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International funds throw themselves onto Spanish real estate bargains.

2012 has not been an exception and, last week, several international funds closed acquisitions on buildings with a total global value of around 150 million Euros.

The last one has been carried out by an institution still unknown in the Spanish market: the North American fund Autonomy, which has acquired two office buildings in Alcobendas (Madrid). Those buildings are part of the Parque Omega, a complex created by the real estate companies Lar and Grosvenor. These two buildings are currently empty and their rental price is around 10 Euros per square meter per month. Two of the buildings in Parque Omega are in the hands of Inmoseguros, while the remaining two belong to Grosvenor. The agreement with Autonomy was closed on the two buildings although, according to market sources, it could be extended to the rest of the complex.

The acquisition has been a surprise within the sector, not only because Autonomy was not operating in Spain, but also because of the opportunistic profile of the fund, a type of investor that, although has been analyzing the market for years, had not carried out the expected volume of operations.

Another figure which has taken advantage of December in order to enter the Spanish market is the Venezuelan company Sambil. A developer and a construction company, this firm has acquired the center Avenida M-40 in Madrid for 17 million Euros.

It was opened in 2004 by the fund Sierra and managed by the Portuguese real estate group Sonae Sierra, the mall closed its doors at the end of 2010, after being in creditor´s meeting. 68 million Euros were spent in its construction. Now Sambil is thinking of reopening it as an outlet.

Another two international funds, Värde and Anchorage, have acquired six buildings in Madrid and Barcelona from Eurohypo, which had been taken over from the real estate company Monteverde. The investors have paid around 100 million Euros, according to sources close to the transaction. Another operation has been the purchase of 438 branch offices of Caixabank by Inmobiliaria Carso, belonging to Carlos Slim.

Carso has paid 420 million Euros. Also with a great volume, Grupo Villar Mir has acquired the Madrid complex Canalejas, an operation which has been in motion since the summer.

In spite of these operations, the real estate investment has dropped again in 2012. According to Deloitte, the volume of non residential acquisitions has reached 1642 million Euros, 50% less than the previous year.

Source: Expansión