The Fund Centricus Enters the Bid to Buy Solvia

28 November 2018 – Expansión

A candidate with an exotic air about it has entered the auction for Solvia, the real estate subsidiary controlled in its entirety by Sabadell. The fund Centricus, which is headquartered in London but which has several Chinese and Japanese shareholders, has submitted a binding offer to acquire Sabadell’s asset management platform, according to sources familiar with the process.

Official sources at the bank preferred not to comment in this regard. Centricus wants to enter the Spanish market to compete with the large investment funds specialising in asset management, such as two of the other players interested in Solvia: Cerberus and Intrum, formerly Lindorff.

Centricus manages assets worth more than USD 20 billion and has worked together with the Japanese giant SoftBank to raise funds amounting to USD 100 billion at the international level.

Asian alliances

The British fund also recently joined forces with the Chinese companies China Merchants Group and SPF Group to launch a USD 15 billion fund to invest in technology companies.

Centricus, Cerberus and Intrum have all submitted binding offers for Solvia amounting to more than €300 million. According to sources close to the operation, one of the funds has even offered an amount close to the €400 million that Sabadell aspires to receive. The bank has awarded the mandate to divest Solvia to Alantra.

Sabadell activated the sale of its real estate platform after cleaning up €11.5 billion in toxic assets from its balance sheet. At that time, it preferred to not sell Solvia, like the majority of its competitors did, to try to maximise its revenues. The bank considers that the real estate platform has significant latent profits. Cerberus could be the favourite in the contest since it is now holding advanced conversations with the entity.

Natural buyer

The US fund is the “natural” buyer for Solvia, say financial sources. In fact, during the summer, Cerberus acquired two large portfolios of foreclosed properties from Sabadell (Challenger and Coliseum), with a combined gross value of €9.1 billion.

Sabadell wants to sign the sale of the real estate platform before the end of this year to have its balance sheet free of property remnants. Solvia manages 148,000 assets, with a value of more than €30 billion. In parallel, the bank has also placed up for sale its property developer subsidiary, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios. The completion of that operation has been delayed until the beginning of 2019.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Sampedro)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Apollo Engages Goldmans to Sell Altamira for c. €600M

8 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Apollo is getting down to work to divest Altamira and, to this end, has engaged Goldman Sachs to execute the mandate. The US fund renewed its contract with the investment bank and has now distributed the sales document for the servicer to potentially interested parties for an amount that ranges between €500 million and €600 million.

The real estate asset and loan manager, Altamira, is primarily owned by Apollo, which holds 85% of its share capital, whilst the remaining 15% stake is in the hands of Santander. The intention of the fund is to officially launch the sale over the coming weeks and to close the operation during the first quarter of 2019, according to reports from Expansión.

Just over a year ago, Altamira’s portfolio was valued at close to €1 billion, but the amount has varied depending on the assets under management at any given moment. At the end of 2017, the package of assets that the company had under management amounted to €50 billion.

Similarly, the principal value of the servicer is the long-term contract that it has with Santander, as well as the contract for the management of assets owned by Sareb. Potential buyers of Altamira include funds such as Deutsche Bank, Bain Capital, Kennedy Wilson, Baupost and Castlelake.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

M&G Invests €80M to Strengthen its RE Portfolio

29 May 2018 – Expansión

The real estate division of the London-based firm M&G Investment has decided to bet significantly on the Iberian market, where its exposure now exceeds €500 million. “We are partners of institutional investors looking for core properties in the best locations across Europe. We opened our office in Spain in 2016, but we completed our first operations there a year earlier”, explains Federico Bros, Director of Asset Management for Spain and Portugal.

Its first operation involved the purchase of the former headquarters of Telefónica located on Calle Ríos Rosas (Madrid) and leased to the advertising giant WPP. “It is an example of what we look for, well-located assets with long-term contracts, 17 years in this case. Between the renovation and purchase we will invest €175 million in that property”, says Bros.

