Lar España Raises €104M To Finance New Purchases

16 March 2017 – Expansión

Lar España has signed two financing agreements with ING and BBVA amounting to €103.9 million. The Socimi intends to use the funds raised to acquire new assets over the next few months.

Following the signing of these agreements, the Socimi now has debt amounting to €558 million, of which €418 million corresponds to bank loans, with the remaining €140 million relating to a bond issue carried out at the beginning of 2015.

In this way, Lar España’s net gearing ratio currently equals 33% of the gross value of its assets and will rise to 38% once the latest funds have been invested. The Socimi has highlighted that “it still has a long way to go” before its financing increases to 50% of fixed leverage.

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse’s funds have acquired a 4.31% stake in the Socimi Lar to become one of its significant shareholders alongside the US manager Pimco, which owns a 20% stake, Franklin Templeton (15%), Brandes Investments (5%), Bestinver (4.1%), Blackrock (3.6%) and Threadneedle Asset Management (5%).

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar Buys Gran Vía de Vigo Shopping Centre For €141M

8 July 2016 – Expansión

The Socimi Lar España is strengthening its position in the shopping centre market. The company has reached an agreement with the investment firm Oaktree to acquire the Gran Vía de Vigo shopping centre for €141 million. The deal is expected to be signed in Q4 2016.

Gran Vía de Vigo was acquired by Oaktree in 2014 for €115 million. This is the second purchase that Lar has made from the US fund in less than a year, after the Socimi bought the Megapark Barakaldo shopping centre in Vizcaya last October for €170 million.

The shopping centre – one of the largest in Galicia, along with Marineda City, in A Coruña – has a retail area of 41,246 sqm. The centre, opened in June 2006, spans three floors dedicated to retail space and another three for parking, with capacity for more than 1,700 cars.

Capital increase

In order to raise finance, the company has launched a capital increase amounting to €47 million through the issue of 30 million new shares with a subscription value of €4.92.

The company will use these funds to expand its current portfolio of assets. Specifically, Lar has identified investment opportunities in the market amounting to €838.5 million in total, including this shopping centre. 81% of those assets under analysis are shopping centres, 14% are offices and the remaining 5% are other types of properties.

The capital increase will be performed with subscription rights. The company indicates that, just like happened a year ago in its previous capital increase, a “solid base” of the existing shareholders have expressed their intention to execute those rights. The company’s main shareholders include the Spanish (fund) manager Bestinver, controlled by the Entrecanales family, as well as international funds, such as Pimco, BlackRock and Franklin Templeton.

JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are acting as coordinating entities and they have underwritten the capital increase, together with Fidentiis.

The Chairman of Lar España, José Luis del Valle, indicated that this increase reflects “the strength and attractiveness” of the Socimi and adds value to its capacity to go to the capital markets with guarantees of success.

Lar España owns assets worth €1,003 million in total. Of those, €728 million corresponds to the acquisition of 13 retail spaces (shopping centres) in Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla, Alicante, Cantabria, Lugo, León, Vizcaya, Navarra, Guipúzcoa, Palencia, Albacete and Barcelona; €150 million relates to four office buildings in Madrid and one in Barcelona; €70 million corresponds to four logistics assets in Guadalajara and one in Valencia; and €55 million relates to a residential property on Calle Lagasca, 99 (Madrid).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Acciona Hires Morgan Stanley To Sell Its RE Arm

20 July 2015 – El Confidencial

Acciona has decided to translate its words into action and accelerate the sale of some of its assets to clean up its ailing accounts. And, to that end, the energy, construction and service company has entrusted the sale of its real estate division to Morgan Stanley, the US bank that closed some of the largest property-related transactions during the real estate boom.

The holding company, owned by the Entrecanales family…has appointed Morgan Stanley, which is led by Luis Isasi in Spain, to list or sell its property-related assets, which were valued at €1,042.6 million at the end of 2014, according to Grupo Acciona’s own accounts. Based on appraisals performed by Savills Consultores and the Instituto de Valoraciones, the portfolio would have a price of €712 million, with land being the largest single item.

Nevertheless, other sources close to the group say that the book value of all of the real estate assets – which include several hotels, university halls, office buildings and 900 homes for rent in Madrid – may reach €1,500 million. “They may sell off the portfolio in parts because some of the businesses have nothing to do with each other”, said Morgan Stanley.

Morgan Stanley is going to sound out the market to decide which is the best option – i.e. whether to launch an IPO through a Socimi or to find a buyer that would take on the whole business. The operation will be similar to the one recently closed by Sacyr for its subsidiary Testa, which was acquired by Merlin Properties, for just over €1,800 million. (…).

With this decision, Acciona begins the divestment of its non-strategic businesses, which it announced at the beginning of the year after recording the worst results in its history. The group owned by the Entrecanales family, which recorded losses of €1,972 million in 2013, managed turn things around in 2014 and make a profit of €185 million, thanks to cost saving initiatives, the suspension of investments and the sale to a third party of its international energy business – this improved trend has continued in 2015 to date. (…).

Of the sales that the company announced at the beginning of 2014 – Bestinver, Trasmediterránea, real estate and energy – only the last one has taken place and then only partially. This has prevented the group from reducing its debt, which remains very high and is even growing (€5,300 million net at 31 March 2015).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Agustín Marco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Acciona’s Future – Positive Outlook But What Next?

12 June 2015 – Expansión

Acciona’s Chairman, José Manuel Entrecanales, says that the Group’s restructuring has been completed and that the company is now looking to re-launch itself.

The construction and services group Acciona, which held its annual general shareholders’ meeting yesterday, expects to take a decision regarding the future of its energy and real estate activities before the end of the year. It is exploring the option of listing some or all of its business on the stock market in 2016, according to José Manuel Entrecanales, who spoke at the end of yesterday’s meeting. His comments come just a few weeks after Acciona announced that it is considering adopting the Socimi format for its real estate division. Socimis have operating assets that generate yields, and whereby often promise high dividends.

New partners

As an alternative to the real estate listing, or in parallel to it, Entrecanales is also considering ushering in a new shareholder. The Group has already gone down that route for its renewable assets outside of Spain, for which it has signed a partnership with KKR.

Regarding renewables, Entrecanales confirmed that the group is now analysing several alternatives to the ones it was initially considering. The option of publicly listing its overseas renewable assets on the US stock exchange, once KKR acquired 33% of those assets, has been parked for the time being. Now, it is analysing the possibility of listing all of its assets, including the Spanish ones, and even doing so on the Spanish stock market.

Entrecanales said that the options for going public in the USA or Europe are well matched at the moment. He also indicated that the new proposal has been made in conjunction with KKR.

Entrecanales said to the shareholders that “both the real estate and energy activities may be susceptible to independent access to the equity markets”, although he said that the process is being subjected to internal review.

Transmediterránea and Bestinver

As for the future of the Transmediterránea subsidiary, the Chairman of Acciona said that the outlook is now “optimistic” after the restructuring that has been undertaken and that, as a result, the group has decided to “defer any corporate transactions involving sales, mergers or the entry of new shareholders, at least until the results clearly reflect the true value of the company”

Regarding the other subsidiary, Bestinver, which suffered from the “sudden” exit of its management team last year, Entrecanales said that it has overcome its “troubles” and that the company now has the management team it needs to “face a bright future”.

As such, Entrecanales envisages a new phase of growth and expansion for the group, after going through what he refers to as a “hard stage” over the last two years, during which time the group “has faced one of the toughest challenges in its history”.

Entrecanales downplayed the latest incident that took place this week, when the company was excluded from the Ibex 35 due to its low trading volumes. “It is not a big deal” said Entrecanales. He has no plans to adopt any special measures to try to return the company to the Ibex, such as for example, undertaking a share split to give more liquidity to the securities.

Original story: Expansión (by Miguel Angel Patiño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Franklin Templeton Increases Its Stake In Lar España

20 March 2015 – Expansión

The fund Franklin Templeton has increased its stake in the Socimi Lar España to more than 15%, according to the CNMV’s records. Specifically, the investor, which with its 14.9% stake was already the largest shareholder of the Socimi chaired by José Luis del Valle, has increased his participation to 15.07%, after purchasing a package of 126,537 shares.

Other shareholders of Lar España include the fund manager Pimco, which owns 12.5% of the capital; the fund manager Bestinver, with 4.8% and Ameriprise Financial with 3.7%. These investors spent €400 million on the IPO.

In 2014, Lar España recorded turnover of €7.2 million from rental income. Its market capitalisation amounts to €399.3 million, after its share price fell by 0.26% yesterday to €9.974.

Original story: Expansión (by R.R.)

Translation: Carmel Drake