Change of Heart: Slim Suspends Sale of Torre Realia in Barcelona

15 January 2018 – Eje Prime

Carlos Slim has changed his mind about Torre Realia in Barcelona. The real estate company owned by the Mexican magnate has decided to suspend the sales process of its most iconic asset in the Catalan capital, according to explanations provided by sources close to the process. Realia has received offers for more than the asking price (€140 million), however, the company has decided not to sell, citing changes in the company’s strategy.

Last June, Realia entrusted JLL and BNP Paribas with the mandate to sell this asset, equivalent to Torre Kio in Madrid. The tower is located in one of the fastest growing areas of the Catalan capital in terms of the office sector, in Plaza Europa, which is set to become the city’s new business district.

Although sources at the group claim that the decision is linked to a change in strategy, given that the offers that Realia had on the table were “higher than the price set by the real estate group”, it seems that the political situation and the climate of instability may have also been triggers for Slim’s group to decide to postpone the sale to a later date.

Realia’s trophy asset in Barcelona has 24 floors and a surface area of 31,960 m2, as well as 399 parking spaces. The property, which comprises two buildings, was designed by the architect Toyo Ito, in collaboration with Fermín Vázquez, from the B720 Arquitectos studio. Torre Realia is 110 m tall and its ground floor houses a shopping arcade that joins the two towers.

In terms of its real estate activity, at the end of the first half of 2017, Realia primarily owned offices and shopping centres for rent, which spanned a combined surface area of 405,842 m2 and had an occupancy rate of 93.5%. Moreover, at that time, it also owned an asset measuring 18,324 m2, in the form of the Los Cubos building in Madrid, which it ended up selling to the French group Therus for €52 million.

Realia’s stock of offices for rent spans a surface area of 226,729 m2, with an occupancy rate of 94.7%. Moreover, the company owns 41 residential plots for family homes, destined for self-promotion, which it has put up for sale. Realia’s current land portfolio spans a buildable surface area of 1,851,392 m2, of which 49% is located in Madrid and the central region of Spain, according to data from the group.

Plaza Europa, on the rise

The sale of Torre Realia comes at a time when the area in which it is located is enjoying a real boom. As the headquarters of KPMG in Barcelona, Realia’s asset has seen its value rise in recent months thanks to the large number of operations that have been closed in this enclave and to the growing number of large corporations that are moving their head offices to this new financial district, in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

One of the main players in the area is the Puig family, which has joined forces with the Catalan Socimi Colonial to build a 14,000 m2 tower at Plaza Europa 46, right opposite Grupo Puig’s corporate headquarters, which it just purchased from BBVA for around €60 million.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Realia Sells ‘Los Cubos’ Office Building To Therus For €52M

23 October 2017 – Expansión

The real estate company Realia, owned by Inmobiliaria Carso and FCC, which are both controlled by the Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, has sold the office building known as Los Cubos, located in Madrid, for €52 million.

The buyer is the French real estate company Therus, which is co-investing with the British investment group Henderson Park, according to several sources.

The property, which owes its name to its unique architecture, has a leasable area of 18,324 m2 and 334 parking spaces.

The real estate company put this building, located in the vicinity of the M-30 ring road, up for sale at the end of last year, as reported by Expansión at the time. The building has been vacant since the end of 2015. Before its sale, the company considered renovating it on several occasions to improve its appeal in the market.

In the end, Realia has sold the building for €52 million, compared to the initial asking price of €57 million. The sale of Los Cubos is the latest in a long line of high profile real estate investment operations closed in Spain in recent months. The investment volume in the real estate sector during the 9 months to September amounted to €10,300 million.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Realia Negotiates Sale Of Los Cubos Building For €55M

7 September 2017 – Eje Prime

Realia, the real estate company owned by Carlos Slim, is on the verge of signing a new operation in Madrid. The Mexican magnate’s company is negotiating with Therus Invest to sell the Los Cubos office building for €55 million.

The fund, led by Olivier Crambade, specialises in value-added operations, as well as in the renovation and repositioning of buildings that have already been constructed, according to El Confidencial.

The property has a gross leasable area of 18,324 m2 and 334 parking spaces. The asset, which is completely ready to operate as an office, has been vacant for two years.

Last autumn, Therus completed the sale of Project Helios to the Socimi Hispania. That project comprises office buildings in the Madrilenian district of Campo de las Naciones, for which the group paid €32 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake