24 January 2019 -El Confidencial
The US fund Starwood Capital has taken another important bite out of the Spanish office market with the purchase of the entire portfolio of Autonomy, the Socimi whose main asset was the Madrilenian Omega Business Park, a giant corporate complex comprising four buildings spanning more than 33,000 m2, and which houses the headquarters of multinationals such as BP and Samsung.
The transaction, whose consideration amounted to €125 million, also includes an office complex in the sought-after 22@ district of Barcelona, which allows the US fund to also expand its presence into the Catalan capital and to make strides in its commitment to build an office portfolio in Spain worth €500 million.
To reach this objective, Starwood joined forces last year with Drago Capital, together with which it starred in the purchase of the Madrilenian San Fernando Business Park for €120 million, and which has also accompanied it in its purchase from Autonomy (…).
The Socimi, meanwhile, had put the for sale sign up over its whole portfolio a while ago. It constructed the portfolio with a clear opportunistic appetite during the worst periods of the crisis and it is now able to undo its positions with juicy gains.
In fact, at the end of 2017, Autonomy sold the jewel in its crown in Spain, the building located at number 4 Gran Vía, to the Riberas family, owner of Gonvarri and Gestamp, for €43 million, an amount that generated a gain of 40% for the opportunistic investor.
Following the sale of the office portfolio to Starwood, the Socimi is going to distribute €44.7 million as an issue premium, as well as an interim dividend of €51 million, amounts that in both cases will be paid into the accounts of shareholders on 30 January.
Moreover, once all of these operations have been completed, Autonomy will still have €10 million in cash and no assets under ownership, which means that it will have completed its objective of divesting all of its positions in Spain with juicy gains.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake