Vukile Looking to Launch Takeover of Lar España

10 September 2019

The South African firm, Vukile Property, is looking to take a stake in Socimi Lar España, a major investor in shopping centres, with 16 assets valued at 1.462 billion euros.

Vukile, which operates in Spain through Castellana Properties, has already arranged financing for the deal. UBS will represent the firm, while Lar España has hired Lazard.

Lar España was the first socimi to list on the continuous market and currently has a capitalisation of €615 million, a 36% discount to net asset value. Lar España’s largest shareholders, Pimco and Grupo Lar, are expected to insist on a 30% premium to the share price. The socimi ended the first semester with sales of €39 million and a net profit of 29 million euros.

Lar España has been focusing its investments on shopping centres, selling the office buildings it had in its portfolio, as well as logistic assets. In the last 18 months, the firm has raised €425 million, including the €120-million sale of a logistics portfolio to Blackstone and the €190-million sale of four office buildings in Madrid and Barcelona.

Lar España currently has fourteen assets in its portfolio, with a gross rental area of ​​580,000 m2 and a market value of €1.462 billion (June 30, 2019).

Original Story: Expansión – Rebeca Arroyo / Nicolás Sarriés.

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Castellana Properties Acquires Puerta Europa Shopping for €57 Million

5 August 2019

Castellana Properties, the socimi controlled by the South African fund Vukile, acquired the Puerta Europa shopping centre in Cadiz for 56.8 million euros. Located in the town of Algeciras, the shopping centre opened a decade ago and has more than 100,000 square meters of surface area, of which 29,531 square meters are commercial area.

The mall has an area of influence with more than 250,000 inhabitants, and has 100 stores, including a wide range of fashion and leisure shops and restaurants. Tenants include such established brands as Primark, Zara, H&M, Yelmo cinemas and a Mercadona supermarket.

Original Story: Expansión – Rocío Ruiz

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Operations by Socimis on MAB Rise by 21%

3 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Operations conducted by firms listed on the MAB rose by 21% to €150 million in the first half of 2019. Tomás Olivo’s General Galerías Comerciales posted the largest amount, investing a total of 67.7 million euros in a series of assets, including €42 million in the Centro Comercial Las Terrazas. Next came Atom’s acquisition of the Hotel Meliá de Valencia for 42.3 million euros, the largest transaction in the second quarter of the year.

Castellana Properties, in turn, acquired El Corte Inglés stores in Bahía Sur, Cádiz, and Los Arcos, Sevilla, for 36.8 million euros. Veracruz Properties Socimi has invested 18 million euros in the purchase of two office buildings on Calle Botiguers, in Paterna, Valencia. The buildings have a total area of ​​26,150 square meters and have 86 offices, 17 shops and 312 parking spaces.

Original Story: EjePrime – Marta Casado Pla

 

El Corte Inglés Closes Los Arcos & Bahía Sur Shopping Centres and Sells Them to Castellana Properties

27 May 2019 – Cinco Días

El Corte Inglés has reached an agreement with Castellana Properties to sell two shopping centres in Andalucía, specifically Los Arcos (11,000 m2) in Sevilla and Bahía Sur (12,000 m2) in Cádiz, for €36.8 million.

The deal will become effective on 30 September, on which date both the El Corte Inglés store in Bahía Sur and the Hipercor in Los Arcos will be closed. The department store group will use the funds to reduce its debt, which amounted to €3.7 billion at the end of the first half of 2018.

The operation does not form part of Project Green, the portfolio containing 95 non-strategic real estate assets that ECI has entrusted to PwC, and whose sale is still on-going. According to market sources, the only bid received so far for the entire portfolio has come from the US fund Apollo.

Meanwhile, the Socimi Castellana Properties, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), is controlled by the South African group Vukile, and has 17 assets in its portfolio including shopping centres, retail parks and offices spanning a combined leasable surface area of 317,106 m2, worth €916 million.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz & Javier García Ropero)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Intu Considers Selling its 4 Shopping Centres in Spain to Pay Off Debt

6 March 2019 – Expansión

The British retail giant, Intu Properties, is considering putting up for sale its real estate assets in Spain in order to pay off some of its debt. The company’s stock market value has plummeted to €2 billion in recent months, and its debt amounts to more than €5 billion, following two unsuccessful takeover bids for the company last year.

The firm has reportedly received expressions of interest for its Spanish portfolio, which is worth €1 billion in total, from several large international investors. The assets in question are Xanadú (Madrid), Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza), Parque Principado (Asturias) and a mega-project currently under construction in Málaga.

No formal sales process has been initiated yet but a number of unsolicited offers have been received. Nevertheless, legal sources state that the firm would have to offer the right of first refusal to its shareholder partners in each case, namely CPPIB in the case of Puerto Venecia and Parque Principado, and Nuveen (previously TH Real Estate) in the case of Xanadú, before opening any sales process to the wider market.

Other potential suitors include Castellana Properties (the firm backed by the South African investor Vukile) and the Slovenian group J&T.

Original story: Expansión (by Roberto Casado & Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vukile to Inject €600M into its Socimi Castellana Properties

5 March 2019 – Eje Prime

Vukile is going to inject €600 million into its Spanish Socimi, Castellana Properties, to enlarge its portfolio. The aim of the South African fund is to debut the Socimi, which specialises in shopping centres, on the main stock market during 2019.

The company currently owns 19 commercial assets in Spain worth €898 million and has a leverage ratio of 48%, but before making the leap onto the main stock market, the company wants to increase its asset portfolio to €1,500 million and reduce its leverage ratio to below 45%.

The plan is to carry out a €600 million capital increase, to finance the additional asset purchases, which will be subscribed by its main shareholder, Vukile.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Castellana Properties Incorporates Unibail’s Shopping Centres into its Portfolio

28 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Castellana Properties is now the ninth largest Socimi in Spain. The company, which is controlled by the South African fund Vukile, has doubled the value of its portfolio to €900 million by incorporating the firm Morzal Property into the fold. Morzal is the vehicle through which Vukile purchased four shopping centres from the giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in July.

The General Shareholders’ Meeting of Castellana approved the purchase of 100% of Morzal at the same price as the initial operation was closed, according to Eje Prime. The incorporation of the company, which paid Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield €490 million in July for its four assets, has been carried out through a capital increase subscribed by a non-monetary contribution of Morzal’s share capital, attributing a value of €6 per share to the shares of Castellana Properties.

Following this incorporation, the Socimi has increased its portfolio with the following shopping centres: Los Arcos (Sevilla), Bahía Sur (Cádiz), El Faro (Badajoz) and Vallsur (Valladolid). In total, the manager is adding a gross leasable area (GLA) of 121,300 m2 to reach a total of 318,622 m2 distributed all over Spain.

The market capitalisation of the company now amounts to €460 million, whilst the average value of its assets has increased from €27 million to €48 million, and its vacant space has decreased from 3.3% to 1.8%.

“The acquisition of these four shopping centres significantly strengthens our portfolio and reaffirms our commitment to the retail real estate sector in Spain”, said Alfonso Brunet, CEO of Castellana Properties.

Similarly, in terms of the future, Vukile has the commitment to inject another €200 million into Castellana over the coming years, as revealed by Eje Prime. In April, the fund subscribed an agreement with the Socimi to undertake capital increases for that maximum value in the event that it does not find the necessary partners to continue buying retail parks and shopping centres with, “given the need for financing to undertake such investments”.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

MAB’s Director Encourages Socimis to Generate Trust to Attract Investment

30 October 2018 – Finanzas

The Director General of the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), Jesús González Nieto (pictured below), has today encouraged the Socimis to “generate trust” through the transparency of their corporate governance arrangements to attract new investors and “to depend on the market for growth”.

González Nieto closed a conference about Socimis at the headquarters of the CEOE by underlining that generating trust is a task for everyone so that the real estate investment formula, which has been on the Spanish stock market for five years, can become increasingly well known.

In his opinion, the French and British markets have many more small investors in the real estate sector thanks to the structures that they have, which are similar to Socimis, and so he expects growth in the Spanish market if the entities can manage to provide good information about that possibility of stock market investment.

At the moment, 61 Socimis are trading on the MAB, whilst another five trade on the main stock market.

The Director General of Renta 4 Banco, Jesús Sánchez-Quiñones, has inaugurated a process for the concentration of Socimis over the coming years and has said that “they are avoiding stock market crashes”, due to their strong expectations and lower liquidity.

Representatives from eleven Socimis participated in the conference, ten on behalf of Socimis that are trading on the MAB and one that will make its debut soon: Park Rose Iberoamericana, which will start trading on 15 December.

The President of Park Rose, Luis Alberto Akel, explained that his firm has Chilean capital and is diversifying its real estate investments in Chile, the USA and Spain.

The CEO of Témpore, Nicolás Díaz Saldaña, warned that “there is a lot of international interest in the Spanish residential sector”, and, after reminding the audience that his Socimi arose as an “additional mechanism for the divestment of assets by Sareb”, he said that when that operation concludes, they will go “and look for new investors”.

Díaz Saldaña has indicated that he would like for Témpore to be listed on the main stock market and the Director General of GMP Property, José Luis García de la Calle, also noted that his firm has considered that option, but that the growing “demands” of the MAB are already broad enough, without having to implement audit and remuneration committees.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Castellana Properties, Alfonso Brunet said, “We are getting ready to comply with the requirements of the main stock market”.

The CEO of Vitruvio, Joaquín López-Chicheri, highlighted that “the Socimis allow us to diversify risk” and to be present in the four segments (residential, commercial, offices and logistics), whilst other participants in the conference indicated that they prefer to focus on a niche market.

In this way, José Nistal, from the Socimi Almagro, explained its specialisation in the purchase and rental of flats for the elderly, where the tenants have an average age of 84.3 years.

The latest Socimi to join the MAB, Azaria, in September, focuses exclusively on the long-term, stable, rental of offices and its only asset, for the time being, is the headquarters of El Páis, which is leased until 2033, explained its manager, Teodoro Díez.

