Funds, Socimis, El Corte Inglés & Seur Compete in the Urban Logistics Segment

9 March 2019 – Expansión

Investors and logistics operators alike are setting their sights on urban hubs to benefit from the boom in e-commerce. According to data from CBRE, investment in the logistics sector is thriving – it amounted to €2 billion in 2017, €1.5 billion in 2018 and is forecast to reach €1.2 billion in 2019. Active players in the sector include the Singapore sovereign fund through its Socimi P3, Blackstone, Prologis, Logicor, CBRE GI and Montepino, and Merlin, amongst others.

Urban hubs are gaining significant weight in the sector thanks to their ability to reduce transport costs, avoid the new traffic restrictions and resolve the problem of product returns.

According to the CNMC, Correos and Correos Express currently deliver 44% of all packages in Spain, followed by MRW and Seur (14% each) and DHL (4.5%).

In terms of retailers operating in this space, Amazon set the ball rolling by opening a logistics centre in the heart of the Eixample district of Barcelona and in the Méndez Álvaro area of Madrid. Other large retailers are following suit by opening distribution centres inside major cities, such as Decathlon, MediaMarkt, Ikea, Aki, Carrefour and Worten.

The investment firm Azora has also announced its intention to invest €250 million in logistics hubs in urban centres, which it will lease to delivery specialists such as Seur, DHL and MRW. Seur already has eleven urban logistics centres and plans to open another nine this year. Meanwhile, DHL already has ten such hubs and plans to open two more this year.

In the same vein, the department store giant El Corte Inglés has also launched an ambitious omnichannel logistics strategy, which will convert its 94 shopping centres into storage points for the management of online purchases.

Original story: Expansión (by I. de las Heras & R. Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Patrizia Buys a Logistics Asset in Toledo for €37.5M

28 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Patrizia Immobilien AG is gaining financial muscle in the Spanish market. The German fund manager has purchased a space measuring 66,424 m2, divided into two properties, south of Madrid for €37.5 million. With this operation, the company is strengthening another of its key segments in the Spanish real estate market, after launching its first residential project in the country in July 2017.

The latest complex is located in the municipality of Ontígola in Toledo and is leased in its entirety to two tenants: the transport company DHL and the company specialising in logistics for the textile sector Logisfashion. Both groups are expected to begin their activity in the premises during the first half of 2019.

Patrizia has acquired this logistics unit through its latest fund. In fact, it is the seventh fund that the company has launched in Europe with the aim of buying real estate assets, in particular in the segment for offices, industrial assets and residential properties.

“This operation underlines the company’s commitment to the Spanish logistics sector, which is experiencing one of its best ever moments due to the boost from e-commerce and the shortage of good-quality assets”, said Eduardo Roza, Head of Operations at Patrizia in Spain, in a statement.

Currently, the group manages four logistics properties located in Madrid and Barcelona, spanning more than 200,000 m2 in total. In Spain, Patrizia also has a portfolio of residential rental assets worth €1 billion. The company has its headquarters in Spain in Madrid, where it employs a workforce of fourteen.

The group is headquartered in Augsburg, Germany and was founded in 1984 by its current CEO, Wolfgang Egger. Patrizia Immobilien is one of the largest real estate investment management entities in Europe. The company controls a real estate portfolio worth €19.5 billion with assets located across more than fifteen countries in the Old Continent.

The company operates as a strategic investment advisor, both for large institutional investors (insurance companies, pension funds, sovereign funds, savings banks and credit cooperatives), as well as for domestic and international investors.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Berta Seijo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tritax Purchases Mango’s Logistics Centre from VGP for €150M

26 September 2018 – Expansión

Less than two years is the time that Mango’s logistics platform has been in the hands of the Belgian group VGP. In December 2016, the Brussels-based firm paid €150 million for the logistics complex that Mango had built in Lliçà d’Amunt (Barcelona) and which has a surface area of 250,000 m2 together with some adjoining land on which an additional 100,000 m2 may be built.

According to sources speaking to Expansión, VGP has just sold the asset to the British group Tritax Big Box, a firm listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The buyer of the complex, which Mango inaugurated in the middle of 2016, is a real estate investor specialising in the logistics market. Some of its largest properties include logistics platforms leased to large companies such as Amazon, Unilever, Kuehne+Nagel, L’Oréal, Hachette, Whirlpool, Kellogg’s, Tesco and DHL.

At the end of 2017, Tritax’s portfolio was worth GBP 2.61 billion (€2.92 billion at current exchange rates), 38.1% more than the previous year. Tritax has been advised by the law firm Ashurst in what has been its first operation in the Spanish market. VGP has been advised by the real estate consultancy firm JLL.

Last summer, Tritax raised €300 million through a public offer for sale on the London Stock Exchange. The objective of its managers is to use that money, together with external financing, to acquire logistics properties in Continental Europe.

“Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and its logistics market is one of the strongest in Europe, with high demand and a limited supply of buildings and land, especially for logistics assets of this kind”, said Nick Preston, manager of Tritax Eurobox, in a statement.

The lease contract for the logistics centre, which has a surface area of 186,138 m2, has a 30-year term, until 2046, although Mango has the option to cancel it in 2036, 2039 and 2042. According to Tritax, the annual rent that Mango pays will allow it to obtain an annual yield of 5%.

Isak Andic decided to build this logistics platform in response to the increase in sales that the fashion chain was experiencing, although that growth has slowed in recent years.

Last year, Mango recorded losses of €33 million, down by 46% compared to 2016, the year in which the company recorded negative results for the first time in its history, with losses of €61 million. In 2017, sales decreased by 2.9%, the same drop as the previous year, and amounted to €2.194 billion.

Divestment

The sale of the logistics centre was the first divestment that Andic made after investing a large proportion of his profits in the real estate sector in previous years. But it was not the last, given that a year later, in December 2017, he sold the chain’s headquarters, located in Palau-solità i Plegamans (Barcelona) to the British group Invesco for €100 million.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Anglés, S. Saiz & R. Casado)

Translation: Carmel Drake

UPS to Open Operations Centre for Southern Europe in Barcelona

8 July 2018 – Eje Prime

UPS is increasing its commitment to Barcelona. The parcel sector multinational is going to open its operations centre for Southern Europen in the Catalan capital. The company will open a logistics space spanning 60,000 m2 in the Zona Franca area and will leave the site that it currently occupies in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

The US giant is undertaking this investment shortly after its German competitor DHL decided to expand its presence in Barcelona with a new centre measuring almost 3,000 m2 in Castellbisbal, according to reports from TV3.

The site in Castellbisbal is going to become DHL’s third centre in the Catalan capital, where it already has a presence at Barcelona Airport and in the Zona Franca area, where it will now have UPS as a new neighbour. The aim of the German company is to begin the building work this year so that the space can be inaugurated in the summer of 2019.

The strength of the e-commerce sector is proving to be key to the increase in logistics leasing in Cataluña, where the market has grown by 70% during the six months to June, according to data from the consultancy firms Cushman&Wakefield and Savills Aguirre Newman.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

DHL Express Invests €6M in New HQ in Barajas

5 July 2018 – Eje Prime

DHL Express is moving to Barajas. The logistics company is going to abandon its current offices at the airport, located in the Eisenhower Business Centre, to move to the general services building at Aena’s air cargo centre. The investment for this move will amount to €6 million, according to reports from the group.

At its new home in Barajas, DHL is going to occupy a surface area of approximately 5,000 m2. The space is going to be renovated, at a cost of €3 million, so that it can be occupied for the next five years by the German multi-national, which will pay another €3 million to Aena by way of rent.

The logistics company plans to complete its move by September. The new location will be home to the group’s central departments, as well as its customer services platform, which comprises 400 people.

The Barajas operation strengthens DHL’s investment in Spain. The company inaugurated its new facilities at Sevilla airport in February; it spent €4.1 million on that project.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Singapore’s Sovereign Fund GIC Lists its Logistics Socimi on the MAB

5 December 2017 – El Economista

Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC has obtained the green light to debut the logistics Socimi that it owns in Spain on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), according to a statement by the exchange.

The Socimi in question is P3 Spain Logistic Park, which owns eleven logistics centres, as well as one solar panel farm. Its asset portfolio is worth €30.3 million, and so it has set the price for its debut on the stock market at €5.66 per share.

The logistics complexes have a combined surface area of 321,392 m2 and are located in five autonomous regions, although the majority are situated in Madrid and Castilla La Mancha.

Specifically, four of them are located in Madrid, two in Zaragoza, two more in Toledo and one in each of Bilbao, Quer (Guadalajara) and Valencia, respectively. Their surface areas range between 7,729 m2 and 80,037 m2.