After that acquisition came others, such as an office building in Barcelona’s 22@ district and, recently, five operations with a very diverse profile. On the one hand, M&G purchased three commercial assets: two in Madrid and one in Granada. “The premise in Granada, measuring 2,500 m2, is located on Reyes Católicos, the best shopping street in the city”, explains Bros. In the case of Madrid, M&G acquired two retail premises on Gran Vía 68. “We closed this operation in May but we have been negotiating it for months, given that the building was being renovated. A few months ago, a large Tony Roma’s restaurant opened there and Sabadell is going to open its flagship branch in the other premise in a matter of days”, he said.

Similarly, the firm acquired two industrial assets in Madrid, specifically a logistics platform, leased to Teka, in the Corredor del Henares, and another complex in Getafe. Those two sites span more than 55,000 m2. In total, the firm has invested €80 million on its latest operations, channelled through two funds: MEP and EuroSPIF.

More opportunities

Following these investments, the manager is still looking for opportunities in the Spanish market.

“We are involved in several processes, both official and off-market, in Madrid, Barcelona and prime locations in other cities. Spain is a priority country for us”, says Bros.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Puts 4 Large Portfolios Worth €3.2bn Up For Sale

12 March 2018 – Eje Prime

Sareb is in a hurry. The bad bank has put four large portfolios of assets up for sale worth €3.2 billion, in a move that sees the company getting ahead of the significant divestments that many of the large Spanish banks are planning to undertake.

Moreover, the company that manages assets inherited from the banks would be willing to add two campaigns to this divestment plan through the loan channel worth €1.25 billion and which, in addition to the portfolios that are coming onto the market, would allow Sareb to place up to €4.5 billion in assets.

Of the projects that it has brought onto the market, the bad bank highlights Dune. Through that operation, whose sale was thwarted in 2017, Sareb is putting up for sale €2.5 billion in mortgage debt, in other words, unpaid loans following the enforcement of real estate loans, according to Vózpopuli.

Two other asset portfolios that the bad bank is seeking to market are Project Nora and Project Bidasoa. The first comprises unpaid loans over residential homes for a value that ranges between €300 million and €400 million. Meanwhile, Bidasoa is a debt linked to land located all over Spain that, in total, amounts to €300 million.

Sources at Sareb, which declined to make any comment in this regard, only point out that the sales made during the first few months of 2018 relate to the company’s plan to “deseasonalise” its activity.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meridia Capital Acquires Logistics Platform in Guadalajara for €10M

8 March 2018 – Eje Prime

Meridia Capital is fattening up its asset portfolio. Today, the company announced the purchase of a logistics platform spanning 27,500 m2 in Alovera (Guadalajara) for €10 million. The asset has been acquired through the real estate vehicle Meridia III.

Constructed in 2006, the warehouse is located on the Corredor de Henares axis, an industrial area where companies such as Volvo, Eroski and Mahou are situated. The first warehouse that Meridia III acquired in April 2016 is also located there.

Following the signing of this agreement, Meridia Capital’s logistics portfolio will span a surface area of 112,000 m2 in total, of which 73,000 m2 has been purchased through Meridia III.

Meridia Capital is an independent manager that manages assets worth almost €1 billion (including debt). In recent years, it has established itself as one of the main regulated alternative investment managers in Spain.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Haya Real Estate Issues €475M In Guaranteed Bonds

10 November 2017 – Expansión

Debt market debut / The real estate and financial asset manager Haya Real Estate is reconfiguring its liabilities with its first bond issue

The real estate and financial asset manager Haya Real Estate, owned by the private equity fund Cerberus, has debuted on the debt market by placing €475 million in guaranteed senior bonds.

The operation has been divided into two tranches. The first, amounting to €250 million, has been placed at a fixed rate of 5.25% and the second (amounting to €225 million), has been placed at a variable rate, linked to three-month Euribor +5,125%. The floating coupon has a zero clause for Euribor in such a way that negative interest is not computed. Currently, three-year Euribor is at minimum levels of -0.32%. The firm guarantees the payment of these issues with shares in the company itself and its service contracts.

Haya Real Estate has been assigned a B- rating by S&P and a B3 rating by Moody’s, which means it is considered high yield. Market sources maintain that demand for the issue was equivalent to more than twice the amount awarded in the end. The strong investor appetite has allowed Haya Real Estate to increase the amount of the issue, given that initially, it was planning to raise €450 million. To bring the issue to a successful conclusion, the firm engaged the services of Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Bankia and Santander.

Haya Real Estate will use the funds to repay a syndicated loan, to distribute a dividend to Cerberus, to hold onto cash and to pay the commissions and fees associated with the issue. In addition, it will return money that Cerberus lent it to acquire Liberbank’s real estate asset manager, for which it paid €85 million.

“Cerberus lent us the money until we were able to close the bond issue because the syndicated loan terms were more restrictive”, explained Bárbara Zubiría, Financial Director at the company.

Original story: Expansión (by Andrés Stumpf)

Translation: Carmel Drake

TH Real Estate Offers €450M For Diagonal Mar

14 June 2016 – Expansión

The owner of the shopping centre Diagonal Mar, the British fund Northwood, has received a binding offer amounting to €450 million from TH Real Estate. This amount almost triples the €160 million that Northwood paid for the Barcelona-based shopping centre in 2013.

It is not the only offer that has been presented, given that TH Real Estate’s proposal was accompanied by two others from funds whose name has not been revealed. The sale of the asset is being brokered by the consultancy firm CBRE, which has declined to comment on the deal, along with TH Real Estate.

Diagonal Mar is the largest shopping centre in Cataluña, with a surface area of 87,500 sqm. Nevertheless, not all of the property is up for sale, given that 27,000 sqm are owned by Alcampo (which will hold onto its space).

Northwood acquired the centre at the worst time of the crisis, in 2013, from the Irish bad bank, which means that it could end up generating capital gains of €290 million in less than three years.

The investor

TH Real Estate is owned by the financial services provider TIAA. The origin of the company dates back to the London-based real estate manager, Henderson Real Estate, which was absorbed by the US group TIAA in 2014 to create TH Real Estate, which is also headquartered in the USA.

TH Real Estate manages real estate assets all over the world, covering 26,800 sqm, for around 50 investment funds and other operating mandates.

As well as TIAA’s assets in the USA, this platform integrates properties worth €83,900 million in total, which makes it one of the largest property managers in the world.

In Spain, TH Real Estate owns several shopping centres, including Islazul, in Madrid, measuring 90,000 sqm; Nervión in Sevilla, measuring 25,000 sqm; and Bulevar Getafe in Madrid, measuring 27,150 sqm. It also owns an industrial park in Alovera (Guadalajara) measuring 42,000 sqm.

The company has been present in Spain since 2007 and its Madrilenian headquarters is headed up by Manuel Martín. In recent years, as well as investments in operating assets, TH Real Estate has also undertaken co-investment projects, such as in the case of the Viladecans outlet (in Barcelona), where it joined forces with Neinver.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Buys 1 Shopping Centre In León And 2 In Lisbon

13 May 2015 – El Economista

The US fund Blackstone is keeping its eyes fixed on the Iberian Peninsula. This was evidenced yesterday by the announcement that it had acquired three shopping centres in Spain and Portugal.

Specifically, it has purchased Espacio León (located in the province of the same name), which has a leasable surface area of 37,000 square meters. This transaction was closed through the purchase of CG Malls Europe’s shares in that shopping centre.

The other two are Almada Forum, which has a leasable surface area of 59,000 square metres and Forum Montijo with 42,000 square metres, which are both located in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

Through this transaction, the US fund has acquired leasable surface area of more than 138,000 square metres.

The properties will be managed by Multi Corporation, a company that Blackstone bought two years ago, which specialises in the management of real estate assets. Multi is currently the owner and manager of 25 real estate assets in Spain and Portugal.

As such, Blackstone is continuing to consolidate its position in the Iberian market. The US fund has made several purchases in the Portuguese territory in recent months.

Last December, the company acquired part of a portfolio from Novo Banco’s fund manager for €220 million, which became the latest real estate transaction of the year (in Portugal).

Two months ago, Blackstone also acquired Alverca Park (also in Portugal), which covers more than 60,000 square metres and contains offices and retail space.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake