Objects Of Desire: 16 Shopping Centres Up For Sale

14 May 2015 – Expansión

Between January to March (2015), funds and Socimis have invested €988 million in the purchase of large shopping establishments; and that figure that could reach €2,500 million for 2015 as a whole.

The 682 shopping centres in operation in Spain have become objects of desire for all investors interested in the Spanish real estate market. Thus, between January and March, these investors spent €988 million on the purchase of all kinds of shopping centres. “In January 2014, institutional investors did not want to purchase in Spain and now we have a very wide range of buyers: from institutions, which do not mind paying more for a good property, to opportunistic funds”, explains Vitor Pacheca, Senior Consultant of Retail Capital Markets at JLL España.

Last year, the Spanish market was the fourth favourite in Europe for investors interested in shopping centres and retail parks, with transactions as significant as Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza, which the British group Intu purchased for €451 million, having purchased Parque Principado in Asturias in 2013. Those are not the only real estate projects being pursued by the British real estate firm in Spain; it is currently developing two (shopping) centres, one in Malaga and the other in Valencia.

The most high profile case in 2015 has been Plenilunio. The Madrilenian property was acquired by the French operator Klépierre for €375 million on 17 March. The As Termas shopping centre in Lugo also changed hands; it was purchased by the Socimi Lar España. And AireSur in Sevilla was acquired by the fund CBRE Global Investors. “Last year, 28 (shopping) centres were bought and sold, representing a total investment volume of €3,200 million. In 2015, we expect that more centres will be sold but for a smaller total amount, around €2,500 million”, says Pacheco.

Although the flurry of transactions is not expected until the final quarter of the year, several shopping centres are scheduled to change owner shortly. “There are around 16 shopping centres for sale in Spain at the moment. We estimate that as many as 30 such assets may change hands between now and the end of the year”, say sources at JLL.

Doughty’s centres

That is the case of El Rosal in León and Plaza Éboli (pictured above) in Pinto (Madrid). The private equity firm Doughty Hanson is finalising the sale of those two properties, whose ownership will be transferred over the next few weeks.

The Plaza Éboli shopping centre, which was opened in 2005 and measures 62,000 m2, will be acquired by the US investor HIG for €30 million. In the case of El Rosal, which measures 151,000 m2, the new owner will be the Socimi Lar España, which has already purchased other shopping centres such as L’Anec Blau in Castelldefels (Barcelona) and Albacenter in Albacete. The Socimi will pay €90 million for El Rosal.

Another one of the 16 shopping centres up for sale is Moraleja Green in Alcobendas (Madrid). The property is on the market again after it was sold to ING by CBRE Global Investors last year. Now, the real estate division of the Dutch bank is putting it up for sale, after paying €68 million.

The Heron City shopping centre in Barcelona is also up for sale; it opened in 2011 and occupies a surface area of 101,000 m2, of which 36,358 m2 is dedicated to retail space.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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