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retail-shopping-centers Market News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

Vukile Finalises Purchase of 4 Shopping Centres from Unibail for €490M

18 July 2018 - Idealista News

One of the deals of the year in the shopping centre sector is on the verge of completion. The South African fund Vukile, through its Spanish real estate vehicle Castellana Properties Socimi, is in the process of buying four shopping centres from the European giant Unibail-Rodamco for €489 million. Castellana Properties, which also acquired the Habaneras shopping centre in May, is going to add the Bahía Sur, El Faro, Los Arcos and Vallsur complexes to its asset portfolio in Spain, all of which are currently owned by the French company specialising in shopping centres.

Vukile will acquire these assets in a block purchase, although Unibail-Rodamco had been negotiating their sale with other groups, such as Lar España and Klépierre, on an individual basis. The French group, which completed its integration with the Australian firm Westfield in June, has signed a binding offer agreement with Castellana Properties for €489 million. According to sources familiar with the operation, that amount may decrease before the final sale is signed.

From now on, Castellana Properties Socimi will have the following shopping centres in its portfolio: Bahía Sur, which spans 59,300 m2 and is located in Cádiz, close to Puerto Real and San Fernando; El Faro, which spans 66,300 m2 and is located in Badajoz; Los Arcos, located in Sevilla, with a surface area of 44,000 m2; and Vallsur, located in Valladolid with a surface area of 36,000 m2.

The sale of these four assets forms part of the operation carried out last year with Barnasud, the complex acquired by Meridia Capital, a Catalan fund owned by the businessman Javier Faus, who paid Unibail-Rodamco €35 million for the asset (…).

Currently, the group led by Christophe Cuvillier has a portfolio in Spain worth €3.556 billion and receives 126.2 million visitors per year. Those assets account for 10% of its global portfolio.

Castellana Properties, on a mission to acquire shopping centres in Spain

Since its creation, Vukile has been increasing its portfolio of assets in Spain through Castellana Properties in a frenetic way. In July last year, Vukile purchased nine retail parks from Redevco Iberian Ventures, the joint venture between the real estate company specialising in retail Redevco and the funds managed by the global alternative asset management company Ares Management, for €193 million.

Before the end of the year, Castellana Properties formalised the purchase of two retail spaces located in Granada and Murcia for €65 million (…).

The only operation signed by Vukile and Castellana Properties so this year has been the purchase of the Habaneras shopping centre for more than €80 million (…).

Original story: Idealista News (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

 
El Corte Inglés Launches Asset Sale Plan to Reduce its Debt by €2bn

16 July 2018 - Eje Prime

El Corte Inglés is selling off assets to alleviate its debt. The department store group is negotiating the rating for its bond issue on the capital markets in an effort to reduce its dependency on the banks. In the context of this plan, the company is going to launch a string of asset divestments worth €2 billion.

The company is already working to sell assets worth up to €300 million before the autumn when it will launch the bond issue. With these resources, El Corte Inglés will have to pay off a bridge loan with Banco Santander, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, according to El Confidencial.

The aim of El Corte Inglés is to close these operations before October, which is when the bond issue is scheduled. Through this plan, the company hopes to reduce the company’s current debt balance of €4 billion to €2 billion.

The group has already received purchase offers for some of its most profitable establishments, including those in Madrid, Barcelona and Marbella. One of them is Torre Titania, on the site of the former Windsor Building in Madrid. At the other end of the scale are the centres it opened during the start of the crisis: around 24 stores that generate heavy losses for the most part.

Last Friday, El Corte Inglés sold a percentage of share capital agreed three years ago, amounting to 10%, to the company Primefin, which is owned by Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani. That operation was the result of the repayment of a €1 billion loan that Primefin made in July 2015. The company paid, through the delivery of shares equivalent to 0.75% of the share capital, the third and final instalment of the interest corresponding to the loan.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

 
CBRE: Investment in High Street Premises Will Exceed €1.1bn in 2018

5 July 2018 - Eje Prime

Commercial premises, especially those located on the most prime streets of Spain, are proving highly sought-after. According to CBRE, the high street investment market is going to achieve record figures in 2018, up to a total of €1.1 billion. The culprits? The German fund Deka and Inditex, in addition to the strength of secondary cities in the country.

During the course of the last two years, investment in high street assets remained stable at around €800 million per year, after peaking at €1.01 billion in 2015. In 2018, according to calculations from the real estate consultancy CBRE, the investment volume will exceed the €1 billion threshold again, primarily due to the impact of the sale to Deka of a batch of 16 Zara stores for €400 million and the boost from activity beyond Madrid and Barcelona.

Deka has whereby become a catalyst for the retail investment market in Spain, together with Generali and Union Investment, which also starred in major investment operations during the first few months of 2018.

Deka’s €400 million operation was the largest in the last year and a half, followed by the purchase by Hines of number 17 Paseo de Gracia for €113 million and the acquisition by Generali of number 9 Preciados for €107 million.

Institutional investors are the main drivers of the investment market in this segment, according to the Retail keys in Spain report in CBRE. “In recent years, several overseas institutional investors have entered the Spanish market and many have been active in 2017 and 2018”, according to the document, which points out that Socimis such as Tander, Ores and Silicius have also been interested in the sector.

Madrid and Barcelona are continuing to be the main magnets for high street investment in Spain and, together, they account for 79% of the total expenditure. “Nevertheless, other cities in Spain are booming and demand is rising for investment products in cities such as Bilbao, Valencia, Sevilla and Málaga”, says the document.

The displacement of demand to other cities is a consequence of product shortages and low returns. On the one hand, according to CBRE, operators have accentuated their preferences for prime streets, which has strengthened the shortage of products. “Premises with recently signed contracts are sparking a lot of interest, given that if they reflect market rents, they become a very stable long-term investment”, says the document.

On the other hand, the pressure on returns remains strong and in 2017, they were compressed further still, reaching levels of 3.25% in Madrid and 3.50% in Barcelona for the most prime products. The “historically low” values are repeated in other European cities, with 3.25% in Berlin, 3% in Milan, 2.75% in Paris and 2.25% in Munich.

As a result of those two elements, investor interest is extending to other cities in Spain, although the operations closed tend to be of greater importance, “given that the premises and the rents are lower and the returns are higher”.

With investment of €170 million outside of Barcelona and Madrid in 2017, several purchases stand out such as M&G’s acquisition of the H&M store on Reyes Católicos in Granada as well as of the El Corte Inglés building in Plaza la Magdalena in Sevilla.

Valencia and Bilbao are the markets that, typically, generate the most interest from investors due to the size of the two cities, the importance of their high streets and the role of tourism. The tradition of investment in the segment by local family offices means that returns there are compressed to 4%.

Retail and shopping centres

High street premises accounted for 25% of the total investment in retail in 2017, well behind shopping centres, which accounted for 51% of the total, but ahead of retail parks (15%) and portfolios of supermarkets and hypermarkets (9%) (…).

In Spain in 2017, investment in the Spanish retail market amounted to €3.3 billion. CBRE forecasts that the figure will amount to €2.9 billion in 2018, boosted by high street investment (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño)

Translation: Carmel Drake