INE: One Third of House Purchases in León in 2018 were Financed by Cash

2 March 2019 – Diario de León 

According to Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), 3,128 homes were sold in the province of León in 2018, of which one in three were paid for in cash. This is a growing trend in the real estate market, as savers look for investment alternatives in the face of instability in the financial markets and the high returns being offered by property, due to house price rises and rental price increases.

In the province of León, 2,024 mortgages were signed in 2018, up by 4% YoY, whereas 11% more house sales were recorded compared to 2017.

Original story: Diario de León (by María J. Muñiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Saint Croix Buys an Office Building in Madrid for €24M

31 January 2019 – Diario Vasco

The Socimi Saint Croix Holding has acquired an office building located on Calle Juan Ignacio Luca de Tena 17 in Madrid for €23.95 million.

The price of the building, which also includes 166 parking spaces, has been paid in part with two commercial premises owned by the company whose value amounts to €3.5 million, according to the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

Specifically, the commercial premises are located on Calle Caleruega 66, 68 and 70 as well as on Calle Rutilo 21, 23 and 25, both in Madrid.

In addition, the company has paid €20,385,500 in cash to complete the purchase price.

During 2019, the Socimi is planning to undertake a comprehensive renovation of the building to reposition it and adapt it to the standards demanded by the market.

Original story: Diario Vasco 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vitruvio Submits €32M Bid to Acquire Única Real Estate

8 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Vitruvio is planning to grow from inside the Alternative Investment Market (MAB). The Socimi chaired by Joaquín López-Chicheri has submitted an offer amounting to €31.96 million for Única Real Estate, the manager that is also listed on the same exchange, according to a statement filed by the company with the MAB.

The bid covers 100% of Única’s share capital, for which the Socimi has established a payment of approximately €27.14 per share, on the basis of the number of shares in circulation to date and the valuation that Vitruvio has determined for the company.

The team led by López-Chicheri has agreed that the payment may be made both in cash as well as by exchanging shares in Vitruvio. Each shareholder that participates will have to accept a share exchange as the payment form for at least 25% of the shares that they sell and a maximum of 75% in cash, explained the company.

Moreover, the Socimi is offering Única the possibility of postponing the appointment of a representative to its Board. After learning about the interest of the listed company in purchasing it, the operation must be approved at the General Shareholders’ Meeting by 51% of Vitruvio’s shareholders, once the favourable reports have been received from an independent expert designated by the Mercantile Registry and following the legal, technical and financial review.

Vitruvio: profits up by 22% to June to €580,000  

The Socimi, specialising in the management of office buildings, homes and commercial premises, recorded a profit of €578,459 during the first half of 2018, up by 21.8% compared to the same period in 2017.

Supported by its 288 investors, of which only one owns more than 5% of the company, Vitruvio owns around thirty real estate assets located all over Spain. Nevertheless, the Socimi has a clear focus on Madrid, given that the Spanish capital accounts for 79% of its portfolio. The other assets are located in Bizkaia (10%), Barcelona (4%) and a number of other cities ranging from Palencia to Salamanca, and including Ourense, Badajoz and Zamora.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Excites the Market with its Logistics Portfolio

23 April 2018 – Expansión

The Socimi, which owns five complexes in Guadalajara and Valencia, has received a dozen offers for its assets, all of them for a price of more than €75 million.

Some of the players that have bid for Lar España’s logistics portfolio include the US fund Blackstone, P3 Logistic Parks – a platform controlled by the Singapore sovereign fund -, Palm Capital, CBRE Global Investors, Ares Management and Nuveen, according to market sources speaking to Expansión.

In the logistics sector, the Socimi in which the fund manager Pimco holds a stake, owns four complexes in the municipality of Alovera (Guadalajara), in the heart of the Corredor del Henares.

Together, that site comprises ten logistics warehouses with a total constructed surface area of 142,630 m2 occupied by tenants such as Saint Gobain Isover Ibérica, Tech Data, Carrefour and Factor 5. In addition, the Socimi owns a logistics complex in Almussafes (Valencia) containing a logistics warehouse with a constructed surface area of 19,211 m2. That warehouse is occupied by Valautomoción, the supplier of car parts and accessories to Ford, which was acquired by Ferrostaal in 2015.

According to the latest figures published by the Socimi, its portfolio of logistics assets has a valuation of almost €90 million. Moreover, Lar owns around 200,000 m2 of space for a new logistics development in Cheste (Valencia), which it is not planning to sell until it has finished construction there, to make the investment profitable, according to information reported by the company at the time.

According to Lar’s accounts, the land, which it purchased less than a year ago from Bertolín, has doubled in value since the investment was made. The Socimi paid €2.2 million for the 112,813 m2 plot in Cheste in May 2017 and, at the end of last year, it had a market value of €5.2 million.

Other divestments

Lar España has launched an asset rotation plan to raise cash and undertake new investments in shopping centres After selling two office buildings to Colonial, both in Madrid, for €112 million, the company now has three office buildings in Madrid and Barcelona worth around €85 million.

Moreover, it expects to raise €110 million from the sale of its stake in the luxury residential development Lagasca 99 (Madrid), which it owns jointly with Pimco.

In parallel, the company is going to maintain its investment plan. It expects to allocate €220 million to new acquisitions in retail centres and parks and will invest €247 million in developments, especially commercial ones, and another €49 million on improving its assets.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Montebalito Buys Office Building In Las Palmas For €11.8M

2 August 2017 – Bolsa Mania

On Monday, Montebalito announced its latest operation, its largest investment for at least a decade: the acquisition of an office building in Las Palmas for €11.8 million. According to the real estate company, this operation fits into its new strategy to rotate its asset portfolio, selling properties located overseas to reinvest all of the proceeds it obtains in Spain.

The property acquired in Las Palmas is the ‘Iberia’ building, an office block located in the heart of the city’s administrative centre. It has a surface area of 3,931 m2, spread over six storeys, as well as 134 parking spaces. Moreover, the property, which was constructed in 2005, is fully occupied with “stable and high-quality” tenants, including PwC, Repsol and El Cabildo de Gran Canaria.

In terms of the amount paid for the asset, Montebalito will pay around €3.5 million in cash, using its own funds. Another €4.8 million will be financed through a mortgage subrogation and the payment of the remaining €3.4 million will be deferred, although that sum must be paid before the end of this year. Experts calculate that the building generates annual rental income of around €820,000. According to José Luis Rodríguez, Director General of Montebalito: “We are growing as a company. The purchase of this new property strengthens our asset portfolio with stable rental income of almost €1 million per year” (…).

Original story: Bolsa Mania

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor Homes Had 60 Active Developments During Q1

27 April 2017 – Observatorio Inmobiliario

Neinor Homes accelerated its development activity during the first quarter of 2017 by beginning construction of three developments and launching another seven. By the end of the period, it had 60 active developments, corresponding to almost 4,000 homes, according to a statement made by the Company in the presentation of its quarterly results to the CNMV. The reported margin of the work-in-progress projects was around 22% higher than the Company’s target margin.

Juan Velayos, CEO of Neinor Homes, highlighted that “the company has had a magnificent performance during the first quarter, placing it well on the path to fulfil the objectives for the year. Pre-sales have been exceptionally high in what is traditionally a slow quarter. The acquisition of land is continuing with margins exceeding targets and the company’s development activity is accelerating, focused on protecting the margin. One development was successfully completed and the complementary lines of business are continuing to generate cash to finance the growth of the development activity”.

At the presentation of its quarterly results, Neinor Homes also highlighted the acquisition of seven buildable plots of land for €51.6 million for the construction of almost 700 homes. According to the company, all of the acquisitions have a target margin of around 20%.

The property developer also declared pre-sales worth €116 million, relating to 319 homes during the first quarter. The cumulative pre-sales for the year “exceed expectations by 60% in terms of volume and by 46% in terms of the number of homes. The company recorded a 4.5% increase in prices during the quarter and cumulative pre-sales amounted to €483 million and 1,511 homes”, according to its results report.

Meanwhile, the company reported that “the complementary lines of business are continuing to generate cash to finance the growth of the development activity: legacy sales amounted to €57 million, 1% above their accounting value and 41% above the cumulative forecast for the year. Servicing generated revenues of €6.5 million, 4% higher than the cumulative forecast for the year”.

Original story: Observatorio Inmobiliario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Martinsa Fadesa Puts 300 RE Assets Up For Auction

6 February 2017 – Expansión

The bankruptcy administrators of Martinsa Fadesa are getting ready to initiate successive notarial auctions of various real estate assets owned by the firm, as well as of several of the companies in the Group that have filed for liquidation.

These auctions will be carried out through the auction portal of the Official State Gazette (BOE), according to information provided by the current managers.

To this end, the administrators of the company will publish information sheets about the assets to be auctioned, with the aim of providing as much information as possible to users about the assets in question.

According to sources close to the process, the liquidation of Martinsa Fadesa may be completed in 2017 once the creditors have been returned “the present value” of the assets that they financed.

The jewels in Martinsa Fadesa’s crown included a group of buildings and plots of land in Paris, as well as assets located in Poland and Morocco.

The liquidation of the company, which was one of the largest real estate companies in the country during the boom years, involved the sale of assets at discounts of around 30% on their respective book values.

It also included the auctioning off of assets and the assignation of unsold assets to creditors so that they could choose whether to carry out “daciónes en pago” or sell the assets in return for cash.

The liquidation process, which was agreed in March 2015, was structured into three phases.

The first phase included the company’s most liquid assets, particularly those located in Madrid and Barcelona and along the coast.

During the second phase, the bankruptcy administrators put mortgaged assets on the market, whose revenues were used to repay those mortgages.

The third phase was orientated towards the repayment of debt lent by the ordinary creditors with assets not sold during the first phase. Once completed, the other assets were assigned to the creditors that so desired them through a notarial procedure.

The real estate company’s liquidation process began before the summer of 2015, after the ruling was issued by the judge in Mercantil Court number 1 in La Coruña.

And, even through on 11 March 2011, an agreement was approved for Martinsa to repay debt amounting to €7,200 million over a 10 year period, without any discounts, the company’s breaches and liquidity shortages forced it to file for liquidation.

Original story: Expansión 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Completes Purchase Of Remaining 23% Stake In Testa

9 June 2016 – Cinco Días

Merlin Properties now owns 99.9% of Testa. Within the next few days, once the finishing touches have been completed, the Socimi will pay €317 million for the 22.7% stake in Testa that Sacyr still owns. This final transaction, which forms part of the acquisition agreement governing the construction company’s real estate subsidiary, has been moved forward by several weeks, ahead of the original deadline of 30 June.

A year ago, the Socimi chaired by Ismael Clemente, announced the acquisition of Sacyr’s subsidiary for €1,793 million, and established a timetable of partial purchases spanning one year. This arrangement was reached mainly because Testa’s shares were being used as collateral to secure a loan that Sacyr had taken out to buy 20% of Repsol in 2006.

Sacyr is in the process of obtaining the necessary consent from its financing banks and has already obtained approval from 80% of them, according to reports from financial sources. On the other side, Merlin has reserved the amount in cash, pending the conclusion of this final part of the acquisition.

Merlin will obtain an ownership stake of 99.9% (the rest belongs to individuals) and will launch the merger of the two companies immediately. From an operational point of view, the integration between the two companies’ teams has been a reality now for several months; as such, this operation simply represents the completion of the acquisition process and will not result in any changes to the companies’ operations.

During the first phase of the acquisition, completed in June last year, Merlin acquired 25% of Testa’s share capital by subscribing to its €431 million capital increase. On 23 July 2015, Merlin paid €861 million for another 25.1% stake. And then, a few days later, in August, it bought an additional 26.91% stake in the real estate company. The Socimi will pay €317 million in this final transaction, according to information provided to analysts in previous presentations.

Merlin, which is listed on the Ibex 35 and focuses on the rental of properties, generated a net profit of €49.1 million in 2015, the first full year of operation for this young real estate investment company. The company recorded revenues of €214 million from the rental of its real estate portfolio, an amount that almost quadrupled the figure it had recorded in 2014, thanks to the inclusion of the assets owned by the real estate company acquired from Sacyr.

The Socimi’s real estate portfolio was valued at €6,053 million at the end of 2015, according to a report from an independent appraisal company, issued following the purchase of Testa.

In addition, last December, Merlin completed an operation with 10 banks to refinance the €1,700 million debt that it had inherited from Testa. Moreover, in April, it launched a bond issue amounting to €850 million to restructure its liabilities.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake