Merlin Properties limits investment plans for 2020 to €167.4M

Merlin Properties limits investment plans for 2020 to €167.4M

Under analysis were projects incorporated into Landmark (offices), Flagship (shopping centres) and Best II &III (logistics) investment plans, advanced the Spanish REIT in a release sent to the Comisión Nacional de Mercado de Valores (National Securities Market Commission) last week. In total, Merlin projects 37.3 million euro in future rents from these projects, with a pre-rental rate of 65%.

This was one of the measures decided during the Board Meeting that took place last Wednesday, during which a 25% reduction of the Board’s wages was also decided. It was established with «the CEO, the Corporate General Manager and the remaining members of the board that no variable remuneration and/or action plan for 2020 is to be collected», it can be read in the document.

The REIT’s shareholders’ Ordinary General Meeting is to take place on the coming 16th and 17th of July, during which the shareholders’ dividends for 2019 will be placed on the table. On this matter, Merlin explained that in October 2019, 20 euro cents per share were provided as down payment and that now a «a 14.6 euro cents complimentary dividend per, to be paid in cash, will be proposed. It will further be proposed the constitution of a Board delegation to distribute premium dividends at 17.4 euro cents per share, also in cash, whose final execution will be decided by the aforementioned Board, taking into account the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the business».

Despite having taken these measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Merlin Properties guarantees that «it enjoys sound financial health to face these difficult times», possessing more than 1.100 million euro in treasury and a «low» level of debt: 40.6% at the end of 2019.

In its search for solutions which might help in «the fight against the new coronavirus», Merlin invested on the acquisition of 4 robots to carry out Covid-19 diagnoses in bulk, which will be installed in the Instituto de Saúde Carlos III and in the La Paz healthcare centres, in Madrid and the  Vall d’Hebron y Clinic, in Barcelona.

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