ECI Puts Colón Building In Valencia Up For Sale

21 September 2017 – Levante EMV

El Corte Inglés has put the building located on Colón, 1 (in Valencia) up for sale for €90 million, according to sources close to the operation. The building, which used to house a Marks & Spencers store, is currently home to a Sfera shop and youth clothing departments. The company has put three floors and the basement up for sale. The upper floors are offices and do not form part of the operation.

The objective of the company is for an investor to buy the building and then lease back the space. This type of operation is known in the real estate sector as a sale and leaseback arrangement and in recent years, banks such as Santander have adopted the same formula. Some interested parties have already visited the property.

The sale of Colón, 1 forms part of El Corte Inglés’ divestment process, which it initiated a few months ago. The same sources cited above highlight that it is the only property that the department store has put up for sale in the Community of Valencia. The company did also consider the option of putting the building at Colón, 25 up for sale, but ruled that out in the end because the land rights belong to the Colegio Imperial de Los Niños de San Vicente.

The idea of the distribution group chaired by Dimas Gimeno is to get rid of its “non-strategic” real estate assets all over Spain, in order to reduce its debt. The total (asset) sales volume is expected to amount to around €1,000 million; to put that figure in context, the group owns assets worth around €18,000 million.

The building that has gone on the market now has a surface area of 7,343 m2. Another property, in Bilbao, worth around €70 million and measuring 5,487 m2, will also be put up for sale. The other properties are located in Albacete, Burgos, Jaén, Madrid, Murcia, Oviedo and Sevilla.

El Corte Inglés acquired the property on Colón, 1 from the British retail giant Marks and Spencers 16 years ago, together with 8 other department stores, located all over Spain, for around €150 million.

El Corte Inglés recorded profits of €160.63 million in its most recent financial year, which ended in February, up by 3% compared to a year earlier; and it increased its sales by 2% to €15,504 million, whereby recording its third consecutive years of sales growth, according to the group’s annual accounts. ECI is now backing the internet to continue its path of growth.

Original story: Levante EMV (by Ramón Ferrando)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lladó Buys Uría y Menéndez’s Future HQ From Hispania

16 May 2017 – El Confidencial

In the same way that Amancio Ortega is using the juicy dividend that he receives from Inditex to build his real estate empire, another successful home-grown businessman, José Lladó, President and majority shareholder of Técnicas Reunidas, is also investing the bulk of the money that he receives from his infrastructure group into iconic buildings.

Last year, Lladó reportedly received €29 million and he has used those funds to acquire the new headquarters of the law firm Uría y Menéndez. As circumstances would have it, that was the only building that Hispania had left out of the sales mandate that it awarded to CBRE and JLL, when it appointed them to find a buyer for its entire office portfolio. Sources at the Socimi have declined to comment.

According to three sources in the market, the reason is that the Lladó family has put a juicy offer on the table that limits the yield on its investment to 3.5%. It is a classic move by this kind of family office, which tend to prioritise the best assets and tenants possible, even if that means securing lower returns, given that their strategies are typically aimed at acquiring good properties, with stable and guaranteed returns.

Uría y Menéndez is the second largest law firm in Spain by turnover and last October, it signed a 17-year lease contract for the building located on Calle Suero de Quiñones 42 in Madrid, and it is obliged to fulfil at least half of that term.

Currently, Hispania is immersed in the comprehensive renovation of the property, in a project worth €5 million, which is expected to be completed at the end of this year. The law firm will rename the new headquarters, which will be complementary to the property it already owns at nearby Príncipe de Vergara, 187, as the “Aurelio Menéndez Building”: its new design is the handiwork of architect Rafael de la Hoz.

This acquisition follows the pattern applied by Lladó last year, involving investing areas on the rise, where the value of the asset itself promises to increase significantly over the coming years. On that occasion, the owner of Técnicas Reunidas purchased a building on Calle Marqués de la Ensenada 2, located just a few metres from Plaza de Colón, for €6 million.

