The company, of which Emilio Saracho is president, carried out the transaction at 10.725 euros per share, a price 1.3% below market price.
The Popular managed this disinvestment in just a few hours, via an accelerated collocation which continued to the close of the market through Credit Suisse, according to information from the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV).
Through this transaction, 13.41 millions of Merlin shares were placed for sale, representing 2.86% of the current top listed national Spanish group, counting Santander and BBVA among its main shareholders..
Popular is adding this disinvestment to those carried out at the end of March as part of their policy to give up non strategic assets, such as its financial services subsidiary, and is immersed in the process for the eventual sale of their own entity.
The bank was part of Merlin’s capital as a consequence of the merger of the socimi with Metrovacesa in October 2016. The company, together with the Banco Santander and BBVA, has controlled this real estate business since some years ago when they handled the debt of their last shareholder. The merger with Merlin was agreed by the exchange of the Metrovacesa office buildings with titles of the socimi, which made the three banks into the three main shareholders in the firm directed by Clemente.
At present, Santander possesses 22.26% of the capital of Merlin and BBVA with a further 6.44% of the firm’s capital in its shareholdings with other major corporate investors like BlackRock with 3.1%, Principal Financial Group (3%) and Invesco (1%).
The Banco Popular also has a 3.9% share in the capital of Testa Residencial, the housing for rent subsidiary of Merlin, which also came about as a result of the merger with Metrovacesa.