Barclays Leases Central Madrid Office From Mutua Madrileña

26 July 2017 – El Confidencial

Last year, just a few months apart, Mutua Madrileña and Barclays starred in two of the most important office transactions in the capital’s recent history.

On the one hand, during the summer, the insurer broke a decade of investment drought when it acquired the property at number 51 on Calle José Abascal, the former headquarters of Fórum Filatélico.

On the other hand, in the autumn, the British bank took the decision to sell its last jewel in Spain with the sale of the property at number 1 Plaza de Colón, an operation that was completed at the beginning of this year.

Now, the paths of these two entities have crossed again with a rental agreement that they have signed for Barclays to occupy the whole, recently refurbished, Mutua Madrileña building.

The property, located just a stone’s throw from the heart of the Paseo de la Castellana, has a surface area of 3,600 m2, spread over seven floors and 62 parking spaces. It has just been renovated in accordance with the latest energy efficiency and sustainability technologies.

Mutua Madrileña acquired the building for €30 million from Credit Suisse, an entity that had, in turn, taken over the property during Fórum Filatélico’s bankruptcy process (…).

Now that the property has restored its past splendour, Barclays will install its investment banking and corporate banking activities there, given that it sold its entire retail business to CaixaBank two years ago for €820 million.

Barclays’ former headquarters on Plaza de Colón was acquired by CBRE GI, which also plans to carry out a comprehensive renovation of that property, which may be used for retail purposes in the future.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. U.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barclays Puts Its HQ In Madrid Up For Sale

5 October 2016 – El Confidencial

An iconic building in a unique location. That is the key selling point for Plaza de Colón, 1, the address of Barclay’s headquarters in Spain and the building that the British entity has decided to put up for sale in an operation that symbolises the bank’s downfall in the country.

The British entity has launched a process to sell the building for an amount that, depending on the bids received, could reach €55 million. In exchange, Barclays undertakes to remain as the sole tenant for a year, which will allow the new owner to lease the building to a new firm once it has completed the necessary renovation. Several sources familiar with the deal say that CBRE has exclusive rights to this operation, but neither the consultancy firm nor the bank have made any comments in this regard.

This divestment is the perfect finale to a real estate strategy that started to take shape two years ago, when Barclays sold its retail business to CaixaBank for €820 million. The British entity left this building outside of that transaction, as part of a reorganisation of its assets in Spain that followed the agreement with the Catalan bank.

In the specific case of the headquarters in Colón, the sale of the property by the former subsidiary (Barclays Bank SAU) to the mother ship in London was recorded at €15 million, an amount that will now allow the entity to recognise significant gains from its sale.

Following the agreement with CaixaBank, Barclays has limited its operations in Spain to activities involving investment and corporate banking, areas in which the entity hopes to gain market share in the future.

In fact, an official spokesperson acknowledged that “Barclays has started to explore the option of putting the building it owns in Colón up for sale”, and explained that the reason is that “we are considering the possibility of relocating the headquarters to a site that offers a better service in terms of facilities, technology and comfort, and which is tailored to the investment and corporate banking businesses that the bank is now focusing on and wanting to grow in Spain”.

End of an era

Barclays, which was ranked as the sixth largest entity in the country in its hey day when it purchased the former bank Zaragozano, took ownership of this three storey building two decades ago, when it acquired Banco Valladolid.

Now, with its sale, the bank is looking to take advantage of the strong investor appetite that currently exists in the Spanish real estate market. This interest is barely being met on the supply side, given that all buyers are complaining about the lack of quality buildings for sale along the Castellana thoroughfare, the most prime area in Madrid.

In this context, Plaza de Colón is experiencing a real metamorphosis, given that besides this operation, Mutua Madrileña has received several offers for its famous Torres de Colón, whilst BPA holds in its hands the future of the former headquarters of Banco Madrid.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake