11 October 2018 – Expansión
The distribution group is finalising the sale to Inbest, a vehicle owned by Corpfin, of two premises, joined together to form a 7,000 m2 centre, on the Valencian street of Calle Colón.
El Corte Inglés is taking another step forward in its non-strategic asset divestment policy to reduce its debt. To this end, it is finalising the sale to Corpfin Real Estate of two premises converted into a single commercial space, located in Valencia, for more than €90 million, according to market sources speaking to Expansión.
The premises, both located on Calle Colón – one of the main commercial thoroughfares in Valencia – have a combined surface area of 7,000 m2.
It is the second operation that the two groups have signed in recent months, after they reached an agreement in the summer to sell two more retail premises on Gran Vía in Bilbao and Calle Princesa in Madrid, with a combined surface area of 8,800 m2, for €93 million. Like in those cases, this latest operation will be executed using the sale & leaseback formula, which means that El Corte Inglés will remain as the tenant following the sale, and the operation will not affect the business or its employees in any way.
This operation will allow El Corte Inglés to reduce its debt, which currently amounts to €3.65 billion, and to optimise its resources. The premises that have been sold in Valencia belonged at the time to a real estate portfolio that the group purchased from Marks & Spencer when the British firm left Spain. The stores are very well located but they are also some of the firm’s smallest premises in the city, where it has four large department stores on: Avenida de Francia, Pintor Sorolla-Colón, Ademuz and Nuevo Centro.
Meanwhile, the operation allows Corpfin Real Estate to continue growing Inbest’s asset portfolio. At the beginning of this year, the manager launched this vehicle comprising several Socimis, which it was thought may debut on the stock market possibly before the summer. This vehicle was created with the aim of investing €400 million, between capital and financing, before 2021, although, with this operation, it has now almost fulfilled that objective.
In addition to the premises acquired from El Corte Inglés, Inbest has reached an agreement to purchase the commercial area in Edificio España from RIU for around €160 million. Similarly, this summer, it purchased a store measuring 1,500 m2 on Calle Triana, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, from an Indian family.
Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo & V. Osorio)
Translation: Carmel Drake