Sergi Mirapeix, from Tander, explained that his firm only invests in commercial premises in the most central areas of cities (currently, it is present in four: Barcelona, Santander, Bilbao and San Sebastián) and Jorge González, the representative of the Socimi Asturias, has indicated that its sole objective is to focus on large retail parks.

Josep Turró, from Barcino, said that his firm is going to seek to diversify as much as possible, by “adaptating to demand”, and Fabrizio Agrimi, from Vbare Iberian, said that his Socimi is committed to “added value, without property developer risk”.

Original story: Finanzas 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Castellana to Merge the Kinépolis & Alameda Shopping Centres in Granada

2 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Castellana is making changes in Granada. The Socimi owned by the South African fund Vukile is going to merge the Alameda Retail Park and the Kinépolis shopping centre into a new brand, called Granaita, according to explanations provided in a corporate presentation that the firm has distributed to potential investors.

The company, which has been listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) since July, will invest €5 million in the process to reposition and integrate its two shopping centres in Granada.

Castellana is one of the emerging players in the current retail market in Spain, in which it specialises. The objective of the company is to be “the leading Socimi in the retail sector”, adds the company, whose objectives include the optimisation of its asset portfolio. The operation that it is going to carry out in Granada sits firmly within that framework.

The real estate manager acquired Kinépolis in June 2017, through the company Junction Parque Granada. The asset, inaugurated in 2004, comprises eight stores with a gross leasable area of 18,508 m2 and is worth €32.5 million.

Meanwhile, Alameda Retail Park was incorporated into Castellana’s portfolio in December last year. Located in the municipality of Pulianas, in Granada, the park began operating in 2014 and comprises four stores with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 27,256 m2. The monthly rent at Alameda amounts to €10.71 and its market value stands at €55.3 million.

The fund that sustains the Socimi financially, Vukile, is going to inject up to €200 million over the next few years to continue with its plan to conquer the commercial sector in Spain, where it hopes to form a portfolio worth €1.2 billion. Castellana is going to look for new shareholders to inject the resources necessary to carry out this plan, which seeks to enable the Socimi to make the leap from the MAB to the main stock exchange within the next three years.

In pursuit of this goal, Vukile acquired four shopping centres from Unibail-Rodamco for €489 million last summer, which were placed in Castellana’s portfolio, as reported by Eje Prime.

Castellana Properties closed 2017 with revenues of €9.31 million, whilst it registered turnover of €5.15 million during the first three months of 2018. The net result for 2017 amounted to €18.61 million, and the firm earned €6.65 million during the first quarter of 2018. The group’s debt at the end of 2017 amounted to €146 million.

Original story: Eje Prime (By Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bogaris to Place Torrecárdenas on Market for More than €160 Million Just Before Opening

13 August 2018

The shopping centre in Almeria has more than 60,000 square meters of GLA. Potential candidates for the acquisition must consider the lack of a track record for the new complex and a lawsuit filed by executive Tomás Olivo.

A new operation is targeting the shopping centre sector. Torrecárdenas, a new centre that will open its doors at the end of October in Almería, will go on sale in coming weeks with an estimated valuation of 160 million euros. Bogaris, the owner of the project, has decided to put it on the market before its opening and the resolution of a lawsuit filed by the executive Tomás Olivo, who is challenging the construction license granted for the complex.

Torrecárdenas will have a gross leasable area of more than 60,000 square meters and, just over two months before its inauguration, already has an 85% occupancy, from operators such as Primark, Inditex, Media Markt, Sfera, Mercadona and Yelmo. The centre will have about 20,000 square meters of retail park and about 42,000 meters of shopping gallery.

The complex, with several elements inspired by film production, was designed by the architectural studios of Chapman Taylor and Arapiles Arquitectos. Along with the stores, the centre will have more than 3,000 parking spaces.

Sector sources note that, with a purchase price of 160 million euros, the centre will offer a return of between 6% and 6.5%, considering a net income of around 2.5 million euros per year. Savills-Aguirre Newman will be exclusively in charge of the sale and is confident that it can be concluded before the end of the year.

Specializing in the development of large commercial, logistics and industrial areas, Bogaris has developed more than 700,000 square meters of GLA in 94 projects in Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria and Romania. The Seville-based company, controlled by the Charlo family, has developed other shopping centres such as the Aleste Plaza, in Seville, and the Loures shopping mall, in Portugal.

Possible buyers

Sources close to the sales process cite operators such as Castellana Properties, ECE and the alliance between Sonae Sierra and JT Real Estate as potential buyers of the new centre. However, not too many potential buyers are expected to appear.

While the high occupancy is one of the centre’s advantages, the disadvantages include the lack of track record for the new centre in Almeria, since it is being put on sale before its opening, and the litigation surrounded the construction license granted by the Almería city council.

Last November, the city council paid 2.6 million euros to Bogaris complying with a ruling that determined that a new reparcelling project had to be carried out on the centre’s land. The lawsuit, filed by Mr Olivo, is now with the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia.

Original Story: EjePrime – P. Riaño

Translation: Richard Turner