Colo­nial launches $1.70b bid for Ax­i­are

The Gulf Today - Business - - INTERNATIONAL -

MADRID: Span­ish of­fice build­ings owner In­mo­bil­iaria Colo­nial said it had launched a takeover bid for Ax­i­are Pat­ri­mo­nio, valu­ing the ri­val com­pany at 1.46 bil­lion eu­ros ($1.70 bil­lion).

Colo­nial, which al­ready owns nearly 29 per cent of Ax­i­are af­ter buy­ing an ad­di­tional 13.3 per cent from its own for­mer share­hold­ers, said it was of­fer­ing 18.50 eu­ros in cash for the re­main­ing shares, a 13 per cent premium to Fri­day’s clos­ing price.

Ax­i­are’s share price jumped as much as 15.5 per cent to a record high of 18.89 eu­ros, be­fore slip­ping back to 18.48 eu­ros, when shares in Colo­nial were down 2 per cent at 7.54 eu­ros.

An­a­lysts said the deal could spark fur­ther deals in the sec­tor, with shares in Lar Es­pana up 1.6 per cent.

“With this trans­ac­tion, Colo­nial con­sol­i­dates its po­si­tion as the lead­ing Euro­pean plat­form for the prime of­fice mar­ket in Paris, Madrid and Barcelona,” Colo­nial said in a state­ment.

Colo­nial, which re­cently an­nounced plans to move its head­quar­ters to Madrid from Barcelona, where Cat­alo­nia’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment is in tur­moil over its at­tempt to split from Spain, said the trans­ac­tion was fully fi­nanced through a com­bi­na­tion of eq­uity, bonds and the dis­posal of non-core as­sets.

“We be­lieve that Colo­nial is pay­ing a fair price for the com­pany,” a Banco Sabadell an­a­lyst said in a note.

Ax­i­are did not is­sue a re­sponse on the move and could not im­me­di­ately be reached for com­ment.

Colo­nial had not dis­cussed the struc­tur­ing of the deal with Ax­i­are’s man­age­ment, Colo­nial’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Pere Vi­no­las Serra, said on a con­fer­ence call.

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