Madrid-Based Developers Acquire Ballonti Shopping Centre

28 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

The German fund Deka Immobilien sold the Ballonti shopping centre to Bilball Centre Investments and Ballon Investments. The two real estate firms are domiciled in Madrid and linked to Barsolein.

Built in 2008, and with a capacity of more than 52,600 square meters of gross leasable area, distributed on two floors, Ballonti is the most modern shopping centre in Bilbao. The facility has a 92% occupancy rate and receives around six million visits per year.

Original Story: El Mundo – Nerea Albinarrate

Photo: CBRE

Grupo Arenal Acquires Banesto’s Former HQ in Bilbao for €6M

26 April 2018 – El Correo

Onwards and upwards. Bizkaia is continuing to form the backdrop to some of the country’s most high profile real estate transactions. Following the placement on the market of BBVA’s old skyscraper for €100 million and the Ballonti commercial mega-centre in Portugalete for €150 million, big-name investment funds have put Bilbao in their line of fire once again for large operations that mix financial, commercial and real estate interests.

The most recent major intervention has been undertaken by three players. The international consultancy firm Catella has brokered the sale of Banesto’s former headquarters, located at number 3 Calle Navarra. The perfume company Grupo Arenal has acquired the historical building, which has been closed for several years following the cessation of the bank’s activity. The Galician firm has made the disbursement for the property, which spans 2,500 m2 and is spread over three floors.

According to experts in the sector, the operation has been closed for a sum of around €6 million, a figure on which sources at Catella declined to comment yesterday. The consultancy firm, one of the most important in Europe and founded by the owner of Ikea, who ended up selling it to a fund, has served as a bridge between Grupo Arenal, which had been studying the Bilbao market for years, and the former owners of the iconic building. The building previously belonged to a family office of the Invivas Group, owned by the Bilbao-based businessman Sabino Arrieta Heras.

To a certain extent, this operation breaks the mould of the recent sales and purchases carried out in Bilbao. To date, most of the acquisitions have involved local investment funds, which follow very closely the few buildings that become free in the city. The amount disbursed by Grupo Arenal is slightly lower than the figure agreed two weeks ago by the Governing Board of the Town Hall of Bilbao to acquire the largest Zara store in Euskadi and use it for the future expansion of the Basque Museum.

The PNV and PSE approved the payment of €5 million – divided into equal parts by the Town Hall and the Diputación de Bizkaia – for a store measuring just over 1,900 m2 on Calle La Cruz, owned by a company chaired by the wife of the Inditex founder.

A 70m-long façade

The arrival of Grupo Arenal has fulfilled the expectations of all the parties involved. Santander has freed itself of a property for which it was paying a sizeable rent, even though it was empty, and the perfume brand is ensured a shop window that measures more than 70m in a retail area that is very much on the rise (…).

The megastore, whose neighbours will include Starbucks, will soon open its second store in the Vizcaya capital, as it seeks to take advantage of the future “commercial pull” of Primark, which is going to occupy five floors of BBVA’s tower and the arrival of TAV. It is also hoping to benefit from its proximity “to major fashion operators, such as El Corte Inglés, Inditex and Mango” (…).

The perfume brand is going to use Bilbao as a “strategic” axis in its expansion plans, which involve increasing its revenue to €150 million and growing the number of points of sale from 40 to 60 by 2020.

Original story: El Correo (by Luis Gómez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deka Puts the Ballonti Shopping Centre Up For Sale for €150M

26 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Deka is continuing with its plan to generate cash from its real estate assets in Spain and to this end, has placed the Ballonti shopping centre on the market. After paying €116 million to Eroski for the Basque shopping centre located in Portugalete (Bizkaia) eight years ago, the German fund is now asking for €150 million from the sale of the complex, which spans a surface area of 51,000 m2.

Following the steps announced by the Director of Retail Property Fund Management at Deka Management, Esteban de Lope, speaking to Eje Prime, recently, who said that “it is now more feasible for Deka to sell than buy”, the fund has placed the “For Sale” sign up over a new asset in its Spanish portfolio, which is worth €1 billion in total.

A few days ago, the German manager placed back on the market the majority the Inditex properties that it acquired at the beginning of this year for €400 million, as reported by Eje Prime. Around the world, Deka’s portfolio of assets is worth more than €35 billion.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deka Puts Most of its Recently Acquired Inditex Stores Up for Sale

23 April 2018 – Eje Prime

After closing one of the most important real estate operations of the year, Deka is looking to capitalise on its investment with a new knock-on effect. The German fund manager has just put back on the market the majority of the stores that it purchased at the beginning of the year from the Galician giant Inditex, in an operation worth around €400 million, according to sources close to the sales process, speaking to Eje Prime.

According to the same sources, Deka has divided the portfolio into three. The first part comprises two properties, which the fund is going to hold onto, those at number 16 Calle Preciados, in Madrid (with 2,725 m2 of retail space) and number 58 Calle Pelayo, in Barcelona (with 5,134 m2 of retail space).

The second and third parts of the portfolio are already up for sale. The aim of Deka is to divest the assets located in secondary cities (such as those located in Zamora, Albacete and Ciudad Real) by placing them on the market and also to listen to offers for the assets located in cities such as Valencia and Madrid, which, although they are not strategic for the fund, it is not in a rush to sell.

Deka, which will also hold onto one of the two properties that it purchased in Lisbon (located on Calle Augusta), acquired the 16 assets in January for approximately €400 million, and chains belonging to the Inditex group continue as the tenants of those establishments.

These two moves, both the purchase and the sale, demonstrate Deka’s interest in the Spanish market. As Eje Prime revealed, Deka’s route map involves doubling its investment volume in the country from €1 billion to €2 billion over the next five years.

Currently, the fund manager owns a portfolio of tertiary assets in Spain including the office buildings on Avenida Diagonal 640 and Sarrià Forum in Barcelona and the mixed-used (office and retail) property El Triangle, also in the Catalan capital. Moreover, the group owns the Ballonti shopping centre in Bizkaia, which it recently put on the market for around €150 million, and the Espacio Mediterráneo shopping centre in Cartagena, as well as the Hotel Meridien de Las Ramblas in Barcelona and another vacation hotel in Mallorca.

The company’s presence in the Spanish real estate sector dates back to the 1990s when it had a portfolio of assets with a very similar volume to its current size. At that time, Deka owned large spaces such as the Diagonal Mar shopping centre in Barcelona and the Castellana 35 and Castellana 79 buildings in Madrid. But, in around 2006, according to Esteban de Lope, Director of the Retail Property Fund Management Department at Deka, “an opportunity arose and we sold almost all of our portfolio at a significant profit”.

After hiding in the shadows for five years, competing in other European markets such as the French, British, Belgian and Dutch, as well as its own German real estate market, Deka returned to Spain in 2010 with the acquisition of the Avenida Diagonal 640 building.

The sale of the batch of assets acquired from Inditex coincides with the group’s desire to divest some of its businesses in Spain. Lope said that “given the nature of the market, it is easier for Deka to divest than to purchase”. “The Inditex portfolio was an exception” – says the director – “they wanted to sell quickly, but they needed to be certain that the buyer had money to invest; thus an opportunity arose, with the condition of us having to move very fast”.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

German Fund Deka Puts Ballonti Shopping Centre (Vizcaya) Up For Sale

26 February 2018 – Expansión

Deka wants to make some cash and has hung the “for sale” sign up over the Ballonti shopping centre, located in the municipality of Portugalete (Vizcaya). The German fund, which acquired the asset in 2010, at the height of the economic crisis, has decided now, eight years later, to put it up for sale and has engaged the consultancy firm CBRE to manage the process, according to reports from market sources speaking to Expansión.

The German group purchased the shopping centre from Eroski for €116 million and the current valuation could reach €150 million, in such a way that Deka could obtain significant capital gains from the sale.

In any case, sources in the sector consider that the timing of the operation will depend on the evolution of the sales process involving a portfolio of three shopping centres by Sonae and CBRE Global Investors, which is expected to come onto the market within the next few days. That portfolio of assets, which includes the Gran Casa shopping centre (Zaragoza), the Valle Real shopping centre (Cantabria) and the Max Center (Barakaldo), may be sold for around €500 million.

Ballonti, inaugurated in 2008, has a surface area of more than 50,000 m2 spread over two floors, and its tenants include Primark, H&M, Springfield, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Lefties and Women’s Secret. Moreover, the shopping centre is home to a large Eroski hypermarket spanning a surface area of more than 13,000 m2.

The retail space includes an upper floor dedicated to leisure with a cinema, an adventure park, a gym and a restaurant area with brands such as Burger King, Foster’s Hollywood, 100 Montaditos, Krunch, Mr Wok, Café and Bodega Ballonti.

Investor appetite

After the significant investment drive in shopping centres last year, which ended with a transaction volume of around €2.7 billion, thanks to record operations such as the purchase of Xanadú, in Arroyomolinos (Madrid) for €530 million, investor appetite is expected to be maintained this year.

According to data from the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres and Retail Parks (AECC), last year, 29 transactions were closed involving 36 assets for €2.7 billion, which represents growth of 35% with respect to the previous year.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Primark To Lease 6 Floors In BBVA’s HQ In Bilbao For 30 Years

14 December 2015 – Cinco Días

The retail group Primark is set to open its first store in Bilbao, in one of the most iconic buildings in the regional capital. The multi-national company, which specialises in the low-cost clothing segment, will occupy six floors of the BBVA skyscraper, one of the tallest buildings in the city (…).

The building is located at number 1 Gran Vía of the Basque city, a very commercial area (and next door to El Corte Inglés). Located on Plaza Circular, tens of thousands of people walk past its doors on a daily basis. Primark has reached a 30-year rental agreement and hopes that around 5,000 customers per day will visit its megastore.

The building does not house BBVA’s headquarters, given that the bank has its registered office in nearby Plaza de San Nicolás, in the heart of the old town.

The subsidiary of the multi-national company Associated British Foods has 41 stores in Spain. It already has outlets in Euskadi, with stores in the Ballonti (Portugalete) and Boulevard de Vitoria shopping centres.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Javier Vadillo)

Translation: Carmel Drake