21 September 2017 – El Confidencial
Sareb has chosen one of the largest experts in the management of rental housing in Spain to commandeer its first Socimi. The expert in question is Azora, an independent firm with almost 15 years experience and more than €3,000 million of assets under management. Azora’s key milestones include the creation and management of Hispania, one of the largest Socimis in Spain.
After organising a competitive process between several candidates, the entity chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured above), has chosen the management firm founded by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio to take the reins at Témpore Properties, the name that Sareb has given to its first Socimi. The appointment is still pending the final approvals.
Sareb’s new vehicle will own around 1,500 rental properties, worth almost €200 million. The entity wants to place the assets, which have been valuedby CBRE, on the market before the end of the year.
Having engaged Renta 4 as the registered advisor and Clifford Chance as legal counsel, the next major challenge for Sareb will be to convince the greatest possible number of investors about the virtues of the Socimi, given that, although its market debut will be made on the MAB – the Alternative Investment Market – Echegoyen’s aim is to sell the highest percentage of share capital possible.
In this way, Azora will play an important role, given that over the course of its history, it has managed more than €1,700 million from institutional investors through its five funds, as well as having a cover letter from Hispania, whose illustrious shareholders include none other than George Soros.
Nevertheless, in recent times, the management firm has been focusing on the divestment of the bulk of these vehicles, given that they are now reaching maturity.
In fact, this week, the firm closed the sale of Resa, the largest student hall of residence company in Continental Europe, which formed part of Lazora, a vehicle with which the manager started when it focused exclusively on rental homes.
Moreover, since the spring, the firm has been actively working on the liquidation of the fund Azora Europa 1 as well as of the Socimi Hispania, which is on the verge on selling its entire office portfolio to the insurance firm Swiss Life.
Azora is also behind the sale of 3,000 homes in the Community of Madrid to Goldman Sachs, which now comprise the company Encasa Cibeles, and of the purchase of four Consell Comarcal de Barcelonés developments from several Catalan town halls, assets that it has just debuted on the MAB through its Socimi Colón Viviendas.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake