Merlin obtained a 1 billion euro liquidity line for Madrid Nuevo Norte

Merlin obtained a 1 billion euro liquidity line for Madrid Nuevo Norte

The REIT managed by Ismael Clemente has obtained a new additional liquidity line which should reach one billion euro, which is expected to be used on Operación Chamartín, according to elEconomista. 

The credit, signed with Société Générale, is added to the 1.3 billion euro of liquidity the REIT already has. With it, the company could acquire the whole of Bbva’s share of Distrito Castellana Norte, project Madrid Nuevo Norte’s managing company. 

The Spanish financial entity is the company’s main shareholder with 75.5% of the stock. Merlin has 14.5%, purchased from Grupo San José, owner of 10% of the project. 

The REIT’s movement followed the Distrito Castellana Norte general shareholder’s meeting yesterday, where Bbva used its position as majority shareholder to change the bylaws and eliminate Merlin’s and San José’s right of first refusal.

After the meeting, Merlin and San José activated arbitration against Bbva to recover the right of first refusal. Following the intervention of Madrid’s Chamber of Commerce, the mechanism will clarify whether Bbva’s goal by modifying the bylaws, corresponds to an individual interest or to a real benefit for the company and its shareholders.

Through the years, several companies such as Qatar’s sovereign fund, Brookfield and Mitsubishi, have shown interest in the project. Now, it is Axa’s real estate branch that is showing a major interest in the project, according to El Confidencial. 

Last April, before the REIT’s shareholder’s meeting, Ismael Clemente, Merlin’s managing director, reiterated the company’s compromise to remain in the Madrid Nuevo Norte project until it is concluded, something estimated to take more than twenty years.

Madrid Nuevo Norte is one of the largest urban renewal projects in Europe. The plan was approved in 2020, after 20 years of procedures and changes. The project includes the construction of 10.476 dwellings, of which 20% will correspond to affordable housing. The project also includes the development of a business centre with the capacity for more than 125.000 employees. In total it will host 1.5 million sqm in offices.

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