2 August 2016 – Expansión
Yesterday, Deutsche Bank completed the purchase of the Diagonal Mar shopping centre from Northwood for around €495 million, making it the largest shopping centre transaction in the history of the Spanish market.
In this way, although the final price has been adjusted downwards with respect to the non-binding offer presented by the entity (which valued the asset at €505 million), it still exceeds the €451 million that Intu Properties paid for Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and the €375 million that Klépierre spent on the acquisition of Plenilunio (Madrid).
The operation also generates significant capital gains for Northwood, which acquired the property from the Irish bad bank Nama for €150 million in 2015. CBRE has advised this operation on the sell-side, whilst Deloitte advised the buy-side.
The shopping centre, located in district 22@ in Barcelona, has passed through many hands since the real estate company Hines was awarded the mixed use project at the end of the 1990s. The project included a residential area, offices, hotels and a large shopping centre, with a constructed surface area of 100,500 sqm and a gross leasable area (GLA) of 87,000 sqm, as well as 5,000 parking spaces.
In 2002, the German investment fund Deka paid around €240 million for the property, which, was subsequently sold, in 2006, to the Irish investment group Quinlan for €300 million, in its first operation in Spain. Nevertheless, following the burst of the Irish bubble, the asset was taken over by the banks.
Three years after that operation and in a very different economic environment, the property has generated a lot of interest. Specifically, 18 candidates submitted non-binding offers for the property, including Axa, Invesco, Hines, Unibail, the Singapore sovereign fund GIC, Blackstone and the Socimi Merlin, which was the only Spanish company that submitted an offer, for less than €450 million. Only four candidates participated in the final phase: CBRE Global Investment, ECE, Henderson TH and Deutsche Bank.
In order to reposition the asset, Deutsche Bank plans to invest €30 million over four years in a project that includes restructuring the top floor of the shopping centre to create more space for high-end fashion brands (€15 million), refurbishing the other floors with a budget of around €8 million and renovating the centre’s exterior façade for almost €7 million.
With this renovation, the purchaser expects to strengthen Diagonal Mar’s competitive position and increase its gross operating profit (EBITDA) over five years from €20 million in 2015 to more than €26 million.
The shopping centre, opened in November 2001, was designed by Jean-Louis Solal and the architect Robert A.M. Stern. Diagonal Mar is located in a prime spot, approximately five kilometres north east of the city centre. With more than 200 outlets dedicated to fashion, restaurants, leisure, a bowling alley and other services, the centre has 4,800 parking spaces and an outdoor space: La Terrassa del Mar. Diagonal Mar received 16.7 million visitors last year, up by 2.3% and generated net sales – excluding Alcampo (which falls outside of the transaction perimeter) – of €210 million, up by 8.5%. (…).
Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake