The Estel Building, for years the headquarters of Telefónica in Barcelona, changes hands. The German real estate investment manager Freo finalizes its purchase for 120 million euros. For its acquisition, Freo has partnered with another reference investor in Spanish real estate, Bain Capital, ousting the best positioned candidate so far: Starwood.
This is not the first time that the property has changed hands. In 2007, the venture capital fund Carlyle, through one of its vehicles, acquired the property from the operator for 220 million euros with the idea of promoting luxury homes. But the bursting of the real estate bubble led to the ruin of this project, which ended in a contest from which it came out in 2014, when it was acquired by Platinum Estates for 56 million with the idea of promoting a luxury hotel of the Hyatt chain and about 200 luxury homes.
Its until now owner, the American fund Sunrich, controlled by the Indian billionaire Dino Gidwani, acquired the property two years ago to turn it into “the best residential building in all of Barcelona”. At that time, the building was acquired for 220 million euros, and Didwani's plans were to promote 300 luxury homes on Barcelona's Avenida Roma with amenities such as swimming pools or a rooftop golf course. However, the municipal regulations that require 30% of the homes to be used for social purposes prevented the investor from carrying out his original project and, a year ago, he put the building up for sale.