Spain’s Socimis More than Double their Market Capitalisation in 3 Years

9 January 2020 – Expansión

Altogether Spain’s Socimis have a market capitalisation of €28 billion, having seen their value on the stock market soar by 60% in 3 years, according to a report compiled by Gloval Building Value.

The two largest Socimis, Merlin and Colonial, which are both listed on the Ibex, account for more than 40% of that total, with a combined market capitalisation of €12 billion and asset portfolios of €12.4 billion and €11.8 billion, respectively. They are followed by General de Galerías Comerciales (GGC), with a market capitalisation of €3.7 billion; GMP (€1.1 billion); Testa (€850 million) and Castellana Property (€600 million). The latter four all trade on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

The specialist real estate companies (Socimis) first began to take off in Spain in 2012 following a legislative change that afforded their shareholders tax benefits. In the last 7 years, more than 80 Socimis have joined the MAB and more still are expected to make their debuts over the coming years.

Just two of the major Socimis have disappeared in that time: Hispania, which was acquired by Blackstone and merged with HI Partners; and Axiare, which was absorbed by Colonial in 2018. Finally, four smaller Socimis have been excluded from trading (Bay, Kingbook, Colón and Autonomy) and one (Promorent) has transferred to the Expanding Companies segment.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Colonial to Issue Up to €5 Billion in New Debt

3 January 2020 The socimi Colonial has communicated its intention to issue up to €5 billion in new bonds to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV). The new issue is part of the firm’s strategy to complement its bank financing.

Colonial, which primarily invests in offices for lease had net debts of €4.522 billion as of September of last year. The socimi last issued bonds in November 2017 and April 2018 to finance its takeover bid and subsequent merger with Axiare.

The firm is currently analysing a series of possible new acquisitions, adding to its portfolio of office buildings in Madrid, Barcelona and Paris. The existing portfolio is valued at 11.8 billion euros.

La socimi Colonial ha comunicado su intención de emitir hasta 5.000 millones de euros en nuevos bonos a la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) de España. El nuevo emisión es parte de la estrategia de la empresa para complementar su financiamiento bancario.

Colonial, que invierte principalmente en oficinas para arrendar, tenía deudas netas de 4.522 millones de euros in septiembre de 2019. La socimi emitió bonos por última vez en noviembre de 2017 y abril de 2018 para financiar su oferta de adquisición y posterior fusión con Axiare.

Actualmente, la firma está analizando una serie de posibles nuevas adquisiciones, que se sumarian a su cartera de edificios de oficinas en Madrid, Barcelona y París. La cartera existente está valorada en 11.800 millones de euros.

Original Story: Europa Press

Translation/Summary: Richard D. Turner

Colonial Profits Soar by 40% Due to Asset Rotation Strategy and Increased Rents

8 November 2019 – Colonial posted a taxable net profit of 393 million euros in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 40% y-o-y. The firm stated that revenues went up because of its policy of asset rotation and growth in office rental prices, principally in Madrid and Barcelona.

The socimi reported that new office lease contracts this year reflect an 8% increase in prices, compared to the end of 2018. Contract renewals in the third quarter saw increases of up to 36% in Madrid and 24% in Barcelona.

Original Story: Expansión

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Colonial Seeks to Grow Utopicus, its Flexible-Office Subsidiary

28 October 2019 – Utopicus, Colonial’s flexible-office space subsidiary, plans to have fifteen such offices, with a total of 40,800 square meters of surface area, by early 2020. The company started operations in 2010, and currently operates ten offices in Barcelona and Madrid, with a current total of 21,230 square meters of offices.

Original Story: Eje Prime

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Colonial, Merlin and Lar Rotating Assets Worth €2.5 Billion

20 August 2019

Spain’s largest socimis have all been taking advantage of the benign economic climate to implement a strategy of asset rotation, selling off non-strategic assets to raise funds for further investments. Colonial, Merlin and Lar España have completed more than 2.5 billion euros in divestments over the past two years.

Of the four, Colonial has been most active in this regard. The socimi has sold assets worth approximately €1.5 billion in the last two years, more than half stemming from its acquisition of Axiare. In October 2018, Colonial sold seven office buildings to Tristan Capital Partners and Real IS, as well as a development under construction in Madrid to Grupo Catalana Occidente, for 441 million euros. Of the seven properties sold, five originated with Axiare.

Colonial also recently sold a portfolio of 18 logistics assets, covering an area of 473,000 square meters, to Prologis for an estimated €425 million. What’s more, the socimi sold an office building in Paris for €450 million in mid-2017. The firm is investing the proceeds of some of its sales, allocating €468 million in twelve projects under development in Madrid, Barcelona and Paris, the three markets where the company operates.

Merlin, for its part, sold its 17% stake in Testa to Blackstone last September for €321 million. The firm also sold its portfolio of hotels to Foncière des Regions for €535 million. Lar has also sold €425 million of assets in the last 18 months. Of that, €120 million stemmed from the sale of a logistics portfolio to Blackstone, while another €190 million resulted from the sale of four office buildings in Madrid and Barcelona and some small retail assets.

Original Story: Expansión – Rebeca Arroyo

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Colonial Finalises Sale of €425MM Logistics Portfolio

7 August 2019

Colonial and Prologis have finalised the sale of a €425-million logistics portfolio that the socimi put up for sale four months ago. The portfolio includes 12 logistics platforms and warehouses and features a 131,000-m2 logistics complex in the San Fernando industrial estate.

Prologis beat out competing offers by Deutsche Bank and Blackstone. Colonial was advised by JLL and Knight Frank; while CBRE advised Prologis.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Ruth Ugalde

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Colonial Increases Occupancy as Logistics Sale Nears Conclusion

31 July 2019

Colonial, which is in the process of selling a €450-million portfolio of logistics asset, presented excellent results in the first semester of 2019.  The managed to get its occupancy rate from 85% to 90% in the first six months of the year, thereby increasing the attractiveness of the assets on sale.

The socimi’s logistics portfolio consists of a total of 574,462 square meters, located in Madrid, Barcelona and its surroundings, Guadalajara, Tarragona and Seville.

Prologis, Deutsche Bank and Blackstone are seen as the three final candidates for Colonial’s logistics portfolio. At first, Blackstone was the considered the likely winner of the auction, but recently Prologis, a US-based logistics operator, has pulled ahead.

The operation is part of Prologis’s bid to become one of the main actors in the Spanish logistics market. The American firm currently owns 850,000 square meters of high quality assets in prime areas. In total, the company manages 72 million square meters of logistics platforms in 19 countries.

Original Story: Merca2 – Carlos Lospitao

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Prologis Nears Acquisition of Colonial’s Logistics Portfolio

29 June 2019

Prologis is in the final stages of its attempt to acquire Colonial’s logistics assets. The socimi’s holdings include 12 logistics platforms and warehouses, with an estimated sales value of 450 million euros. The two firms expect to finalise the transaction during the coming month. Deutsche Asset Management and Blackstone had also been in the running to acquire the portfolio.

The principal asset in the portfolio is a 131,000-m2 logistics complex in the San Fernando industrial estate.

Original Story: Expansion

Colonial Leaning Towards Blackstone in Sale of Logistics Portfolio

26 June 2019

The US fund Blackstone is reportedly leading the field of potential buyers for Colonial’s portfolio of logistics assets. The portfolio, whose sale would be one of the year’s largest, is said to be worth approximately €400 million. Colonial, a Spanish socimi, expects to finalise the transaction by late August.

Colonial is apparently leaning towards a sale to Blackstone due to its experience in the logistics sector, the financial guarantees the Americans are providing and its capacity to absorb such a large portfolio. Prologis, an American REIT, and Deutsche Bank are also vying for the assets.

Original Story: Merca2.es – Carlos Lospitao

 

Prologis, Blackstone & Deutsche Bank Bid For Colonial’s Logistics Portfolio

20 June 2019 – Cinco Días

Inmobiliaria Colonial has chosen the three finalists who have submitted the highest bids for its logistics portfolio and they are: Prologis, the largest owner of warehouses in Europe; Blackstone, the US fund; and Deutsche Bank, through its manager DWS, according to market sources.

Colonial inherited a sizeable logistics portfolio from Axiare following its takeover of that firm last year, but since the Socimi focuses on offices in prime areas of Madrid, Barcelona and Paris, it put the logistics portfolio up for sale a few weeks ago.

The company has received around a dozen offers, from which it has selected three that exceed €400 million. It is planning to close the operation before the summer.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake