24/12/2014 – Expansión
Spain’s real estate sector has been buzzing with activity over the past few months, and it’s going to continue up to the very last days of the year with the close of a major sales transaction. As seen with the vast majority of operations in 2014, the purchaser of the property is a foreign fund; in this case, the American group, Harbert Management Corporation, has closed the acquisition of Habaneras shopping center in Torrevieja (Alicante).
Promoted by Metrovacesa, the shopping mall boasts 64,000 square meters and more than 24,000 meters of retail space. Unibail bought the mall, which is located next to Maquinista in Barcelona, from Metrovacesa for €423 million in 2008.
Last year, the property in Alicante received 3.7 million visitors, according to the Spanish Association of Shopping Centers.
Unibail is one of the largest owners and managers of shopping centers in Europe and Spain. The company boasts 14 shopping centers in Spain, including Splau in Barcelona; Bonaire in Valencia; and La Vaguada in Madrid. At the end of 2011, it invested €185 million when it bought the shopping center, Splau, in Barcelona, from Acciona, making it one of the largest operations in the sector that year.
The company, which is listed on the Paris and Amsterdam stock exchange, is currently in the midst of an asset turnover in Spain.
Habaneras is not the first center to be sold by Unibail this year. The Franco-Dutch company sold Albacenter shopping mall to Lar España for €28.4 million.
The real estate company is not only selling, but also investing in projects, such as the expansion of La Maquinista in Barcelona, and the construction of a new shopping center in Mallorca, whose total investment exceeds €255 million.
Also, Unibail is currently one of the third finalists in the bid for the Madrid shopping center, Plenilunio, for which it is willing to pay around €330 million.
Original article: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Aura REE