Merlin To Invest €15.2M Renovating Valencia’s El Saler Shopping Centre

24 October 2017 – Expansión

Merlin is going to undertake improvements at its shopping centres on the basis that it considers that e-commerce “is not going to kill the physical shopping experience, but rather transform the way it is done”.

In this way, the Socimi is committed to improving its shopping centres to bring them into line with visitors’ current tastes. In its opinion, the “new era” of shopping centres will attract visitors on the basis of convenience and experience.

To this end, it is committed to expanding its centres’ areas of activity beyond just shopping, to include experiences. In line with this strategy, one of its major investments currently underway involves the shopping centre it has acquired in Alcorcón (Madrid), known as ‘X-Madrid‘.  There it will invest €31.8 million to convert the retail space into a leisure centre for experiences, where visitors will be able to go diving, surfing and climbing.

Moreover, the Socimi advocates the integration of shopping centres with e-commerce, including the constitution of marketplaces, housing collection points for online purchases from Amazon and Correos, as well as pop-up stores and temporary shops.

Merlin’s other notable investments in this segment include the €21 million it is spending on the complete renovation of the Larios Centre in Málag; the €3.8 million it will use to improve the façade and common areas of the Arturo Soria shopping centre in Madrid; the €15.2 million that will be used to renovate El Saler in Valencia; and the €16 million it will invest in the Porto Pi shopping centre in Palma.

Original story: Expansión 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Acciona Delays IPO Of RE Subsidiary Due To Political Uncertainty

11 May 2016 – El Confidencial

Acciona has decided to delay the decision regarding the possible IPO of its real estate subsidiary on the basis that the current “political uncertainty does not favour” the operation, according to the Chairman of the company, José Manuel Entrecanales (pictured above).

“We will wait for a reasonable period of time or we will proceed with the most viable alternative”, he said with respect to the different options that the company is analysing for its new company Acciona Real Estate, the subsidiary into which it has segregated all of its real estate assets, worth around €630 million and primarily comprising homes for rent in Madrid.

The group was weighing up the partial sale of this new company, either by opening it up to a new partner or by listing it on the stock exchange, but “the current political uncertainty does not seem to favour the latter option”, said Entrecanales in a speech to Acciona’s General Shareholders’ Meeting. Nevertheless, the group will push ahead with its goal of reducing the debt linked to these assets.

The group completed the constitution of this real estate subsidiary at the beginning of the year. It was created with assets worth €60 million and debt amounting to €190 million.

63% of the assets comprise 1,382 homes for rent, most of which (73%) are located in Madrid, as well as several retail premises associated with those homes.

Another 22% of Acciona Real Estate’s portfolio comprises tertiary assets, such as four office buildings that it owns in Madrid and Barcelona, two hotels in Marbella and Barcelona, respectively, a 50% stake in the Arturo Soria Plaza shopping centre in Madrid and 54 retail outlets. The portfolio is completed with a batch of 16 plots of land, which are ready to develop, covering a surface area of around 155,000 sqm.

Original story: El Confidencial

Translation: Carmel Drake

ING Grants €280M Loan To Tan To Finance Torre Espacio

26 February 2016 – Expansión

It was the major real estate transaction of 2015. The sale of Torre Espacio to the Philippine group Emperador, owned by Andrew Tan (pictured above), last November was the grand finale to a year that all of the experts agree was the year during which the real estate sector finally began its recovery.

But the financial arrangements for this great purchase remained to be seen. The price agreed was €558 million, a figure to which almost €200 million of debt linked to the company Torre Espacio Castellana must be added. The company owns the skyscraper and served as the vehicle through which the Asian businessman acquired the building.

ING Wholesale Banking has now granted a syndicated loan amounting to €280 million with a seven year term, which will be used exclusively to finance this operation. The loan perfectly represents how the financial sector has reopened its appetite for high quality real estate assets.

According to sources, the rest of the operation will be financed directly by the Philippine businessman, one of the wealthiest people in the world according to the Forbes list. It ranks him as the 330th richest person on the planet and the third richest in his country, thanks to his fortune, estimated to be worth $3,700 million (equivalent to around €3,300 million at the current exchange rate).

Torre Espacio is one of four skyscrapers that were constructed on land that formerly housed Real Madrid’s Ciudad Deportiva in the North of the Madrid. The building has a gross leasable area of 60,142 m2, spread over 56 floors and 1,173 parking spaces. It is regarded as one of the most important office buildings in Spain and its main tenant is the former owner, Grupo Villar Mir, which occupies more than half of the property.

ING, which has acted as the sole underwriter and agent bank, highlights that this loan is a clear example of “the bank’s commitment to real estate financing in Spain and its significant profile in the Asian markets”, according to a statement made by Íñigo Churruca, CEO of ING Wholesale Banking. The entity is currently working to share the risk with other banks, although it is expected to take on the majority of the financing itself.

The entity also closed a financing agreement with Merlin Properties in January this year, amounting to €67.9 million and with a five year term, to finance the purchase of a portfolio containing seven logistics assets.

In addition, last year, it granted a syndicated loan amounting to €125 million, with a seven year term, to Acciona Inmobiliaria, which the company allocated to Urbanizadora Coto, a subsidiary of the group owned by the Entrecanales family that owns seven residential buildings and two offices, as well as a 50% stake in the Arturo Soria shopping centre, in one of the best areas of Madrid, close to Parque del Conde Orgaz.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake