UBS Finalises Its Purchase Of The Zielo Shopping Centre

20 March 2015 – Expansión

The Swiss bank’s real estate fund is offering €73 million for the Madrilenian shopping centre, exceeding the expectations of its current owner, Hines, which has invested more than €100 million in its construction.

Another shopping centre is expected to change hands soon. After the French company Klépierre closed its purchase of the Plenilunio shopping centre in Madrid this week, another Madrilenian property will soon have a new owner.

The property in question is the Zielo shopping centre, located in the town of Pozuelo de Alarcón, in Madrid. The building was designed by the real estate company Hines, which took out a loan of €50 million to construct the property. Conceived at the height of the boom (it was opened in October 2009), Hines invested more than €100 million in its development.

The centre, designed by the architect Alberto Martín Caballero, has a surface area of 50,000 square metres, of which 15,537 m2 is dedicated to retail over three floors. It also has more than a thousand parking spaces, the majority of which are indoors.

Five years later, Hines put the “for sale” sign up on its Madrilenian shopping centre in January. The initial asking price was set at €65 million. The Houston-based real estate company decided to sell the property through a restricted (tender) process rather than open it up to all of the interested investors in the Spanish market. Thus, its advisors reached out to the large Spanish Socimis (Merlin Properties, Axia Real Estate and Lar España), as well as the more institutional investment funds such as Deka Inmobilien and the (fund) manager Tiaa Henderson. In the end, the real estate fund owned by the Swiss bank UBS made the best offer and is now negotiating the finer details of the transaction in an exclusive process with Hines.

According to sources close to the process, UBS is offering €73 million. A price that means that the yield on the transaction amounts to less than 5%, a very low figure compared with the figure of 10% that was achieved on the first deals involving the sale and purchase of shopping centres following the burst of the bubble, in 2013.

Zielo Shopping is not the only commercial property that is currently on the market in Spain. According to Deloitte Real Estate, around 80 shopping centres will come onto the market over the next 12 months. Some transactions, such as the purchase of Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza and Plenilunio in Madrid have already been closed. In total, €3,500 million could change hands in this market alone.

Possible buyers include the British real estate company Intu Properties, which is finalising a call option on a real estate project in Málaga, as part of its €2,500 million investment program, and the fund manager CBRE Global Investors, which plans to invest €600 million in shopping centres and retail outlets in the Spanish market.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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