Blackstone Plans $3.5 Billion Joint Santander HQ Bid

(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group LP and Centerbridge Partners LP plans to offer about 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) for Banco Santander SA’s Madrid headquarters, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The buyout firms have until the beginning of next week to submit their joint bid for the 250-hectare (618-acre) office campus leased to the bank, the person said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A deal would extend Blackstone’s buying spree in the surging Spanish property market.

Investors including Cerberus Capital Management LP and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are seeking to benefit from renewed demand for Spanish real estate, fueled by a recovering economy. Blackstone last year beat competitors Lone Star Funds and Apollo Global Management LLC to purchase a majority stake in Banco Popular SA’s 30 billion euros of real estate assets. In July, shareholders of office, hotel and home owner Hispania Activos Inmobiliaros SA accepted Blackstone’s 2 billion-euro bid for the company.

Santander’s Madrid offices are owned by Marme Inversiones 2007 SAL, which bought and leased back the property to Spain’s largest bank in a 40-year deal starting in 2008. Marme sought protection from creditors in 2014 after failing to pay the 1.56 billion-euro senior loan it took out to purchase the property.

In July, the Madrid mercantile court in charge of liquidating Marme’s assets announced that investors will be able to submit offers for the Santander headquarters to the court. The property includes two golf courses among various sports facilities as well as a day-care facility and training center, according to Santander’s web site.

Marme was owned by property investors Glenn Maud and Derek Quinlan who together acquired Citigroup Inc.’s London headquarters in Canary Wharf in 2007 and subsequently sold it to AGC Equity Partners in 2013.

El Confidencial reported Blackstone’s possible bid earlier this week.

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