The board of directors met on Monday afternoon after Merlin Properties’ shares fell 6.34% on Monday after it was published in various media that Banco Santander, which has a 24th stake, 55% in the company, proposed the removal of CEO Ismael Clemente last week, but did not get enough support.
This same Monday, the Merlin Properties staff also expressed their support for Ismael Clemente and the current management of the Socimi in a manifesto entitled “No to corporate feudalism.”
In a relevant fact published in the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) after the meeting, the board of directors pointed out that it rejected the news, although it added that it had unanimously agreed to initiate “a process of governance reform, with the aim of improve it in the interest of MERLIN Properties and all of its shareholders “.
“The Board of Directors, its chairman and its CEO, expressly express their rejection of the content of the news that appeared in the different media in recent days, and, in particular, those disqualifications against certain shareholders and directors of Merlin Likewise, the board of directors, its president and its CEO, reiterate their mutual respect and their express decision to implement precise mechanisms and concrete measures for management in accordance with the best governance of the company “, points out the relevant fact.
The Socimi does not set any deadline for said reform, nor does it specify what it will consist of.
Clemente’s departure “would be very bad news,” investment firm Alantra said in a note to clients. “Clemente has been Merlin’s brain, the CEO since its founding and the engine of its success.”.
Sabadell analysts positively valued that Clemente has not been dismissed, since they affirm “he is recognized by the sector and the market.” However, they add that “yesterday’s events have left a certain sense of instability in the leadership of the company.”
Listed since 2014, Merlin Properties quickly became one of the main real estate companies on the Iberian Peninsula by taking over assets from companies affected by the financial crisis that shook the country between 2018 and 2013.
The Socimi owns a portfolio of real estate assets valued at more than 12,300 million euros, with investments covering 760 commercial premises, 148 office buildings, 18 shopping centers, 45 logistics warehouses (55 including warehouses under development), 3 hotels and other non-strategic assets. The portfolio has more than 3 million square meters for rent that generate more than 500 million euros of annual gross income.