In terms of the solar panel farm, it is also located in the Aragonese capital (Zaragoza) and is connected to Endesa Distribución’s network.

The Socimi has leased out all of its logistics centres, each one to a different centre. Its tenants stand out due to the great variety of sectors to which they belong.

Main tenants

According to the firm, its main tenants at the moment include the household appliance manufacturer BSH, the pastry distribution firm Conway, La Casera (Schweppes) and Seur.

In addition, its other tenants also include the furniture firm Arc Distribución, the manufacturer of rubber parts for the automotive sector Saargummi, the company that cleans plastic food containers Europool, the express parcel delivery firm DHL and the cold storage company Montfrisa.

Together these tenants provide the Socimi with annual rental income of €3.44 million, according to information provided in the IPO information brochure.

In the financial section of that document, the Socimi reports that it holds debt of €204 million with its main shareholder, in other words, with the State of Singapore, although that liability does not have a fixed maturity date. The sovereign fund itself will determine the timing and amounts of the debt plus interest that it asks to return.

P3 Spain Logistic Park is coming onto the market at a time when it is also analysing new asset investments, including “turnkey” projects and those already constructed, provided they fulfil the requirements of the firm’s growth strategy.

According to the information brochure, this business policy involves buying logistics assets used primarily for the distribution and storage of goods, which are located in the centre of the country or along the Mediterranean corridor, and which are guaranteed to generate “consistent revenues” over the medium term.

The Singapore fund’s Socimi states that it is an owner with a long-term investment profile, and so it rules out the sale of any of its assets (for the time being).

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Solvia Puts DHL Logistics Platform In Guadalajara Up For Sale

21 April 2017 – Expansión

Solvia has put a logistics platform up for sale measuring 51,000 m2 and located in the Corredor del Henares, in the municipality of Quer (Guadalajara). It is a complex comprising two warehouses, which is leased in its entirety to the logistics operator DHL.

The real estate arm of Banco Sabadell took care of expanding and executing the turnkey project for the launch of the platform and now has decided to put the asset on the market in light of the investor interest in the area, which is close to the A-2 and R-2 motorways.

The sales process is open to investors who are looking for assets with yields that range between 6% and 7%. 2016 was a record-breaking year for the logistics sector in Spain, with 285,000 m2 of space leased and a 3.5% increase in rental income.

Original story: Expansión (by S. S.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

P3 Acquires 11 Logistics Assets From Gore Spain For €243M

10 April 2017 – P3 Press Release

Pan-European logistics property investor-developer P3 has started its latest phase of expansion with the acquisition of a 322,500 mportfolio of 11 logistics and distribution warehouses in Spain from Gore Spain Holdings SOCIMI I, S.A.U. The purchase price was agreed at €243.35 million.

The portfolio includes assets in key strategic logistics locations around Madrid, Zaragoza, Toledo and Guadalajara as well as the coastal cities of Valencia in the east and Biscay (near Bilbao) in the north.

The purchase, which comes shortly after P3 announced a record performance across Europe in 2016, takes P3’s asset base in Spain from just over 70,000 m2 to nearly 400,000 m2 and is one of the largest portfolio transactions in Spain in recent years.

David Marquina, P3’s Managing Director in Spain, said: “This is a good opportunity to reinforce our footprint in Spain’s central logistics corridor, which connects Madrid, Zaragoza and Barcelona. Our next target is to increase our presence in the Mediterranean corridor, around Barcelona & Valencia and expand to Málaga. We will be focusing on acquiring institutional-quality logistics assets and off-market deals, where P3’s long-term investor-developer approach can make a real difference.

“There are several Build-to-Suit projects and single asset acquisitions in the pipeline, which will allow us to grow to 500,000 m2 of high quality, well-located logistics space under management in Spain before year end.”

The properties range in size from just over 7,500 m² in the Getafe area of Madrid to over 80,000 m² in Zaragoza. They are all fully let to blue chip domestic and international companies including DHL, which is also a P3 customer on seven other parks in four countries, Orangina Schweppes Espana and the office products retailer Staples.

In addition to the built assets, two of the warehouses have adjacent land totalling over 26,000 m², with potential for P3 to develop.

Commenting on the purchase, P3 CEO Ian Worboys said: “The Spanish economy is expanding and we identified the country as a key target for P3 in 2017. We’re delighted to have been able to acquire this portfolio which makes us one of the leading players in Spain and is in line with our growth strategy across Europe as a leading property investor-developer.”

P3 was advised on the purchase by CBRE, legal consulting was provided by Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF).

Original story: P3 Press Release

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Meridia Capital Buys 4 RE Assets For €20M

12 January 2017 – Inmodiario

Yesterday, Meridia Capital Partners announced the purchase of a portfolio of four assets with a combined surface area of 24,063 m2 – comprising one logistics platform and three retail units – located primarily in Madrid. All of the properties have been acquired by the fund Meridia II for a price of approximately €20 million.

The logistics platform has a gross leasable area (GLA) of 16,385 m2 and is located in one of Madrid’s main logistics areas (CLA, Getafe), which is home to several high profile logistics centres and companies (for example DHL, Decathlon, Flex, Conforama).

The three retail units have a combined GLA of 7,678 m2 and are leased to well known food retailers such as Mercadona – the market leader in Spain – and Día – which is the third largest player in its sector.

Launched in 2014, Meridia II is a €150 million real estate fund specialising in the logistics, retail and office sectors in Spain. Following this latest deal, the fund has now invested almost all (94%) of its available capital.

Juan Barba, Partner and Managing Director of Real Estate at Meridia Capital, said “This transaction is another example of the good opportunities for adding value that are currently available in the Spanish market. The presence of high profile tenants in the area of the recently acquired platform is proof of its excellent location. This deal strengthens our exposure to the Spanish retail/logistics sectors and complements our previous acquisitions, including a warehouse in Valencia, as well as the Consum and Aecus portfolios. Through this transaction, we incorporate the seventh Mercadona unit into our portfolio, whereby consolidating our relationship with the leading food retailer in Spain”.

In this deal, Meridia Capital was advised by Aguirre Newman and Cuatrecasas, whilst the vendor was advised by CBRE:

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Acquires Three New Properties In Spain

14 January 2015 – El Mundo

Merlin has acquired an office building in Barcelona and two logistics warehouses in Getafe and Vitoria.

As a result of these transactions, the Socimi’s gross rentable area exceeds 680,000 square metres.

The Socimi Merlin Properties, one of the leading real estate companies listed on the Spanish stock exchange, which specialises in the acquisition and management of tertiary assets in the Iberian peninsular, has announced that it completed the purchase of three new assets in December. It spent €88.4 million on the acquisitions, which will generate rental income of €5.9 million, taking the total annual gross rental income the company generates from its portfolio of assets to more than €128.8 million.

The first acquisition involved an office building in Barcelona, number 8 of the WTCAP, which it bought for €36.5 million. This represents the second purchase made by the company in the landmark business park, following its acquisition of the building at number 6 in August. Number 8 has a gross leasable area of 14,543 square metres, plus 700 sqm of storage and 247 parking spaces.

The building in the WTCAP is partially leased to multi-national companies such as Panasonic, Technip and Colt Telecom. The acquisition price represents an initial gross rental yield of 5.6% (4.8% net) and the property has high growth potential, through the rental of its unoccupied surface area (equivalent to 35% of the total leasable area). If the building were fully occupied, the rental yield of the property would exceed 8%.

Meanwhile, Merlin Properties is continuing its commitment to logistics and industrial assets, where it now has a gross leasable area under management of more than 136,000 square metres. In December 2014, it bought a logistics warehouse measuring 16,242 square metres, located in the CLA in Getafe (Madrid), which is leased to the Galician logistics company Transportes Souto under a 10-year contract. The acquisition price (€12.5 million) represents a gross and net rental yield of 8.4%.

Finally, Merlin has also acquired a logistics warehouse measuring 72,717 square metres in Vitoria, located in the Júndiz business park, which is renowned for its excellent transport connections and for housing the only Mercedes Benz factory in Spain. The park is also home to several other prestigious companies, including Correos, DHL, DB Schenker, Azkar (Dascher) and Adif. The warehouse is leased under a 10-year contract to the well-known multi-national logistics company Norbert Dentressangle. The acquisition price (€28.58 million) represents a gross and net rental yield of 9.6%.

As a result of these three transactions, Merlin Properties’ real estate portfolio now has a total gross leasable area of more than 680,000 square metres and generates gross annual rental income of €128.8 million.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake