Soros Commits To Back Hispania’s Future Capital Increase

6 May 2016 – Cinco Días

The Socimi Hispania is considering carrying out another capital increase, of up to €250 million, and the multimillionaire George Soros (pictured above), the company’s largest shareholder with a 16.7% stake, has expressed his intention to participate.

According to a statement made yesterday to the CNMV, on the occasion of Hispania’s general shareholders’ meeting, the company, which debuted on the stock exchange in March 2014, is in advanced negotiations regarding investment operations amounting to €200 million.

Hispania is looking for new resources to make acquisitions, “now that it has committed almost all of its investment capacity”. The Socimi already raised €337 million in a previous capital increase in Spring 2015, which Soros Fund Management participated in.

“Our main investor has expressed interest in supporting the operation”, said sources at the Socimi in a document to the CNMV. In this way, the fund managed by Soros would contribute around €42 million to avoid the dilution of its stake.

For 2016 as a whole, Hispania, which is managed by Azora, expects to generate significant growth in its results across its different investment lines (hotels, offices and residential). The company already part-owns the Socimi Bay, in partnership with Barceló, which specialises in the hotel sector.

“The window of opportunity is mainly opening in the holiday hotel sector in Spain, which is still offering a very attractive risk-return profile”, said the Socimi, led by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio, in the document.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A.S.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Metrovacesa To Capitalise €730M To Reduce Its Debt

6 April 2015 – Expansión

Metrovacesa is continuing its debt reduction process. After generating income of €1,546 million from (the sale of) its 27% stake in Gecina last summer, the real estate company will propose a capital increase of almost €730 million at its next shareholders’ meeting.

The aim of the capital increase is to convert some of the group’s liabilities into shares, according to an announcement made by the real estate company regarding the agenda for its general shareholders’ meeting. At the meeting, which will take place on 28 April at its headquarters in Las Tablas (Madrid), the leaders of the real estate company will present the results for 2014. In 2013, the most recent year for which figures have been presented, Metrovacesa recorded losses of €349 million, i.e. 29% more than in the previous year.

In that year, the group’s financial debt exceeded €5,088 million, a liability that it has managed to reduce following the sale of its stake in the French real estate company Gecina. In June, Metrovacesa agreed the sale of its 26.7% stake in the French company to Norges Bank, Crédit Agricole, Blackstone and Ivanhoe Cambridge for €1,546 million. These funds were mainly used to repay a syndicated loan amounting to €1,600 million.

The debt for equity exchange will be accompanied by a capital increase through a cash contribution, with preferential subscription rights. The objective is to allow the 4,000 smaller shareholders to maintain their minority stakes, if they so wish, without any dilution of their ownership.

The main shareholder of Metrovacesa is the Santander group. The financial entity holds 55.8% of the (real estate company’s) capital, after it acquired the 19% stake that Bankia held in December (2014). Santander paid €100 million in that transaction.

The bank, chaired by Ana Botín, first invested in Metrovacesa’s share capital in 2008, when the real estate company was unable to pay its debts to its then largest shareholder, Román Sanahuja. Other banks also participated in that transaction (and still hold stakes today), namely: BBVA, which holds a 18.31% stake; Sabadell, which holds a 13.04% stake; and Popular, which owns 12.64%.

In 2013, these entities approved the de-listing of the real estate company from the stock exchange and, since then, they have focused on restructuring the debt.

New directors

At the shareholders’ meeting, Metrovacesa will also propose the appointment of four new directors: Rodrigo Echenique, Vice-President and Executive Director of Santander; Abel Matutes, Chairman of the Matutues business group; Juan Ignacio Ruiz de Alda, Director at Santander; and Manuel Castro; Director of Global Risk Management at BBVA.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sacyr Begins Relaunch Of Testa’s IPO To Raise €300m

3 February 2015 – Expansión

Testa, a company controlled by Sacyr, which owns 99.3% of its share capital, will hold the annual meeting of its shareholders today. It is expected that the mandate of the real estate company’s Board will be renewed to approve the distribution of extraordinary dividends and contributions to shareholders through a reduction in share capital. These measures are conditioned on the launch of Testa’s IPO, through which the company seeks to raise at least €300 million.

Specifically, Testa’s Board will give the green light to a capital reduction of €669 million and the return of a further €527 million to its parent company. Sacyr will receive €1,188 million from its subsidiary for both of these concepts.

Sacyr has engaged JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Garrigues to coordinate the IPO. Although the percentage stakes (of the new shareholders) have not been fixed, the entry of new shareholders (which will dilute the current ownership structure) will be limited to a maximum of 30% of the capital, since Sacyr wants to retain its position as the controlling shareholder, with a stake of more than 70%. The banks tried to launch this transaction last year, but market conditions prevented it from going ahead.

The company will try again in 2015, at a time when companies have turned their gaze back to the stock market as a means of financing their businesses and growth plans. Currently, around twenty companies in Europe are looking to go public. In Spain, notable placements include those by Aena, Saeta Yield (ACS), Abertis Telecom and Talgo, amongst others.

Testa’s shares closed trading yesterday flat at €18 per share, representing a market capitalisation of €2,078 million. At this market price, the sale of 25% of Testa’s capital would generate revenues of €500 million.

The subsidiary is the jewel in Sacyr’s crown. It is one of the leading companies in its sector by market assets, with a leasable surface area of 1.37 million square metres and an occupancy rate of 97%.

Original story: Expansión (by C. M.)

Translation: Carmel Drake