23 April 2018 – Eje Prime
After closing one of the most important real estate operations of the year, Deka is looking to capitalise on its investment with a new knock-on effect. The German fund manager has just put back on the market the majority of the stores that it purchased at the beginning of the year from the Galician giant Inditex, in an operation worth around €400 million, according to sources close to the sales process, speaking to Eje Prime.
According to the same sources, Deka has divided the portfolio into three. The first part comprises two properties, which the fund is going to hold onto, those at number 16 Calle Preciados, in Madrid (with 2,725 m2 of retail space) and number 58 Calle Pelayo, in Barcelona (with 5,134 m2 of retail space).
The second and third parts of the portfolio are already up for sale. The aim of Deka is to divest the assets located in secondary cities (such as those located in Zamora, Albacete and Ciudad Real) by placing them on the market and also to listen to offers for the assets located in cities such as Valencia and Madrid, which, although they are not strategic for the fund, it is not in a rush to sell.
Deka, which will also hold onto one of the two properties that it purchased in Lisbon (located on Calle Augusta), acquired the 16 assets in January for approximately €400 million, and chains belonging to the Inditex group continue as the tenants of those establishments.
These two moves, both the purchase and the sale, demonstrate Deka’s interest in the Spanish market. As Eje Prime revealed, Deka’s route map involves doubling its investment volume in the country from €1 billion to €2 billion over the next five years.
Currently, the fund manager owns a portfolio of tertiary assets in Spain including the office buildings on Avenida Diagonal 640 and Sarrià Forum in Barcelona and the mixed-used (office and retail) property El Triangle, also in the Catalan capital. Moreover, the group owns the Ballonti shopping centre in Bizkaia, which it recently put on the market for around €150 million, and the Espacio Mediterráneo shopping centre in Cartagena, as well as the Hotel Meridien de Las Ramblas in Barcelona and another vacation hotel in Mallorca.
The company’s presence in the Spanish real estate sector dates back to the 1990s when it had a portfolio of assets with a very similar volume to its current size. At that time, Deka owned large spaces such as the Diagonal Mar shopping centre in Barcelona and the Castellana 35 and Castellana 79 buildings in Madrid. But, in around 2006, according to Esteban de Lope, Director of the Retail Property Fund Management Department at Deka, “an opportunity arose and we sold almost all of our portfolio at a significant profit”.
After hiding in the shadows for five years, competing in other European markets such as the French, British, Belgian and Dutch, as well as its own German real estate market, Deka returned to Spain in 2010 with the acquisition of the Avenida Diagonal 640 building.
The sale of the batch of assets acquired from Inditex coincides with the group’s desire to divest some of its businesses in Spain. Lope said that “given the nature of the market, it is easier for Deka to divest than to purchase”. “The Inditex portfolio was an exception” – says the director – “they wanted to sell quickly, but they needed to be certain that the buyer had money to invest; thus an opportunity arose, with the condition of us having to move very fast”.
Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)
Translation: Carmel Drake