The Proptech Sonneil Will Triple its Sales in 2019

4 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Sonneil is broadening its horizons. The Spanish proptech, founded in 2014 by the former director of the international team at Solvia, Alfredo Millá Ferrero, expects to close this year with turnover of €1.5 million, triple the figure recorded last year. The startup now has a portfolio comprising more than 3,700 homes, 1,000 of which it is marketing exclusively. Over the medium term, the company does not rule out entering new markets, although it is not something that it is considering for this year.

The company, headquartered in Alicante, specialises in the sale of new build second homes to foreigners on the Spanish coast. The company, which operates online only, relies on digital marketing to “minimise intermediaries and reduce costs”, explained Millá to Eje Prime.

“Selling to foreigners is a very opaque sector, and with lots of intermediaries, there is a very large accumulation of costs”, said the executive. “There has been a transformation in all sectors, except for the real estate sector, where we are still working with the same model”, he said.

Alongside Millá, the drivers behind the project were Albert Ribera, one of the founders of the portal Trovit; Juan Busquets, Partner at Busquets Abogados, and Juan Pedro Moreno, CEO of Accenture.

Since it was founded, Sonneil has carried out three rounds of financing, subscribed to in their majority by shareholders, but which have also given capital access to investors such as Domingo Caamaño and Vicente Rodero, former directors of BBVA, and Sevenzonic Ventures, the investment group backed by Javier Rodríguez Zapatero, former CEO of Google, and Manuel Gálatas.

The company’s portfolio, which is mostly owned by property developers and family offices, is concentrated along the Mediterranean coast, Mallorca and Ibiza.

Sonneil’s main clients are Belgian Flemish, Russian, British and Dutch, although Millá Ferrero commented that there has been a notable decrease in the number of British clients in recent years, especially since the Brexit referendum (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Milana Mishchenko)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Is Málaga the Silicon Valley of the South? Its Offices Generate Yields of 7.25%

7 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Málaga is positioning itself as the possible Silicon Valley of the south of Spain. The second most populated city in Andalucía and the only Spanish city in the Top 10 for the best quality of life in Europe, according to Eurobarómetro, has attracted several technology giants in recent years. The interest from these companies in moving to the area and the lack of available space have driven up prime yields in the office market in Málaga to 7.25%, making it the most profitable place to own an office in Spain, according to data from CBRE.

The international consultancy highlights that Málaga is “consolidating its position as a city of reference in Spain in the development of the technology sector”. Oracle, Accenture, Microsoft, Huawei, Ericsson, Indra, Atos and Cisco, amongst others, have all opened offices in the city. The meeting point for these companies is the Andalucía Technology Park (PTA), recently included in the catalogue of European Digital Innovation Hubs, compiled by the European Commission, and which recorded a turnover of €1.9 billion in 2019, up by 8%.

In addition, the province is home to other smaller clusters, such as Málaga SmartCity and the ‘Polo de Contenidos Digitales de Málaga’, the first hub with those characteristics in Spain and which aims to accelerate projects and companies related to the digital sector.

The increase in demand for offices in the city also comes in response to the future forecasts for growth in the region. In fact, Oxford Economists names Málaga as the city where the economy is going to grow by the most in Spain over the next decade. The good connectivity of the province abroad and tourism are some of the factors driving those predictions.

In recent years, Málaga has enjoyed a facelift in recent years with improvements in its infrastructures, and the airport and port as anchors for tourism and business. In addition, the population has increased to 570,000 inhabitants in recent years and there are now more than 40,000 companies, of which 87.1% specialise in services.

These drivers have reactivated the office market, which has taken advantage of the boost in demand, on the rise since 2015. Rentals cost €17/m2/month in the city’s best buildings and the occupancy rate in the prime area exceeds 90%.

The shortage of competitive products in terms of location, finishes and facilities, has driven the increase in yields. In comparison with Madrid and Barcelona, the variation in prime yields is great, improving the yields of 3.25% and 4% that were being registered in the two major Spanish capitals at the end of the third quarter 2018.

Moreover, the office market in Málaga also generates higher yields than the market in Bilbao, although it is not far behind with average yields of 7%, as well as those in Sevilla and Palma, which do not exceed 6.75%. The yields in Valencia and Zaragoza amounted to 5.25% and 6%, respectively, in September last year (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Praedium to Build the First 100% Co-Working Office in Barcelona’s 22@ District

12 December 2018 – Eje Prime

The 22@ district is going to have its first 100% co-working property. The Praedium Group, led by Alfonso Cirera, is going to invest €40 million in the construction of an office building in the technological hub in Barcelona, which is going to be occupied in its entirety by companies that back shared office spaces, according to a statement issued by the company.

The ten-storey property will have a surface area of 30,000 m2, and will be constructed on the corner of Calle Selva de Mar and Calle Marroc. Specifically, on the site that used to house the old warehouses of the company Transporte Mateu&Mateu, which was acquired by Praedium in 2008 for €24.3 million.

The building work is expected to begin at the end of next year with the aim of inaugurating the property in the middle of 2021. The building will have capacity to house 2,000 workspaces and another 1,000 in corporate offices and services in the commercial premises.

