12 June 2018 – Expansión
One of the real estate mega-operations of the year is entering the home stretch. The German manager specialising in retail ECE and the Slovakian real estate leader J&T Real Estate are positioning themselves as favourites to acquire the Valle Real (Santander), Max Center (Bilbao) and Gran Casa (Zaragoza) shopping centres, currently owned by Iberian Assets, a joint venture in which the fund managers CBRE Global Investors (CBRE GI) and the multi-national Sonae Sierra both hold 50% stakes.
In the case of the Slovakian firm, the operation would be carried out through an alliance with Sonae Sierra and would represent J&T Real Estate’s debut in Spain.
Market sources explain that, in both cases, the bids for these assets exceed €450 million and reveal that the transaction could be closed within the next few weeks.
The portfolio, baptised as Project Summit, includes almost 117,000 m2 of gross leasable space in total (owned by Iberian Assets) and together, the three centres received 24 million visitors last year. CBRE GI and Sonae Sierra engaged the real estate consultancy firms CBRE and JLL at the beginning of the year to sell the three shopping centres.
Valle Real, opened in November 1994, has a gross leasable area of 47,725 m2, spread over two floors and is fully occupied (100%).
The shopping centre, located in Santander, closed last year with 5.9 million visitors. Valle Real includes a Carrefour hypermarket, which occupies almost 16,000 m2. Its other main tenants include Primark, Inditex, H&M and Forum Sport.
Meanwhile, Max Center is located in Bilbao and it opened its doors for the first time in 1997. The asset was remodelled in 2000 and its tenants include Inditex, H&M, Cortefiel, La Tagliatella, Foster’s Hollywood and Cinesa.
The shopping centre also has an adjoining leisure space, Max Ocio, which opened in 2002.
In total, the centre has a surface area of almost 40,000 m2 and it also received 5.9 million visitors last year.
Gran Casa, inaugurated in 1997, has a gross leasable area spanning 80,000 m2, almost half of which is occupied by Hipercor, and with an overall occupancy rate of 93%. Last year, the shopping centre, located in Zaragoza, received 12.2 million visitors.
If the transaction goes ahead, it will be the largest (non-corporate) operation in the real estate sector so far this year by transaction volume.
Moreover, the sale of the Summit portfolio would clear the way for the sale of another major commercial portfolio by Unibail Rodamco.
The shopping centre giant has hung the “for sale” sign up over four of its shopping centres in Spain – Los Arcos (Sevilla), Bahía Sur (Cádiz), Vallsur (Valladolid) and El Faro (Badajoz) – an operation that may exceed the volume of Project Summit.
According to data from the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres and Retail Parks (AECC), last year 29 transactions, involving 36 assets, were closed for a total sum of €2.7 billion, which represented growth of 35% YoY.
So far this year, several significant operations have been closed such as the sale of a portfolio of 14 premises by Inditex to the German fund Deka for €370 million (…).
Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake