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Freshfields in Spain

We combine local expertise, international experience and commercial acumen with fully integrated teams across key business practices.

Our lawyers know the market as well as they know the law. They:

  • have more than 25 years experience advising domestic and international clients on a wide range of industries, including financial institutions, energy and infrastructure, private equity, general industries and real estate;
  • are experts in key business practices including competition and antitrust, crisis management, critical contracts, litigation and arbitration, financing and capital raising, risk management, M&A, regulatory and public law, tax and employment;
  • regularly advise on highly complex and game-changing transactions for leading financial institutions, corporates and strategic and financial investors;
  • offer a 'one-stop shop' on deals that cross the borders of countries and practices; and
  • reflect who we are and what we stand for - they don’t just advise our clients well, they do so in a responsible and sustainable way.

For clients expanding their operations, consolidating their positions or determining where to go next, our Spanish office offers them an unbeatable combination of international experience and understanding, tailored advice, and reliable local knowledge and contacts in Spain. 

Client successes

We have advised Merlin Properties from the design and implementation of its successful business model to its inclusion in the Spanish IBEX 35 index, which includes the 35 largest companies listed in Spain.

Our advice has covered the design and implementation of key transformational deals such as:

  • its IPO;
  • successive transformational acquisitions such as the acquisition of Tree Inversiones Inmobiliarias, Testa and the commercial real estate business unit of Metrovacesa;
  • the integration of Metrovacesa’s rented residential business unit into Merlin’s subsidiary Testa Residencial; and
  • the financing of these acquisitions and refinancing of debt of the acquired businesses, which includes two fully marketed rights issues, the establishment of Merlin Properties eurobond medium-term note programme and a number of issues under it, and a number of large bridge and long-term loans. 

Merlin Properties is now the largest listed real estate company in Spain, and the only real estate company listed in the IBEX 35, with a market capitalisation of around €5bn and assets with a gross asset value of around €10bn. 

The deal was recognised as Turnaround of the Year in the 'large company' category (for companies whose revenue at the onset of the turnaround was more than €100m) at the Turnaround Management Association Awards 2016.

Valued at €5.76bn on a cash-free and debt-free basis, the deal created the largest European hospital operator and the second largest player worldwide.

The transaction contemplated the issuance of primary shares by the company and the sale of shares by a the selling shareholder (a private equity firm), thus consolidating us as the go-to firm for IPOs with a PE exit component (as was the case in Euskaltel, Vueling or Amadeus IT Group).