Marathon Acquires 2 Office Buildings in Madrid from CaixaBank

14 February 2019 – El Confidencial

The US fund Marathon Asset Management, one of the first to back the recovery of the residential property development sector in Spain, has set its sights on the peripheral office market. According to sources speaking to this newspaper, the firm has purchased a complex measuring 17,557 m2 in Madrid from CaixaBank.

The complex comprises two office buildings and 300 parking spaces, as well as several commercial premises and is located at number 43 on Avenida Institución Libre de Enseñanza in the Julián Camarillo area, which is home to the offices of companies such as Atos, Indra and Prisa.

It is the second operation of its kind that Marathon has carried out in the past three months, given that in November, it acquired a mixed-used complex, also in this area from Credit Suisse. That complex comprised an office building and a hotel managed by Barceló.

Specialising in value-added operations, as demonstrated in the past, with its anticipation of the recovery of the residential property development market with its investments in Habitat and San José Desarrollos (now Vía Célere), the fund is convinced about the potential of the secondary office market in Spain, which it has placed at the centre of its investment target.

In fact, Marathon is interested in closing more acquisitions of this kind both in Madrid, where it plans to continue growing in the Julián Camarillo area, and in Barcelona, where it is looking at opportunities in areas such as 22@.

Last sale by CaixaBank

The fund, which has been advised in its purchase from CaixaBank by Cuatrecasas, Arcadis and Doble Dígito Brokerage, is planning to carry out a comprehensive repositioning of the asset, given that its current occupancy rate amounts to just 30%, according to market sources. They also indicate that the acquisition price will have amounted to around €15 million.

This complex was originally promoted by Grupo Veintidós in 2010, a company that ended up transferring ownership of the complex to CaixaBank, which lodged it in its real estate subsidiary Building Center.

Meanwhile, the bank reached an agreement with Lone Star last year to sell 80% of its real estate business, which means that this could be one of the last operations that the real estate subsidiary carries out under the control of the entity.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Is Málaga the Silicon Valley of the South? Its Offices Generate Yields of 7.25%

7 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Málaga is positioning itself as the possible Silicon Valley of the south of Spain. The second most populated city in Andalucía and the only Spanish city in the Top 10 for the best quality of life in Europe, according to Eurobarómetro, has attracted several technology giants in recent years. The interest from these companies in moving to the area and the lack of available space have driven up prime yields in the office market in Málaga to 7.25%, making it the most profitable place to own an office in Spain, according to data from CBRE.

The international consultancy highlights that Málaga is “consolidating its position as a city of reference in Spain in the development of the technology sector”. Oracle, Accenture, Microsoft, Huawei, Ericsson, Indra, Atos and Cisco, amongst others, have all opened offices in the city. The meeting point for these companies is the Andalucía Technology Park (PTA), recently included in the catalogue of European Digital Innovation Hubs, compiled by the European Commission, and which recorded a turnover of €1.9 billion in 2019, up by 8%.

In addition, the province is home to other smaller clusters, such as Málaga SmartCity and the ‘Polo de Contenidos Digitales de Málaga’, the first hub with those characteristics in Spain and which aims to accelerate projects and companies related to the digital sector.

The increase in demand for offices in the city also comes in response to the future forecasts for growth in the region. In fact, Oxford Economists names Málaga as the city where the economy is going to grow by the most in Spain over the next decade. The good connectivity of the province abroad and tourism are some of the factors driving those predictions.

In recent years, Málaga has enjoyed a facelift in recent years with improvements in its infrastructures, and the airport and port as anchors for tourism and business. In addition, the population has increased to 570,000 inhabitants in recent years and there are now more than 40,000 companies, of which 87.1% specialise in services.

These drivers have reactivated the office market, which has taken advantage of the boost in demand, on the rise since 2015. Rentals cost €17/m2/month in the city’s best buildings and the occupancy rate in the prime area exceeds 90%.

The shortage of competitive products in terms of location, finishes and facilities, has driven the increase in yields. In comparison with Madrid and Barcelona, the variation in prime yields is great, improving the yields of 3.25% and 4% that were being registered in the two major Spanish capitals at the end of the third quarter 2018.

