Inmobiliaria Colonial Moves Closer to Selling Off Key Asset

Spanish real estate powerhouse Inmobiliaria Colonial SA has reaffirmed its commitment to selling its 15 percent stake in Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA (FCC), Spain’s third-largest construction company, according to a Bloomberg report. At the end of March, CPN had covered press reports that FCC was trying to pull together a plan under which a consortium of six investors would jointly purchase Colonial’s stake in FCC. Colonial, which is laden with 8 billion to 9 billion euros of debt, has for some months been both working to sell off individual assets and entertaining various suitors for the company itself. In the most recent development, according to Bloomberg, Colonial CEO Mariano Miguel told the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Barcelona earlier today that it’s “no longer logical” for Colonial to own the stake. At the current share price, that stake is worth about $1.2 billion. Miguel said that Colonial would sell its stake in FCC for a price between 39.54 euros a share (the current market value) and 78 euros a share, which is what Colonial paid in 2006. Miguel also told the meeting that Colonial had received four offers for Societe Fonciere Lyonnaise SA, a French office owner/manager in which Colonial holds an 85 percent stake. Earlier potential purchasers of Colonial included GE Real Estate Iberia, which made an unsolicited offer in January, and the Investment Corporation of Dubai, which was on again, off again with Colonial for several months earlier this year. Colonial’s creditors, which include Calyon, Eurohypo AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, have been pressuring the developer to find a buyer. The company’s debt swelled over the last few years mostly through acquisitions, including Madrid-based mall developer Riofisa SA, and the stake in FCC. About a year ago, after many years of growth, Spain’s residential property market began a sustained downturn, which collapsed Colonial’s stock price and left the company without a way to pay down its debt.To Blog and Comment Click Here