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Spanish arm of international property firm to file for administration

The real estate industry in Spain has already been hit hard by the global downturn with many developers struggling and some going out of business. Now it is clear that the repercussions are moving into all areas of the property sector.

Just eight months ago the company had nine offices across five cities in Spain including Madrid and Barcelona. In April it had opened new offices in Seville and Malaga.

But recently the impact of the downturn was felt and the firm made a number of redundancies. This was not enough and now negative global market conditions, compounded by a sharp downturn in the Spanish market, particularly in residential development, has meant it has no option but to go into administration.

There had been plans for the company, which provided services in agency, investment, and project management, to come under the full ownership of King Sturge to harmonise all European offices, but that has now been shelved.

'The company will file for administration, I guess this week, to look for a viability plan for the company. It's very difficult to get financing right now,' a spokeswoman said.

The firm currently employs around 120 people in Spain, having already shrunk from over 200 staff 12 months ago. The spokeswoman said Spanish press reports that the company was about to lay off more than 100 staff were incorrect.

She confirmed that income from consulting on industrial office and retail space had dried up and that Managing Director Sergio Martinez, who owns 25% percent of the Spanish company, has left the firm.