9 August 2017
The Ázcarraga 3 building in the Chamartín district (Madrid)
The Spanish REIT, which counts George Soros as an investor, is close to finalizing the sale of about twenty office buildings to focus on its hotel business.
Everything is ready for the sale of Hispania’s portfolio of offices, one of the most anticipated deals in the real estate market. Absent any last-minute hiccups, the Spanish REIT, which counts George Soros as an investor, will sign an agreement with Swiss Life for the sale of some twenty office buildings for about 510 million euros, according to EXPANSIÓN’s sources.
Hispania’s office portfolio is distributed between Madrid, where 16 buildings are located, as well as two offices in two buildings and one asset under development, Barcelona and Málaga, with five and one building each.
The real estate consultants CBRE, JLL and the law firm Freshfields have advised Hispania, while Swiss Life has been advised by Aguirre Newman and Garrigues. The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, or even days.
According to the latest information provided by Hispania, the Spanish REIT’s portfolio of offices had a value of 584 million euros at the end of the first semester of 2017. This assessment included the Aurelio Menéndez building, sold in June to a family office for 37.5 million euros. Hispania plans on keeping its commitment to execute pending works on the asset, which it expects to complete in November, at which time the sale of the building will be finalized.
Not including Aurelio Menéndez, Hispania has offices with almost 182,000 square meters of gross leasable area, of which almost 21,300 meters are in Madrid’s financial district. It also has another 116,852 square meters in office buildings in the prime secondary zone. Hispania has 39,506 square meters in Barcelona and 4,288 square meters in Malaga.
According to the latest information published by Hispania, the occupancy level in these buildings is 84%, with an average monthly income of 13.8 euros per square meter.
Hispania acknowledged this morning in a relevant fact to the market that is negotiating the sale of office assets and added that it maintains contacts with, among others, Swiss Life, although it added that it has not yet reached any agreement on the matter.
With this operation, the company managed by the Azora Group goes one step further in its strategy to divest itself of residential and office assets to focus on the hotel business, in which it will continue to invest before putting those assets up for sale as well.
In this regard, in February Hispania announced its intention to continue with its initial objective of selling all its assets, individually, in portfolios or through a sale or change of control in the company, before March 2020, six years after the company was floated. Under this strategy, shareholders decided to extend the investment period until 31 December.
In addition to George Soros, who controls 16.7% of the REIT through Soros Fund Management, Fidelity Management and Research (7%), Tamerlane (6%), BW Gestão de Investimentos (3,6%), BlackRock (3.3%) and AXA Investments (3%) are also investors.
Original Story: Expansion – R. Arroyo / S. Saiz
Translation: Richard Turner