Realia to Invest €16M in the Construction of 85 Flats in Tres Cantos (Madrid)

9 May 2019 – Idealista

The property developer Realia has announced that it is launching a new line of business dedicated to the rental of residential homes. In this way, it is following in the footsteps of its rivals in the sector, such as Grupo Lar, amongst others.

The group led by the Mexican magnate Carlos Slim has purchased a plot in Tres Cantos (Madrid), where it is going to invest €16 million in the construction of 85 homes.

As at the end of March 2019, the company had a stock of 546 units (homes, premises and offices) that were either finished or in progress and pending delivery. In the residential sector, it had three developments underway (in Palma de Mallorca, Sabadell and Alcalá de Henares) plus a construction licence to start work on 45 units in Valdebebas (Madrid).

Realia’s land portfolio spans more than 5.7 million m2 and the company registered a net profit of €5.02 million during Q1 2019, up by 18.1% YoY.

Original story: Idealista 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Realia Completes its €149M Capital Increase

2 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Realia has completed its capital increase. The real estate firm owned by the Mexican magnate Carlos Slim has completed its €149 million capital increase with a final injection of €42.1 million, according to a statement filed by the company with Spain’s National Securities and Market Commission (CNMV).

In its latest expansion phase, the company has issued 175.4 million new shares in total, for a nominal value of €0.24 and an issue premium of €0.61 per share. The company’s share capital has thereby been consolidated at €197 million, divided into 820 million shares.

Since Slim took control in 2015, Realia has undertaken three capital increases in total. The latest is the operation closed today, which was approved in November to try to decrease the company’s debt, which amounts to €672 million, and to provide a financial boost to its real estate businesses.

Slim controls 70.76% of Realia’s capital, 33% in a direct way and 36.98% through the construction group FCC, which is also led by the Mexican businessman. The real estate company also has an asset portfolio spanning approximately half a million square metres, which includes one of the Kio Towers in Madrid.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Atlético de Madrid Expects to Close the Sale of the Calderón Plots in Early 2019

20 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Atlético de Madrid is proof of the importance that property can have when it comes to financing activity. The football club has decided to take out a mortgage backed by the Wanda Metropolitano stadium to secure its €200 million refinancing with Inbursa, the financial entity controlled by Carlos Slim, according to reports from Palco 23. The intention of the Board of Directors is to convert that debt into a long-term liability and obtain better conditions than those signed when the financing plan for the new stadium was modified. In parallel, the club is preparing the sale of the plots of land on the site of the Vicente Calderón, scheduled for the beginning of 2019.

The €200 million refinancing plan and the sale of the plots alongside the Manzanares River are closely linked. Two years ago, the Mexican bank offered the financing necessary to finish the building work at the Wanda Metropolitano, after FCC, the construction group that it also controls, refused to charge for its service through the delivery of units for urban development at the Vicente Calderón.

The contract allowed the parties to cancel the loan with the sale of the plot or with the payment of annual instalments for four seasons, which made the repayment of the loan very short term, in the middle of the expansion of the sports area. In the end, the club has committed to extend the term and so the liquidity injection that will result from the sale of the Calderón will not be used to repay the debt, but rather to make more resources available for the club’s daily operations, as well as for new projects and to access to the transfer market,  if necessary.

Sources at the club indicate that the second real estate operation will probably not be signed until next year, after the municipal government of Madrid failed to provide its definitive approval of the urban planning project until last week. “We think that the uses will be converted into plots and registered in the name of the club at the beginning of 2019, which is when we will proceed with the sale”, they said.

Obtaining all of the permits is the guarantee that the property developers will be able to undertake their projects without any problems. The definitive plan establishes 33,339 m2 for residential use, with a buildability of 132,344 m2; of that capacity, 13,234 m2 in total will be reserved for social housing properties. Tertiary use land will span 14,705 m2, with 13,893 m2 for public amenities and just over 73,000 m2 for green space and others.

