Santander to buy back its former Quinlan asset HQ
Banco Santander has reportedly agreed to buy back its huge headquarters in Madrid from Marme Inversiones, a company that was originally established by Irish financier Derek Quinlan and Glen Maud.
Mr Quinlan and Mr Maud saw off competition from JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to clinch the 400-acre Banco Santander complex in 2008, paying €1.9bn for site in a 40-year sale and leaseback agreement.
Marme is the subject of a liquidation plan that was approved by the Spanish courts in 2016. The courts are handling the current sales process for the Banco Santander property. Spanish news agency Europa Press first reported that the bank has reached an agreement to acquire the property.
In January, the Spanish courts determined that the billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben had won a tender for the site with a cash bid of €283m. The enterprise value of the sprawling headquarters, which includes debt, was reported to be around €3bn.
Banco Santander had reportedly offered to pay €232m to buy back the site and was set to appeal the court's decision to sell to the Reubens' Sorlinda Investment vehicle.
But the bank has now reached an agreement with Sorlinda and Marme to reacquire the site.
Earlier this year, Marme failed in a €1bn-plus damages claim at the UK High Court that emerged as a result of the high profile Euribor rate-rigging scandal. Marme had taken the case against RBS.