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China's richest man buys historic 25-storey Madrid skyscraper

Published on Jun 6, 2014 12:36 AM
A file picture taken on March 19, 2014 shows the Edificio Espana building on the Plaza de Espana square in Madrid. China's richest man Wang Jianlin bought on June 5, 2014 the historic Madrid skyscraper for 265 million euros, Santander bank announced. -- PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - China's richest man Wang Jianlin has bought a historic Madrid skyscraper which has stood empty for years from Spain's biggest bank Santander for 265 million euros (S$463 million), the bank said on Thursday.

The 25-storey tower of offices and apartments, completed in 1953 under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, dominates one end of the Plaza de Espana square in western Madrid.

It has stood empty since 2006, a symbol of the 2008 real estate collapse that thrust Spain into a double recession that wiped out millions of jobs.

Spanish officials had expressed hope that the sale of the building would breathe new life into the neighbourhood, a key part of the city.

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