The new owners will have to assume the urbanisation costs of €42.22 million, including the €22 million required for the demolition of the former Atléti stadium, without affecting the M-30 road, which passes under one of the stands. It is unknown whether the football club and the Mahou brewery or the future owners will assume that price, and what impact that will have on the final sales price (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by M. Menchen)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Realia Launches a €149M Capital Increase

15 November 2018 – El Economista

Realia has launched a capital increase amounting to €149 million, with preferential subscription rights, through which Carlos Slim is going to make a new capital injection into the real estate company that he controls in Spain.

This increase follows another two that the firm has carried out since 2015, when the Mexican magnate took control of the company and which have been used to clean up the firm and reduce its debt.

By virtue of the new operation, Realia is going to issue 175.45 million new shares at €0.85 per share, a price that represents a discount of 7.5% with respect to the firm’s current share price, which closed trading on the stock market on Thursday at €0.923.

The operation is going to be launched once approval has been received from Spain’s National Securities and Markets Commission (CNMV). Current shareholders will have preferential subscription rights, which means that they may request new shares at a rate of three new shares for every eleven that they already own.

Carlos Slim controls 70.76% of Realia’s share capital, 33.8% in a direct way and 36.9% through FCC, a construction group that he also controls. The Mexican businessman has participated in all of the capital increases that Realia has undertaken until now.

Realia is launching a new capital increase after reactivating its construction and house sale business, which has been suspended since the start of the crisis.

The company also has a portfolio of assets spanning a surface area of around 500,000 m2, comprising office buildings and shopping centres, including one of the Kio Towers in Plaza Castilla, Madrid.

The real estate firm, which has suspended its dividend since 2009, closed the first nine months of this year with a profit of €24 million and a turnover of €70 million. The firm has total debt amounting to €672 million.

Original story: El Economista 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lería-Luksic, the Chilean Magnates Arriving in Spain’s Wealthiest Municipality

11 August 2018

“Wealthy Chileans.” That was the answer much of the real estate sector gave when El Confidencial was investigating the identity the people who just became the third largest landowners in the Pozuelo Oeste Distribution Area (ARPO), in Pozuelo de Alarcón, the wealthiest municipality in Spain.

The buyers are the executives Óscar Lería Chateau and Paola Luksic Fontbona, the couple who have just acquired 40,000 square meters of land, 8% of the total area, from La Caixa for 30 million euros. The couple plan on developing 396 homes on the land, according to sources in the sector. The transaction was executed through Paola Luksic’s family office Wildsur and Óscar Lería’s Osim, the Chilean newspaper ‘La Tercera’ confirmed.

ARPO is the largest urban development area in the municipality of Madrid, which has been in force for more than a decade, amounting to more than six million square meters. The construction of a total of 5,500 homes is planned for the area, of which 2,900 will have some type of protection. Sources consulted by El Confidencial noted that Luksic is likely to have signed an agreement with a local partner to build the homes houses, “possibly one of the landowners in the area,” as he had done before in other projects in which he was involved.

At the beginning of June, this newspaper reported on three operations in that area. Santander, Iberdrola and Servihabitat had sold or were about to sell their holdings in Pozuelo. Twin Peaks Capital was the first to snap up property, purchasing land controlled by the bank run by Ana Patricia Botín. Oaktree took over land from the power company and has allied itself with Banco Sabadell for the development. Only the identity of the buyers’ of La Caixa’s land had still to be revealed. Though he is known to value his privacy, Oscar Lería himself then made the transaction public, in which he partnered with the A&G Group.

Lería is married to Paola Luksic, daughter of Iris Balbina Fontbona (daughter of the Catalan Luis Fontbona Buxallen, who emigrated to Chile at the beginning of the last century) and stepsister of the Chilean magnate Andrónico Luksic, who control much of the business inherited from the Croatian billionaire Andrónico Luksic Abaroa (1926-2005). The Luksic family is one of the richest in the Andean country and, through Aeris Invest, one of its investment vehicles, recently demanded from Santander payment of the 113.02 million it had invested in 145.14 million shares of Popular in May 2017, one month before its resolution. Furthermore, the Chilean family’s fund threatened the Single Resolution Board (SRB for its acronym in English) with additional lawsuits should it not publish the valuation report 2 on Popular, since it considers that the 3 is irrelevant and “does not correspond to the real situation of the entity at the time of the resolution.”

The most expensive municipality in Spain

As Lería explained to the Chilean newspaper, the group set its eyes on the richest municipality in Spain three years ago, although they have been present in the country for years, especially on the Costa del Sol. After the end of the crisis, when investors were still avoiding the country, other large Latin American investors began landing in Madrid in search of opportunities. At that time, the Lukisc family again looked carefully at the Spanish market, where they plan to invest about 480 million euros.

“The family has been investing intermittently in Spain, but I decided to go and stay for the next 40 years. To create something that will last,” Óscar Lería declared to La Tercera, a newspaper that noted that the family had arrived in Andalusia in 2012 to “resuscitate a project” that had “died.” This project was the Lagoon Alcazaba, the first development with a crystalline lagoon in Europe. With 60 million euros, they also invested in half a dozen retail stores on Madrid’s Serrano street.

ARPO, the major urban development area in Madrid, is under the developers’ spotlight. Vía Célere bought in a year ago; iKasa has had land there for years, and Metrovacesa, which owns more than 46,000 square meters with a market value of 25 million euros, as shown in its IPO prospectus, are some of the principal property owners in the region. They are joined by Pryconsa, with long-term holdings in the area, and the newcomers Twin Peaks and Oaktree.

Four months ago, the city council of the district of Madrid finally approved the Partial Plan for the development. The procedure triggered the first real estate transactions and had caused the developers to begin taking positions before the final approval of the reparcelling and urbanisation plan takes place, the last procedure needed before the first homes can begin to be built. Also, fifteen days ago the project for a rainwater collector for Pozuelo, which will have to supply water to the new homes, was also definitively approved.

With an approximate cost of about 40 million euros, the Pozuelo de Alarcón city hall will contribute 20% of the amount, and the rest will be invested by the private landowners. ARPO, for example, corresponds to 52%, Eje Pinar 11% and Huerta Grande 7% – there are 16 urban sectors in Pozuelo. “This approval opens the way to launch public tenders for the works, with execution possibly beginning at the start of 2019. Also, it will also permit the execution of the urbanisation works in the rest of the sectors and make Pozuelo’s 2002 PGOU a reality”, the Board of Compensation for the region noted. “The collector is now a reality thanks, to a large extent, to ARPO’s new management team – the manager is the architect José Luis Oñate, while Pryconsa holds the presidency of Arpo and Ikasa has the vice-presidency – and the city hall’s technical-political team, which has demonstrated a true desire to move things ahead.”

The same sources assured El Confidencial that in a few months, construction for the collector would be tendered and the approval of the project of urbanisation and reparcelling of the Arpo is foreseen for the end of the year. “The plan is to combine construction on the collector with the urbanization, for which the approval of the Hydrographic Confederation of the Tagus will be needed and, subsequently, to be able to combine the urbanization works with the construction of the houses, for which the City Council of Madrid’s authorisation will be needed.”

Of all these urban procedures will depend, to a large extent, on the price that developers will be willing to pay for the land and, consequently, the final price of future homes will depend on a location with high demand and a very limited supply of new construction.

According to sources, the residual land value is at present around the 1.000 euros per square meter, well below the 1,600-1,800 euros currently paid in Valdebebas. “There are still urban procedures ahead, the land is not yet ready for construction, hence the price differential,” the same sources explained. At those prices, future homes could go on sale starting at 2,250 euros per square meter.

“Taking into account the price that is being paid for the land, the venture would already be profitable for the developers. That does not mean that, if the urbanization proceeds without complications, the prices might not be higher, considering the high level of demand in Pozuelo by people with elevated purchasing power who have been displaced to Majadahonda, Las Rozas and Boadilla del Monte in the absence of new builds,” says a real estate expert at El Confidencial.

The Madrid municipality was not oblivious to the crisis. From its high of 2007, when the square meter reached 3,807 euros, the price of new housing fell by 38% to 2,360 euros, just below the 40% nationwide, according to data from the appraiser Tinsa. However, in two and a half years, prices have increased by around 20%, largely due to the enormous shortage of product in the area and the elevated demand.

According to data from Foro Consultores, the average price of multi-family homes in Pozuelo de Alarcón hovers, on average, at 3,500 euros per square meter, with the average per house going for 610,000 euros, without garage or storage. Single-family homes average roughly 900,000 euros and 3,000 euros per square meter. However, as pointed out by this company, what characterises this municipality is that, depending on the location, you can find affordable housing in apartment buildings, while prices in better areas easily surpass one million euros, both for flats and single-family homes.

Venezuelans, Argentines, Chileans…

Since 2014, when the real estate market hit bottom in Spain, numerous Latin American investors have put money into Spanish property. The biggest Venezuelan investors have been the most active, especially in the neighbourhood of Salamanca, where, for four years they have rehabilitated many buildings to place on the luxury market.

The entrepreneurs Miguel Ángel Capriles and Axel Daniel Capriles, relatives of the Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles, bought, through Gran Roque Capital, more than a dozen properties in the most exclusive neighbourhoods of Madrid, totalling more than a hundred luxury homes. Barquillo Doce, Serrano Anguita, Pablo Aranda, Lagasca 38, Fernando VI and their latest project, Españoleto 19. However, the Capriles has also extended their investments to “more modest” projects. For example, they bought land in the vicinity of the Vicente Calderón stadium from Prosegur, while they are the financial partners of Grupo Ibosa in the purchase of ready-to-build land north of Madrid. The Venezuelan family Pizzorni, through Italinmuebles, is also behind several luxury projects in the capital such as Alfonso X and Montalbán 11.

On the other hand, the Argentines Jorge Pepa – brother of Juan Pepa, former head of Lone Star in Spain and architect of Neinor’s IPO – and Francis Btesh, manage through their company 1810 Capital, investments by the Argentine-Israelis Zev and Sergio Gustavo Marynberg. The firm’s purchases include properties at Santa Isabel 21, Tirso de Molina and Barceló. All of them are being converted into luxury homes.

Among the Mexicans, the best known and most active investor has undoubtedly been Carlos Slim (FCC, Realia …), while the less known Mexican investor Moisés El-Mann Arazi has also carried out operations in Spain, and is behind the purchase 253 branches leased to Banco Sabadell from Moor Park Capital Partners for €290 million.

After the fiasco at Banco Popular, the Luksic family will bet on the Spanish property market, where it plans to invest a total of 480 million euros

The Chilean family Luksic, the main shareholders in the mining company Antofagasta, Banco de Chile and the Compañía de Cervecerías Unidas (CCU), took a 3% stake in Banco Popular last year, valued at more than 2.9 billion euros. Óscar Lería and Paola Luksic’s plans for Spain, after their family’s failed investment in the financial institution, are limited to the Spanish property market, where they expect to invest a total of 480 million euros, Lería revealed to La Tercera. In the short term, they will invest 200 million euros, focusing on Seville and the Balearic Islands, especially Ibiza.

In fact, the couple signed an agreement with Mediterranean Capital Management, a firm based in Barcelona, to search for land. The two groups are going to begin developing a project in Mallorca in the next few months, near the Marivent Royal Palace, resulting in about twenty luxury flats costing between 1.3 and 1.5 million euros, according to the Chilean newspaper.

Pozuelo is Óscar Lería Chateau’s most recent investment. Through the Osler company, he has been making important real estate investments in Spain since 2012, during the middle of the property crisis, working with local investors. He currently has several second-residence projects in Marbella, between Estepona and Puerto Banús.

Original Story: El Confidencial – E. Sanz / Ó. Giménez

Translation: Richard Turner

Madrid’s Town Hall to Approve the Mahou-Calderón Project

18 July 2018 – Eje Prime

The Mahou-Calderón project is pushing ahead. Tomorrow (Thursday), the Town Hall of Madrid is going to approve the urban development plan for the land, one of the most sought-after plots in the Spanish capital. The roadmap for the site, which is still home to the Vicente Calderón stadium, the historical home of Atlético de Madrid, means that the construction work will begin after the summer and will be scheduled for completion within three years.

After the summer, Atlético de Madrid and Mahou, the owners of the batch of land, hope that the period of public consultation will be completed so that they can start to demolish the stadium, according to El Confidencial.

The building work will be divided into three phases, starting with the demolition of the Calderón. Next, and after modifying the traffic flow that passes under the pitch, the roads between Paseo de los Pontones, Paseo Imperial and Paseo de los Melancólicos are going to be urbanised.

The first phase of the project is also going to be the most expensive, with an investment of €22.7 million, half of the total budget established (€42.2 million) for this ambitious urban development plan. The Government of Madrid is going to contribute another €60 million to cover over the road.

The finalists: Solvia, Ibosa and Princeton 

Waiting to see what happens tomorrow in the Town Hall are Solvia, Ibosa and Princeton, the three finalist investors looking to buy the plots, which will expand Madrid’s residential stock by another 33,339 m2 of buildable land, located on a plot with a buildable surface area of 132,344 m2.

The objective of Atlético de Madrid with this project is to raise up to €200 million from the sale operation. The club is planning to use that extraordinary capital to repay Carlos Slim the €160 million loan that he granted the sporting entity to complete the building work on its current stadium, the Wanda Metropolitano.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Realia Starts Building Homes with the Launch of 5 Developments

1 July 2018 – Expansión

The real estate company controlled by Carlos Slim has resumed its property development business with the launch of five new promotions, comprising 594 homes that, when they are handed over, will generate revenues of €208 million.

Realia is planning to continue to launch new developments on the portfolio of land that it owns, but it is also investing in new plots, such as the one it purchased recently from the Ministry of Defence in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) for €27.5 million.

This is the first acquisition of land that the company made since the Mexcian magnate took control, which saw it join the wave of investments that companies in this area are undertaking in the land segment in light of the reactivation of the sector.

Nevertheless, after Realia stopped building homes at the beginning of the crisis, it now has a land portfolio spanning 1.85 million m2. The company says that it now has some of these plots under development in Madrid, Cataluña and Levante, areas that currently account for the greatest demand in terms of housing.

The real estate company includes the launch of new developments as a key strategy in the new phase that it is undertaking following the clean-up carried out since Slim acquired his share capital

This week, at its General Shareholders’ Meeting, Realia said that it is “ready” for the new real estate cycle, following the reduction and restructuring of its debt and the cutback in expenses, measures that it considers “are already reflected in the income statement”.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Realia Refinances the €120M Debt Owed by its Property Development Arm

22 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Realia has today refinanced the debt owed by its property development arm, amounting to €120 million. The liability was due to mature on 30 June 2018, according to a statement filed by the real estate company, in which FCC and Carlos Slim hold stakes, with Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The new financing is due to mature on 31 December 2020. Realia has also indicated that “(the new financing) has been subscribed under competitive market conditions”. At the end of 2017, the company had gross bank debt amounting to €763 million, down by 10% compared to a year earlier.

Realia ended the year 2017 with a net profit of €30.5 million, 73.7% less than in 2016. The decrease was caused by the extraordinary results registered in 2016 due to discounts associated with another debt refinancing.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Realia Buys Land & Reactivates Its Property Development Business

12 March 2018 – Expansión

Realia, the real estate firm controlled by Carlos Slim (pictured below), has acquired a plot of land in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid), with a buildable surface area of 44,755 m2, from the Ministry of Defence for €27.5 million. This is the first land acquisition that the company has undertaken since the Mexican magnate took control of the entity, and sees it join the wave of investments that companies in this segment are making in land in light of the reactivation of the sector, reports Europa Press.

In the case of Realia, the land purchase forms part of the reactivation of its construction and house sale activities, which it had suspended, firstly due to the crisis and, subsequently due to the process to restructure and clean-up the company. In this way, it is going to allocate this land to undertaking one of its first three housing developments. The other two, which are going to be built on the portfolio of land that the company already owns are located in Sabadell (Barcelona) and Palma de Mallorca.

Strategy

Realia’s strategy to resume its property development activity involves analysing new build construction projects in “areas where demand is consistent and the supply is very low or new”, such as specific areas of Madrid and Barcelona and “certain other places with the same market characteristics”, according to a statement made by the firm in its annual report for 2017.

That is one of the company’s main objectives for 2018, together with the improvement in margins through the streamlining and optimisation of expenses, and the recovery of prices.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Large Property Developers Own Land to Build 100,000 Homes

5 February 2018 – Expansión

Metrovacesa, Aedas, Neinor, Vía Célere, Aelca, Quabit, Realia and Insur own land spanning more than 15 million m2, which they want to use to take advantage of the new real estate cycle.

The upturn in the residential sector is consolidating and the large property developers want to take advantage of the new cycle to obtain returns from the portfolio of land they have accumulated in recent years. The new generation of property developers Metrovacesa, Aedas, Neinor, Vía Célere and Aelca, and some of the listed survivors of the crisis, such as Quabit, Realia and Insur, now own land spanning more than 15 million m2 with the capacity to build more than 100,000 homes over the next few years.

Metrovacesa, controlled by Santander and BBVA is the property developer with the largest portfolio of land on its books. Following a capital increase amounting to €1.108 billion last June, undertaken through the transfer of assets from its main shareholders, the firm owns 6 million m2 of land, with the capacity to build 37,500 homes. As at 30 September, the firm owned a portfolio of residential land with a gross value of €1.9 billion, of which €1.3 billion corresponded to developable land.

Currently, the company has 51 projects under development to build 2,263 homes and it plans to reach cruising speed in 2021, with the delivery of between 4,500 and 5,000 units per year.

Stock market debuts

Metrovacesa, which plans to debut on the Madrilenian stock market tomorrow (Monday) with a market capitalisation of €2.5 billion, says in its IPO brochure that it does not need to acquire additional land to fulfil its annual house building objectives for the next eight years.

The next firm by volume of land is Aedas. That company, in which the US fund Castlelake holds a stake, owns land spanning 1.5 million m2 with capacity for 13,270 homes. The property developer, which started to trade on the main stock market in October, invested €124 million in land purchases in 2017 alone for the construction of 3,159 homes.

The strategy of the firm led by David Martínez involves reaching its cruising speed in 2022, when it expects to record revenues of more than €1.0 billion and handover more than 3,000 homes per year.

The other listed property developer, Neinor, which was the first to make its debut on the stock market in March 2017, owns land spanning 1.3 million m2, worth €1.3 billion and with the capacity for more than 12,000 homes, according to the most recent public information as at 30 September.

Specifically, during the first nine months of last year, that property developer acquired 24 developable plots for the construction of more than 3,000 homes for €275 million.

The firm led by Juan Velayos will launch 2,500 homes during 2018, will begin construction on another 5,000 units and will hand over more than 1,000 homes this year. In 2020, Neinor expects to reach its cruising speed and hand over between 3,500 and 4,000 homes per year.

Some of the most active property developers in the purchase of land and launch of new developments also include Vía Célere and Aelca, both of which have plans to debut on the stock market soon. Vía Célere owns land spanning 1.43 million m2, with capacity for 12,200 homes. The company chaired by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado invested €227 million in land last year.

The other property developer controlled by Värde, Aelca, owns a portfolio of developable land spanning 1.28 million m2 for 12,566 homes. The firm expects to launch 49 new developments in 2018 and will have 86 residential projects underway at different stages of completion.

Meanwhile, the listed property developers that survived the crisis, Quabit and Insur, own land with the capacity for 6,720 and 4,691 homes, respectively. Quabit plans to invest €670 million in the purchase of land until 2022, when it will reach cruising speed with the hand over of 3,000 homes per year, whilst Insur will invest €80 million in purchases until 2020 in order to hand over 600 homes per year.

In terms of the residential business of Realia, the firm controlled by Carlos Slim owns a land portfolio spanning 1.85 million m2, of which 25% is developable (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake