8 May 2018 – Expansión
The Socimi Merlin plans to spend €250 million launching new logistics assets over the next four years. “We are continuing with our ambitious expansion plan, primarily through the development of land and the construction of turnkey projects”, said Merlin’s CEO, Ismael Clemente (pictured below), speaking yesterday at the company’s General Shareholders’ Meeting.
The director explained that Merlin is going to add another 500,000 m2 of space to its existing portfolio to exceed “by far and in record time” the 2 million m2 of logistics space that it currently manages. “That will place us in a clear position of leadership with respect to our competitors”, he said.
This investment will be made in addition to the €370 million that the real estate company is going to use to reform and reposition its portfolio of offices and shopping centres.
Clemente explained that the intense investment activity in which Merlin has been immersed since its creation was obeying a “strategic vision”. “We were living through the start of the upward trend of a new real estate cycle and there was a window of opportunity open to buy some very high-quality assets and companies at very attractive prices. That quality and those prices will not be seen again until the next cycle comes around”, he said.
The director reiterated the “outstanding” return to shareholders of 21.6% in 2017. In this sense, yesterday, the shareholders approved a 9% increase in the dividend, to be charged against the results for 2018, to reach €235 million.
Clemente also revealed that his firm will be looking carefully at the real estate plans designed by Aena for the airports in Barajas and El Prat. Aena is planning to market 2.7 million m2 of buildable space for logistics, hotel and office use on land that it owns at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport and another 1.85 million m2 of land at Barcelona-El Prat airport.
Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake