MADRID, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Spanish billionaire and Zara
founder Amancio Ortega has agreed to buy Royal Bank Plaza, which
houses the headquarters of Royal Bank of Canada, the
country's biggest bank, in Toronto for around 800 million euros
($916.88 million), according to his private office.
Pontegadea, the family office of the main shareholder of
fashion group Inditex, confirmed the deal to buy the
landmark Canadian skyscraper, famed for a series of windows with
a 24-karat-gold coating, on Thursday. It was first reported by
Bloomberg News in Canada.
Current owners Oxford Properties Group and Canada Pension
Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) hired RBC Capital Markets to
explore a potential sale last September. It was expected to
fetch more than C$1 billion ($799.17 million).
Despite the pandemic and an expectation that the
work-from-home trend is here for the long haul, demand for
office space in downtown Toronto remains strong, with a 9.7%
vacancy rate in the office market in the fourth quarter of 2021,
below the national average of 15.7%, according to CBRE data.
Royal Bank Plaza, home to leading banks, law firms and
technology companies, is located in the heart of Torontos
financial core, across the street from Union Station, Canadas
busiest transit hub, and covers some 1.5 million square feet
(139,350 square meters) across its two towers.
Oxford Properties did not immediately respond to a request
Pontegadea has focused on investing in real-estate assets
and textile distribution but recently became the largest private
investor in Spain's electricity grid operator Red Electrica
, with a 5% stake, and also bought a 49% stake in a wind
farm operated by Spanish energy group Repsol.
($1 = 0.8725 euro)
($1 = 1.2513 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Corina Pons; Editing by Nathan Allen, Kirsten
Donovan and Jonathan Oatis)