3 November 2016 – Expansión
The fund manager Catella Asset Management has just completed its first transactions in Spain. In a period of just one month, the Swedish firm has carried out four investment operations to put the perfect finishing touches to its first year in the Spanish market.
Specifically, Catella AM has purchased a retail park in Vinaroz (Castellón) and three residential buildings in Madrid and Barcelona for a total investment of €84 million. “In the last month, we have closed four residential and retail operations, involving the type of assets that we are particularly focusing on”, explained Javier Hortelano, Partner-Director at Catella Asset Management for Spain and Portugal.
In the first operation, Catella has purchased two residential buildings located in Barajas (Madrid) and Rambla de Poblenou (Barcelona), containing almost 150 homes in total. “The building in Barcelona has a 97% occupancy rate and the building in Madrid has a 95% occupancy rate”. In addition, the properties have 66 and 82 parking spaces, respectively.
Subsequently, the Swedish management company acquired a third property, measuring 4,500 m2, on Calle Génova in Madrid. The building, which contains 24 homes, 29 parking spaces and a retail outlet, has an 85% occupancy rate.
The fourth operation has involved the acquisition of the Portal Mediterráneo retail park in Castellón; this purchase has been performed on behalf of a third party, the Belgian company Mitiska Reim.
Last year, the listed Swedish group Catella launched a new investment platform for the Spanish market. The group’s consultancy arm, Catella Property, has been operating in the country since 2008, and at the end of 2015, the company opened an office for its investment manager, which has now made its first purchases. “Catella AM’s approach is to invest using the funds that the management company has raised or to invest on behalf of investors with whom we usually work and who come from Europe, as well as Asia and America”, said Hortelano. The Director, who joined Catella from PwC, has extensive experience in the retail sector, having previously served as the President of the Spanish Shopping Centre Association and COO at Redevco.
The residential buildings that Catella has acquired will be placed in a pan-European investment fund called Catella Wohnen Europa, which Catella created this year. “This fund began operating six months ago and already has €250 million under management. It also has another €500 million of operations in the due diligence phase and it is planning to continue at a very intense pace next year”, said Hortelano. “It is not the typical fund that buys assets to sell them off piecemeal, rather its objective is to buy properties, and then manage and maintain them through long term lease contracts”, said Eduardo Guardiola, Partner at Catella AM Iberia.
Following the completion of these purchases, the Swedish management company hopes to be very active in Spain: “We hope to close one or two more operations this year to reach a total investment of €100 million and then exceed that figure next year”.
When it was launched, Catella AM set itself an investment target of between €500 million and €1,000 million over a couple of years in Spain and Portugal. Its purchases are focused on large tertiary assets (both shopping centres and retail parks), requiring management, as well as on residential rental properties in good locations.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake