8 November 2016 – Expansión
The Spanish real estate market is starting to welcome new players. After two years during which opportunistic funds and Spanish Socimis have been responsible for the lion’s share of investment operations, 2016 has seen several institutional investors and companies enter the market.
Such is the case of Ascencio. The listed Belgian real estate company (SIR, according to its French acronym), which specialises in well-located commercial assets with first-rate tenants, has decided to place its focus on Spain.
After years focusing on the Belgian market (where 62% of its assets are located) and France (which accounts for 33% of its portfolio), Ascencio arrived in Spain in March with the purchase of three premises in Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona, leased to the chain Worten, owned by the Sonae group. In this first operation, Ascencio spent €27.3 million, a figure that it is going to almost triple with its second transaction in Spain, given that the Belgian firm is the favourite to buy the Parque Abadía retail complex in Toledo.
Parque Abadía, which has a surface area of 64,000 m2, is the most important retail establishment in the province. With a retail surface area covering more than 54,000 m2, its main tenants include Alcampo, Decathlon, Media Markt, C&A, Conforama, Kiabi, Merkal and Norauto. Leroy Merlin also operates and owns a store in the complex, which has a surface area of more than 9,000 m2.
Inaugurated in November 2011, the retail complex has 2,680 parking spaces. Last year, Parque Abadía received more than six million visitors, and that figure is expected to be even higher in 2016.
Several investment funds and Socimis have expressed their interest in the property. Nevertheless, Ascencio’s offer, amounting to €80 million, is the best positioned, say sources close to the process.
The vendor is the British fund Rockspring, which has been focusing its investments in Spain on logistics centres in recent months, including the purchase of assets as well as the development of new establishments.
The sale of Parque Abadía is expected to be closed before the end of the year, according to sources in the market. Ascencio currently has funds amounting to €600 million to invest in the three European markets in which it has a presence, and has named Spain as its primary focus.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake