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 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

 

Trajano Iberia Receives Offers of €60M+ For its Manoteras Business Park

2o June 2019 – El Confidencial

The Socimi Trajano Iberia has received several offers amounting to more than €60 million for the Isla de Manoteras Business Park in Madrid that it purchased three years ago for €44.3 million.

The asset, located on Avenida de Manoteras 48, in the Manoteras, Las Tablas and Sanchinarro office district of the Spanish capital, has a leasable surface area of 13,442 m2 and 274 parking spaces.

The Socimi created in 2015, which is managed and promoted by Deutsche Bank and in which the Alcaraz brothers hold a 10.55% stake, is hoping to close the operation at the beginning of July.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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

Deutsche Bank, APG & CBRE GI Enter Spain’s Residential Rental Market

7 December 2018 – Expansión

The large international investors have placed their focus on the residential market and, specifically, on the rental segment. The success of this sector, together with labour mobility, the difficult access to housing and changes in living habits mean that, increasingly, renting is an option over buying in Spain, and that has fuelled interest from capital in the sector.

Blackstone, the largest real estate investor in Spain, was one of the first funds to back the residential rental sector with the purchase of 18 developments comprising 1,860 units from the Municipal Housing and Land Company of Madrid (EMVS) in 2013, but it has not been the only one. The Dutch pension fund APG, in conjunction with Renta Corporación; the German bank Deutsche Bank; and the international fund manager CBRE GI have been some of the most committed investors in this market in recent months.

In this way, APG reached an agreement in the spring of 2017 with the Catalan real estate company Renta Corporación to launch Vivenio, a Socimi specialising in housing, with the aim of acquiring assets worth €1 billion in Madrid, Barcelona and the provincial capitals. The Socimi is going to close a particularly active year for acquisitions, with a total investment of €400 million and is planning to repeat that amount in 2019 to reach a total portfolio of €1 billion in just over two years. One of the largest purchases it has made this year was the batch of 1,100 homes that belonged to the manager Aquila Capital, headquartered in Hamburg, for €240 million.

With the aim of diversifying its portfolio and entering this growing segment, the international fund manager CBRE GI joined forces with Azora, the Spanish manager founded by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio, with experience in this sector, and the New York investment firm Madison to invest €750 million over the next two or three years. That three-way alliance started with a portfolio of 65 buildings and a total of 6,458 homes and has the aim of reaching, at least, 10,000 units.

Another large investor that is betting heavily on the Spanish residential sector is DWS, the asset management subsidiary of the German bank Deutsche Bank, which has prepared a budget of €500 million to acquire between 1,000 and 2,000 homes in Spain. In that case, it is backing new build developments and it will do so through three formulae: delegated development, the acquisition of construction projects from other property developers and direct development. The objective is to maintain the assets in its portfolio and rent them out. In that case, the vehicle will not be a Socimi because German regulation of the funds from which the capital proceeds do not allow that. 60% of the investment will be made with own funds and the rest, bank financing. The plan is to invest primarily in Madrid and Barcelona, but they will also study plots in cities such as Bilbao and Sevilla, provided the rental market is very liquid.

Meanwhile, Catella Asset Management Iberia (CAMI), the Spanish subsidiary of the Swedish fund manager is intending to reach 2,000 units by 2020. The manager, which will add 1,000 homes to its portfolio at the beginning of 2019, entered the residential rental market two and a half years ago and has invested around €160 million in the business to date. It plans to double that figure to reach 2,000 homes within two years.

Another real estate company that has teamed up with foreign funds to grow in this segment has been Elix. The firm, which is dedicated to the purchase of buildings, their renovation and the sale of homes by unit, has signed an alliance with KKR and Altamar to invest in buildings, renovate them and dedicate them to the rental market. Its aim is to invest €200 million in Madrid and Barcelona through the Socimi Elix Vintage.

Finally, Redevco has created a new fund to invest €500 million in residential projects in several European markets, including Spain (…). Redevco is planning to build a pan-European residential portfolio comprising approximately 2,500 units.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo & Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona’s Diagonal Mar Reopens After a €29M Refurb

14 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Diagonal Mar is reopening its doors. The shopping centre, located in the Catalan capital and owned by Deutsche Bank, has opened again after being subjected to a comprehensive refurbishment since July last year, in which €29 million has been invested.

Following the renovation, the complex has expanded its commercial surface area by 7,500 m2, which will allow it to welcome fifteen new retail operators and to create 150 new jobs. Moreover, Diagonal Mar has also renovated the restaurant area with seven new additions and thirteen renovated premises.

Diagonal Mar, which first opened in 2001, is located in the 22@ district of Barcelona. Now, the complex has a total surface area of more than 90,000 m2 distributed across 200 establishments dedicated to commercial and leisure activities.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Solvia: Sabadell Puts its Real Estate Subsidiary Up For Sale

17 October 2018 – El País

Sabadell is going to listen to offers from several real estate vulture funds that are interested in acquiring its subsidiary Solvia, the manager of its properties. The entity, which declined to comment, has now entrusted the sales process to an investment bank. In the summer, Jaime Guardiola, CEO of Sabadell, justified holding onto Solvia due to “the great contribution it makes to the bank”, but now he is taking a step towards selling it. Sources in the sector indicate that Sabadell wants to strengthen itself and take advantage of the good climate still being enjoyed in the real estate market.

The banks are getting rid of properties before the booming market deflates. They are selling not only portfolios, but also the companies that specialise in the management of those real estate assets, known in the sector as servicers. Until now, it was typical for the banks to include their servicers in the package of asset sales: that is what CaixaBank did with Servihabitat and BBVA with Anida.

But, Sabadell wanted to get more mileage out of its subsidiary and so decided not to sell Solvia when it divested around €12.2 billion of its properties to Axactor, Cerberus, Deutsche Bank and Carval. Nevertheless, Sabadell has now taken the definitive step and is open to offers from the interested vulture funds. According to sources in the market, the interested parties include Cerberus and Oaktree.

148,000 assets under management

Based on data as at May 2018, Solvia is one of the leaders in the real estate services market in Spain, with a portfolio of 148,000 units in assets under management, whose value exceeds €31 billion, according to the entity. In a report from Goldman Sachs, Sabadell indicates that Solvia’s annual profit amounts to €40 million.

The company has extensive experience in the marketing of new build developments, given that it has placed more than 10,000 homes in new developments on the market since 2015. At the moment, Solvia has 55 developments up for sale. In terms of rental, as of October, the firm was managing 32,000 assets, of which 74% belong to Sabadell. Solvia also works with other clients, including Sareb.

The report from Goldman Sachs noted that Sabadell could sell Solvia as a way of raising its capital ratios, with little detriment to its income statement.

Market sources agree with these arguments to explain the step taken by Sabadell. On the one hand, as the European Central Bank has indicated, entities must accelerate the sale of all businesses relating to the real estate sector. The banks are aware that times of lower economic growth will come and understand the importance of taking advantage of the appetite that the large international funds still have for Spanish property.

On the other hand, the sale of Solvia will also result in cost savings, a reduction in the workforce and, above all, lower capital consumption. In the last quarter, between March and June, Sabadell’s capital ratio decreased by one point, from 12% to 11% for its CET 1 fully loaded capital ratio (the highest quality indicator). The limit on the basis of which the ECB applies severe measures is 10.5%.

This decrease was due to the problems that Sabadell has been facing with its British subsidiary TSB, which was left without a service for weeks. Between March and June, the bank lost €138 million in provisions against real estate portfolios and the problems at TSB.

Original story: El País (by Íñigo de Barrón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Apollo Engages Goldmans to Sell Altamira for c. €600M

8 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Apollo is getting down to work to divest Altamira and, to this end, has engaged Goldman Sachs to execute the mandate. The US fund renewed its contract with the investment bank and has now distributed the sales document for the servicer to potentially interested parties for an amount that ranges between €500 million and €600 million.

The real estate asset and loan manager, Altamira, is primarily owned by Apollo, which holds 85% of its share capital, whilst the remaining 15% stake is in the hands of Santander. The intention of the fund is to officially launch the sale over the coming weeks and to close the operation during the first quarter of 2019, according to reports from Expansión.

Just over a year ago, Altamira’s portfolio was valued at close to €1 billion, but the amount has varied depending on the assets under management at any given moment. At the end of 2017, the package of assets that the company had under management amounted to €50 billion.

Similarly, the principal value of the servicer is the long-term contract that it has with Santander, as well as the contract for the management of assets owned by Sareb. Potential buyers of Altamira include funds such as Deutsche Bank, Bain Capital, Kennedy Wilson, Baupost and Castlelake.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell to Sell Solvia As It Unloads Real Estate Assets

30 August 2018

Banc Sabadell is taking offers for Solvia after ruling out placing it together with portfolios of real estate assets.

Unlike Santander and Caixabank, which unloaded most of their real estate assets when they transferred their portfolios of properties to investment funds, Banc Sabadell kept Solvia out of its sale of assets to Cerberus, which was concluded in July. Now, however, the Catalan bank is taking offers for its subsidiary, with an eye on wrapping up the sale within a few months.

Sources in the financial industry told Economia Digital that Sabadell, which is chaired by Josep Oliu, has decided to finalise the sale of its real estate assets through a partial or total sale of its servicer, Solvia. Although it has not yet initiated a formal sales process, the bank reportedly hopes to finalise the deal during the last four months of 2018.

“We are not a property firm, it is not our line of business,” Jaume Guardiola, CEO of Sabadell, has stated on several occasions when asked about the future of the bank’s real estate assets and its property firm, Solvia. Market sources had speculated that Solvia would be sold off together with the bank’s portfoli0 of property, land and related loans. However, Solvia remained in the bank’s hands.

Sabadell decided to leave the property firm out of its sale of the bank’s three property portfolios, worth 11 billion euros. Two of the three were eventually acquired by the venture capital fund Cerberus. The bank held on for a higher price for the servicer and hopes that the asset will help in the sale of the portfolio of properties that it still possesses, which is worth about another €2 billion.

That decision was made just over a month ago, but Guardiola’s position seems to have won, and the bank has put the sale of its property firm on the table again. The idea is that the company will be sold without any included assets, and the sale will be restricted to Solvia’s network and operations, in addition to its roughly 800 employees.

Sabadell has not yet received any formal offers, although Solvia is expected to draw some interest, considering that it is one of Spain’s biggest servicers. Several investment funds are investing in the country’s property market and could be interested in acquiring a servicer.

Solvia, in the hands of a fund?

All the large funds that have acquired real estate assets in Spain already have subsidiary property firms. Cerberus, which bought assets from BBVA and Sabadell, has Haya Real Estate. Apollo, which acquired Santander’s assets, owns Altamira. Lone Star owned Neinor, though it subsequently sold it, it will also acquire Servihabitat when it completes its purchase of 80% of Caixabank real estate assets. Lastly, Blackstone owns Anticipa.

However, other funds are making smaller purchases and could be interested in a property firm such as Solvia to help unload their property holdings in the future. Oaktree, which has acquired several buildings, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Bain Capital are all possible buyers.

Sabadell waves goodbye to its real estate business

This summer, Banc Sabadell sold a good part of its real estate assets. Of the three large portfolios it had on sale, two went to Cerberus and the third to Deutsche Bank. The assets sold to the investment fund were valued at 9.1 billion euros, while the portfolio that Sabadell sold to the German bank had assets worth €2.4 billion.

Sabadell applied a 57% write-off on the sales, a figure below previous large sales by BBVA and Santander, where the discount exceeded 60%. The banks that waited most, such as Caixabank and Sabadell itself, benefited from the growing interest of investors in Spanish property to sell their holdings at a higher price.

Original Story: Economia Digital – Xavier Alegret

Translation: Richard Turner

 

Project Apple: Apollo Bids Hard for Santander’s Last Real Estate Portfolio

30 July 2018 – El Confidencial

Project Apple, the name chosen for the €5 billion real estate portfolio that Banco Santander has put up for sale, is entering the home stretch. The entity chaired by Ana Botín has asked the interested funds to submit their definitive offers this week, according to sources close to the operation.

As this newspaper revealed, the firms that have expressed their interest in the operation include the giants Lone Star, Cerberus, Blackstone and Apollo, although, the latter two are regarded as the favourites, given that they have significant recent history with the Cantabrian bank’s property.

Just one year ago, Blackstone was awarded project Quasar, the €30 billion portfolio of gross toxic assets that Santander sold (following its acquisition of Banco Popular). Meanwhile, Apollo owns 85% of Altamira, the real estate asset manager that the financial entity created and which is currently administering the €5 billion portfolio up for sale.

Having been left out of all of the major real estate processes involving the banks, Apollo has decided to bid hard for Apple, according to the same sources, a move that has been launched in parallel to the possible sale of  (its stake in) Altamira, the manager that would lose some of its appeal if another fund were to manage to acquire this portfolio.

In addition, the firm led in Spain by Andrés Rubio has just reached an agreement with Santander to modify Altamira’s management contract and to refinance the servicer’s debt, in a deal that has allowed the fund to distribute a dividend of €200 million.

For Santander, the sale of Project Apple will mean completing the divestment of all of its real estate exposure, a move that took a giant leap forward last year with the transfer of the Quasar portfolio to Blackstone.

Nevertheless, and precisely because it has already cleaned up the bulk of its balance sheet, the entity does not have any need to sell and, therefore, if the bids come in below its expectations, it may decide not to transfer the portfolio after all, at least not through this process.

After the Cantabrian bank, BBVA reached an agreement with Cerberus to sell it 80% of its toxic property, whose gross value amounts to €13 billion, in an operation that is expected to be completed later this year.

More recently, CaixaBank reached an agreement with Lone Star to sell it 100% of Servihabitat and the majority of a portfolio of properties worth €6.7 billion; and Banco Sabadell made a deal to transfer €12.3 billion in toxic assets to Cerberus (€9.1 billion), Deutsche Bank (€2.3 billion) and Axactor (€900 million).

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake