Bankia Buys 10,000m2 Office Building In Madrid From Activum

3 March 2017 – El Confidencial

Bankia outgrew its Torre Kio offices in Madrid several years ago. In fact, it was more than a decade ago when the entity (still operating under the guise of Caja Madrid) began to consider moving offices. To that end, it acquired the imposing skyscraper from Repsol that Norman Foster had designed on the site of Real Madrid’s former Ciudad Deportiva.

But that operation ended up being disastrous for the bank, which paid €800 million to acquire the property and ended up selling it for half that sum. Nevertheless, Bankia’s expanding space requirements are a reality once again, and under the mandate of José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, the entity is embarking on a cautious but gradual policy of acquiring assets for corporate use.

In this vein, the entity acquired an office building from Activum in December. The property is located in the Julián Camarillo district of Madrid, a secondary area that is currently enjoying a revival, thanks to the boost being given by property companies such as Torre Rioja.

The building in question is located at number 32 on Calle Santa Leonor, it has a surface area of 10,134 m2, spread over two basement floors, with more than a hundred parking spaces, one ground floor, four upper floors and one top floor. Bankia has acquired this building to house all of the workers from its Multi-channel Department, which until last year occupied a rental property, specifically, the Torre Foster, which Amancio Ortega has just purchased. The entity has confirmed the acquisition of this building, but declined to reveal the amount paid, which according to market sources must have amounted to between €2,000/m2 and €2,500/m2, taking the final figure for the transaction to around €20 million.

This is the second major purchase of an office building that Bankia has signed in recent months, after it closed the acquisition of the property that houses its IT services in Las Rozas, for €130 million, from the Swedish group SEKin December 2015. Five years earlier, SEK had bought the building from Caja Madrid for €108 million, with the commitment from the entity to remain as the tenant (‘sale & leaseback’).

With these two operations, the entity has managed to balance out some of its past mistakes, given that, on the one hand, it has exchanged an expensive rent in one of the most iconic buildings in Madrid for a purchase that it has managed to make at a reasonable price and, on the other hand, it is readjusting the numbers for a sale that it completed during one of the toughest periods of the financial crisis.

Through this sale, Activum has completed its second divestment in Spain, following the sale of an office building on Calle Manuel de Falla to the Socimi Axiare. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ortega Acquires Torre Cepsa For €490M

3 October 2016 – La Opinión A Coruña

On Friday, the founder of Inditex, Amancio Ortega, completed the acquisition of Torre Cepsa in Madrid, for around €490 million, according to sources close to the operation. Ortega submitted his offer through his real estate company Pontegadea to IPIC, the Abu Dhabi state fund, owner of the oil and gas company Cepsa, which has leased the property, owned until now by Bankia, since 2013.

The building, one of the four towers in the north of Paseo de la Castellana, has a surface area measuring more than 109,000 sqm, including offices covering a gross leasable area of 56,250 sqm and a five-storey car park measuring 37,500 sqm.

The operation was completed in two phases. In the first phase, Khadem Al Qubaisi, the former director general of IPIC, exercised his purchase option, worth around €400 million to acquire the building. He then immediately sold the property onto Pontegadea for €490 million.

In October 2013, Bankia signed an agreement to lease the tower, designed by Norman Foster, which houses the corporate headquarters of Cepsa. The contract had an eight-year term, extendable for another seven years on a year by year basis. But it included a future purchase option, which the tenant had the right to exercise for a price to be determined at the time of the operation, on the basis of objective criteria agreed in advance.

As such, Amancio Ortega has acquired his second skyscraper on La Castellana, following his purchase of Torre Picasso, in 2011, for €400 million. The richest man in Spain and the second wealthiest man in the world also owns number 32 on Madrid’s Gran Vía, which makes him the landlord of some of Zara’s key rival brands such as Mango, H&M and Primark.

This purchase expands Ortega’s property portfolio, which used to be worth around €6,000 million – and is now worth more, if only because of the significant income that will result in terms of rental payments -. And the buildings that Pontegadea buys have a clear profile: iconic, historical buildings, dedicated to commercial and office use that can be rented to companies and institutions that are significant because of their size or solvency. The firm has a genuine real estate empire in Madrid, Barcelona and the main capital cities of Europe and the USA, but in recent months, it has also started to set its sights on Asia. (…).

Pontegadea’s bid was most favoured by IPIC even though it was not the highest – it had received others for €530 million – but the fund ruled those out because it preferred the liquidity and seriousness of Ortega’s offer.

Original story: La Opinión A Coruña

Translation: Carmel Drake