Qatar’s Hamad Al Thani suggests launching new Spanish REIT.

Last July, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Mohammed bin Thani Al Thani officially became the third largest shareholder of El Corte Inglés, with 10% of the capital, after converting into shares a €1 billion loan
his company, Primefin, had granted to the Spanish department store chain in 2015. He could have received an additional 2.25% stake but he preferred to collect that part in cash, thus receiving c. €225 million instead.

The Qatari Sheikh has suggested the firm creates a Spanish REIT for €8.2 billion of the more than €17.1 billion of properties it owns, according to the valuation carried out by Tinsa. This would equate to roughly 49% of the firm’s real estate portfolio.

El Corte Inglés has 94 department stores across the Iberian Peninsula, of which two are located in Portugal and the rest throughout Spain. Of these, two are valued at over €500 million each, and two others are valued at more than €400 million. In addition, the company owns offices, warehouses and other mixed-use buildings.

One third of its portfolio is located in Madrid, while another 10% is in Barcelona. In addition, the cities of Málaga, Valencia and Seville have an important weight.

Hamad Al Thani, former Prime Minister of Qatar, had already proposed the idea of creating a Spanish REIT (SOCIMI) under the presidency of Dimas Gimeno Álvarez, although the proposal did not prosper.

Currently, the 2 largest stakeholders are The Ramón Areces Foundation with 37.39% of the shares and the IASA property company with a 22.18% stake owned by members of the Álvarez family.

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