Merlin Properties will execute a process of asset rotation. According to El Confidencial, the socimi led by Ismael Clemente will sell its entire portfolio of bank branches leased to BBVA, a total of 693 assets, planning of raising €2 billion.
With this transaction, Merlin will begin rotating its asset portfolio to focus instead on data centres. It already has an agreement to develop four properties in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Lisbon with the technology company Endeavour.
The 693 branches represent, in Merlin’s income statement, revenues of €85 million. The gross value of this portfolio is €1.855 billion, but the listed company expects to raise more than €2 billion.
BBVA has a right of first refusal, so it is expected that the financial institution will sit down to negotiate. Under Spanish banks’ strategy of closing branches, it will be in BBVA’s interest to buy back those it wants to shut down. In 2018, it already repurchased 166 properties for €252 million, mainly in secondary provincial cities.