Goldman Puts the ‘Edificio Mediterráneo’ in Valencia Up For Sale

11 March 2019 – Expansión

Goldman Sachs has put the ‘for sale’ sign up over the building that it owns on Avenida Cardenal Benlloch in Valencia, which used to house Bancaja’s calculation centre (Cemeca) and which has subsequently been renamed Edificio Mediterráneo.

Goldman considers that the recovery of the office rental market in Valencia and the increase in rental prices make now a good time to consider offers.

The US bank acquired the property at the end of 2014 from Bankia as part of a package of 38 real estate assets, which it purchased for €335 million.

Edificio Mediterráneo comprises seven storeys and has a surface area of 10,300 m2, with its own parking lot. Its tenants include Indra, Nedgia Cegas and Haya Real Estate.

Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Bain Capital Sells Bancaja Habitat’s Former HQ

14 March 2017 – Expansión

Activity is continuing in the Valencian real estate market, although this time, the deal is more symbolic than significant. The headquarters of what used to be the largest real estate company and landowner in the Community of Valencia, Bancaja Hábitat, has a new owner. The US investment fund Bain Capital has sold the property located on Paseo de Alameda 7 in Valencia, which had been the operational headquarters of the former real estate subsidiary of the former savings bank.

Bain Capital took control of the commercial property, which has a surface area of 1,870 m2 spread over two floors, as part of a large batch of assets and debt that it acquired from Bankia in 2016. In turn, Altamira Asset Management had been entrusted to manage the property.

According to comments made by the real estate consultancy Inmoking, which participated in the operation as the marketer of the premises, the building has now been purchased by a Valencian investment group, whose identity has not been revealed. The new owner plans to look for a tenant for the premises, which are currently closed.

Catering and gastronomic businesses have proliferated in this area of La Alameda in recent years, which had been dominated by office buildings before the crisis. One example includes the recent opening of a Ginos restaurant by the Vips chain, on the ground floor of the La Pagoda building.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Sells 25% More Tourist Homes Than It Had Forecast

5 September 2016 – El Mundo

This summer, Sareb has taken advantage of the fact that savers have limited alternative investment options and that its assets are well priced…to boost property sales.  (…).

Unlike other commercial companies, the aim of Sareb (in which the State holds a 45% stake) is to reduce its balance sheet by selling off all of its assets, which primarily comprise non-performing or risky real estate loans and involve more property developers than individual borrowers, inherited from the former troubled banks.

In this case, the typical clients of the company chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured above) are large financial investors specialising in generating profits from assets that the banks are unable to maintain. Nevertheless, with the activation of demand in the second-hand real estate sector, the bad bank is trying to take advantage of every opportunity and in April it put 2,237 homes up for sale (to private investors) along the coast.

The commercial objective is much lower and the bad bank does not intend to liquidate 100% of its supply. Nevertheless, between sales and reservations, the company has managed to offload 330 homes this summer for a total amount of €31 million, which represents a 25% increase with respect to its budget. The company has not revealed the prices at which it acquired these assets from their original owners.

Sareb, which uses sales companies belonging to or related to Bankia, Banco Sabadell, CaixaBank and Santander, will extend the campaign that it launched in April by at least another month to try and maximise the returns from savers interested in acquiring properties at good prices. The prices of the homes put up for sale in 20 provinces across nine autonomous regions started at €32,000 for a flat in Torrevieja (Alicante) and went up to €866,000 for a 342 sqm family home in Calviá (Palma de Mallorca) with five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a swimming pool.

Neither of those properties have been sold yet. Half of the homes in the portfolio are located in Valencia, where several now extinct entities, such as Bancaja (Bankia) and Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo (CAM, nowadays part of Banco Sabadell) undertook very intense activity in the run up to the burst of the real estate bubble. Specifically, the province with the highest number of properties up for sale is Castellón, with 791 homes. (…).

Last year, Sareb owned 105,000 properties, 80,000 loans and 375,000 collateral properties. Nevertheless, the Bank of Spain issued new regulations, which come into force in October, requiring the bad bank to individually value each asset on a regular basis using a methodology validated by the supervisor; that forced the bad bank to update the value of all of its assets. Sareb was thus required to perform an additional clean up amounting to €2,044 million, an operation that followed other similar measures already undertaken in 2013 and 2014, amounting to €968 million.

For that reason, the entity needed a recapitalisation, which its shareholders undertook converting €2,170 million of subordinated debt into capital, which it used to finance the acquisition of toxic assets from the rescued banks. (…).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Half Of Cruzcampo’s Former Site In Sevilla Goes Up For Sale

13 June 2016 – Andalucía Información

Investors and governments alike are trying to take advantage of the improvement in the economic environment to reactivate the real estate market in Sevilla. Whilst on Thursday, the Town Planning department put 19 plots of land in Sevilla, on which 1,440 homes may be built, up for forced sale through public auction, now comes the mandate for the confidential sale of half of the urban development rights over the large site of the former Cruzcampo factory, where the PGOU has authorised the construction of 1,963 homes, in addition to tertiary uses.

The site of the historical brewery on Avenida de Andalucía had gone from being a star project to a failing project. The Basque real estate company Urvasco, which acquired the plot during the golden years of the real estate boom, commissioned the design of a “high standing” neighbourhood to four of the star-architects at the time: Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel, Arata Isozaki and Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, who…even had their photo taken together with Monteserín, the then mayor, on the balcony of the Town Hall, in 2006. At the time, sourcecs spoke about an investment of €750 million in the construction of a luxury neighbourhood that was going to boast a high category hotel with around 150 rooms.

Nevertheless, with the burst of the (real estate) bubble just two years later, the project ended up foundering, along with its developer, Urvasco, which was unable to meet its obligations with the banks that had lent it €330 million and so it had to hand over the land to a pool of financial entities and companies linked to them (around a dozen in total).

The ‘Compañía para los Desarrollos Inmobiliarios de la Ciudad de Híspalis’ is the owner of half of the urban development rights of this land (49.91% to be exact). The Company was constituted by Banco Popular, CajaSur, Caja Granada, Caja España, Caixa Catalunya, Cajastur, Caja Laboral, Bancaja and Caja de Ahorros de Extremadura.

This company, which had accumulated debt amounting to €294 million and losses of €200 million, filed for voluntary bankruptcy in January 2016 in the Commercial Court of Madrid, and its application was approved on 22 February. However, that has not represented an obstacle to the process to sell its urban development rights, entrusted to an intermediary company, which is looking for potential investors in a restricted process that will run until Friday (17 June), the deadline for the acceptance of offers.

The sales brochure highlights that the plot has a surface area of 18,286 sqm and is located just 400m from El Corte Inglés on Nervión Plaza (presented as the main shopping centre in Sevilla), as well as from Sevilla F.C.’s stadium and the Santa Justa train station.

The Interior Reform Plan definitively approved the development of 1,963 homes, of which 890 will be allocated for social housing, as part of a total constructible area for residential use of 225,823 sqm, as well as a further 29,345 sqm for tertiary use. Therefore, the gross buildable area amounts to 255,168 sqm.

All of this will be constructed on wide blocks located in the Southern area of the plot. The Northern section will be a green area covering more than 70,000 sqm. According to the sales brochure, “the proposed plans seeks to achieve a maximum liberation of space, of around 35% in total, for the enjoyment of citizens. To achieve this, the plans propose the construction of tall buildings, which in the case of the residential units will be 15-storeys high”.

Original story: Andalucía Información (by M. J. Florencino)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meridia Buys A Logistics Centre In Ribarroja For €8.6M

23 February 2016 – Expansión

The fund has been given the green light by both the judge and Sareb after it submitted an offer for the 27,400 m2 logistics platform, which was constructed by Mafort and Bancaja, and which had an appraisal value of €15.7 million.

The large funds and Socimis are continuing their hunt for industrial assets to rent out…at bargain prices. The logistics centre that the property developer Mafort and Bancaja jointly developed in Ribarroja now has a new owner, in the form of the real estate fund manager Meridia Iberian Real Estate.

The fund has made an offer of €8.65 million for the property, which has been approved by the judge who is overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings of the (property development) company.

In addition, the fund has managed to obtain the approval of the owner of the mortgages, Sareb, which inherited the financing that Bancaja granted back in the day – which was then taken over by Bankia. Although formally, a ten-day window has been opened, during which time any interested party may submit a higher bid, all indications show that Meridia will become the new owner of this platform, given that it has already reached an agreement with Sareb.

Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axa Buys Abandoned Hospital Towers In Burjassot (Valencia)

22 September 2015 – Expansión

One of the concrete structures in Valencia, which has been abandoned for years, now has a new owner. The towers, located on the outskirts of Valencia, next to the Palacio de Congresos, were developed by Coresol and subsequently foreclosed by Bancaja and then Nau.

Now, Axa Real Estate has undertaken an investment on behalf of two of its clients: Medical Properties Trust, a US investor fund, which provides capital to healthcare operators, and Teacher Retirement System of Texas, a pension fund for teachers from the US state.

Axa Real Estate Investment Managers and IMED Hospitales have reached an agreement to develop the new ‘Hospital Privado IMED Valencia’, which will be located in Burjassot, Valencia near the V-35.

According to Nau’s own accounting records, an investment of €20 million will be required to complete the construction work; moreover, the 30-year finance lease contract is worth €28 million.

As a result of the agreement, Axa Real Estate Investment Managers will become the developer of the building and will undertake the necessary investment. Meanwhile, IMED Hospitales will take on the management of the health centre, which is expected to open within c. 20 months, announced the entity in a statement.

Axa Real Estate will embark on the development of the centre, transforming the current plot of land, which measures 4,300 m2 and contains the completed concrete structure, into a hospital with a surface area of 35,000 m2.

It is expected that the Hospital IMED Valencia will treat 150,000 patients per year…IMED and Axa Real Estate Investment intend to equip the complex with the most advanced technological resources to ensure the provision of a first class health service. (…).

Axa Real Estate holds the largest portfolio of real estate assets in Europe, with assets worth more than €60,000 million at the end of June 2015. It has more than 160 third party institutional clients all over the world, and also handles the management of the funds of 10 companies from Axa insurance. Axa Real Estate employs more than 500 professionals specialising in real estate across 23 countries.

Meanwhile, IMED Hospitales is a hospital group with 11 years of experience. It first opened its doors in Benidorm with the Hospital de Levante in 2004. Currently, the group operates four centres: two hospitals in Benidorm and Elche and two polyclinic centres in Teulada and Torrevieja. Since its inauguration, more than 350,000 patients have been treated in IMED, more than 55,000 surgical procedures have been performed and more than 2,500,000 clinical cases have been opened.

This acquisition was sourced and advised by Geskaria Real Estate Investments, a boutique advisory firm specialised in off-market investment opportunities in Spain, UK and Mexico.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bancaja Habitat bought land with an overprice 50 times higher.

False valuations, fraudulent acquisitions of assets and irregular transfers of hundreds of millions of Euros. These are some of the points included in the lawsuit filed by the Banking Restructuring Fund (Frob) against former managers of Bancaja and Banco de Valencia and the business man Ramón Salvador. According to it, Bancaja Habitat would have paid an overprice 50 times higher in order to acquire land not intended for building from the accused business man.

“Several million Euros have been paid for plots that had nearly no value, or 98% lower than the one included in the deeds, due to the fact that they had been valued as perfectly usable”, the lawsuit declares. “Most of the acquired assets were subject to the compliance with the building plans, the approval of building and subdivision projects or they were land not intended for building pending to be part of a Housing Development Partial Plan”, the document drafted by the lawyer appointed by Frob, Carlos Gómez-Jara, adds.

(…) The Frob demands that all the accused should pay a joint bail of 226 million Euros, based on the presumed losses inflicted on Bancaja and Banco de Valencia.

The lawsuit also denounces the existence of “false valuations” in operations between the Valencian group and Ramón Salvador.

(…) The Fund also denounces that some of the operations agreed between Salvador and the Valencian institutions were carried out without being approved by the board of administration of the bank and the savings bank.(…)

The lawsuit insists that these presumed irregular activities are even more serious as they took place when the real estate bubble had already burst. It also adds that “it is even more surprising that some of these operations took place the same year that Banco de Valencia was being placed in administration of the Bank of Spain”. (…)

Source: Expansión