In the common areas, Praedium has designed a terrace spanning 1,150 m2 with views of the beach, as well as a basketball court. The property will also have a gym, a swimming pool and a parking lot, which will be located in the basement, with a surface area of 2,500 m2.

Almost 30,000 m2 of space leased to September 

The co-working model is proving unstoppable in Spain and the 22@ district is its current epicentre. According to data from Cushman & Wakefield, 29,100 m2 of shared office space was leased in Barcelona during the first nine months of this year.

Between the Catalan capital and Madrid, the co-working segment grew by 71% during the nine months to September, with 55,000 m2 of space leased.

That growth is due to the commitment of the large corporations to co-working. As the report explains, “at the beginning of the 2000s, small spaces predominated, occupied by self-employed people and freelancers; nowadays, these spaces still exist, but the potential of the co-working phenomenon has caused companies such as Banco Santander (Openbank), Accenture and Everis, amongst others, to also use flexible spaces for some of their activity.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Co-Working Spaces in Madrid & Barcelona Rise by 71% YoY to September

23 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Co-working spaces are on a roll in Spain. This global phenomenon in the office market is also reflected in ratios that keep on growing. In Madrid and Barcelona alone, 55,900 m2 of this type of flexible office space was leased between January and September, which represented an increase of 71% with respect to the same period last year.

According to the Flexible spaces in Spain study, compiled by the consultancy firm Cushman&Wakefield, during the first nine months of the year, 26,800 m2 of co-working office space was leased in Madrid and 29,100 m2 in Barcelona.

This growth is the result of the commitment to co-working spaces by large corporations. According to explanations provided in the report, “at the beginning of the 2000s, small spaces predominated, occupied by self-employed people and freelancers; nowadays, those spaces still exist, but the potential of the co-working phenomenon has led to companies such as Banco Santander (Openbank), Accenture and Everis, amongst others, also using flexible spaces for some of their activities”.

The boom in flexible and shared office space intensified in 2014, the first year of the recovery. Besides large corporate groups, which rely on this office model for optimising their real estate resources and the productivity of their employees, international co-working giants have arrived in Spain in recent years to create supply to meet the growing demand.

WeWork and Spaces (owned by Regus), global specialists in this segment, already have expansion plans for the domestic market. The same is happening with the main Socimis, such as Merlin and Colonial, which, in addition to promoting brands that manage co-working spaces, are also adapting several of their properties to convert them into flexible offices.

Madrid and Barcelona are the focus of this market. WeWork already has 35,000 m2 of office space leased in the two capitals. It is managing one fifth, 7,000 m2, from 22@, the technological hub of Barcelona, one of the epicentres of co-working in Spain. Spaces is planning to grow in the same district, where it already has 6,000 m2 of space across several buildings.

In terms of the large Spanish real estate companies, Merlin and Colonial are, to date, the firms that have backed this new trend most convincingly Both have entered the sector by purchasing or teaming up with specialist companies this market. Colonial acquired the brand Utopicus at the end of 2017, as revealed by Eje Prime, and now has a commitment to open ten new co-working centres from 2019, which will span a total of 15,000 m2 between Madrid and Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Merlin has launched the brand Twisttt, through Loom House, a Spanish shared office manager in which the Socimi owns more than 30%. Other domestic players such as Inmobiliaria del Sur have already made investments in this sector. In October last year, the Andalucian real estate firm launched iSspaces, a co-working centre in Sevilla measuring 1,800 m2 (…).

The identity of the next players to enter the stage is a mystery, but the fact that co-working has a long journey ahead in the office market in Spain and around the world is very much a reality.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Rents 4,800m2 Of Space From Axiare In Sant Cugats

21 July 2017 – Expansión 

Banco Sabadell is expanding its facilities in Sant Cugat (Barcelona) with the aim of accommodating the growth of its IT services and addressing the challenge associated with the technological integration of the British bank TSB.

The entity chaired by Josep Oliu has leased 4,845 m2 from the Socimi Axiare Patrimonio, owner of the ParCugat building, where it will occupy half of the available floors. Sabadell will transfer 350 employees to the property, of which 40% are employed by the bank and 60% are employed by its subsidiary Sabadell Information Systems (Sabis), the bank’s software factory, which its controls 100%.

Some of these employees used to work in the historical building in the centre of the city of Sabadell (Barcelona), where now, instead of 1,900 people, there will be 1,600 employees, dedicated to both technological functions (800 people) and other departments within the entity.

Following this operation, Sabadell will have three corporate buildings in Sant Cugat. In addition to its main headquarters, known as the CBS building, it will have the building leased from Axiare and Colonial’s offices, which it started leasing last year – and where 800 employees work – to centralise the TSB integration process and the creation of the British bank’s new technological platform, known as Proteo4UK.

In total, Sabadell has assigned a team of 1,500 people to “unplug” TSB from Lloyds’ IT system and connect it to its own network. The process is being led by Sabis, although several technology partners are participating in it, such as Accenture, Everis, Indra, GFT, IBM, HP and BT.

