alternative Assets News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

Co-Working Operators Leased 5-Times More Office Space in 2017

8 February 2018 - Expansión

Operators of co-working offices are gaining strength in Spain and multiplied by five times the space leased in 2017, to 40,500 m2.

The international co-working giants –WeWork, Regus, Glue Concept and Busining– are claiming their space in Spain and have recorded a milestone in the leasing of co-working office space in Madrid and Barcelona.

Last year, 40,500 m2 was leased for use by these kinds of work spaces, which represents a five-fold increase in the figure recorded the previous year, according to explanations provided by the real estate consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman.

Sources at the consultancy firm explain that the arrival of international operators has definitively reactivated the so-called serviced office sector in Spain, which includes business centres and co-working spaces.

Specifically, Regus, WeWork, Busining and Glue Concept closed 15 office space rental operations in Spain last year. Those operators opted for new and renovated buildings, with large and bright spaces, locations that are well-connected by public transport and with excellent services for their users in the vicinity of the offices, explained Ana Zavala, National Director of the Offices Agency at Savills Aguirre Newman.

By city, Madrid accounted for 82% of the surface area leased, whilst Barcelona represented 18%. By number of operations, 53% corresponded to Madrid, compared with 47% to Barcelona.

For the consultancy firm, the participation of this new model in the global office calculation for Madrid and Barcelona still has room for growth, as it currently accounts for around 5%. Thus, whilst in Madrid and Barcelona, the leasing by these types of business accounted for 3% in 2016, in London, they represented 10%.

“The growth in terms of leasing has been very significant in 2017, but the model is still very new in Madrid and Barcelona, and will depend on the success and demand that is generated. London is a much more mature market in terms of co-working in Europe and there the market share has amounted to around 9%-10% of the volume leased over the last two years”, said Zavala.

For the National Director of the Offices Agency at Savills Aguirre Newman, the benefits of these spaces are attractive for SMEs and micro-companies used to working in a collaborative way (…).

New players

In an effort to take advantage of the new needs in the market, the large Spanish Socimis Colonial and Merlin have also taken their first steps into this business. In this way, in October, the Catalan Socimi closed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in the co-working platform Utopic_US. That agreement also includes the development of a strategic plan through successive capital injections by Colonial. Utopic_US, founded by 2010, has three centres in Madrid and will open another one in Barcelona within the next few weeks.

Also in October, Merlin announced the purchase of a stake in Loom House. In the case of the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente, its alliance with Loom House involves jointly converting some of the buildings in Merlin’s portfolio into co-working office spaces. Loom House currently has two co-working centres in Madrid, one in the Atocha area and another on Calle Huertas.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ASG Purchases 19 Gas Stations in Northern Spain from Axa

6 February 2018 - Eje Prime

Activum SG is backing alternative investments. The company, which operates in Spain under the name ASG, has acquired 19 gas stations in the north of Spain, which had been owned until now by Axa Real Estate.

The assets are located in areas adjacent to large shopping centres and hypermarkets and are linked to long-term lease contracts with Eroski and Carrefour. The purchase has been carried out through Fund V, which ASG has just closed and which forms part of its diversification strategy, according to El Confidencial.

In 2011, Axa Real Estate acquired a portfolio of 28 gas stations from Eroski for €55 million. Following that operation, the supermarket group continued its gas station activity on the basis of a 20-year rental regime.

ActivumSG is expanding rapidly in Spain. At the beginning of the year, the company announced the creation of a new €500 million fund for real estate investments across Europe, as Eje Prime revealed. Of those, three are located in the Spanish market.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Healthcare Activos Acquires 3 Nursing Homes for €40M

7 February 2018 - Eje Prime

The assets in question are located in Gijón, Burgos and Valladolid. For this operation, the group has teamed up with La Saleta Care, which will manage the nursing homes for the next 25 years.

Healthcare Activos is continuing to expand its portfolio of investments in Spain. The fund’s latest operation has involved the purchase of three nursing homes for the elderly in Gijón, Burgos and Valladolid, for which it has paid €40 million. With this disbursement, the fund has now invested €102 million since it started operating in 2016.

To date, Healthcare’s new assets were owned by Baugestión, a group that has now been integrated into La Saleta Care. To seal the operation, the company has teamed up with that Valencian group, which has signed a contract to be the tenant of the three nursing homes for the next 25 years.

This portfolio of alternative assets spans a surface area of 22,000 m2 and operates in a market that has recorded a significant increase over the last year. Nevertheless, these kinds of residential properties, be they for the elderly or for university students, are attracting a great deal of interest, primarily from international funds.

Under the leadership of Jorge Guarner, its founder and CEO, and Oaktree, Healthcare Activos now owns a portfolio that has reached a dozen assets in just two years. Headquartered in Barcelona, the fund started to acquire properties in 2016 with three centres in Amma, for which it paid €25 million. A few months later, it added two assets in Logroño and one in Barcelona, for which it paid €16 million.

Healthcare Activos’ plans for 2018 include investing €150 million during the course of the year to reach a size of €450 million over the next few years. All of this, without leaving the domestic market, for the time being.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake