Facebook in Torre Glòries: CCC Will Provide Anti Fake News Services to the US Giant

7 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The US giant Facebook has chosen Barcelona. According to sources in the sector, the California-based company has engaged Competence Call Center, which announced its moved to Torre Glòries two weeks ago, to fight against fake content on its platform. In this space, CCC is going to employ more than 500 people who will work directly for the technology giant in the building owned by Merlin.

CCC is going to occupy 10 floors in the building located in the 22@ district. Facebook has already opened another content control centre in Europe together with CCC in Germany, a model that it is now going to replicate in Barcelona, according to Cinco Dias.

Measuring 142 m tall and with a gross leasable area of 37,614 m2, the building in Barcelona has received investment amounting to €15 million from Merlin. After the departure of the EMA, the Socimi decided to convert the property into a multi-tenant space aimed at the office sector.

The building was designed by the architects Jean Nouvel and Fermín Vázquez and inaugurated in 2005. It has 34 above ground floors and an auditorium with capacity for more than 350 people. In addition, the building has another four floors for parking with 300 spaces. In total, the property spans a surface area of 51,485 m2.

The real estate group acquired the building in January 2017 for €142 million. With this operation, the Socimi avoided the tourist moratorium imposed by the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, which prevented Emin Capital from opening a luxury hotel in the famous tower.

Emin Capital reached an agreement with Agbar at the end of 2013 to acquire the building for €150 million. That commitment materialised at the beginning of 2016 when the group made its first payment of €35 million.

The 22@ district is the main area of growth in the office market in Barcelona, having consolidated its position as a magnet for international innovative companies such as Cisco, Ebay, Yahoo, Deutsche Telekom, Sage, SAP, Capgemini and Indra, amongst others.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Will 2017 Be The Year Of Mergers Between The Socimis?

24 February 2017 – Expansión

The Socimi boom continues unabated. Ores – the listed real estate investment vehicle owned by Bankinter and Sonae Sierra – debuted on the Madrid stock market on Wednesday, and in doing so became the thirty-first company of its kind to have its shares traded on the MAB (Alternative Investment Market). Moreover, all indications are that this phenomenon is going to continue to grow.

An attractive tax regime and capital appetite for real estate assets has led to a flood of Socimis debuting on the stock market in recent years.

Heading up the list of Socimis, by size, are Merlin – the only real estate company whose shares are traded on the Ibex – Hispania, Lar España and Axiare. These four companies, which debuted on the Madrid stock exchange between March and June 2014 with €2,560 million to invest, now own a combined portfolio worth more than €10,500 million.

In addition to these Socimis, there are around thirty other companies that have joined the MAB in recent years. Following the tsunami that the real estate sector has experienced in just three years, the question now is: What will happen next?


According to a report prepared by CBRE, “In 2016, the number of Socimis is expected to continue growing. Nevertheless, given that an increasing number of Socimis are competing in a somewhat limited market, it is likely that 2017 will be a year in which there is pressure for them to increase in terms of size and specialisation, with the aim of obtaining competitive advantages, driving merger and acquisition activity, and selling off non-strategic portfolios of assets between Socimis”.

In this sense, it is expected that existing investment vehicles owned by family offices and private banking will be converted into Socimis. The experts at CBRE point out that pooling assets into existing investment vehicles, in return for ownership stakes in them, generates value growth for investors. (…).

The analysts also point out that the Socimis are likely to move towards more specialisation in the future. In this sense, Hispania is planning to focus its activity on hotels, whilst it divests its residential business and rotates its offices. (…).

Merlin – the largest real estate company in Spain and one of the ten largest Socimis in Europe – decided to sell off its portfolio of hotel assets to Foncière des Regions for €535 million to focus on its significant office portfolio, which has just grown thanks to the Socimi’s acquisition of the iconic Torre Gloriés building, also known as Torre Agbar (pictured above), in Barcelona, for €142 million.

Meanwhile, Axiare is focusing above all on offices, whilst Lar España is centring its attention on shopping centres.


Operations such as Merlin’s purchase of Torre Agbar on 12 January and Axiare’s acquisition of the headquarters of Capgemini and PSA last month reflect the fact that, after the record investment figure recorded in 2016 – €14,000 million, a figure hitherto unseen in Spain – the real estate market is still very attractive.

“We expect 2017 to also be a very active year for the Spanish investment market (…)”, say sources at CBRE (….) thanks to the more attractive returns being offered by the real estate sector compared to other sectors, the outlook for economic growth across Europe and the continuous improvements in financing (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R.Arroyo and R.Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake