The latest corporate real estate company to have it’s success story torn up into a thousand pieces is Metrovacesa, the the country’s largest property company.
Metrovacesa has been taken control of by six Spanish banks from the family that owns most of the stock in order to cancel out the debt of 2.1 billion euros. Bloomberg.com reports how “The Sanahuja family will give 55 percent of the shares to Banco Santander SA, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Banco Espanol de Credito SA, Banco Popular SA, Banco Sabadell SA and Caja Madrid, according to a regulatory filing today. Each of the banks will also buy another 1.8 percent of the shares for 57 euros each.”
Another article in the Financial Times explains how the company only recently was witness to a huge boardroom battle over control of the company. According to the article: “The family owed the syndicate about €4bn, with most of the debt taken on during a complex division of the original Metrovacesa after a bitter boardroom battle for control in 2006. The company was split down the middle, and the family’s existing property assets rolled into the new Metrovacesa. The other half, now called Gecina, groups the former Metrovacesa’s French assets.”
What is ironic however, is that on the company’s website there is a nice prominent “post-it” note like display banner on which it says: “Metrovacesa, The leading property company in Europe”. Perhaps the webmaster got fired from his job and hasn’t been able to update to the latest news?
More shocking revelations by the Financial Times articles, shows how Metrovacesa is now selling back “to HSBC the UK bank’s London headquarters for £838m, £170m less than what it paid in a record-breaking deal 18 months earlier.” Sounds like a pretty bad business deal to me? Or is something else behind all of this collosal chaos?
If you are interested in the original corporate Press Release from Metrovacesa regarding the restructuring of their debt, you can download the press release here.
What’s fact is that this is not the first and for sure not the last real estate company in Spain to get hit by stormy weather… The skies look grim, still more rain ahead…