The Amancio Ortega Foundation to Donate Seven Nursing Homes to the Galician Government

18 September 2019 The Amancio Ortega Foundation will donate ninety million euros to the Galician government t to build seven nursing homes, creating 900 new beds for seniors and more than 800 direct jobs.

The Galician Xunta will provide the land to the Foundation, which plans to invest ninety million euros in construction costs and to outfit the facilities. The seven geriatric centres will be located in A Coruña, Vigo, Santiago, Ourense, Lugo, Pontevedra and Ferrol, with 150 beds in each of the first two cities and 120 each in the rest. Construction is set to begin during the first semester of 2020.

Original Story: Eje Prime

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Amancio Ortega’s Real Estate Holdings Reach €9.7 Billion

29 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

The value of Amancio Ortega’s real estate holdings went up by 11% last year to reach 9.7 billion euros. Ortega, who founded Inditex, owns buildings that generated total revenues of €405 million in 2018, up 5.2% year-on-year. The mogul’s firm, Pontegadea, owns properties in Los Angeles, Seoul, Miami, New York, London and Madrid, among others. The firm’s revenues have their highest geographic concentration in Europe (51%), followed by the Americas (46%) and Asia, at 3%.

Last year, Pontegadea Inmobiliaria made acquisitions totalling 416 million euros while it also invested in the renovation of its existing stock of properties. Its largest investment was for 340 million euros, in a Washington DC office building called The Investment Building near the White House.

Original Story: Expansión – Marisa Anglés

Pontegadea Leases Seven Floors in Torre Foster to Amazon

20 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

After buying part of the headquarters of Amazon in the United States, Pontegadea has sealed another deal with the American e-commerce giant, leasing seven floors of offices in the Torre Foster to the firm.

Pontegadea, the investment vehicle of Amancio Ortega, the founder of Inditex, leased the space, totalling 11,550 square meters for between 23 and 28 euros per square meter.

Mr Ortega acquired Torre Foster almost three years ago when the tower had been fully leased to the oil company Cepsa.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Ruth Ugalde

Photo: Pontegadea.

El Corte Inglés Puts a RE Portfolio Worth Between €1.5bn & €2bn Up For Sale

21 December 2018 – Expansión

El Corte Inglés is preparing to shatter the real estate market. The distribution giant has engaged PwC to sell a mega-portfolio containing 130 properties with a valuation of between €1.5 billion and €2 billion, which would represent the largest divestment undertaken by the company to date.

The operation includes a large variety of assets, all of which are non-strategic, and includes shopping centres (not large department stores), logistics warehouses, supermarkets, offices and land. Once the period for receiving offers has closed and depending on the offers themselves, El Corte Inglés will reserve the right to reduce the size of the portfolio. According to market sources, the firm’s intention is not to find a single buyer but rather to slice up the assets into packages.

Real estate portfolio

The company chaired by Jesús Nuño de la Rosa is whereby accelerating the divestment plan launched to reduce debt with a view to obtaining an investment grade rating from the ratings agencies over the medium term.

El Corte Inglés is one of the main owners of real estate assets in Spain, with a portfolio worth more than €17 billion, larger even than those owned by the large Spanish Socimis, Merlin and Colonial, whose asset portfolios were worth €12.2 billion and €11.2 billion, respectively, as at June, and those of the large real estate companies such as Amancio Ortega’s Pontegadea, whose assets were worth €8.8 billion at the end of 2017.

With this large exposure to property, El Corte Inglés is taking advantage of the investor appetite in the market for real estate assets to clean up its balance sheet. Last year, real estate investment reached a new record with transactions worth €18.7 billion, including corporate operations, which represented an increase of 46%. Excluding purchases by companies, the investment figure also reached a historical maximum of €10.8 billion, according to data from CBRE.

In the framework of this plan, this summer, the company sold its centres in Parquesur and La Vaguada, both in Madrid to Unibail Rodamco, the largest operator of shopping centres in Europe. Those assets have a surface area of 20,000 m2 each and were sold for €160 million.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo & V. Osorio)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Inditex to Build a Logistics Centre Next to Mercadona’s in Parc Sagunt

14 December 2018 – Valencia Plaza

The company behind the offer received by the Valencia Port Authority (APV) to purchase a plot of land measuring 280,000 m2 in Parc Sagunt is Tempe. That firm, a subsidiary of the textile group Inditex that has its headquarters in Elche, is planning to build one of its centres on the plot that is located right next to the 350,000 m2 plot on which Mercadona has already started work to build its largest logistics block in Spain.

The APV announced this week that it had received, through its subsidiary Valencia Plataforma Intermodal (VPI), a purchase proposal for that plot, although it did not reveal the amount of the bid or the identity of the candidate. The Board of Directors of VPI considered the bid to be “in the port’s interest” because the project presented fulfils the requirements in terms of the movement of goods through the Port of Sagunto, which VPI included in the public tender convened previously for the sale of this plot.

The company has opened a period of 30 calendar days to give other applicants the option to submit alternative offers, and so if that does not happen before 11 January, them the land will be awarded to the footwear subsidiary of the textile group founded by Amancio Ortega (…).

The 280,000 m2 plot, which VPI was awarded at the time for €30 million is currently worth €25 million, but the entity has already recognised a provision in its accounts for the adjustment in the value of the land. In the tender documents, the company established a minimum price of €30.7 million plus €300,000 for notary fees, payable in cash (…).

Tempe is the Inditex subsidiary that specialises in footwear and accessories for the eight chains that belong to the group: Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe. It is responsible for the design, sale and distribution of those products. Its headquarters are in Elche, one of the main manufacturing nuclei in Spain, and occupy 200,000 m2. From there, it distributes 100 million units around the world each year.

In 2017, Tempe broke sales records once again by registering a turnover of €1.246 billion, according to its accounts for the year. The company is owned by Inditex (50%) and the businessman Vicente García Torres. Its profit amounted to €81 million and Inditex received €21 million in dividends from the company.

Logistics is one of the fundamental areas of Inditex’s business. In total, 8,565 workers are dedicated to it, equivalent to 5% of its employees. The distribution of clothes, footwear, accessories and household goods of all of its chains is carried out from fourteen logistics centres located across Spain (…).

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Xavi Moret)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Inditex Caused the Ministry of Development’s Results to Soar in Galicia in 2017

13 November 2018 – Economía Digital

Inditex purchased more square metres of land from the Ministry of Development’s land manager than the Xunta sells in one year. In a single transaction, the company owned by Amancio Ortega acquired 218,000 m2 of land last year spread over 26 plots on the A Laracha industrial estate (A Coruña) from the company Suelo Empresarial del Atlántico, controlled by the department led by José Luis Ábalos.

The implementation of the multinational’s new logistics hub to complement the group’s central complex in Arteixo, multiplied the revenues and profits of the Ministry of Development’s land manager, which has 13 industrial estates up for sale in Galicia, but which faces serious difficulties when it comes to selling the plots unless it offers them  significant discounts.

The Inditex effect: revenues multiplied by six

Last year, Suelo Empresarial del Atlántico multiplied its revenues by six, up from €2.5 million in 2016 to €15.7 million in 2017. Of that amount, €13.4 million proceeded from the plots sold in A Laracha, the industrial estate chosen by Inditex. The remainder (€1.1 million) was invoiced in Rianxo or was received through subsidies to the business parks of Cee, Muros, Vimianzo and Rianxo itself, given that the entity is a recipient of European funds.

The dependence on a single operation in 2017, the one involving Inditex, shows the difficulties faced when it comes to finding companies to set up shop in Galicia, both for the property developer of the Xunta, which in just two years since its creation has sold 200,000 m2, as well as for the Suelo Empresarial del Atlántico, formerly Plan Galicia promoted by José María Aznar in 2003 to compensate the Prestige disaster.

The purchases by the textile giant also caused the profits of the land manager to soar, up from €53,554 to €444,500, an eight-fold rise. Suelo Empresarial del Atlántico is owned by the Xunta (15%) and by Abanca (1.6%), although the bulk of its share capital, more than 83%, is in the hands of the Ministry of Development through the Public Land Management Company (‘Entidad Pública Empresarial de Suelo’ or Sepes) (…).

Original story: Economía Digital (by Rubén Rodríguez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Corpfin Capital Real Estate will Debut 5 Socimis on the MAB in 2019

26 September 2018 – Voz Pópuli

Corpfin Capital Real Estate Partners is planning to debut five new Socimis on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) under the name Inbest before September 2019.

By the time they make their debuts, the Inbest Socimis will have an investment volume of almost €400 million. The Socimis intend to carry out investments with an average volume of between €50 million and €60 million to acquire properties located in commercial areas of Madrid and Barcelona, as well as in the main provincial capitals, and to provide them with added value and convert them into retail premises and flagship stores for major brands.

The management company of Inbest Socimis is currently in the process of becoming a management company that will be regulated by Spain’s National Securities and Markets Commission. It is chaired by Javier Basagoiti (pictured above), founding partner of the firm together with Carlos Lavilla and Patrick Gandarias. Basagoiti founded Corpfin Capital Real Estate in 2008 in conjunction with Felipe Oriol. Ana Granado, who joined the firm as the Managing Director last year, after working at Santander, Aguirre Newman and Deloitte, will lead the Inbest team, which will comprise 13 professionals in total.

Inbest will finish this year having raised €200 million during the year from various investors and plans to end its investment period in December 2021.

Corpfin Capital Real Estate’s real estate operations include the rental to Apple of its store in Valencia, a residential building that was renovated and whose use was modified to commercial, which was subsequently acquired by Pontegadea, the investment company owned by the Zara founder, Amancio Ortega; the renovation of a old bank branch in San Sebastián, which has now been converted into a shopping arcade that is home to major fashion labels; and the purchase of the premises that used to house the former Nebraska cafeterias in Madrid, establishments that are now occupied by McDonalds and VIPS.

Through Inbest, Corpfin Capital Real Estate wants to take advantage of the boom in the commercial real estate sector, which reported record investment figures in 2017.

The trend of the major brands is to occupy large retail spaces in the main shopping areas of cities, leaving smaller establishments and those set away from the prime areas, whereby opening a niche in the market in which Inbest is specialising. The consolidation of the e-commerce sector has also influenced this change in trend.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Alberto Ortín)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Amancio Ortega’s RE Business is Worth Almost €9bn

23 July 2018 – El Mundo

Amancio Ortega is continuing to expand the perimeter of his real estate empire. Pontegadea, the investment arm of the Inditex creator, grew by 2.8% at the end of 2017, to reach almost €9 billion (€8.759 billion) and that, despite the fact that its profits decreased by 13%, to €1.475 billion due to donations made to his foundation.

Pontegadea groups together both Amancio Ortega’s stake in Inditex as well as his real estate investments. According to the accounts filed with the Mercantile Registry of La Coruña, the company closed 2017 with a net profit attributed to the parent company of €1.475 billion, 13% less than a year earlier, due to donations amounting to €350 million made to the Amancio Ortega Foundation, a large proportion of which are devoted to the fight against cancer.

Specifically, the Foundation donated €320 million to the purchase of state-of-the-art cancer equipment, which is going to be installed in public hospitals across all of the autonomous regions.

At the end of last year, the assets of the Pontegadea group were worth €29.028 billion, its net equity amounted to €21.006 billion and its business volume reached €25.721 billion.

In addition to Torre Cepsa, which it purchased for €490 million and the building at Gran Vía 32, Ortega owns several other office buildings in Madrid such as Torre Picasso and the Castellana 79 building, which houses the largest Zara store in the world.

The Zara property portfolio

Meanwhile, Pontegadea Inmobiliaria recorded revenues (primarily due to rental income) of €385 million, up by 13.6% compared to a year earlier, and the fair value of its portfolio of assets, set by an appraiser, was €8.759 billion, up by 2.8% compared to a year earlier.

51% of the real estate revenues come from European markets, 46% from America and the remaining 3% from Asia, according to the annual accounts, which reflect that Pontegadea’s real estate investments amounted to €629 million in 2017 and at the end of the year, they amounted to €6.913 billion: €1.688 billion in Spain and the remaining €5.225 billion overseas.

Of the investments outside of Spain, €2.681 billion correspond to investments in America, €2.191 billion to Europe (excluding Spain) and €353 million to Asia.

Pontegadea Inversiones, the parent company of the Pontegadea group is chaired by Amancio Ortega and its first Vice-President is his wife, Flora Pérez.

In addition, the company’s directors include José Arnau, who is also a director of Inditex, and Roberto Cibeira, in turn, the CEO of Pontegadea Inmobiliaria.

The Inditex group, owner of fashion chains such as Zara and Massimo Dutti, recorded a net profit of €3.368 billion in the last financial year (which closed in January), up by 6.7% compared to a year earlier, and its sales amounted to €25.336 billion, up by 8.7%.

Original story: El Mundo 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Invests €55M to Reposition its Assets in Azca (Madrid)

24 May 2018 – Expansión

Merlin has launched an ambitious renovation plan for two of its buildings located in the heart of Madrid’s financial district, the Azca complex, one of the capital’s most important commercial and business areas.

Specifically, the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente is going to invest €55 million to refurbish the building located at number 83 and 85 Paseo de la Castellana and another property located in Plaza Ruiz Picasso. The company plans to start the renovation work in 2020.

In the property located at numbers 83 and 85 Paseo de la Castellana, the company is planning a complete renovation of the façade and entrance lobby, which will have a triple height ceiling. Similarly, the refurbishment of the building will include the common areas and other installations.

This building, the current headquarters of Sacyr, has a surface area of 15,254 m2 spread over the ground floor, 11 above ground floors and two underground floors. The aim of the Socimi is to strengthen the space dedicated to retail.

Comprehensive renovation

The Socimi will invest €25 million in that renovation project, which will require almost the entire building to be vacated. “It is one of the best buildings in Madrid and we hope that it will be the doorway to the future reconfigured Azca that we are working on”, said Ismael Clemente, CEO of Merlin, speaking a few days ago at the General Shareholders’ Meeting. In addition, Merlin will invest €30 million to reposition the property in Plaza Ruiz Picasso and to create a building with “the most extensive and best-equipped floor space in all of Azca”.

That asset, which has a surface area of 31,576 m2, will have dual access, from Calle Trías Bertrán and Plaza Ruíz Picasso, and will contain various retail spaces. “This building is almost invisible at the moment but that situation will change after the renovation. The location is crying out for it”, said Clemente.

The director explained that the property has an “exceptional” parking provision for an office building, given that, initially, it was conceived as a shopping centre. Merlin is working with the Spanish architecture studio Fenwick Iribarren to renovate this building (…)

These two buildings owned by Merlin live alongside Torre Titania, the skyscraper owner by El Corte Inglés (…). Meanwhile, Castellana 81 and Torre Ederra, located at number 77 Paseo de la Castellana, are owned by the Socimi GMP; Torre Europe is controlled by Infinorsa; whilst Torre Picasso belongs to Pontegadea, the investment vehicle owned by Amancio Ortega (…).

The Landmark I Plan

The renovation of these two properties forms part of a larger project, the Landmark I Plan, which comprises a total investment of €250 million in office buildings over the next four years.

Within the framework of the Landmark I Plan, Merlin is going to handover Torre Glòries in Barcelona and Torre Chamartín. Over the next few years, the Socimi is also going to renovate the properties located at numbers 38 and 40 Calle Alcalá, Castellana 93, Alfonso XI and Princesa 5-7 in Madrid;  as well as Diagonal 605 in Barcelona; and Monumental and Marqués de Pombal 3 in Lisbon.

“Over the next 12 to 18 months, there is going to be more demand than supply in the market due to the volume of obsolete products. At that point, rents will enjoy a sweet moment, and will move significantly upwards”, say sources at the Socimi.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Pontegadea Lets 3,000 m2 of Office Space in Barcelona to Lidl

2 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Pontegadea, the real estate company owned by Amancio Ortega, is continuing to make its investments in Barcelona profitable. The group has just closed the rental of some of its office space, spanning more than 3,000 m2, to the German supermarket giant Lidl, according to market sources speaking to Eje Prime. Pontegadea has rented part of a building that it owns in Plaza Catalunya, in the centre of Barcelona, which it purchased from BBVA in 2013 for more than €100 million.

Lidl is going to occupy four floors in the building, which together span a total surface area of 3,155 m2. Currently, the building, which was originally intended to house the corporate headquarters of a large group, is being marketed on a floor by floor basis. On the lower storeys, the property is home to one of the flagship stores that Zara has in the centre of the Catalan capital.

Following this rental operation, which has been brokered by the real estate consultancy firms JLL and Forcadell, Lidl is going to sublet the space from BBVA (given that, for the time being, the rental contract is in the name of the banking entity) in order to locate its offices in the centre of the city. The property is going to house the e-commerce and CRM teams, which will serve the group’s business throughout Europe. Although the most iconic part of the building is located in Plaza Catalunya, the building’s entrance is located at number 13 Calle Bergara.

In this way, Lidl is continuing to generate work for the real estate sector in Spain. As Eje Prime revealed, the German supermarket chain has recently put up for sale its portfolio of real estate assets in the country. More than 109,000 m2 of retail space, industrial assets and land, which the German giant has acquired since it first arrived in Spain in 1994 form part of the package put up for sale by the company.

To carry out this operation in Spain, where the company is also purchasing new land, Lidl attended the Barcelona Meeting Point real estate fair in October, where it had one of the largest stands in the room, which it used to explore real estate agreements, including the sale of part of its property portfolio (…).

Lidl has been operating in Spain for more than 22 years, during which time it has invested almost €2.6 billion in the purchase of land, retail premises and store openings. Now, the company has initiated a new phase of expansion and so it is looking for properties, including both industrial and commercial land (…).

The office business is growing in Barcelona 

Leasing of office space grew by 20% in Barcelona during the first quarter of 2018 with respect to the same period in 2017, and forecasts indicate that this business is going to continue to grow over the coming months. The city recorded a leasing volume that was 17% higher than the quarterly average for the last five years, whereby confirming the strong demand.

Of the 125 operations signed during the first few months of the year, 7% corresponded to contracts for spaces spanning more than 2,000 m2. Most of the space leased (47%) was signed in New Business Areas, with the leasing of new space by companies such as PepsiCo and Securitas, which moved into a stock that today has an occupancy rate of 93%, as revealed by Eje Prime.

Meanwhile, the Paseo de Gracia-Diagonal area and city centre closed the quarter with a joint market share of 37% of the total space leased. The remaining 16% opted for projects located on the outskirts of the city (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake