Socimi Lar Sells its Last Office Building in Madrid to Swiss Life for €40M

24 April 2019 – Idealista

Lar España has sold the last office building left in its portfolio as it continues its strategy to specialise in the retail sector.

The Socimi has sold the property located at number 27 Calle Eloy Gonzalo, in the centre of Madrid, to the manager of the Swiss insurance company Swiss Life for €40 million. The building spans a surface area of 6,300 m2, distributed over 9 floors with various retail premises on the ground floor. The upper floors are leased in their entirety to the US coworking specialist WeWork.

Lar España acquired the property, which was constructed in the 1960s, for €12.7 million at the end of 2014.

Following this sale, the Socimi can now focus on the 14 assets in its retail portfolio (shopping centres and retail parks), which will become 15 after the summer, once the Lagoh shopping centre has been opened in Sevilla.

This represents the Swiss manager’s second purchase in Spain, following its acquisition of 13 retail premises from Corpfin Capital Prime Retail Assets in July 2018 for more than €83 million.

Various high-profile consultancy firms participated in the operation, with Cushman & Wakefield advising on the buy side and JLL and Knight Frank on the sell side.

Original story: Idealista (by Ana P. Alarcos)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Kutxabank Sells a €700M Property Developer Loan Portfolio to Bain

21 December 2018 – Cinco Días

Kutxabank has sold a “problem property developer loan” portfolio with a gross valuation of €700 million to a subsidiary of Bain Capital Credit. The portfolio includes doubtful assets and non-performing loans to property developers, according to a statement issued by the entity chaired by Gregorio Villalabeitia (pictured below).

The divestment includes both loans with mortgage guarantees, secured by land for the most part (48% of the total), as well as finished homes (another 29%). They are located in Andalucía and Euskadi.

The transaction has materialised through a competitive bidding process, which has been coordinated by the investment bank Alantra.

Sources at the vendor bank indicate that there is “a great investor appetite” in the market for this type of asset at the moment, a situation that has encouraged the entity to take the decision to divest these assets, the first operation of this kind that it has undertaken in its history.

The divestment will improve Kutxabank’s results this year and will reduce its exposure in the courts, due to the costs associated with the litigation relating to these assets. The bank has already calculated that, following this operation, its default ratio will improve by 50 basis points to fall below 4%.

The sale of the real estate portfolio will also have a positive impact on the bank’s CTE 1 capital ratio, which will increase by 10 basis points. According to the bank, it will thereby consolidate its position of leadership as the most solvent entity in the country.

Bain Capital Credit, with 200 employees, invests in the entire spectrum of loans, including leveraged loans, high-yield bonds and structured products, amongst others. Bain Capital has been advised in this operation by Copernicus, Aura, JLL and Allen & Overy.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meridia Capital Sell’s Nestle’s HQ in Barcelona for €87M

6 October 2018 – Real Estate Press

Savills Investment Management, the international real estate investment manager, has brokered the sale of Nestle’s headquarters in Barcelona by the manager Meridia Capital. The buyer in the operation is the Korean manager IGIS Asset Management. The value of the transaction has not been revealed, but sources close to the operation claim that it amounts to €87 million.

The complex, which includes 5 office buildings with a total surface area of almost 50,000 m2 and a GLA of 27,607 m2, is located in Esplugues de Llobregat, close to Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona. It is a prime location, where other large multinational companies also have their offices including Bayer, Cobega and Codorniu. The complex, which has been home to Nestle’s headquarters in Spain since the 1970s, has almost 600 parking spaces. Building 1 has a LEED 1 Platinum certificate and Building 2 and the common areas have a LEED Gold certificate.

Fernando Ramírez de Haro, Director General of Savills Investment Management for Spain and Portugal, said: “Our client has managed to access a complex with unique characteristics. At Savills IM, we are delighted to have been able to accompany them in this operation, which will undoubtedly mark a milestone in the real estate market during the second half of this year”.

In reference to Savills IM’s objectives in Spain, Ramírez de Haro added, “after closing this investment, which follows others recently completed in Spain and Portugal, we are close to recording total acquisitions of €500 million in 2018”.

Ashurst, Cushman & Wakefield, KPMG and Colliers advised the purchaser whilst the law firm Uría Menéndez and Valliance Real Estate Advisors acted as advisors to the vendor.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Azora, CBRE GIP & Madison Create a Fund with €750M & 6,500 Homes

10 September 2018 – Expansión

The real estate companies Azora, CBRE GIP and Madison have constituted a joint venture for residential rental properties in Spain. They have created it with 6,458 homes and €750 million in own funds in order to expand the portfolio to 10,000 homes over the next two or three years.

In a statement, the three companies have announced the joint venture agreement, with an initial asset value of €870 million. The fund’s 6,458 homes are located in 65 buildings and 70% of them are located in the metropolitan area of Madrid.

Azora’s new subsidiary for residential rental has emerged from the recapitalisation of another previous one, Lazora. The investment and integral management of the new fund will be borne by Azora, which has also acquired a minority stake in the entity.

The Director for Continental Europe at CBRE Global Investment Partners, Alexander van Riel, said that “the residential market in Spain is very fragmented, and so this portfolio and its size are unique in that it acts as an important consolidator in the sector”.

“This investment increases CBRE GIP’s exposure to the residential sector in Europe to more than €2.5 billion and is in line with our key strategy: to follow demographic and real estate development trends in markets with a scarcity of products”, added Van Riel.

Meanwhile, the co-head of the securities portfolio at Madison International Realty, Derek Jacobson, said that the investment “represents a unique opportunity to acquire a large-scale and high-quality residential portfolio located primarily in the Spanish capital”.

The head of the residential area at Azora, Javier Rodríguez-Heredia, said that the intention is to hold onto the 6,458-rental unit portfolio for 15 years.

“Rather than opting for the liquidation and sale of these units, through this strategic association with CBRE GIP and Madison, we have not only found a way of ensuring that these homes remain available for families, we are also going to increase the investment in the rental products to build a new supply over the long term”, added Rodríguez-Heredia.

CBRE GIP and Madison have been advised by Jones Day, Pérez-Llorca, PwC, Howden, CBRE, Arcadis and Knight Frank, whilst Kempen, Freshfields and Deloitte have advised Lazora.

Last May, Azora postponed its planned debut on the stock market and, in August, its management contract with the real estate firm Hispania was terminated, as a result of which it agreed to receive €224.5 million from Blackstone, which had acquired 74% of Hispania through a takeover.

Original story: Expansión 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Teleno Real Estate Buys a Residential Building in Madrid for €16M

12 June 2018 – Idealista

The real estate consultancy firm BNP Paribas Real Estate has advised on the sale of a residential building in the north of Madrid, worth €16 million. The property comprises 59 homes, 42 storerooms and 96 parking spaces. Teleno Real Estate is the company that has acquired the asset; it has been advised by Jesús Segado and Javier Escudero, partners of Smart Invest.

The asset is located in the north of Madrid. The firm that has undertaken the purchase, the former Tauro Real Estate, invests in the purchase of real estate assets and is led by José María Xercavins. Tauro Real Estate was acquired in April by the Israeli millionaire, Teddy Sagi (pictured above), who paid €180 million for the company. Currently, it owns 600 flats in Madrid and Barcelona.

David Forteza del Rey, Head of Residential Investment at BNP Paribas Real Estate, explains that “these types of operations confirm the continued dynamism of the residential market, which is still offering attractive returns for investors in a low-interest rate environment”.

Last month, the consultancy firm also advised the investment fund Eurostone on the purchase of two real estate assets, in that case in the upper area of Barcelona, on Calle Tuset and Calle Aribau. Those properties have surface areas of 4,786 m2 and 7,461 m2, respectively. The first is a residential asset with a commercial premise on the ground floor. The property on Calle Aribau contains homes for residential use and tourist rental (…).

Original story: Idealista 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Témpore Properties Appoints Directors & Finalises its IPO

6 March 2018 – Expansión

Témpore Properties, the Socimi created by Sareb, has started the countdown to its debut on the stock market. It will make the leap within the next few weeks, possibly before Easter, once the bureaucratic procedures have been completed. It will list on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), like the vast majority of the 50 Socimis whose shares already trade on the stock market.

The company has been created with a selection of 1,500 assets, of which 1,383 are urban residential properties that generate returns of 3% per annum. The remainder are storerooms and garages. The combined value of the assets amounts to €175 million. Témpore’s size places it in the low-medium bracket in the sector, excluding Socimis backed by family capital. Its perimeter may be increased depending on the needs of Sareb, which has been backing property development in recent times. “Other Socimis do not have that option”, explain sources at the bad bank.

Azora is the manager of the Socimi and Renta 4 and Clifford Chance are advising the IPO process.

Yesterday, the Board of Témpore Properties held its first meeting after approving agreements relating to the entity’s internal operation and the listing process. The Socimi is chaired by Juan Ramón Dios Rial, Director of Real Estate Development and Promotion at Sareb. During the course of his career, Mr Dios has held various positions at TSB Bank, Citigroup, General Electric Capital Bank and Barclays España.

The Board of Directors comprises five members: three independent directors, one executive director and one proprietary director. They are Juan Ramón Dios, Nicolás Díaz Saldaña, Socorro Fernández, Rafael de Mena and Galo Juan Sastre.

Appointments

Témpore Properties is going to be led by Nicolás Díaz Saldaña, who has been the Director of Rental Mangement at Sareb until now. He will serve as the CEO and will sit on the Board as an executive director. Previously, he worked at BBVA, was Director of the International Team at Metrovacesa and CEO of the French Socimi Gecina. The company’s Finance Director is going to be Pelayo Barriga, who has been performing the same role at Sareb until now.

With Témpore Properties, the managers of Sareb are intending to open a window into the rental market, which is proving more profitable than property sales in certain segments. Moreover, through this route, the bad bank is going to be able to access new private capital and slightly reduce its high level of indebtedness.

By law, Socimis are obliged to remunerate their shareholders, and so Sareb can expect to receive dividends from Témpore.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Lander)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Café Iruña Building in Bilbao Goes On The Market for €20M

28 February 2018 – El Correo

The Heredia-Spínola family, owner of the property that has been home to the popular Café Iruña since 1903, has the future of one of the large real estate operations in Bilbao in its hands, after putting the building up for sale for €20 million. In addition to the hostelry establishment, which has been operated by the businesswoman Alicia Garmendia since 1980, the building, which has one of the most spectacular chamfered street corners on the Ensanche, also houses more than twenty companies on its upper floors.

Offices for lawyers and attorneys as well as for business and tax advisors, massage salons, yoga and pilates studios, insurance broker desks, psychologist and psychiatric clinics, study and documentation centres and even a nursing home are some of the services that occupy the six storeys of one of the most iconic premises of the Vizcayan capital. The Chinese Institute also has its headquarters in this building with views over Colón de Larreátegui and Berastegi.

There have been lots of comings and goings in the property since its owners expressed their intention to put the building on the market a few months ago. The operation, which is being undertaken with the utmost secrecy, is keeping a large number of its tenants in suspense. Most companies have been paying old rents, which are well below current market prices, for several years. But some are now starting to move out as their contracts are expiring and the new rents, more in line with the prevailing prices in the centre of the town, are proving unviable, both in the office and retail segments.

One of the fashion stores located on the ground floor of the property closed its doors several weeks ago after its rental cost increased. The other – Quo Bilbao – dedicated to the sale of clothing and accessories for women, which has been selling off its stock at a discount for weeks with articles costing between €10 and €50, is still open and has no intention of shutting down (…).

A hotel or luxury homes

Those who are also clear that “under no circumstances” shall they move from the site that they have occupied for 115 years are the managers of Café Iruña, the most popular cafeteria in Bilbao. Coincidently, it will reopen its doors tomorrow after being closed since last Monday to undertake several maintenance and conservation jobs (…). The Iruña Servicios de Hostelería Group confirmed that (…) under no circumstances will the change of ownership affect the operation of the business, which was founded on 7 July 1903 by the Navarran property developer Severo Unzue and which has become famous for its Moorish pintxos, amongst other snacks.

“We employ almost 30 people and we are going to continue”, insisted Garmendia. With two years to go until the current contract expires, only an exorbitant increase in the rental price may call into question the survival of this establishment, which spans 300 m2 and whose décor is inspired by the Mudejars with polychrome ceilings and stunning tiles that captivate thousands of tourists, making it one of the main restaurants of choice  in the city (…).

The companies that enjoy this central location are under the impression that the new owners could convert the property into luxury homes or turn it into a hotel (…).

Original story: El Correo (by Luis Gómez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Sells Parque Corredor Shopping Centre to Redevco & Ares

2 January 2018 – El Confidencial

In the end, there will be a sale. Sareb has managed to reach an agreement with Redevco and Ares to sell them the Parque Corredor shopping centre, in an operation that is expected to be closed within the next few days, according to sources familiar with the transaction. This deal will fire the starting gun for the complete transformation of the Madrilenian shopping centre.

As El Confidencial revealed, the entity chaired by Jaime Echegoyen had joined forces with Perella to complete one of the operations that has been on Sareb’s desk for the longest, but which has never ended up being signed (until now) for various reasons, including the dispersed shareholding of Parque Corredor and the divergent interests of those shareholders.

The sum of Sareb and Perella’s forces guaranteed that Redevco and Ares would take a majority stake in the shopping centre, given that the former holds 40% of the share capital and the latter holds 20%. But, more support was always needed to enable it to undertake a complete transformation and whereby compete with the neighbouring Open Sky, a shopping centre that is currently being constructed just four kilometres away.

In the end, both El Corte Inglés, the owner of just under 4% of Parque Corredor, which has an outlet store there, and Alcampo, owner of just over 20%, have decided to join the sale initiated by Sareb, according to the same sources (…).

The offer from Redevco and Ares values the whole centre at around €200 million, an amount that will be added to the planned investment of €20 million required to renovate the centre. The renovation project that has been entrusted to the Chapman Taylor studio.

Parque Corredor is a shopping centre giant with a retail surface area of 123,000 m2 and 180 stores, located in the Madrilenian town of Torrejón de Ardoz. Its tenants include the Spanish firm Mango, the Swedish retailer H&M, the Irish firm Primark and the French retailer Kiabi, all direct rivals of Zara.

This shopping centre went through its toughest time four years ago when Inditex decided to vacate because of the poor upkeep of the complex. Nevertheless, in recent times, confidence in the centre has been returning, with some of the retail group’s brands opening stores there, such as Bershka, Pimkie and Stradivarius. To date, there is no sign of the flagship brand Zara returning just yet.

Sareb has been advised in the operation by Knight Frank, Perella has received the services of Cushman & Wakefield, whilst Redevco and Ares have been working with Deloitte.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

NH’s Board Will Assess Potential Merger with Barceló on 20 December

2 December 2017 – Expansión

Advisors / NH Hotel Group and Grupo Barceló have made initial contact through their advisor banks, Merrill Lynch and Banco Santander, respectively.

Progress is being made in what is shaping up to be the mega-operation of the decade in the hotel sector in Spain. The members of the most senior governing body of NH Hotel Group have agreed to meet on 20 December to study a possible merger with the firm’s rival Grupo Barceló.

At the meeting, NH’s Board of Directors will address the proposal made by its rival to integrate the businesses of the two groups and create a “national giant” with more than 600 hotels and 109,000 rooms around the world. This hotel giant would be controlled by Barceló (60% stake), and the current shareholders of NH would hold the remaining 40% share, as Expansión revealed on 20 November.

NH’s directors will consider preliminary reports from Merrill Lynch at this first meeting. The bank has been chosen by the hotel group’s management committee to analyse the operation.

The letter signed by Simón Pedro Barceló, Co-President of Grupo Barceló’s Board of Directors, is dated 14 November, which is when NH’s Board of Directors last met to approve the firm’s quarterly accounts. Nevertheless, the operation in question was not discussed at that meeting.

In his letter, Barceló proposed a period of up to three months to complete the preliminary work and submit a transaction proposal for approval by the governing bodies of both companies. Barceló, which in its offer letter values NH at €2,480 million, has engaged Banco Santander to analyse the operation. The financial advisors of the two companies are now in contact.

Stock price increase

NH’s shares have soared in value by more than 20% since Barceló announced its intention to integrate the two companies.

Barceló’s proposal values each NH share at €7.08, which would represent a premium of 17% over the current list price of €6.03. The endorsement of the market for this operation, as well as the first valuations of the advisor bank, will be one of the matters that the members of the Board will take into account.

NH’s most senior governing body is chaired by Alfredo Fernández Agras, who represents the British fund Oceanwood (which holds a 12% stake in NH). Moreover, its members include Ramón Aragonés –CEO of NH–, José Antonio Castro Sousa and Jordi Ferrer Graupera, both representatives of Hesperia.

The group chaired by Castro – a priori, one of the people who is most opposed to the agreement – announced on Monday that it had early repaid a loan granted by Santander for €122.7 million guaranteed by 31,870,384 NH shares, representing 9.1% of the share capital (its stake in the group).

To repay that loan, which was due to expire on 23 December 2017, the company has signed a new financing agreement with Société Générale for €97.55 million, guaranteed by the same shares, explain financial sources to Expansión.

By contrast, HNA does not have any representatives on the Board of Directors, even though it is the company’s largest shareholder, with a 29.5% stake.

The Chinese conglomerate was expelled in June 2016 due to a conflict of interest after it made an agreement to buy Carlson Rezidor, which competes with the Spanish firm in several European countries.

In its place, Paul Daniel Johnson, Fernando Lacadena Azpeitia, María Grecna and José María Cantero de Montes-Jovellar were appointed, at the request of the funds, to serve as independent directors. José María López-Elola González and José María Sagardoy also feature in that category.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Compagnie Secures Financing for Spain’s Largest New Shopping Centre

28 November 2017 – Expansión

Yesterday, the French group Compagnie de Phalsbourg managed to close financing, amounting to €157 million, for its first shopping centre in Spain: the Open Sky centre in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid), according to Expansión.

The establishment will have a gross leasable area of 85,000 m2, will house 100 stores, 3,500 parking spaces and a large garden area with a central lake.

To obtain the necessary resources for its project, Compagnie de Phalsbourg has resorted to non-bank financing through a competitive process. Sources close to the operation maintain that a single fund has subscribed 100% of the financing. According to the same sources, it is a fund based in the City of London, specialising in the real estate sector.

“This process is a boost for Spain because it shows that international investors, in this case, French and British players, see potential in Spain”, say financial sources. The crisis in Cataluña has not affected the process in this case, whose negotiations started long before the tension escalated in that regard.

The French group expects that Open Sky will be inaugurated by the end of next year. In fact, the first earth movement work has now begun and the land that Compagnie acquired for €110 million from the Town Hall of Torrejón in 2015 is being prepared (…).

The company has already signed agreements with around twenty fashion labels, accessories brands and service providers, including with many high-profile names such as Adidas, Reebok, Decimas, OVS, Okaidi, Merkal, Kiwoko, Orchestra, RKS, Celio, Encuentro Moda and Druni, amongst others. Moreover, the shopping centre will have 11 Cinesa cinema screens with capacity for 1,200 people and it has already signed agreements with restaurant groups such as the Vips group, with its five brands (Vips, Fridays, Ginos, Wagamama and Starbucks); the Zena group (Fosters and Cañas y Tapas) and the Restalia group (100 Montaditos and La Sureña).

Once Open Sky is fully operational, it is expected to generate approximately 1,000 new jobs in the region.

The Spanish investment boutique Alantra has served as the sole advisor to the operation for the French group. In addition, Alantra has advised the firm on three other projects in Spain. Meanwhile, Clifford Chance and Uría have been responsible for providing legal advice (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Andrés Stumpf)

Translation: Carmel Drake