López de Herrera-Oria Forgets Axiare & Launches a Socimi to Invest €300M

5 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Following Colonial’s takeover of Axiare, Luis López de Herrera-Oria (pictured below) is reinventing himself with Arima. The former CEO of Axiare has constituted a new Socimi that plans to raise €300 million to invest in the real estate market.

The new company will centre its efforts on the office market in Madrid, the star segment for the now extinct Axiare, which will account for 80% of its investments. Barcelona and logistics assets will also be of interest to the Socimi.

The return of López de Herrera-Oria to the real estate sector, as revealed by Eje Prime in June, is expected imminently and his new vehicle is expected to debut on the main stock market without first starting out on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB). In fact, Arima’s stock market debut could even happen before the end of October, according to Expansión.

Alongside the executive, a serial entrepreneur in the real estate business, one of his right-hand men at Axiare, Chony Martín Vicente-Mazariegos, who used to be the Socimi’s Finance Director, will be immersed in the project. Similarly, some of López de Herrera-Oria’s other trusted directors will form part of Arima’s new project, including Guillermo Fernández-Cuesta, Fernando Arenas and Stuart McDonald. Arima means soul in Basque.

Since February, when Colonial completed its successful takeover of Axiare and merged the Socimi into its group,  López de Herrera-Oria has kept a low profile. The director pocketed €26.4 million from the sale of the package of shares that he owned in the manager.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Four Largest Socimis Already Control €30 Billion of Real Estate

8 August 2018

The largest of these real estate companies multiplied their assets fourfold since their first major acquisitions in 2015. Axiare left the continuous market and Hispania will soon follow as the sector undergoes a period of concentration.

The success of the socimi regulatory regime since its launch in 2013 is reflected in the gigantic portfolio of assets that these real estate companies have amassed in the last few years. The four largest listed companies have already accumulated portfolios of properties worth nearly 30 billion euros in three or four years of operation, according to the companies’ financial reports for the first quarter of 2018.

The development of a regulatory regime for these listed real estate investment companies was helmed by the then Minister of Finance Cristóbal Montoro, as these companies were exempted from paying corporate taxes in exchange for obligations such as having to distribute at least 80% of their dividends (which is taxed) and a listing on the stock exchange, guaranteeing transparency, among other requirements. The regulatory regime followed the example of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust), which have a long history in the US and Europe.

These companies are focused on the property business, and they lease their properties, which are principally offices, shopping centres and commercial premises, hotels, rental homes and logistics warehouses.

The launch of the regulatory regime coincided with the recovery in international confidence in Spain (after the sovereign debt crisis and doubts about its financial system) as some foreign firms (mainly investment funds and later institutional capital such as insurers) that returned to the market, betting on a recovery in the reactivation of the Spanish real estate market. Moreover, socimis have been one of the principal channels for investing these international flows of capital in this type of asset.

At Least €15 Billion More on the MAB

Spain’s Alternative Stock Market. The MAB found a way to grow through the socimis. 59 of these real estate companies have already listed on the market, often as purely tax vehicles, with no major movements in their limited free float and which also do not carry out large purchases. Among them, three big ones stand out: GMP (owned by the Montoro Alemán family and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC), Uro Property (with Santander’s banking offices) and General de Galerias Comerciales (owned by the executive Tomás Olivo). At the end of last year, there were 44 of these companies in the MAB, with a value of 12.221 billion euros (+60% y-o-y), according to data from Armabex, a registered advisor.

Testa Residencial. Among the 15 socimis that joined the MAB in the last months, Testa, which is owned by Santander, BBVA, Acciona and Merlin, stands out. Testa debuted at the end of July with €2.275 billion in rental housing. Along with other companies that launched on the market this year, there are now 59 firms with at least €15 billion in property. Initially, Testa had planned to debut on the continuous market, but market doubts in June led the company to opt for its plan B. The company still plans on a move to the continuous market in the future.

Records for investments in this type of property were broken in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In the past year, 13.99 billion euros were allocated to acquisitions, according to the real estate consultancy JLL, with international funds and socimis as the main players.

