ING & Lar Compete For One of the Biggest Shopping Malls in Spain

9/05/2014 – Cinco Dias

 Real estate market is prepping for a new shopping mall transaction. The El Boulevard of 80.000 square meters, situated in Vitoria-Gasteiz in the Basque Country is at the verge of changing the owner.

New bidder, Grupo Lar through its Socimi (Spain´s REIT firm), submitted an offer of €130 million for the property currently belonging to CB Richard Ellis Global Investor. The mega shopping center was inside a larger property portfolio acquired by the U.S. company in 2011 from ING.

The purchase agreement stated that in case of acquisition of any asset, the former shareholders will maintain the pre-emptive right. This particularly means that they could file for re-purchase by offering the same price as the third-party buyer. Thus, one of ING´s branches copied the price submitted by Lar and now will bid together with the Socimi.

The El Boulevard transaction volume is comparable to other prominent shopping center sales closed in previous months. For instance, in November, British fund Northwood Investors bought the Diagonal Mar in Barcelona for around €160 million, exactly a month after another British firm Intu acquired the Parque Principado in Oviedo for €162 million.

ING, together with the Eroski group, developed the property in 2003. The mall received a note just below the highest or prime quality. This four-storey complex houses most popular textile brands, restaurants, technology stores and additionally disposes of an entertainment area and 3.500 parking spaces.

Lar España has already acquired two shopping centers for €39.4 million from Corio Real Estate España. Altogether, their GLA is equal to 16.200 square meters. Grupo Lar that runs the Socimi has got its own €1 billion asset portfolio with property scattered around Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.

The retail sector (commercial real estate) saw €1.9 billion out of the entire €5 billion amount invested in Spain in 2013. In the first quarter of the ongoing year the share has hit even higher, marking 50% with €764 million of the total €1.6 billion investment.

Noteworthy operation carried out in the first three months of the year was the sale of 8 shopping malls by Vastned for €160 million to Baupost, GreenOak Real Estate and again, Grupo Lar.



Original article: Cinco Días (by David M. Pérez)

Translation: AURA REE