In the summer of 2014, it made another significant acquisition on Paseo de Recoletos, 15 from Vía Célere, the property that houses Catalunya Caixa’s headquarters in Madrid, for almost €20 million, to join the neighbour at number 33 on the same thoroughfare, which is also owned by Lladó. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barclays Sells Its HQ In Colón To CBRE GI For €50M

24 January 2017 – Cinco Días

The international asset manager CBRE Global Investors has acquired the Barclays Bank building, located on Plaza de Colón in Madrid, on behalf of one of its main clients. The operation has been closed for more than €50 million, according to sources in the market.

The building, which has a surface area of 3,910m2 and which was constructed in 1971, has a basement, ground floor and three upper floors.

At the beginning of October, sources at Barclays said that the firm had started to explore the possibility of putting the iconic building up for sale, and that at the same time it was studying the possibility of relocating its headquarters to a place that would offer a better service in terms of facilities, technology and comfort.

The property is located at the intersection of Plaza de Colón with Paseo de la Castellana and Paseo de Recoletos. According to CBRE Global Investor’s Director General in Spain and Portugal, José Antonio Martín-Borregón, the operation represents a great opportunity to reposition the asset and offer an attractive, mixed use property, in accordance with the profile of the businesses located in this area.

In fact, market sources say that the building displays all of the necessary characteristics to house an international brand’s flagship store. In this sense, Martín-Borregón is certain that the building will spark interest amongst many firms in the international sphere.

It is CBRE Global Investor’s third acquisition in Spain in the last 12 months, taking its total investment to more than €200 million. Moreover, this investment vehicle has significant available capital from its clients to buy up more retail, office and logistics assets during 2017 across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Reduction in Barclays’ business in Spain

In August 2014, CaixaBank agreed to acquire the British entity’s retail, wealth management and corporate banking businesses for €800 million. At the time, as a result of the operation, CaixaBank proposed 1,120 job cuts at Barclays in Spain, which ended up affecting 975 people and culminated in the dismissal of 112 workers.

Moreover, in April last year, Barclays sold its credit card business in Spain and Portugal to Bancopopular-e, the online subsidiary of Banco Popular. This division, Barclaycard, held around €1,500 million in assets and generated a profit of €45 million in 2015. Following these operations, the British entity now only operates its investment and corporate banking businesses in Spain.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A.S.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Solvia In Talks To Sell 1,700 Square Meters Of SAREB Offices In Colón 1

12 February 2016 – Expansion

Solvia, the real estate division of Banco Sabadell is negotiating the sale of 1,700 square meters of office space in the building located at number 1 of Valencia´s Colon street, one of the main shopping streets of the capital. The property is part of the 42,900 assets portfolio coming from SAREB whose management was awarded to the company just over a year ago as part of the first phase of Proyecto Íbero. The Real Estate Company has set a price of 2,000 € per square meter, market sources suggest.

The ground floor and first two floors of the building are at present held by El Corte Ingles, while the upper floors have professional offices and several corporate headquarters. The site managed by Solvia has 1,700 square meters on the fourth floor.

Asked about this, Solvia told this newspaper that the property has already drawn the attention of some investors of Asset Management profile, interested in acquiring assets and make them profitable. Since last year, the Real Estate Co. has focused its strategy on the management of these assets. In fact, it notes that 36% of its customers are already investors of this type, which are gradually gaining ground due to completed home sales.

The portfolio awarded to Solvia in which this asset is included is formed by properties coming from Bankia as well as loans and property acquired from Banco Gallego and Banco Ceiss. More than 33,000 of the nearly 43,000 assets in the portfolio are properties.

At the time of transfer to SAREB, assets were valued at EUR 7,000 million, according to the methodology established by the Central Bank of Spain. They are mainly located in Madrid, Valencia, Catalonia, Galicia and Castilla-Leon.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Xavi Moret)

Translation: Aura Ree