Merlin Properties’ CEO, Ismael Clemente, said it will take advantage of Portugal’s socimi regime when the country’s legislation is open to the incorporation of the so-called ‘community passport’ for companies from other European countries. Clemente was speaking at the III Iberian REIT Conference.
Depending on the change in legislation adopted by Portugal, Merlin will either adhere to the corresponding socimi regime directly, or it will articulate a subsidiary socimi to encompass the assets it has in the neighbouring country.
Merlin has been in Portugal since 2015. Together with Spain, it is the firm’s strategic market. The socimi, which began trading on the Portuguese stock exchange just one month ago, currently has nine office buildings, two shopping centers and a logistics warehouse there.
Merlin’s CEO also confirmed the Iberian Peninsula as its strategic market, ruling out expanding towards third countries. “Our ‘core’ market is Spain and Portugal,” said Clemente. He also highlighted the margin which Merlin would still have, even in the event it continued to focus on growth via acquisitions in these countries.
Investment in Sustainability
Merlin Properties has already exceeded the 18 million euros investment over four years which approved a couple of years ago. This was to achieve a sustainability certification for the whole of its buildings portfolio.
Currently, Merlin has certification for 66% of its properties, investing some 23 million euros in improvements.
The company has recently positioned itself in the ‘Operation Chamartín’ and has a portfolio of assets valued at around 12.4 billion euros.