The growth of these companies over the last three years has been spectacular. In the first semester of this year, when the socimis published updated property valuations, the big four had €27.336 million in their portfolios (up 3% compared to the end of 2017). The four include Merlin Properties, Colonial, Hispania and Lar España. Taking the first quarter of 2015 as a baseline, when the largest of these companies were already active and began to make their large purchases, these same companies had a total of €6.691 billion. That is a fourfold increase in three years.

If one takes into account that Colonial had not yet become socimi that year (the developer changed status in 2017), the jump is even greater since, at the time, Axiare (absorbed a few months ago by the Catalan company) is one of the top four, with only €465 million in its portfolio. At that point, Merlin, Hispania, Axiare and Lar España had total assets of €4.2 billion, 6.5 times less than at the present date.

The success of these companies has led them to be targets of large corporate operations in the sector in recent months, in a period of concentration that experts believe will continue for the time being.

The largest then, as now, is Merlin (listed on the Ibex-35), which has Ismael Clemente as its CEO. The socimi already owns properties worth €11.755 billion, mainly offices and shopping centres and commercial premises, although with increasing investments in the thriving logistics warehouse sector. The company was launched after convincing investors, mainly Americans, to acquire the so-called Árbol (Tree) portfolio and its 800 BBVA banking branches.

The socimi debuted on the stock exchange in 2014 and grew rapidly with the acquisition of Testa from Sacyr in 2015 (€1.8 billion cost) and the integration of Metrovacesa’s tertiary assets (buildings valued at €1.67 billion) in 2016. At this point, Santander became its largest shareholder, with 22.6% of the capital. The rest is highly diluted, with large international funds as the most common investors. Its flagship buildings include the Torre Agbar, where Facebook will open an office (through the CCC outsourcing company) to monitor and control harmful content on the social network.

Merlin is closely followed by Colonial (Ibex 35), which has assets valued at €11.19 billion, compared to €2.185 billion in 2015. The historic real estate company began operations in Barcelona in 1946 and decided to become a socimi last year for the tax benefits. It has made major strides through its investments, including its recent takeover of Axiare, for which it paid €1.7 billion, giving Madrid a greater weight in its portfolio. The portfolio, mainly offices (91%), includes properties controlled by its French subsidiary SFL, with buildings in Paris (33% of the total value). The core of Colonial’s shareholders includes the Mexican investor Carlos Fernández González (18.3% of the capital), the Qatar Investment Authority (10.6%), the Colombian group Santo Domingo (7.3%) and the perfume family Puig (5.1%).

The other major socimi that has been the protagonist of a recent corporate deal is Hispania, listed since 2014, which was recently taken over by the giant American fund Blackstone. In fact, Blackstone has controlled 90.5% of the socimi since the end of July and is expected to abandon the socimi tax regime in the coming weeks. The company has €2.185 billion in real estate, 66% of which corresponds to hotels. The US fund plans to use Hispania’s assets to create a large hotel platform after having also acquired the HI Partners from Sabadell for €630 million.

After the acquisitions of Hispania and Axiare, the only large company that will remain on the continuous market is Lar España, which is managed externally by Grupo Lar, with the Pimco fund as its main shareholder (19.6%). It was the first socimi to make the jump to the stock market and has assets of €1.58 billion, of which 82% are shopping centres, following its strategy of focusing on the retail sector. With that in mind, the company announced the sale of its logistics park to Blackstone for €120 million at the end of July.

Original Story: Cinco Días / El País – Alfonso Simón Ruiz

Translation: Richard Turner

Colonial Earns €254M in H1 Following the Integration of Axiare

30 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Colonial recorded a net attributable profit of €254 million following the merger of Axiare. That represented a decrease of 42% for the Catalan real estate company, although it did increase its net recurrent profit, which excludes the impact of the merger, by 12% to €41 million, according to a statement filed by the company with Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The Socimi led by Pere Viñolas recorded revenues from rental income of €170 million to June, up by 21%. Meanwhile, the value of Colonial’s asset portfolio amounted to €11.19 billion, up by 29% with respect to the same period last year.

In terms of its value on the stock market (the group is listed on the main exchange), the new Colonial, following the integration of Axiare, achieved a market capitalisation of more than €4.4 billion at the end of the first half of the year.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Colonial & Axiare Formally Approve Their €11bn Merger

24 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Colonial and Axiare are on the verge of merging. Yesterday (Thursday), the General Shareholders’ Meeting of the Catalan Socimi approved the firm’s merger with Axiare, in an operation that is expected to close during the second half of the year and which will give rise to the largest office building rental company in Spain, a real estate giant with asset worth €11 billion.

The integration is a consequence of the takeover bid that Colonial launched over Axiare at the end of last year to acquire the share capital that it did not own in the Socimi, of which it was already the largest shareholder. The real estate company led by Pere Viñolas purchased 86.8% of the Socimi’s share capital in the end. To obtain the remaining 13.2%, it offered a share exchange deal at a ratio of 1.8554 own shares for each Axiare share.

Colonial also subjected the capital increase necessary to undertake this exchange to its General Shareholders’ Meeting, held on Thursday. With this merger, the real estate company chaired by Juan José Brugera seeks “to consolidate” its position in the prime office sector and “to respond to the current challenges in the real estate sector by strengthening its competitive position and achieving greater size and more efficiency in the business in Spain”.

Nevertheless, it does not rule out that the integration may also generate “duplications and incoherencies” in the resulting workforce, in which case, it plans to undertake adjustments over the coming months.

Axiare will, in turn, give its “approval” to the integration at its General Shareholders’ Meeting today, 25 May, where it will also ratify the Transition Board of Directors, comprising independent members, which Colonial appointed following the takeover.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Metrovacesa Negotiates with Funds to Build New Offices

23 May 2018 – Expansión

Metrovacesa, the property developer in which Santander and BBVA hold stakes, wrote a new chapter in its history on 6 February with its return to the stock market after five years away and with an ambitious growth plan in its sights. Following a lacklustre debut on the stock market and with a land portfolio worth €2.6 billion, the company is now preparing to show the market that it is capable of fulfilling its planned targets for the hand over of homes and generation of returns from its portfolio of non-residential land.

In this sense, Metrovacesa is holding negotiations with international funds in order to create joint ventures to promote offices. “We are holding advanced conversations and we hope to close several joint ventures before the end of the year”, explains the CEO, Jorge Pérez de Leza (pictured above), in an interview with Expansión.

The proposed model involves creating joint ventures in which the financial partner will control 75%, whilst the remaining 25% will remain in the hands of Metrovacesa: “That would allow us to sell land at prices close to the GAV (gross asset value) or higher and to retain a stake in each project”.

Metrovacesa currently owns tertiary land spanning more than 1.3 million m2, which has an approximate value of €684 million.

In addition to the joint ventures with financial partners, the company is planning to sign more turnkey projects, like the one sealed last year with Axiare for the sale of a building under construction located at number 40 Calle Josefa Valcárcel in Madrid, which will be handed over at the end of 2018, for €30 million.

“The aim of the company was to launch 36,000 m2 through turnkey projects and joint ventures in 2018, and we are going to exceed that figure”, said the CEO. In parallel, the firm is continuing to sell tertiary land. In April, it reached an agreement with the property developer La Llave de Oro to sell a plot in the 22@ district of Barcelona for €22 million and it is negotiating other operations worth €14 million, which will allow it to exceed the objective for 2018. With these operations, the company is generating cash, whilst it prepares the launch of its primary business: the development of homes.

Advantage

Pérez de Leza reveals that the company will launch between 3,500 and 4,000 units in 2018, which will allow it to advance in its goal of reaching cruising speed in 2021. According to its initial plans, it will hand over 520 units in 2018 and then 700 and 3,500 units in 2019 and 2020, respectively: “That will allow us to be on track to break even by the end of the year and follow a positive path next year”.

In the opinion of the director, one of the property developer’s competitive advantages is its land portfolio, which has capacity for the construction of 37,500 homes. “We can fulfil our delivery objectives for the next eight years without having to buy any land. That means we can take things calmly compared to our competitors”, he said.

Pérez de Leza also defends the group’s commitment to diversify its portfolio: “There is no buildable land left in Madrid, Barcelona and Costa del Sol. If you want to carry out significant deliveries (of new homes), you need to open yourself up to other markets”. And he also reveals that the firm has received offers to sell non-developable land that it has ruled out until the urban planning permits have been obtained. “Land management is an added-value strategy, we have a team ready to do it and we can obtain higher margins. Selling now would mean losing euros along the way”, he said.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: New Builds Will Account for 60% of the Office Supply in Madrid Until 2019

15 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Change of tack in the office sector in Madrid. In 2016, 100% of the supply that was put on the market corresponded to renovated properties; just three years on, 60% of the office space handed over during the last 24 months has been newly built. The segment is, therefore, going to experience a metamorphosis over the next two years (…). Moreover, with the volume of leased surface area rising year after year, a significant increase is expected over the medium term in the number of square metres in total in the office stock in the Spanish capital, according to a report from the consultancy firm CBRE.

Thus, whilst in 2016, the new surface area created saw the introduction of 170,000 m2 into the stock that year, last year, 238,000 m2 of new space was created. In 2018 and 2019, office developers will dispense 255,000 m2, of which 153,000 m2 is going to correspond to new build properties.

These figures reflect the definitive return of the Socimis and funds to the construction of new office space in the office market, according to CBRE. In the case of Madrid, after 606,000 m2 of office space was leased during 2017 – the best year in the last decade – the report forecasts similar figures for this year.

In addition, traditional players, such as the Socimi Colonial and GMP, in which the Singapore sovereign fund has held a stake for several years, have been joined by other managers and companies that want to take advantage of the strong performance of the office market in the new real estate cycle, resuming projects that were parked due to the crisis. Such is the case of Iberdrola Inmobiliaria, the French firm Bouygues and Torre Rioja, amongst other companies.

In this sense, Colonial, which has now also reinforced this line of business with Axiare’s assets, has a project underway, Alpha III, in which it is going to invest €480 million between Madrid and Barcelona, highlighting the investment that it is going to make in the Méndez Álvaro area of the Spanish capital. In that southern stretch of the central business district (CBD), the Socimi is going to build more than 110,000 m2 of office space (…).

Barcelona: record year for the hand over of new offices

Whilst Madrid is getting ready to build offices, in Barcelona, developers are on the verge of handing over the newest spaces. The Catalan capital has been immersed in a construction phase that, in addition, has been sold at the speed of light. The majority of the new developments that are being carried out already have tenants, who have signed pre-lease contracts with the developers of the different projects.

Nevertheless, the greatest supply is being built in the 22@ district, the most-sought-after area at the moment by technology companies and large operators. As a result, in 2017, the Catalan capital recorded a 4% increase in the volume of space leased, to 344,000 m2, according to CBRE.

Boosted by this dynamic of constructing buildings in the city’s new hub, Barcelona will handover 170,000 m2 of new office space during 2018, which will represent the best surface area record since 2010 (…).

In recent months, several land transactions have been closed in the 22@ district for the development of new (office) projects. Perhaps the most noteworthy of all is Parc Central, a plot spanning 52,000 m2 for which Värde paid €50 million to Oaktree and Alza Real Estate. The fund will allocate just over 40,000 m2 of those plots, known as Can Ricard, to office buildings.

Madrid, the city in Europe where prime office rents will rise by the fastest

(…). Prime rents grew by 10% in Madrid in 2017 and by 8% in Barcelona, with average prices per square metre of €31/m2/month in the Spanish capital and €23.5/m2/month in the Mediterranean city.

In 2018, CBRE forecasts that Madrid is going to be the European city where prime rents are going to rise the most markedly with a growth forecast that could reach €34/m2/month on average, boosted by the CBD. Meanwhile, Barcelona is going to close this year as the fourth-ranked capital in Europe in terms of the increase in office rents, a rising trend that is going to continue in both cities until 2022.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Starwood & Carlyle Bid for San Fernando Business Park (Madrid)

11 May 2018 – Expansión

One of the major real estate operations of the year in the office segment is entering the home stretch.

The US fund Oaktree, which engaged the real estate consultancy CBRE to coordinate the sale of San Fernando Business Park, has been receiving binding offers for this office complex, located in San Fernando de Henares, in the east of the Community of Madrid.

The international investors that have expressed their interest in the asset include the investment fund Starwood Capital and the private equity firm Carlyle, both of which have submitted binding offers and so entered the final round of bidding for the business park.

Oaktree acquired the San Fernando Business Park three years ago, when the US fund purchased a portfolio of unpaid debt worth €750 million from the German bad bank FMS Wertmanagement (FMS WM), which included, in addition to the office complex: luxury hotels, such as the Arts Hotel in Barcelona and another establishment in Cascais (Portugal); five shopping centres, including two in Madrid (Plaza Éboli and Heron City Las Rozas); several storeroom buildings; and other residential and industrial assets.

San Fernando Business Park comprises 13 buildings and spans a total surface area of 86,000 m2, as well as 2,500 parking spaces.

Moreover, the business complex boasts 40,000 m2 of green space and recreational areas. San Fernando Business park is accessible directly from the A2, M45 and M50 motorways and its onsite facilities include a gym, banks, a children’s nursery, meeting rooms and an auditorium.

Office market

As we wait to see how the sale of Hispania’s office portfolio pans out, which is worth almost €600 million but which is up in the air due to the takeover bid (OPA) that the US fund Blackstone launched for the Socimi, the purchase of San Fernando Business Park looks set to be one of the most important operations of the year in the office segment.

Investment

Last year, investment in the office segment amounted to €2.3 billion, less than half the previous year, due to less activity by the Socimis, a shortage of supply in good locations and the challenge for investors to find the desired returns.

So far this year, investment in the office segment has accounted for 42% of the total transacted volume, reaching €1.72 billion, given that the figure includes Colonial’s takeover of Axiare, which was successfully closed in February and which has caused the investment figure to soar.

More than 600,000 m2 of office space was leased in Madrid last year, which represents the best figure in the last decade, whilst in Barcelona, 345,000 m2 of office space was leased during the same period.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Socimi Lists its €46-Million Portfolio of Homes and Land in Madrid

27 April 2018

The countdown has started for Spain’s stock exchange to become home to a new real estate investment company listing. AP67 has received the approval to start trading on the Mercado Alternativo Bursátil (MAB).

Although the exact date of the listing is still unknown, the socimi will debut at a price of 6.65 euros per share and a market value of about 34 million euros.

The vehicle is specialised in the residential sector and has residential buildings, one residential plot of land, two industrial plots of land and several commercial premises. All the assets are located in the municipality of Leganés (Madrid) and have a market value of €46.5 million, according to calculations by the appraiser Gesvalt.

The two most valuable assets in its portfolio are a residential building and a housing development that is currently under construction: between them, they total 25.8 million euros, more than half of the total.

There are several major shareholders behind the vehicle: the minority interests that the MAB requires for a listing, as well as the architects Álvaro Rubio Garzón and Francisco Escudero López, who control more than 90% of the capital. According to the document published by the MAB, both created a property management company in 2001, based on real estate development for rental in the area of Leganés, “specifically in the main streets of the urban centre, in locations near the Universidad Carlos III and industrial property in the suburbs.”

AP67 will be added to the fifty-one socimis that are already present in the MAB and to the sector’s main players, which are on the Ibex 35 and the continuous market: Merlin Properties, Colonial, Axiare, Hispania and Lar. In its debut, the company will be advised by the registered adviser Armabex. The Renta 4 bank will act as a liquidity provider.

Original Story: Idealista

Photo: Gtres

Translation: Richard Turner

 

Colonial Will Increase its Share Capital by €180M to Finance Merger with Axiare

21 April 2018 – Expansión

The merger between Colonial and Axiare is moving ahead. The Socimi chaired by Juan José Brugera is expected to approve a capital increase at its next General Shareholders’ Meeting, scheduled for 24 May, to absorb the 13% stake in Axiare that it does not control yet. The capital increase will take place through the issue of 19.27 million new shares, which at current prices corresponds to a monetary value of around €181 million.

On 10 April 2018, the Boards of Directors of Colonial and Axiare approved the project to merge the two Socimis, which will give rise to a real estate giant with a portfolio of assets worth around €11 billion, which will place the new group very close to its rival Merlin, with assets of €11.254 billion.

This operation will go ahead after Colonial successfully completed its takeover of Axiare in February to acquire 87% of its share capital. The operation will involve the termination due to dissolution of Axiare and the block transfer of the Socimi’s assets to Colonial.

According to the approved exchange ratio, each existing shareholder of Axiare will receive 1.8554 shares in Colonial. To this end, the Catalan real estate company will submit to a vote by its shareholders the issue of a maximum of 19.27 million new ordinary shares with a nominal value of €2.50 each to pay for the merger exchange.

This operation will also be subject to a vote by the shareholders of Axiare, whose General Meeting is due to be held on 25 May on the first call and on 28 May on the second call, if the necessary quorum is not reached on the first call.

New Board

The items on the agenda for that General Shareholders’ Meeting include the appointment of Javier López Casado as a proprietary director, as a representative of Finaccess, which will then have two representatives on the Board after taking control of 18% of the group’s share capital. In this way, Axiare’s most senior governance body will comprise 11 members: four independent directors, two executive directors and five proprietary directors – two to represent the sovereign fund of Qatar, two to represent Finaccess and one to represent the Colombian firm Santo Domingo-.

On the other hand, Colonial is going to approve the distribution of a dividend amounting to €0.18 per share, up by 9%. The company is thus going to increase the remuneration to its investors with a third dividend payment after recovering it in 2016, following ten years of not paying the shareholders anything.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Seeks “White Knight” to Improve Blackstone’s Takeover Bid

17 April 2018 – Expansión

Hispania is moving ahead and accelerating the search for a white knight to increase the bid for the Socimi. The real estate firm, which specialises in hotels, has engaged Goldman Sachs, UBS and JPMorgan, as financial advisors, and the law firms Freshfields and Uría Menéndez, as legal advisors, to look for alternatives to the takeover bid presented by Blackstone, which values 100% of Hispania at €1,905 million.

The US fund, which already controls 16.56% of Hispania, after it acquired the stake of the Hungarian-born magnate George Soros, announced its intention on 5 April to launch a takeover bid for the entire company at a price of €17.45 per share, which it would pay entirely in cash. The operation is conditioned on achieving the acceptance of at least 54,584,772 shares, which would allow Blackstone to take control of more than 50% of the total share capital. The US fund must submit its takeover prospectus to the CNMV before 4 May 2018.

Unsolicited offer

“Neither the Board of Directors of Hispania nor its management company, Azora Gestión, were aware of the aforementioned acquisition of shares by Bidco (a Luxembourg-based company controlled by Blackstone through which the operation would be carried out) or of its intention to formulate a takeover bid. As a result, it is an unsolicited offer”, confirmed the company yesterday in a statement sent to the CNMV.

Hispania also said that the Board of Directors will promote alternatives that “maximise” the value of the company. Blackstone has not been the only international fund to express interest in Hispania’s hotels. In this way, before Blackstone launched its bid for Hispania, five other investors expressed their interest in the Socimi without formalising firm offers, according to market sources speaking to Expansión.

Hispania is currently the largest hotel owner in Spain by number of rooms, with more than 13,100 rooms in 46 hotels and a gross value of €1,639 million (66% of its portfolio), and its purchase would represent a significant move that would place the buyer in a position of leadership at a time of strength in the tourism sector.

The manager’s roadmap

Until Blackstone’s takeover bid was announced, Azora’s roadmap involved: selling Hispania’s offices in a single transaction, an operation that had already been channelled towards the fund Tristan; selling the homes in a block deal; and expanding the hotel portfolio to also sell it as a block. Thus, Azora was planning to sell the whole company – without the offices or homes – with a transfer of control that would allow the continuity of the Socimi, before March 2020, when the entity marks its sixth birthday.

Hispania’s shares closed trading on the stock exchange yesterday up by 1.56% to €17.62 per share, in other words, 1% higher than the price offered by Blackstone.

Besides Blackstone, Hispania’s other main shareholders include Tamerlane, with a 5.99% stake, Fidelity (4.88%), BlackRock (4.02%), BW Gestao de Investimentos (3.64%), Axa (3.03%) and Bank of Montreal (3.01%). The US fund has already approached the company’s other shareholders to convey the benefits of the takeover.

The US fund’s offer for Hispania comes two months after Colonial successfully closed its takeover of Axiare. The Board of Directors of Axiare was also reluctant to accept the offer from its rival initially, however, in the end, it expressed a “favourable” opinion regarding the takeover.

Sources at Hispania affirm that the Board of Directors, with the assistance of the financial and legal advisors contracted, will pronounce on the takeover “in due course”. Hispania’s most senior executive body is chaired by Rafael Miranda, who was the CEO of Endesa until the energy company was taken over by the Italian group Enel. Meanwhile, Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio, founding partners and directors of Azora Capital, are external directors.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake