17 November 2016 – Expansión
Acciona has revised its real estate strategy after spending the last year working on its stock market debut and searching for a partner for its real estate division, which is worth more than €1,000 million.
The rethink has resulted in the departure of Acciona Inmobiliaria’s CEO, Walter de Luna (pictured above), the star recruit from Sareb, who joined the group owned by the Entrecanales family in 2014, with the aim of listing the company on the stock exchange, whereby taking advantage of the recovery in the market.
After 18 months working on a possible IPO and being advised by Morgan Stanley, Acciona has decided to cancel its stock market plans, due to an increase in the uncertainties and volatility surrounding such markets. That same uncertainty also put pay to its plans to list its renewable assets on an overseas stock market, through a yield (high dividend) vehicle in the USA.
The company has now redefined its strategy, which, in principle, sets aside the real estate activity and focuses on development. This change means that its rental portfolio (1,382 homes, 36 premises, two hotels, several office buildings and 155,000 m2 of land) will be moved into the main portfolio, as assets available for sale.
Acciona has just executed one divestment, with the sale to the Socimi Merlin of its 50% stake in the Arturo Soria Plaza shopping centre, for €44 million. Sources in the sector indicate that the construction company chaired by José Manuel Entrecanales is holding conversations with Merlin to sell other assets to the Socimi, such as Urbanizadora el Coto, which other investors have also expressed interest in.
The revenues obtained from the sale of Acciona’s rental assets will be used to invest in new developments. Acciona currently has a stock of around 300 homes, of which around one hundred are located in Mexico and Poland.
In 2015, Acciona carved out its pure property development business from its real estate business. Its rental homes, buildings and land were transferred into a new company called Acciona Real Estate, whose most recent valuation, according to the company, amounted to €630 million. In total, the division is worth €1,200 million.
The real estate company was born with a debt of €199 million. An important part of the subsidiary is Urbanizadora del Coto (rental homes and premises in Madrid), which Acciona purchased from the Cavero family in 2006.
According to the accounts for 2015, the real estate division saw its turnover fall by 45% to €51 million and its EBITDA decrease by €3 million to €6 million, compared with the previous year. Acciona’s share price closed down 1.2% yesterday at €63.80 per share.
Original story: Expansión (by C. Morán and R. Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake