it has not been included in the batch of assets that Santander is going to transfer to the company that it is going to constitute together with Blackstone. That new company, in which the US firm is going to hold a 51% stake and Santander a 49% stake, will manage the damaged portfolio inherited from Popular. The company will be born with assets on its balance sheet with a gross value of €30,000 million.
The corporate complex of the former Banco Popular comprises two independent buildings, located on both sides of the A2. One of them, on Calle Abelias, is already finished. The second, on Calle Juan Ignacio Luca de Tena, is still under construction. The initial forecast was that the building work would be completed this autumn.
The book value of the property on Calle Abelias amounts to €132 million, according to the most recently published figures, which relate to December 2016. Of that total value, €44 million relates to the cost of the land and €93 million to the investment in the construction of the building. The sum of those two figures equals €137 million, from which €5 million has already been deducted for cumulative depreciation, to arrive at the aforementioned figure of €132 million.
In terms of the building on Calle Luca de Tena, the cost of the land amounts to €112 million. Meanwhile, the value of the construction in progress amounts to €149 million at year-end, up by €74 million compared to 2015. The sum of the two figures gives a global value of €261 million.
The property that has already been finished, on Calle Abelias, was inaugurated in January 2013 and houses Popular’s technological headquarters. The IT migration is one of the most sensitive elements of the merger currently underway between Santander and Popular (…).
Following the purchase of Popular, Santander now has four large corporate centres in Madrid. On the one hand, it has the Ciudad Financiera, its central headquarters, located in the Madrilenian town of Boadilla del Monte. That building was inaugurated in 2004, has a surface area of 250 hectares and comprises nine office buildings (….). Santander also owns Banesto’s former corporate complex, located on Calle Mesena in Madrid, which is home to the Santander España division. Meanwhile, the group owns the historical headquarters of the now extinct entity Banif, specifically, the small palace located on Castellana 24, which has housed the central services of Openbank, the group’s digital bank since this summer.
Original story: Expansión (by M. Martínez)
Translation: Carmel Drake