Pictured above: H.E. Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, CEO of The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which is led H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Al Thani, has become Colonial’s largest shareholder through a capital increase and a major share swap involving french affiliate Société Foncière Lyonnais (SFL)
Sovereign wealth fund QIA now has a 20% stake in Colonial, up from 10%, achieved through a non-cash capital increase of 53,5 million Colonial shares and share swap in the group’s French subsidiary Société Foncière Lyonnais (SFL) in which QIA owns a 22% stake. The volume of the investment amounts to €718, in what is the largest corporate Spanish REIT deal to date. After Qatar, the second largest shareholder of the Spanish REIT is Mexico’s Finaccess which has an 18% stake, followed by Santo Domingo’s Grupo Aguila with a 6.6% stake.
The non cash capital increase of 53,5 million Colonial shares represents 10.5% of the company’s capital after the deal, for which QIA will contribute 7,1 SFL shares to Colonial representing 15.34% of the French subsidiary’s share capital. Apart from that, there will be a swap of shares between Colonial and QIA with QIA exchanging 400,000 shares from SFL representing 0.86%, for 3 million treasury shares from Colonial and the trade of 2,7 million shares from SFL, representing 5.99% of its capital for which Colonial will pay €203 milllion to QIA.
According to Pere Viñolas, CEO of Colonial, the deal «has two important perspectives: on one hand, it allows the simplification of the group’s share structure, which makes a lot of strategic sense; on the other hand, the terms of the deal are very advantageous for Colonial, whose key variables improve significantly».
Following the acquisition, Colonial has become the first Spanish REIT to obtain a BBB+ rating according to S&P. The rating agency has taken into consideration the group’s financial profile post-acquisition as well as the prime locations of its asset portfolio.