SPAIN - King Sturge España, the Spanish subsidiary of British property consultants, King Sturge, has filed for administration this week.

The decision to apply to the courts and place the firm into administration (known as ‘Concurso de Acreedores') comes as a result of the firm's inability to get refinancing and struggle to cope with the deteriorating Spanish real estate market.

Miguel Zornoza, a director at King Sturge España, said: "The Concurso which is being applied for is a protective measure within which we will be attempting to restructure the activities of the company. It is our intention to continue trading during this difficult period and to work towards guaranteeing the continuation of work for our clients."

The turnover for King Sturge's Spanish subsidiary dropped dramatically to €2.7m in the six months to October 2008, after three years of annual turnover of around €18m.

Richard Batten, chairman at King Sturge, said: "This is an extremely unfortunate outcome forced upon us by a rapid deterioration in market conditions. We have explored every possible avenue to keep the operation going but unfortunately "Concurso de Acreedores" was the only realistic option left to the directors.

"This route is in the best interests of existing staff and clients and gives the greatest opportunity for elements of the business to continue trading."

The firm is expected to produce an employment regulating report, (Expediente de Regulacion de Empleo), which is the procedure solicited to the Employment Authority to make redundancies, while guaranteeing workers' rights.

Régis Jacquemin, corporate communications manager at King Sturge, said it was "impossible to say at the moment at the moment" how many employees will be affected or made redundant. Last year, the Spanish firm made around 80 employees redundant.

It was confirmed this week Sergio Martinez, managing director and owner of 25% of the Spanish branch has left the company.

King Sturge España employs 105 staff in six Spanish cities, including Barcelona and Madrid. It was still expanding its presence in April this year, opening offices in Valencia and Malaga.

The company, which focuses on development and project management, assisted GE Real Estate earlier this month with the leasing of one of their logistic spaces located on the industrial site, Masia de Ribar-roja.

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