Moreover, the office market in Málaga also generates higher yields than the market in Bilbao, although it is not far behind with average yields of 7%, as well as those in Sevilla and Palma, which do not exceed 6.75%. The yields in Valencia and Zaragoza amounted to 5.25% and 6%, respectively, in September last year (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Zambal Approves Merger with Iberia Nora & Completes €80M Capital Increase

12 September 2018 – Eje Prime

Zambal has approved its merger with Iberia Nora and has given the green light to its capital increase. Following the General Shareholders’ Meeting, the company managed by IBA Capital has notified the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) that it is going to carry out its integration with the other Socimi, which specialises in the rental of real estate assets.

In addition, Zambal has confirmed the €80 million capital increase that it announced in July. It will conduct it through the issue of 80 million shares with a nominal value of €1 and an issue premium of €0.25, which “will be fully subscribed and paid up through the compensation of loans”.

The capital increase has been fully subscribed by the Socimi’s majority shareholder, Altaya, headquartered in Singapore, which owns 95.21% of the share capital. Of the remaining 4.79%, 4.40% corresponds to Loire Investments Pte. Ltd, also domiciled in Singapore and 0.39% is treasury stock.

The Socimi, which started life in 2013, is an investment vehicle managed externally by IBA Capital Partners. The company specialises in the investment, and subsequent management, of offices and retail assets in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, although the company also considers other assets such as nursing homes for the elderly, hospitals, retail parks and logistics platforms.

In a recent operation, Zambal purchased two office buildings on Calle Albarracín in Madrid, leased to the French multi-national firm Atos. That operation involved an investment of €38 million.

Without resorting to bank financing, Zambal has constructed a portfolio worth more than €730 million. Some of the company’s other main assets include, for example, the property at number 77 Avenida San Luis (which is home to Gas Natural’s headquarters in Madrid); the Edificio Vodafone, on Avenida de América; and the building at number 118 Avenida Burgos, which is leased in its entirety to BMW.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

UST Global Leases 3,150 m2 in Madrid’s New Techie Zone

6 April 2018 – Eje Prime

UST Global is plugging into the new techie zone in Madrid. The technology company has leased 3,150 m2 of office space in the Avalón Business Park, a closed office complex located in the Julián Camarillo area. In its new home, the US company will share the district with other technology companies such as IBM, Atos, Tecnocom and The Cube Madrid, amongst others.

The company is going to move a team of 400 employees to Avalón, half of the company’s total workforce in Spain, who are going to be spread over three floors. The technology company’s neighbours will include Konecta and Kone, amongst other companies.

UST Global, which is headquartered in California, has a presence in 25 countries and its clients include large listed companies from the banking, insurance, retail and healthcare sectors.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Atos to Keep Renting From the Land of Bavaria Until 2025

2/09/2014 – Expansion

Atos, a French firm focused on delivery of IT services through Consulting and Systems Integration, has sealed a new rental deal in order to stay in its present headquarters of 7.843 square meters situated in Madrid until 2025.

The building is the number 25 of the Albarracin street. It was raised in 1993 and now it belongs to German property investment fund Real I.S. Group.

The landlord is a branch of a public bank of the Land of Bavaria, managing the property through an investment vehicle called BGV III España 1 SLU.

The operation closes the summertime in the office market of Madrid. Numerous transactions like this one have been reviving the sector since the beginning of the year.

As per calculations by CBRE, year-to-date the total area involved in the rental contract signing spread over 170.000 square meters in Madrid solely. Most remarkable was the rent of a 23.000 sq m office building at 81 Avenida de America avenue by Axa. Owned by real estate company Torre Rioja, the five-storey property includes an underground parking with 380 spaces and a ground level one of more than 100 places. This operation marks a five-year record in terms of volume.

According to JLL, office space availability rate in Madrid presently stands at 12.17 per cent, by 1 per cent less than it was in the first quarter of 2013.

When it comes to the city of Barcelona, the most noteworthy deal of this year involved move-out of Agbar to new premises on the Paseo de la Zona Franca street after having sold its iconic Tower.

  Original article: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz) Translation: AURA REE