21 March 2017 – Expansión
Iberdrola has hung the “for sale” sign up over the jewel in the crown of its real estate subsidiary: the building that houses the Hotel Hilton Diagonal Mar, a four-star property located at the intersection of Calles García Faria and Taulet, in the Barcelona neighbourhood of Diagonal Mar.
The company has contracted the real estate consultancy firm Irea to sell the asset, which has an asking price of more than €150 million, according to market sources.
These sources also indicate that the process will be restricted and that they will look to attract four or five candidates interested in acquiring the asset.
The building that houses the Hilton Diagonal Mar is the largest asset in the real estate subsidiary’s current portfolio, behind Torre Iberdrola in Bilbao, which is the corporate headquarters of the multinational company and is therefore strategic for the energy group and not susceptible to being sold.
Iberdrola’s real estate subsidiary has different types of assets in its portfolio, ranging from primary homes and tourist apartments, to offices, industrial warehouses and shopping centres. Currently, Iberdrola Inmobiliaria has a portfolio of real estate assets under management with a combined gross leasable area of more than 200,000 m2.
In Barcelona, the company owns the office buildings Torre Auditori and Torre Marina (in the final phases of construction).
The hotel now up for sale, work of the architect Oscar Tusquets and opened in 2005, was developed by the real estate subsidiary of Iberdrola.
Agreement with Hilton
Just before the construction work was completed, the company reached an agreement with Hilton whereby the hotel chain would take charge of the operation of the establishment for 20 years.
The Hilton Diagonal Mar has almost 420 rooms and around 20 suites, as well as multi-functional meeting rooms and a ballroom with capacity for 1,000 people. The building, which is oriented towards corporate events and conferences, is located opposite the Diagonal Mar shopping centre, a stone’s throw away from Barcelona’s International Convention Centre (CCIB) and 18 km from the airport.
Real estate investment in hotel assets returned to record figures in 2016. In this way, almost a quarter of all investment in commercial assets was linked to hotel assets.
Specifically, last year saw investment volumes of €2,200 million, the second highest amount ever recorded, thanks to a boost from some significant transactions, such as the sale of Merlin’s hotel portfolio – comprising 19 hotels and 3,645 rooms – to Foncière des Murs for €535 million. Likewise, last year, the Hotel Villa Magna was sold to the Turkish group Dogus for €180 million, in what is still the highest grossing operation to date in terms of price per room (€1.2 million), ahead of the almost €800,000 per room that was paid for the Hotel Ritz in 2015. (…).
Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo and M. Á. Patiño)
Translation: Carmel Drake