The big bang, i.e. the date on which the integration will culminate, is scheduled for the weekend of 4-5 November. The success of the operation is key for Sabadell, given that Lloyds will pay it GBP 450 million to finance the costs associated with the new platform.

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit and M. Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

 

Núñez y Navarro Leases La Rotonda Offices To Nike

6 June 2017 – Eje Prime

The office market is alive and kicking in Barcelona. The property developer and construction company Núñez y Navarro has leased the La Rotonda building to the US sportswear group Nike, where it will open its headquarters in Barcelona. The operation has been brokered by CBRE.

The building, located at number 51 on Paseo San Gervasio, has a surface area of 4,300 m2. The US firm is following in the footsteps of other large groups with its decision to settle in the centre of the city, as it seeks to be closer to consumers and offer a better service. For more than ten years, Nike’s offices have been located on the Mas Blau industrial estate in El Prat de Llobregat.

The sports brand will now open its office in the modernist building, which dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. The property was recently renovated and already houses the headquarters of Accenture.

“With this move, Nike is moving from more traditional offices on the outskirts of the Catalan capital to a ground-breaking new office in one of the best areas of Barcelona” – explains Sandra Muñoz, from CBRE – “This move echoes a global trend, given that increasingly more companies are using their corporate headquarters to strengthen their brand image, as well as a differentiating element when it comes to attracting and retaining talent”.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Given Green Light To Buy 40% Of La Finca Global Assets

14 November 2016 – Real Estate Press

In August, a judge suspended the sale of part of Procisa to the fund Värde, due to a family dispute, which left the operation up in the air. Now, the precautionary measures have just been lifted and the BOE has published its proposal for the carve out of the firm into three companies, which will allow the definitive sale to go ahead.

The agreement carves out Procisa into three companies: La Finca Global Assets, containing the office assets; La Finca Promociones y Conciertos Inmobiliarios, containing the residential assets; and La Finca Somosaguas Golf. Sources close to the operation indicate that this is the final step in the process for the agreement with Värde to be signed.

The new company that owns the office assets will be converted into a Socimi. For the time being, the consideration paid for the operation will not be revealed. Meanwhile, Procisa, founded by the late Luis García Cereceda, is being led by the second generation of the same family, in the form of Susana García Cereceda.

The new Socimi’s main asset is the La Finca business park in Pozuelo, constructed alongside the luxury residential urbanisation. The company contains 20 buildings, of which 16 are offices and the rest are used for social and commercial purposes. Tenants at the site include companies such as Microsoft, Orange and Accenture. The Hotel AC La Finca is also located there. This is one of the most sought-after business parks in Madrid, with an occupancy rate of almost 100%, according to market sources. The future Socimi will manage an office surface area covering 227,000 m2, which includes other office properties in addition to the complex in Pozuelo.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Procisa To List La Finca Business Park As A Socimi

12 May 2016 – Cinco Días

The real estate company Procisa is finalising a major corporate restructuring process, which will culminate in the IPO of its office business. The company, renowned for having constructed the luxury La Finca urbanisation in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid) will separate its activity into two companies. The residential development business will be called La Finca Procisa and the RE asset business will be called La Finca Global Assets.

The new RE asset (offiec) company will be converted into a listed Socimi, according to sources familiar with the operation. These types of companies have the advantage of being exempt from corporation tax, in exchange for having the obligation to distribute dividends every year. Like all Socimis, La Finca Global Assets will have a period of two years to debut on the stock market.

From the beginning, the Socimi will benefit from having Värde Partners as one of its shareholders – the US fund is currently finalising the acquisition of a 40% stake in the real estate company. The fund, created in Minnesota (USA) in 1993 has been very active in the Spanish market in recent years. (…). The consideration to be paid by Värde in this operation has not been revealed, but the deal is expected to close within the next few days.

The company, founded by the late Luis García Cerceda, is now being led by the second generation – Susana García Cereceda is the Chairman, and it controls the property developer through the holding company Michigan 42. The real estate company recorded revenues of €83.8 million in 2014, the most recent figures available in the registry, and losses of €19 million, along with long-term debt of €511 million.

The new Socimi’s main asset is the La Finca business park in Pozuelo, constructed alongside the luxury residential urbanisation where several footballers live, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Fernando Torres. The complex comprises 20 buildings, including 16 offices.

Tenants include companies such as Microsoft, Orange and Accenture. The Hotel AC La Finca is also located there. It is one of the most sought-after business parks in Madrid, given that it has just 0.3% of free space, according to market sources (…).

The future Socimi Finca Global Assets will manage a surface area of offices covering 227,000 sqm. As well as the complex in Pozuelo, the company also owns other office buildings, which will be included in the operation. These include the Marcelo Spínola business centre, constructed in 1991, comprising seven buildings.

In the Méndez Álvaro area, the company owns the Torre Suecia, which is currently leased to the technology firm Ericsson. Close to the A-2, it manages the Martínez Villergas business centre, which houses, for example, Warner’s headquarters in Spain. Moreover, it owns other office buildings on the sought-after streets of Serrano and Almagro.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake