El Corte Inglés Puts a RE Portfolio Worth Between €1.5bn & €2bn Up For Sale

21 December 2018 – Expansión

El Corte Inglés is preparing to shatter the real estate market. The distribution giant has engaged PwC to sell a mega-portfolio containing 130 properties with a valuation of between €1.5 billion and €2 billion, which would represent the largest divestment undertaken by the company to date.

The operation includes a large variety of assets, all of which are non-strategic, and includes shopping centres (not large department stores), logistics warehouses, supermarkets, offices and land. Once the period for receiving offers has closed and depending on the offers themselves, El Corte Inglés will reserve the right to reduce the size of the portfolio. According to market sources, the firm’s intention is not to find a single buyer but rather to slice up the assets into packages.

Real estate portfolio

The company chaired by Jesús Nuño de la Rosa is whereby accelerating the divestment plan launched to reduce debt with a view to obtaining an investment grade rating from the ratings agencies over the medium term.

El Corte Inglés is one of the main owners of real estate assets in Spain, with a portfolio worth more than €17 billion, larger even than those owned by the large Spanish Socimis, Merlin and Colonial, whose asset portfolios were worth €12.2 billion and €11.2 billion, respectively, as at June, and those of the large real estate companies such as Amancio Ortega’s Pontegadea, whose assets were worth €8.8 billion at the end of 2017.

With this large exposure to property, El Corte Inglés is taking advantage of the investor appetite in the market for real estate assets to clean up its balance sheet. Last year, real estate investment reached a new record with transactions worth €18.7 billion, including corporate operations, which represented an increase of 46%. Excluding purchases by companies, the investment figure also reached a historical maximum of €10.8 billion, according to data from CBRE.

In the framework of this plan, this summer, the company sold its centres in Parquesur and La Vaguada, both in Madrid to Unibail Rodamco, the largest operator of shopping centres in Europe. Those assets have a surface area of 20,000 m2 each and were sold for €160 million.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo & V. Osorio)

Translation: Carmel Drake

El Corte Inglés Closes its Biggest Sale of Buildings To Date for €160M

18 December 2018 – Iberian Property

To continue its policy of reducing debt through the sale of real estate assets, El Corte Inglés has closed its biggest sale of buildings so far, receiving €160 million for its centres in Parquesur and La Vaguada, both in Madrid.

Although the group will continue to operate in these commercial centres on a tenant basis, the properties will now be owned by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW). Thus, it is also selling the stores that it had in the interior, where URW already was co-owner. The Parquesur store measures 20,000 m2 and the La Vaguada store spans 20,200 m2, as reported by Cinco Días based on data from ‘La Asociación Española de Centros y Parques Comerciales’ (the Spanish Association for Shopping Centres and Retail Parks).

Through this transaction, El Corte Inglés is continuing its strategy of divesting non-strategic real estate assets. Thus, in 2018, it has carried out several sales, specifically, it sold two assets in Madrid to the Inbest Socimi in the summer for €100 million and another two assets in Valencia in October for about €90 million.

The value of the URW’s properties in Spain, not including this latest transaction, amounts to €3,823 million.

Original story: Iberian Property (by Jaqueline Cardoso)

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Metrovacesa Approves Capitalisation Of €751M Loan

29 April 2015 – Expansión

The real estate company Metrovacesa, owned by Santander, BBVA, Sabadell and Popular, received the green light from its shareholders yesterday to convert a €751 million loan granted by three of its owner banks into equity.

Santander, the primary shareholder in Metrovacesa, which holds a 55.89% stake after it took over Bankia’s shareholding; BBVA, which owns 18.3%; and Sabadell, which owns 13.04%, granted a loan to the real estate company for €751 million in January. Now, the three banks have converted the refinanced loan into shares through this increase. Thanks to this transaction and the sale of its stake in Gecina, Metrovacesa has reduced its debt to €2,409 million, compared with the balance of more than €5,000 million that it accumulated last year.

In parallel to this transaction, a further increase has been agreed, through monetary contributions and pre-emptive subscription rights, for €0.9 million, aimed at minority shareholders.

At their meeting, the shareholders also approved the appointment of four new directors, which means that the management body will comprise 11 members. The new appointments include Rodrigo Echenique, Abel Matutes and Juan Ignacio Ruiz de Alda, representing Banco Santander and Manuel Castro, from BBVA.

Metrovacesa also approved its accounts for 2014. The real estate company reduced its losses by 50% taking its consolidated loss to €186 million compared to €349 million in 2013, according to sources close to the company. Meanwhile, the parent company recorded a loss of €21.6 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake