Sacyr to Sell Testa to Merlin Properties for $2 Billion

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Spanish real estate investment trust Merlin Properties Socimi SA is buying Testa Inmuebles en Renta SA from Sacyr SA for 1.79 billion euros ($2 billion) to create the country’s largest property company.

Merlin took a 25 percent stake in Testa through a capital increase and will pay Sacyr 1.56 billion euros for the 74.6 percent of Testa it owns, according to a statement Tuesday.

Testa has assets with a gross value of more than 3.2 billion euros generating annual rental income of 159 million euros, according to a separate statement from Merlin. The acquisition will make Merlin Spain’s largest real estate company with total gross assets of 5.5 billion euros and annual rental income of more than 290 million euros.

“This acquisition represents the creation of the undisputed leader in Spanish real estate,” Merlin’s Chief Executive Officer Ismael Clemente said today in a telephone interview. “Testa’s portfolio is clearly one of the best in the Spanish market.”

The sale enables Sacyr to “significantly improve its financial position” and to pursue its goals in construction and the operation of infrastructure projects, the company said.

Sacyr rose as much as 6.9 percent in Madrid trading and was at 3.825 euros at 9:15 a.m. Merlin climbed as much as 6.3 percent and the stock was at 11.7 euros.