14 January 2019 – El Periódico
Commercial Court number 9 in Madrid has decided that the best offer for the acquisition of Santander’s Ciudad Financiera, is the one presented by the brothers Simon and David Reuben through their investment arm in Spain, Sorlinda Investment, which bid a fixed amount of €283.73 million.
The administration responsible for the liquidation procedure of the company Marme Inversiones 2007, which is the owner of the Cantabrian bank’s headquarters, asked the Commercial Court to declare the offer presented by Sorlinda Investment as the winner after concluding that its bid was the best. In 2014, Marme Inversiones filed for creditors’ bankruptcy in light of its inability to repay the €1.575 billion loan that it had used to purchase the property from Banco Santander itself.
A few months ago, Banco Santander filed a series of allegations when it was announced that Sorlinda had won the bid. It questioned the entity in terms of the forecasts made in the liquidation plan, and because it considered that the offer submitted by the Reuben brothers did not fulfil the established requirements. The allegations were made by the banking group as creditor and offeror.
Nevertheless, the Commercial Court of Madrid explained that the execution of the liquidation plan, which regulates the procedures to be followed for the realisation of the assets, corresponds to the insolvency administration.
“The report presented explains the procedure followed for the selection of the bids submitted and the actions carried out by the insolvency administration, specifying that there are no justifications whatsoever to question it”, said the ruling, which states that the purpose of the plan is to obtain the greatest value from the asset for the benefit of all of the creditors.
In this way, despite the allegations presented by Ana Botín’s bank, the insolvency administration considers that, from an economic point of view, the offer presented by Sorlinda is the best for covering the loans of all of the creditors in the group.
The Reuben brothers, owners of other large assets
Reuben Brothers is a private investment group specialising in real estate development and debt financing. The company, created by two British brothers of Indian origin, is considered as one of the most exclusive in the world with several privileged properties in its portfolio, such as The Curtain and Members Club in Shoreditch, one of the most well-known luxury hotels in London, and Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club.
It is also the owner of the London Oxford airport in Kidlington, the Wellington Pub Company chain of clubs and the Italian marina Portosole Sanremo, amongst others.
Ana Botín’s entity agreed the sale of its head offices in Boadilla del Monte to Marme Inversiones 2007 on 12 September 2008 for €1.904 billion.
Nevertheless, Marme Inversiones 2007 filed for creditors’ bankruptcy in 2014, before the Court then initiated the coordinated liquidation plan in October 2015 (…).
Original story: El Periódico
Translation: Carmel Drake