Amancio Ortega buys €490M Madrid Cepsa Tower through his property company Pontegadea

Amancio Ortega buys €490M Madrid Cepsa Tower through his property company Pontegadea

The operation has been completed after Bankia sold the building to Muscari, owned by Khadem al Qubaisi - former managing director of Cepsa -, which in turn sold it to Pontegadea.

Designed by renowned architect Norman Foster, the new Pontegadea asset is a 248-metre-high skyscraper comprising 109,000 sq. m., 72,312 of which correspond to office area. It has been the headquarters of IPIC-owned oil company Cepsa since 2013.

In 2007, shortly before the financial crisis, Bankia bought the building from Repsol while still under construction, for approximately €815 million.

In 2013, Bankia rented it to Cepsa - owned by Abu Dhabi's IPIC -, in order to house the headquarters of the oil company. The lease included a purchase option for the entire building in favour of Muscari, through which the operation had been concluded.

The lease contract established an eight-year period, extendable for another seven years, and included a call option in favour of the leasee, to be exercised in 2016 - and expiring today. This long-term contract guaranteed steady revenues, which was one of the requirements to be eligible for public funding.

The leasee notified Bankia of their intent to exercise that purchase option in order to later sell the property to a third party, which must comply with the original lease contract signed by Bankia and Muscari.

The bid submitted by Potegadea was preferred over all the others by Muscari, although, according to reliable sources, it was not the highest offer. These sources have also pointed out that, among other factors, Khadem al Qubaisi's fund took into account the investor's liquidity and reputation.

The purchase of the Cepsa Tower marks another step in Amancio Ortega's strategy to expand his already vast property portfolio through his property investment company Pontegadea.

Pontegadea started out by purchasing the buildings housing Inditex stores like Zara, but has lately been at the centre of several key operations, including the purchase of a 145-million-dollar office building in San Francisco and a 68-million-dollar hotel on New York's Park Avenue.

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