13 March 2018 – Expansión
Azora wants to take advantage of the investor appetite in the real estate sector and the euphoria on the stock market to make its public debut. The manager, led by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio, has engaged UBS to prepare its IPO, in an operation that will allow it to raise capital to invest in new assets.
With this move, the company seeks to create a portfolio, primarily, comprising hotels with properties both in Spain, as well as overseas, and to generate returns on the capital invested, taking advantage of opportunities in a bullish market, explain market sources speaking to Expansión.
As a next step, Azora will meet with analysts this week to explain its plans to them. Sources consulted at the manager limited themselves to indicating that the Board of Directors is considering different strategic alternatives, in addition to the creation of new private investment vehicles to accelerate its growth. “In this context, all of the options that would allow us to achieve the company’s objectives are being evaluated. Nevertheless, no specific decisions have been taken yet in this respect”, they add.
Azora has a long track record in the sector and experience in the stock market, given that it manages Hispania, the Socimi in which George Soros holds a stake, which made its stock market debut in March 2014. With more than 200 professionals, it has raised more than €2.2 billion in own funds and has €4.4 billion in assets under management. Specifically, in 2004, it launched its first investment vehicle, Lazora, to invest in homes and student halls in Spain.
The manager used to control, together with Corporación Financiera Alba, the leading operator in the student hall of residence market, Resa, before it sold it in September to a joint venture formed by AXA Investment Managers, CBRE GI and Greystar.
Lazora has become one of the leading specialists in rental housing in Spain with €1.6 billion in assets under management. In the office segment, Azora has invested in buildings in Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic, whilst in hotels, it manages €2.2 billion in assets.
With this move, Azora is set to join other groups that have made their stock market debuts in recent months, such as the property developers Neinor, Aedas and Metrovacesa, as well as those that are planning to do so in the near future, such as the property developer Vía Célere and the financial asset management firm Haya Real Estate.
Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake