BBVA Breaks off Talks for Sale of Operation Chamartín with Merlin Properties

1 October 2019 – BBVA has informed Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) that it has broken off talks regarding the potential sale of its development rights to the Operation Chamartín project. The bank did not cite a reason for the breakdown in the talks. Merlin Properties had recently  made a preliminary offer of almost 700 bank branches it leases to BBVA in exchange for the rights.

Recently, other candidates, such as the Canadian investment group Brookfield and the sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, have also demonstrated an interest in the project. Construction in the Operation Chamartín area is expected to last for 25 years and require total investments of over €7 billion.

Original Story: La Vanguardia – Conchi Lafraya

Photo: Dani Duch

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Villar Mir Sells Another 5% Stake In Colonial For €114M

10 June 2016 – Expansión

Grupo Villar Mir has sold off another 5% stake in Colonial for €114 million. Together with that stake, another 1.23% of the shares, which had been owned by the President of OHL and which are currently held by Société Général, have also been placed on the stock market.

Following this operation, the company owned by Juan Miguel Villar Mir has lost its status as the majority shareholder of Colonial; Qatar Investment Authority takes over that mantle, with its 13.13% stake.

It is the second time that Villar Mir has decided to sell shares in Colonial in less than a year, after it sold a stake representing 10% of the share capital, worth €178 million, in September last year.

Whilst that divestment was undertaken in order to finance OHL’s capital increase; this time around, the objective is to reduce the gearing ratio of Grupo Villar Mir, given the current climate of volatility on the stock markets, said sources close to the company yesterday. On the other hand, with this sale, the group will generate significant capital gains.

Willingness to continue as a shareholder

The same sources said that Grupo Villar Mir continues to be “very satisfied” with its shareholding in Colonial – it still has a great deal of confidence in the company’s future and does not expect to sell any more of its shares in the group in the coming months.

In May 2014, Villar Mir participated in Colonial’s capital increase, subscribing in full to the amount that corresponded to it on the basis of its shareholding in the company. In order to finance that operation, Grupo Villar Mir negotiated a financing contract with Deutsche Bank amounting to €300 million. The contract was divided into two tranches. The first, amounting to €100 million, had to be repaid within a period of less than a year, whilst the second, amounting to €200 million has to be repaid within a period of five years.

Last September, Villar Mir also sold a 2.9% stake in Abertis, which, like in the case of this sale of its shares in Colonial, it justified by the need to finance OHL’s capital increase. The businessman’s stake in Abertis was reduced to 16%.

The Catalan real estate company Colonial earned €11 million during the three months to March 2016, which represents a 131% increase compared to the same period last year, when its profits amounted to €5 million. Last May, Colonial announced that it was going to carry out a non-monetary capital increase, amounting to €265 million, so as to continue to acquire office buildings. In parallel to this operation, the group is preparing to make investments worth €400 million. Colonial’s shares closed trading yesterday at €0.709 per share, having increased by 1.14%.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Anglés and C. Morán)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Colonial To Pay Dividends Again After 10 Years

23 February 2016 – El Mundo

The Group generated profits of €415 million in 2015, thanks to the revaluation of its buildings.

Its profits in 2015 were 15.6% lower than in 2014, when the figures reflected the positive accounting effect of the deconsolidation of Asentia.

After 10 years, the Colonial Group is going to distribute dividends once again, distributed from its results for the financial year 2015. The real estate company will allocate around €47 million for payment to its shareholders, 59% of whom are individual investors. The rest of the Group’s capital is held by the Villar Mir Group (15%), the Qatar Investment Authority (13%) and Aguila LTD (7%), a fund owned by (the Colombian group) Santo Domingo (…).

Colonial’s share price closed 2015 at €0.62, after improving by 29% during the year. Shareholders will receive a dividend of €0.015 per share. The company, led by Juan José Brugera, generated a net profit of €415 million last year, after receiving revenues from rental income of €231 million, up by 9% YoY, due to a 6% increase in rental prices, as well as the impact of new acquisitions made in 2014 and 2015. The Group’s profits in 2015 were 15.6% lower than in 2014, when the results reflected the positive accounting effect of the deconsolidation of Asentia (which was not repeated in 2015).

The real estate company, which operates in Barcelona and Madrid, as well as in Paris, through its French subsidiary Société Foncière Lyonnaise (SFL) recorded a 20% increase in the valuation of its assets, to €6,913 million, with 4% of that amount relating to its most recent operations in Paris. In 2016, the firm wants to continue its pace of investment, at around €300 million per year, even though that figure rose to €475 million in 2015. It will also continue to operate in the office segment in its three geographical markets, through both renovations and new builds.

Original story: El Mundo (by M. T. Coca)

Translation: Carmel Drake