La Caixa will once again become Colonial’s first shareholder. The real estate company explained this afternoon to the CNMV that Criteria Caixa, the investment holding company of the La Caixa Banking Foundation, will increase its participation in the SOCIMI to 17% within the framework of a capital increase worth 622 million euros, of which that 350 will be in cash and 272 in residential and office properties.

CriteriaCaixa – chaired by Isidro Fainé and whose CEO is Ángel Simón – will subscribe 87,729,050 new shares in the increase, at a unit price of 7.1 euros, 16% higher than Wednesday’s closing on the stock market. Today, when the news broke, the stock has risen 4.15%, to 6.40 euros. The shares of the increase will have a unit nominal value of 2.50 euros and approximately 4.6 euros of share premium.

The financial entity initially subscribes 16.78% of Colonial’s share capital, but the agreement includes the right to receive an additional number of shares for the dividend that the meeting will approve on June 12, which will raise its participation to 17 %. Criteria will appoint two proprietary directors, and the company’s board will increase from 13 to 14 members.

The investment arm of La Caixa returned to the real estate company’s shareholding in March, a decade after selling its stake, in February 2014, to the Sevillian businessman Luis Portillo. Criteria then bought a stake of more than 3% in the market, to which it allocated an investment of 84 million euros.

The president of the real estate company, Juan José Brugera, explained that the entry of Criteria reinforces Colonial’s capital structure, “with a prestigious shareholder focused on long-term value creation, like us,” and provides more flexibility. financial support to the company to undertake new investments and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the real estate cycle.

Pere Viñolas, CEO of Colonial, explained that in the capital increase Colonial will take over three InmoCaixa office buildings, located at 331 Llull Street and 30 Gran Vía, in Barcelona, ​​and the Visonary Building, on Mendizábal Street, in Madrid. , with more than 20,000 m² of surface. Colonial also incorporates five residential buildings for rent, an area in which the company wants to increase its presence as a complement to the offices.

The monetary contribution, Viñolas assured, will not be dilutive for the profit per share, which will be between 30 and 32 cents, as announced. In addition, it will allow the firm to launch a new investment project, which it calls Alpha .

This project includes two complexes in Paris: Scope, the former Natixis headquarters in Rives de Seine, and the current Gaz de France headquarters in Condorcet, where it proposes mixed use. In Madrid it is also planning mixed use for the former IBM headquarters, on Santa Hortensia Street, while in Barcelona it is promoting the conversion of an office building in the 22@ district into a clinic.

The increase will have a dilutive effect of 4% on the net asset value, which was 9.95 euros per share and will remain at 9.60 euros, still well above its stock price. Thus, the percentages of the different shareholders are slightly reduced: the Qatar sovereign fund will be slightly below 17%, the Mexican group Finaccess between 12 and 13%, Puig above 6.5% and the Santo Domingo group in 6%.

Also significant shareholders in the capital of the real estate company are Corporación Financiera Alba (which now has 5%), DIC Holding (4.3%), Crédit Agricole (4.2%) and BlackRock (3.6%). In recent months, both Puig and Alba had taken advantage of the drop in the share price to buy more shares, increasing their participation by 2% in both cases.

Colonial has assets that exceed 11.3 billion euros, of which two thirds are offices in Paris. Its debt, which stood at 39% of the value of its buildings, will drop to 36%. The firm, Viñolas recalled, has increased its liquidity, which now stands at 2,944 million euros, which allows it to cover all the maturities of its debt until 2027.

Colonial closed 2023 with losses of 1,019 million due to the accounting adjustment of the value of its assets, but with a recurring profit of 172 million euros, 7% higher than in 2022 and a record in the history of the firm.

Last year, the firm increased the income it obtained from renting its offices by 8%, to 377 million euros, with more than 158,000 m² contracted, compared to an average of nearly 100,000 in previous years, and a higher occupancy 97% in their buildings.

Criteria Caixa has given a boost to its investment strategy in recent months, to strengthen a new industrial group. Thus, the firm leads the recomposition of Naturgy’s capital, has increased its presence in the hard core of Telefónica and has entered Puig’s capital in its IPO.