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The fund Fibra acquires 278 Sabadell branches from Moor Park for 300 million Euros

The British fund Moor Park Capital Partners has decided to close up its first investment in Spain. The firm, with headquarters in London, has reached an agreement to transfer 278 branches leased to Banco Sabadell.

The properties belong to a package of 378 real estate assets acquired by Moor Park in April 2010 from Banco Sabadell through an operation of sale & leaseback, that is, the institution sold the branches and, at the same time, closed a leasing deal to stay as a tenant.

At that time, the British fund paid 403 million Euros for the nearly 400 branches with an initial yield of 6,65%. Now, after two previous sale operations, Moor Park will obtain between 300 and 330 million Euros for the 278 branches, according to sources close to the operation.

A figure that would need to be added to the earnings obtained for the sale of a hundred branches transferred at the end of 2010 and 2011. Moor Park decided to split up the package and place it among small and medium sized investors. However, it also closed an operation with a great investor, Amancio Ortega, who acquired through its real estate company Pontegadea a lot of offices for 55 million Euros in December 2010.

The objective of the British fund was to sell branches in order to obtain 200 million Euros, however, according to real estate sources, up to the sale of its last package of 278 branches, it had obtained 70 million Euros.

The nearly 300 properties generate an annual rent of 25 million Euros, according to these same sources, and are scattered all throughout Spain and mainly, in Madrid and Barcelona.

As it happened with Moor Park when it acquired these branches, the new owner enters the Spanish market with this operation. It is Fibra Uno, a Mexican institutional fund that works as a Reit. That is, it is a listed company devoted to the rental of properties, whose earnings have to be divided between the shareholders.

On the 30th June, the accounting value of these properties reached 51.100 million of Mexican pesos (2945 million Euros). Its portfolio includes 316 properties, located mainly in the south and center of Mexico. The assets have an industrial, commercial and office use.

This is the first great operation carried out by a South American fund which, after years focusing its acquisitions in the United States, has started to invest in Spain. At the end of June, a group of Venezuelan investors acquired a building located at the Recoletos Street in Madrid for more than 20 million Euros from the real estate company Renta Corporación. The agreement between Moor Park and Fibra Uno has been closed a few weeks ago, after finishing the negotiations which started on the last month of May. However the acquisition will not be closed officially until the 15th September.

The operation has also been approved by Banco Sabadell. The Catalan institution has confirmed its interest to maintain the branches as they are strategic ones. The properties have a lease agreement for 35 years, with a minimum 25 years, guaranteed by Sabadell.

In this first great operation of sale & leaseback in 2013, the consulting company CBRE ad the law firm Clifford Chance have acted as consultants for Moor Park; while the acquirer has been advised by Banco Santander on the financial side, the law firm Uría y Menéndez on the legal and tax side and Deloitte on the real estate aspects.

Sabadell´s share dropped yesterday by 4,59% down to 1,848 Euros.