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

Colonial Finalises the Sale of its Logistics Centers Worth €480M

14 June 2019 – La Vanguardia

Colonial is finalising the sale of a portfolio of 15 logistics centres worth €480 million that it inherited from Axiare. The assets span a surface area of 574,462 m2 and are located on the outskirts of Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla.

The Socimi led by Pere Viñolas hopes to complete their sale within a maximum of two months as it seeks to take advantage of the strong demand for these types of assets thanks to the boom in online commerce.

Colonial’s core portfolio comprises office buildings located in the centres of Madrid, Barcelona and Paris, with a market value of around €11.4 billion. The firm is also working on fourteen new projects located in its three key markets, which have an associated investment of €1.3 billion.

At its recent General Shareholders’ Meeting, Colonial approved the appointment of two new independent directors and ratified the distribution of a dividend amounting to €0.20 gross per share, up by 11% YoY.

Original story: La Vanguardia 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Largest Landlords are Merlin, Colonial, GMP & Mapfre

19 April 2019 – Expansión

Merlin, Colonial, GMP and Mapfre: three Socimis and one insurance company together own 16% of the total office space in Madrid. Blackstone, Realia, Mutua Madrileña, Tristan, Pontegadea and Starwood complete the Top 10 ranking.

According to a report from Deloitte, the ten largest landlords own more than 3.1 million m2 of leasable space in Madrid, out of a total spanning more than 13 million m2 (24%). In Barcelona, there is 6.1 million m2 of leasable space.

Leading the ranking is Merlin, which owns 7% of the total stock in Madrid and more than 3% in Barcelona. Its 140-strong office portfolio is worth €5.5 billion and accounts for 45% of its total assets. The Socimi’s tenants include BBVA, Endesa, Inditex and PwC, and its star assets include Torre PwC in Madrid and Torre Glòries in Barcelona.

Behind Merlin is Colonial, which owns 3.8% of the office stock in Madrid and 4.6% in Barcelona (where it is the market leader). Its key assets include the building located on Paseo de la Castellana, 52, two properties on Calle Miguel Ángel (numbers 11 and 23), all in Madrid, and Torre Marenostrum in Barcelona.

Completing the podium is GMP, which owns 2.8% of the gross leasable area in Madrid, including Torre BBVA and Torre Ederra, both in Azca. Meanwhile, the insurance companies Mapfre and Mutua Madrileña own 2.7% and 1.4% of the total stock in the Spanish capital, respectively.

In addition, the funds have strengthened their positions in recent months. The US fund Starwood purchased a portfolio of offices in Madrid and Barcelona from Autonomy for €125 million. It also acquired the San Fernando Business Park, in conjunction with Drago, from Oaktree for €120 million.

The British fund Tristan has also been active, with the acquisition of an office complex on Avenida de Manoteras in 2017 and the purchase of six offices spanning 78,000 m2 from Colonial in 2018 (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Utopicus to Open 6 New Coworking Centres by 2020

14 March 2019 – Expansión

Utopicus is planning to add six new centres to its portfolio in Madrid and Barcelona over the next year taking the total number of centres to 13, which will together span a surface area of 36,000 m2.

On Monday, the coworking company controlled by Colonial will open its large, long-awaited office on Gran Vía 4, where it will occupy the entire building (spanning 5,000 m2 in total).

The average cost of the firm’s workspaces ranges between €300 and €400 per month. The company expects to welcome 6,000 coworkers in 2020.

New office openings

In addition to Gran Vía, over the coming months, Utopicus plans to open centres in Parc Glories and Gal la Placidia, in Barcelona and on Paseo de la Castellana 163, Jose Abascal 56 and Paseo de la Habana, in Madrid.

According to Rafa De Ramón, CEO of Utopicus, coworking is a phenomenon on the rise. Currently, coworking spaces span 150,400 m2 in Barcelona and Madrid, which accounts for between 0.5% and 1% of the total office market. That figure is expected to grow by between 5% and 10% over the next few years.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ING Grants a €75M Green Loan to Colonial

5 March 2019 – Idealista

ING has granted a sustainable improvement loan to the Socimi Colonial amounting to €75.7 million. The terms of the loan are linked to the company’s performance in this field in that the interest rate varies depending on the rating that Colonial obtains from the Sustainability Agency GRESB for ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) compliance.

It is the first loan of its kind to be granted to a Spanish company in the real estate sector and Colonial’s first sustainable transaction in the market. The real estate firm will use the funds to finance the LEED Gold certified building that it owns on Calle Almagro in Madrid, which is leased to the law firm Cuatrecasas.

Colonial has set itself the objective of having a portfolio of efficient buildings that consume fewer resources and reduce CO2 emissions and the amount of water used, amongst other factors.

Original story: Idealista 

Translation: Carmel Drake