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Billionaire Zara Founder To Take West End Acquisitions Past £2B With £600M Adelphi Buy

The Adelphi Building, London

Spanish retail magnate Amancio Ortega could soon take the value of his London trophy real estate portfolio past £2B, with all five assets in the West End.

The founder of Inditex, the world’s sixth richest man with a fortune of $74B according to Forbes, is the preferred bidder to buy the Adelphi building just off the Strand from Blackstone for around £600M, according to Estates Gazette.

The 330K SF building is fully let to a range of companies including Spotify, The Economist and Condé Nast.

The deal would take the acquisition value of the London portfolio of Ortega’s property company, Pontegadea, to £2.1B.

He started investing in London in 2013 with the £400M purchase of Devonshire House, which was sold after Lehman Brothers' debt came due. In 2015 he bought the St James’s HQ of Rio Tinto for £260M, and in the same year bought the Oriana retail scheme on Oxford Street, including a flagship Primark store, for £600M. In 2016 he bought the multi-let Almack House, also in St James’s, for £225M.

His portfolio could have been expanding even more rapidly — he was one of the underbidders for the new City HQ of Goldman Sachs, which is being sold for more than £1.2B, but was beaten to the deal by Korea’s NPS fund.

Pontegadea's global portfolio is valued at more than £6B.

The sale of the Adelphi will represent a massive profit for Blackstone. It bought the building from Dubai fund Istithmar after a loan secured against it matured in 2012 for £265M, and has since invested another £80M to refurbish the 1930s Art Deco building, putting its profit at well over £250M.

Eastdil and Knight Frank are advising Blackstone on the sale.