Merlin Properties studies Portuguese REIT listing.

MERLIN Properties Socimi, S.A., (“MERLIN Properties”) (MC: MRL), is considering the possibility of a double listing of its shares on the Madrid and Lisbon stock markets following the acquisition in January of two new buildings in Parque das Naçoes – the REIT’s latest addition to its prime Lisbon office portfolio.

The double listing would aim at “giving the company more visibility and attracting Portuguese savers”. Furthermore, the Spanish company plans to invest €309 million to develop new logistic warehouses as well as nearly a billion euros in capital expenditure for refurbishments of its offices and shopping centres spread out across the Iberian market. The fund plans to focus on investing in its existing portfolio which is planned to generate over €650 million in rents by 2022 whilst it continues to consider new acquisitions.

Merlin Properties is actively exploring new sources of income generation such as the conversion of urban office building parking spaces into night time logistic centres in Madrid & Barcelona to satisfy growing demand for last mile transportation. The REIT would offer these spaces to logistic companies like Dachser, CityLog, FM Logistic or GLS.

The Spanish REIT’s CEO, Ismael Clemente, has informed EuropaPress that the firm is «constantly» restructuring and limiting its level of debt in order to «prepare for possible changes in the real estate cycle» and is thus refinancing over €1 billion of debt, a fifth of its current liabilities of c. €4.9 billion euros.

At the same time, the listed SOCIMI is working towards receiving an investment grade rating from Standard & Poor’s (i.e.: BBB+).

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