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All Market News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

Cerberus & Lindorff Compete for Bankia-BMN's RE Business

14 February 2018 - Real Estate Press

Bankia has started talks with Haya Real Estate (Cerberus) and Aktua (Lindorff) to award the management of all of the real estate assets that it has incorporated into its portfolio following its merger with BMN (…), according to sources in the know. Bankia has been working with Haya since 2013 and BMN with Aktua, the former real estate arm of Banesto, since 2014.

The same financial sources indicate that Bankia is now in a stronger position to improve the conditions of its contract in light of the good times being enjoyed in the real estate sector. Although the technological integration of the two entities will not take place until 19 March, the authorities already approved the merger at the end of December.

In 2013, the entity chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri awarded the business to manage and sell around €12.2 billion gross in real estate assets to Cerberus. That agreement comes to an end at the beginning of 2023. Haya Real Estate, the Spanish subsidiary of the US fund Cerberus, has become a major player in the real estate market in recent years. It manages debt and assets worth almost €40 billion and has engaged Rothschild to handle its upcoming stock market debut later this year. It also holds agreements with Sareb, BBVA, Cajamar and Liberbank.

In its failed attempt to go public, BMN got rid of its property manager Inmare in 2014 to focus on the traditional business. It then signed a 10-year agreement with Aktua.

Subsequently, the Norwegian fund Lindorff purchased Aktua in 2016. That company also manages the real estate assets of Ibercaja, amongst other entities.

Cerberus and Lindorff are re-enacting the battle fought last summer. Then, the funds were bidding to acquire the real estate subsidiary of Liberbank, Mihabitans. In the end, the US won those negotiations and was awarded the contract to manage Liberbank’s foreclosed assets for the next seven years.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

 
Azora Group Explores its Own Stock Market Debut

15 February 2018 - La Información

The Azora Group, the manager of the moment in the Spanish real estate sector, following the successful launch of its Socimi Hispania, which managed to attract well-known international investors such as George Soros, is now considering its own debut on the stock market, according to financial sources familiar with the situation, speaking to La Información. In parallel, it is continuing to work on the assignment to debut Sareb’s Socimi, Témpore Properties, on the stock market.

According to the sources, the investor group controlled by Concha Osácar (pictured above, third from left) and Fernando Gumuzio (pictured above, far left), through the parent company Azora Altus, has already taken the first steps towards processing its debut on the stock market, a move that the company declined to comment on when consulted in this regard. According to the definition that is available on the website of one of the other Socimis that it has debuted on the market and which it now manages exclusively following Hispania’s model, Colón Viviendas, the Azora Group “is made up of independent private equity managers specialising in the real estate sector”. Founded in 2003, the group employs 400 professionals and, according to its own estimates, manages an asset portfolio worth more than €4.1 billion. In addition to Hispania and Colón Viviendas, the group manages another collective investment instrument: Lazora.

Two well-known bankers are behind the Azora Group, both former members of Banco Santander’s private banking team: Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio, who control the group’s parent company through two holding companies, Baztán Consultores and Hermanos Bécquer 10, respectively. They would be the major beneficiaries of this latest planned move (…).

Change of strategy

The Azora Group’s decision to direct its steps towards the stock market comes just a few months after Hispania’s General Shareholders’ Meeting took the decision to liquidate that Socimi in 2020. The possibility was included in the initial business plan set out at the time by Azora, but the subsequent remarkable performance of the company has opened up the possibility of that project becoming a reality. Not in vain, the firm had climbed to the status of being the largest owner in the domestic hotel sector, with 39 hotels and 11,200 rooms in its portfolio, and a flow of profits significantly higher than forecast: €308 million in 2016 and €185 million in H1 2017, up by 35% YoY.

Having established Hispania’s expiry date, the Azora Group unleashed a series of decisions in the following months. In May, it decided to liquidate Azora Europa 1, another real estate investment fund in which it managed to involve Sabadell Patrimonio, Abanca, Kutxabank, Caixabank, Bankia and investors such as Manuel Jové. The next step was to begin the process to debut a new Socimi on the MAB, Colón Viviendas, whose assets comprise 300 public rental apartments acquired from the Consell Comarcal del Barcelonés back in the day.

Almost in parallel, Azora placed another Socimi on the MAB, through Hispania and in partnership with Barceló. In that case, the assets were linked to the hotel sector, in the form of Bay Hotels & Leisure, with a portfolio worth €790 million, according to the prospectus. That adventure looks set to be coming to an end after Hispania first took over Barceló’s stake and then notified the CNMV, a few days ago, of its intention to exclude the entity from trading on the MAB due to the lack of appetite from minority shareholders and the reduced liquidity of its shares.

Original story: La Información (by Bruno Pérez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

 
Savills Aguirre Newman: Inv't in Logistics Assets Exceeded €1.5bn in 2017

15 February 2018 - Expansión

Real estate investment in logistics assets exceeded €1.5 billion in 2017, up by 86% compared to the previous year. That figure includes the corporate operation involving Logicor.

The boom in e-commerce, combined with their attractive returns, have placed logistics assets in the spotlight for real estate investors. In this way, last year, the purchase of these types of properties reached a record-breaking €1.5 billion, according to the consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman.

That disbursement represents an increase of 86% compared to the previous year and is the highest figure ever recorded for these types of properties in the Spanish market. Nevertheless, the amount does include the corporate operation carried out by Blackstone. The US fund divested its logistics subsidiary, owner of 147 million m2 of space across 17 countries (including in Spain) to China Investment for €12.25 billion.

In the last three months of the year alone, investment in these types of assets exceeded €200 million.

Unlike other types of properties, such as offices, interest in these assets extends beyond Madrid and Barcelona. “The consolidation of economic growth and the gradual improvement in the fundamentals of the logistics market (demand, availability and rental prices) has continued to drive investment in the sector, which, due to the shortage of supply in Madrid and Barcelona, has shifted its interest to secondary markets, such as Zaragoza and Valencia”, say sources at the consultancy firm.

The large operations of the year included P3’s purchase of GreenOak’s portfolio for €243 million.

In fact, the high degree of interest has caused many investors to back the purchase of plots of logistics land for their subsequent development. “Operations involving logistics land, for the development of turnkey and at-risk projects, have become one of the cornerstones of the market. The high demand for space, combined with the shortage of finished products suitable for the requirements of specific demand, is generating a lot of interest in this product”, explain sources at Savills Aguirre Newman.

The boom in operations has already had an impact on the returns offered by these types of properties. “The initial rate of return for the most prime assets was below 6%, but during the course of the year, for some specific operations, the rate amounted to 5.5%, which means that the gentle upwards trend already observed in previous years is being maintained”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake