24 July 2017 – Expansión
Hispania is stepping on the accelerator in its divestment process and is pushing ahead with negotiations to close the sale of its office portfolio. The Socimi in which the multi-millionaire George Soros holds a stake is negotiating exclusively with Swiss Life regarding the sale of more than twenty buildings for a price that will amount to approximately €500 million.
In the final stretch of the process, Swiss Life has fought off the other candidates, including Starwood Capital, and has positioned itself as the favourite to acquire this portfolio, which includes 24 office buildings in Madrid, Barcelona and Málaga, according to market sources.
The operation, which is currently in the due diligence phase, forms part of its asset divestment strategy, prior to its liquidation, which the real estate firm managed by Azora began in June.
Sources at Hispania consulted in this regard say that the operation “is not closed and that the asset sales process is still on-going”.
Hispania’s portfolio includes 24 assets, with a gross leasable area of around 150,000 m2. At the end of the first quarter, Hispania’s office portfolio was worth €526 million.
Hispania closed its first quarter of the year in the office segment with an average rental income of €13.8/m2/month, which represents an increase of 7% compared to the first quarter of 2016. During the first quarter of 2017, the company signed new contracts for 5,085m2 of space, which allowed it to increase its occupancy rate to 82%.
Hispania, which was created in 2014, is scheduled to be sold in March 2020, when it celebrates its sixth anniversary since debuting on the stock market.
As part of this strategy, Hispania announced in June the sale of the Aurelio Menéndez office building, located on the Madrilenian Calle Suero de Quiñones.
That building, which has a gross leasable area (GLA) of more than 4,700 m2, was sold to a family office for €37.5 million, which represents a price of €7,800/m2.
Hispania’s total office portfolio includes 18 buildings in Madrid – representing 75% of the total – and a plot of land to be developed. Notable properties include Edificio Torre 30 – previously known as the NCR Building – located on Calle Albacete, which is leased to Grupo Ilunion and which has a gross leasable area of 11,417 m2. Moreover, the company owns the Cristalia Play building (pictured above), located in the Campo de las Naciones area of the city; the Foster Wheeler building, located in Las Rozas; and the Murano building, on Calle Emilio Vargas.
In addition, the company owns five properties in Barcelona and another one in Málaga.
Although the Socimi managed by Azora specialises in hotel assets, it has made significant investments in offices and the residential segment over the years since its creation.
At the end of the first quarter of the year, the company held a portfolio of assets worth €2,024 million. Of the total, €1,292 million corresponded to hotel assets, €526 million to office buildings and €230 million to residential assets.
Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake