19 August 2015 – Expansión
The US fund Lone Star has purchased four Dolce Vita shopping centres in Portugal from the Spanish real estate company Inmobiliaria Chamartín for €500 million, according to the Portuguese newspaper Público.
The shopping centres are located in Porto, Vila Real, Coimbra and Lisbon. Lone Star became the largest real estate developer in Spain as a result of its purchase of Neinor from Kutxabank. Although the consideration paid in this latest transaction has not been disclosed, market sources told Público that the price was around €500 million.
Real estate bubble
The assets acquired by the US fund, some of which are in the development phase, were purchased by Inmobiliaria Chamartín in 2006 from the Amorim Group, which is controlled by the businessman Américo Amorim. The burst of the real estate bubble made Chamartín’s financial situation more difficult, and its creditors forced it to sell various assets in recent years. The company still owns a few buildings in Libson and Sintra, but it may have to sell those too over the coming months.
Lone Star’s investment in Portugal strengthens the recovery of the country’s real estate market, which, according to the consultancy Worx, has receivd investment of more than €1,000 million during the first half of this year; that figure comes close to the €1,200 million that was invested in 2006, before the start of the crisis.
The US fund, whose chief executive in Spain and Portgual is Juan Pepa, has been very active in the Iberian Peninsula’s real estate market in recent months. After acquiring Neinor for €930 million, the fund invested a further €300 million to purchase land from developers and banks. In addition, Lone Star has said that it has plans to invest a further €1,000 million this year to buy more land in Spain.
Original story: Expansión
Translation: Carmel Drake