Merlin Properties has completed its £740m purchase of a portfolio of BBVA bank branches.
The Spanish REIT, or SOCIMI (sociedades cotizadas de inversión en el mercado inmobiliario), said it had bought the TREE Inversiones Inmobiliarias company, which held the portfolio, from Europa Capital, Deutsche Bank and Banca March. The deal is Merlin’s first, having listed this week.
The portfolio of 880 bank branches and five properties is fully-let to BBVA on leases expiring in 2039.
Ismael Clemente, Merlin Properties chief executive, said one of its core strategies was to invest in high-quality real estate. In its prospectus, the company said it would focus on Spain’s main cities, investing mainly in core and core plus offices, shopping centres, logistics facilities and urban hotels.
Merlin Properties became a SOCIMI in June this year with a €1.5bn initial public offering (IPO). At flotation, commitments totalling €600m accounted for 40.2% of share capital.
Spain’s largest flotation since July 2011, the IPO was again further proof of appetite for the country’s real estate.
Spain’s government cleared the path for SOCIMIs at the start of last year, modifying an initially unpopular first version of the REIT that had been launched in late 2009.