Qatar Investment Autorithy, the sovereign fund of the emirate of Qatar, will increase its participation in Colonial in exchange for assigning to the Spanish group its participation in the French real estate company SFL (Societé Foncière Lyonnaise). After the transaction, the sovereign fund will become Colonial's main shareholder through Qatar Holding and DIC Holding, which will increase its stake in more than 53 million shares from a capital increase and another 3 million from treasury stock. With that, the Qatar fund will have around 20% of the company and will unseat the Mexican group Finacces as its first shareholder, whose participation is around 18%.
In exchange, Colonial will take 22% of the shares of SFL, so its participation in the French company will rise to more than 80%, as reported by the company itself in a relevant event referred to the National Market Commission of Securities (CNMV). The acquisition of this package, in addition to the aforementioned exchange of shares, is made through the direct purchase of 5.99% for a value of 203 million euros.
Colonial is the second Spanish real estate, behind Merlin, in stock market capitalization. Both are listed on the Ibex 35. Specialized in offices, their assets are concentrated mainly in Madrid, Barcelona and Paris and the portfolio has a value that exceeds 11,000 million euros, according to the latest income statement presented by the company. A considerable part comes from Axiare's portfolio, on which it launched a successful takeover last year that led Colonial to position itself among the 10 largest European companies in the sector.
The historic real estate company, born in Barcelona in the mid-twentieth century, gave a few months ago the step of becoming a socimi (an anonymous listed company investing in the real estate market). This figure gives the company large tax benefits (such as the exemption from corporate tax payments) and in return is obliged to distribute annually the dividend that derives from a certain volume of its benefits, amount for which its recipients are taxed.