Nuveen Acquires a Commercial Premise in Canalejas for €30 Million to House a Branch of Santander

The investment manager has purchased one of the commercial premises in the emblematic Canalejas Complex for around 30 million euros to house a Banco Santander branch.

The investment manager Nuveen Real Estate, with USD 125 billion in assets under management, has purchased one of the commercial premises in the Canalejas Complex, located in the central square of the same name in Madrid, for 30 million euros.

The space will be occupied by a branch of Banco Santander, the entity that sold the seven buildings that make up the project to the Villar Mir family in 2012. The Complex will include the first Four Seasons Hotel in Spain, along with twenty luxury homes and a large shopping arcade, according to reports from El Confidencial.

Read the full article in Spanish.

Metrovacesa Delays its Dividend and Activates New Loans to Combat Covid-19

The property developer controlled by Banco Santander has decided to postpone the decision to distribute dividends to its shareholders until the second half of the year, due to the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

Metrovacesa, the property developer controlled by Banco Santander and BBVA, has decided to postpone the decision to distribute dividends to its shareholders until the second half of the year, due to the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

“The Board will study the appropriateness of a possible dividend payment, and its amount, in the second half of the year, after a more precise evaluation of the current situation, and of the evolution of the business during the initial recovery phase,” said the company in a statement to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

Banco Santander Mulls a Possible Sale of its Stake in Metrovacesa

28 October 2019 Banco Santander is studying a possible sale of its stake in the developer Metrovacesa. The bank currently has a 49.4% stake in the firm, while BBVA controls 20.8%. Santander sees its investment as non-strategic, while the Bank of Spain continues to pressure the country’s financial institutions to reduce their exposure to the real estate market.

Original Story: Eje Prime

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Santander Studying €12-Billion Sale of NPAs

20 August 2019

Banco Santander is considering a potential sale of a €12-billion portfolio of real estate loans by the end of the summer.

The bank is looking to improve its capital ratios in Spain, which are still weighed upon by assets the bank took over from Banco Popular, in spite of a €30 billion sale of assets to Blackstone in 2017, Project Quasar.  On Tuesday, the bank reported that its NPL ratio stood at 7%, above rival banks such as BBVA Spain (-4.9%) and CaixaBank (-4.6%).

Original Story: El Confidencial – Jorge Zuloaga

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Metrovacesa to Invest Up to €1 Billion in Four Major Developments

17 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Metrovacesa, a real estate developer owned by  Banco Santander and BBVA, expects to build a total of 6,000 homes, along with office buildings, hotels and commercial premises around Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Sevilla and Valencia over the coming six years.  The firm is forecasting a total investment of one billion euros.

The project that is furthest ahead is 67-hectare complex in Palmas Altas, Seville. Metrovacesa is investing 400 million euros to develop 2,189 homes.

Original Story: EjePrime

Santander Transfers 400,000-m2 Land Bank to Landmark Iberia

9 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Banco Santander has transferred approximately 400,000 square meters of land to its newly incorporated real estate developer, Landmark Iberia. The land could provide space for up to 4,000 new homes.

The portfolio, however, consists of a range of types of land running from ready-to-develop land to rural lands not yet zoned for development. Santander created Landmark at the beginning of this year.

Original Story: El Confidencial – RuthUgalde

doValue Finalises Acquisition of 85% of Altamira for €360MM

28 June 2019

doValue, the Italian NPL specialist, acquired 85% of Altamira Asset Management from firms controlled by Apollo Global Management, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The Italian firm paid 360 million euros.

The operation had been originally announced in December. doValue finalised the acquisition this month after Banco Santander decided not to exercise its tag-along rights, maintaining its 15% stake. DoValue had offered to acquire 100% of the firm.

After the acquisition, DoValue will have €130 billion in assets under management.

Original Story: EjePrime

Blackstone & Santander Rescue Popular’s Marina d’Or Fiasco

11 June 2019 – Expansión

Quasar, the company created by Blackstone (51%) and Banco Santander (49%) to take over the management of Popular’s property portfolio, has injected €101 million into the company Platja Amplaries, which owns the Marina d’Or group’s apartments, parking spaces and land, to avoid its dissolution.

Platja Amplaries had run up losses of €170 million but Quasar’s cash injection has increased the company’s share capital to €108.3 million. The company’s assets were reportedly worth €285 million when it was created in 2011, but their value had fallen to just €85 million by the time Quasar took ownership two years ago.

Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Asian Funds Seek Local Allies to Enter Spanish Real Estate Sector

19 January 2019 – Expansión

Asian investors are joining forces with firms such as UBS, AXA and Savills IM to gain weight in the office, logistics and retail segments, where they still have a limited presence.

Spain has become a key destination for international investors interested in real estate assets, and Asian capital is no stranger to this buying fever that has boosted the sector in the country over the last five years. These investors, who are used to large volume operations, are now trying to gain a foothold in Spain through alliances with large European managers, such as UBS, Rockspring, AXA and Savills Investment Management, which will allow them to participate in smaller-sized operations and enter other sectors such as the office, logistics and retail segments.

The incorporation of new investors, capital funds and Chinese, Japanese and Korean family offices, amongst others, at the hand of the large European managers that are already present in Spain and know the local market well, offers them the possibility of arriving in the country by assuming less risk.

One of the most recent examples is that of the Korean fund manager Igis Asset Management, which, through Savills Investment Management, closed the purchase of Nestlé’s headquarters in Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona) last October for €87 million. That operation followed others such as the purchase of the Madrilenian Zielo Shopping Pozuelo and that of the office building located at number 2 Calle Santa Bárbara, both through funds managed by UBS, in turn, financed by Asian capital, amongst others.

Indirect investment

(…). These alliances followed the trickle of mega-operations undertaken in Spain in recent years. The most significant include the deal involving the Philippine group Emperador, which purchased the Torre Espacio building in Madrid, one of the skyscrapers that forms part of the Cuatro Torres complex, from Villar Mir, for €558 million.

Another operation that revolutionised the market involved the Chinese holding company Wanda, albeit ephemerally, as it had to abandon the project just three years later. The group purchased Edificio España (Madrid) from Banco Santander in 2014 for €265 million and sold it in the summer of 2017 to RIU, its current owner (…).

Those two Asian investors were joined by the sovereign fund of Singapore GIC, which, through the Socimi P3 Logistics Parks, acquired a foothold in the logistics market in Spain, one of the segments with the most potential.

Investors from Asia are therefore one group of overseas players who are committed to the country, but they are not the only ones. According to a report compiled by Savills Aguirre Newman, international capital was the major star in 2018, accounting for 70% of the €10.8 billion transacted, the largest percentage since the start of the market recovery five years ago (…).

By origin, investors from Europe and the USA account for almost 57% of the domestic and international investment total and 85% of the volume of operations from overseas. Asia is ranked in third place (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Launches its 6th Socimi in Spain with 1,600+ Rental Homes

27 December 2018 – El Diario

Blackstone is increasing its position as the largest landlord in Spain. On Thursday, the vulture fund received approval to list its sixth Socimi, Euripo, on the stock market, which will make its debut with an initial value of €110 million. On its balance sheet, another 1,600 homes that will join the more than 20,000 properties that the fund already owns.

Euripo will make its debut on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), the secondary market in Spain, where it will join other Socimis owned by the US fund, including Fidere, Albirana, Corona and Torbel. Blackstone also recently took control of 80% of Testa, the largest rental home company in Spain, ownership of which it shares with Banco Santander.

In this way, almost one in ten Socimis in Spain have Blackstone as a majority shareholder. As is usual in the operation of this fund, Euripo is owned by a company belonging to Blackstone that is based in Luxembourg.

In this case, Blackstone is listing a portfolio comprising more than 2,000 real estate assets including homes, garages and commercial premises proceeding from the divestment of two financial entities, BBVA and the now extinct Banco Popular. Of the total portfolio, it has direct ownership of 1,900 assets, whilst another 400 are in the hands of a related company, which will likely end up on Euripo’s balance sheet, according to comments included in the IPO document.

There are currently more than 60 Socimis listed in Spain on the MAB, the main stock market and the Ibex 35. Blackstone has been the most active investment fund, especially in the rental home segment, where it controls almost a quarter of the companies currently listed.

The set of assets that Blackstone is debuting on the stock market with this new Socimi is worth around €215 million, of which half are located in Madrid and Barcelona. The remainder are distributed across 35 Spanish provinces, according to the aforementioned IPO document.

Currently, less than 30% of the properties of this company are occupied. For this reason, the company expects to increase its revenues by improving the occupancy ratios and by increasing the rents charged for each occupied home by between 4% and 5%. Moreover, it says that 7% of its assets are illegally occupied.

Original story: El Diario (by Diego Larrouy)

Translation: Carmel Drake