Lar puts its Office Portfolio up for Sale for €110M

5 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Lar is strengthening its plan to divest its non-commercial assets. The Socimi has placed its office portfolio on the market for €110 million. The package comprises two buildings, one located in Madrid and the other in Barcelona.

The two properties span a combined gross leasable area (GLA) of 23,800 m2. The building in Madrid is located on Calle Eloy Gonzalo and has a surface area of 6,363 m2. The Socimi acquired the asset in December 2014 for €12.7 million, according to Expansión.

The office building in Barcelona has a surface area of 8,610 m2 and is located on Calle Joan Miró. The property cost Lar €19.7 million in total when it purchased it in June 2015.

This operation follows other divestments that Lar has been carrying out since September 2017 when it sold its office building on Calle Arturo Soria in Madrid to Colonial for €32.5 million. Similarly, last July, the Spanish Socimi completed the sale of its logistics portfolio to Blackstone for €120 million.

To date, the divestments carried out by the company amount to €265 million, more than half the figure established in Lar’s business plan to 2021. In parallel, the Socimi plans to continue investing in shopping centres and retail parks. The group’s most recent acquisitions have included the purchases of the Rivas Futura shopping centre in Madrid for €62 million and the Adadía shopping arcade in Toledo for €14 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Project Galerna: Sabadell Sells €900M in NPLs to Axactor

29 June 2018 – Voz Pópuli

Sabadell has already completed the first phase of its investment plan. The bank chaired by Josep Oliú has agreed to sell a portfolio of non-performing loans amounting to €900 million to the Norwegian fund Axactor, according to sources at the funds involved in the process consulted by Vozpópuli.

The portfolio known as Project Galerna comprises mainly mortgage tails proceeding from CAM, which form part of the entity’s Asset Protection Scheme (EPA), and so the completion of the operation is conditional upon approval from the Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGD).

Loans that remain after the foreclosure of real estate credits are known as the mortgage tails. According to the sources consulted, the purchase of these types of assets – which tend to be fully provisioned (100%) by the entities, and so typically generate gains – tend to have discounts of between 95% and 97%, and so the offer from the Norwegian fund to acquire this portfolio could amount to between €25 million and €47 million.

In the bid to be awarded this unsecured portfolio, Axactor has fought off competition from other interested parties such as Lindorff and Kurk. The Norwegian fund arrived in Spain in 2015 and, at the end of 2017, purchased a portfolio of non-performing loans amounting to €436 million from Bankinter.

Sabadell’s macro-sale

The award of Project Galerna to Axactor, a process that KPMG is advising, represents the first step in Sabadell’s divestment plan, through which it is seeking to get rid of around €10.9 billion in non-performing assets before the summer.

As this newspaper already revealed, in addition to Galerna, the bank also has projects Challenger and Coliseum up for sale, operations that Alantra is advising, and which together contain €7.5 billion in foreclosed assets. Similarly, Project Makalu, which KPMG is advising, contains €2.5 billion in loans to property developers and SMEs.

Challenger is the only one of the four portfolios that is not subject to approval from the FGD. The other three are linked to CAM’s EPA and so their block sale would generate million-euro losses for the FGD, which will end up increasing its deficit.

Negotiations with the FGD

To avoid that, Sabadell – as well as BBVA – is negotiating with the FGD to transfer the portfolios to new companies created by the entity and the funds that they are awarded to. In this way, the losses would not be assumed until the new companies sell the assets in the market.

In order to offset these losses, Sabadell, as well as BBVA with respect to Unnim’s EPA, has offered the Deposit Guarantee Fund the option of assuming more than 20% of the losses of the EPAs.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Pepe Bravo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Hotusa Buys Hotel Eurostars Gran Valencia from Atitlán

15 June 2018 – Expansión

Grupo Hotusa is continuing to increase its portfolio of assets under ownership. The corporation chaired by Amancio López Seijas has purchased the Hotel Eurostars Gran Valencia, which the company has been managing through its hotel chain Eurostars.

The investment firm Atitlán – led by Aritza Rodero and Roberto Centeno, son-in-law of the owner of Mercadona, Juan Roig – was the owner of 66% of the hotel, according to explanations from market sources speaking to Expansión.

The hotel, located in the upper part of Torre Ademuz, has 110 rooms and a 4-star rating. Specifically, the Eurostars Gran Valencia occupies the upper floors of the building located on Avenida de las Cortes in Valencia, between the Palacio de Congresos and the future Nou Mestalla stadium.

Horwath HTL has advised the sales process, which began last year and which has been delayed for months due to the complexity involved.

Other purchases

In addition to the Hotel Eurostars, the building houses two hotels owned by Ilunion, which used to be managed by Accor, as well as a gym and a parking lot.

With this operation, Grupo Hotusa is taking another step in the framework of its expansion and purchasing plan, which extends both nationally and internationally. In this way, in May, Hotusa purchased Hotel Barceló Thalasso, located in Estepona (Málaga) from Sabadell and in March, it acquired the hotels Eurostars Gran Hotel La Toja and Eurostar Isla de la Toja in O Grove, Pontevedra, from Banco Popular.

The hotel consortium created in Barcelona in 1977 closed last year with a turnover of €1.24 billion, up by 15%.

The Eurostars Hotels chain, created by Grupo Hotusa in 2005, has around 100 establishments in large Spanish capitals and other international destinations such as New York, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Naples and Venice. Moreover, the group owns more than 50 hotels through its Exe Hotels chain.

Meanwhile, Atitlán is continuing with the divestment of its hotel properties with this operation. In this vein, a few months ago, it sold a portfolio of six establishments to Atom, the Socimi promoted by Bankinter (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo & A. C. Álvarez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Telefónica Negotiates Sale of HQ in Gijón for €12M

14 December 2017 – Eje Prime

Telefónica is pushing ahead with its real estate divestment strategy. The Spanish telecommunications company is currently finalising the sale of the copper network centre that it owns in the shopping district of Gijón, for which it expects to receive around €12 million. The multinational company will continue to occupy the building, located between Calle Corrida and Plaza del Carmen, under a compulsory 7-year rental contract, which may be extended subsequently on an annual basis for up to five years.

The sale of this asset forms part of the divestment plan that Grupo Telefónica has launched for its non-strategic properties and to close its copper network centres. Behind this building, which is located in the shopping district of Gijón and which serves 3,000 homes, is going to be an investment group already known in the city. Not in vain, it is going to be the same company that acquired another historical building in the city, the headquarters of Banco Urquijo, according to El Comercio.

The new owners will receive an annual rental income of €600,000, although they will have to wait for a few years to really generate a return from this asset, and undertake the change of use, likely to for retail purposes, once Telefónica has turned off the light in this historical building, which was constructed in 1932.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Engages Colliers To Accelerate Partial Sale Of Canalejas

26 September 2016 – Expansión

Grupo Villar Mir, the controlling shareholder of OHL, is making progress with its aggressive divestment plan, through which it aims to reduce its own level of indebtedness, as well as that of the construction company, and solve the financial problems that it finds itself immersed in. To this end, the industrial holding company has accelerated the search process to identify an investor willing to buy some of the complex of Canalejas buildings in Madrid.

Specifically, the Villar Mir group, which controls the project through a holding company (75%) and OHL (25%) has engaged the real estate consultancy Colliers to analyse the sale of a minority stake in the Canalejas complex, the real estate project that it is currently developing in the centre of Madrid.

The aim is to analyse the proposals that various investment groups have submitted to the owner of OHL, to participate in the project, which is expected to require an investment of €500 million. “This analysis phase will be completed in October and only then will we be able to take a decision regarding the possible partial divestment, whilst retaining control over and our commitment to the project”, said sources at the company.

According to El Confidencial, a number of possible interested parties are presenting themselves as contenders, including the international funds TH Real Estate and Lone Star.

In any case, Villar Mir will retain a majority stake in the project, given that its intention is to sell a stake of between 30% and 49%.

At the beginning of 2013, Villar Mir purchased seven buildings from Banco Santander, located between Calles de Alcalá, Sevilla and Plaza de Canalejas, for €215 million. The complex will house a luxury hotel managed by the Four Seasons chain, around 20 homes associated with the hotel, a shopping centre covering 15,000 sqm and a 500-space car park.

Initially, Villar Mir hoped to open the complex at the end of 2016, but problems with the Town Hall of Madrid relating to the renovation work delayed the project and it is now not expected to open until 2018. The construction company has launched a comprehensive divestment plan. Its portfolio of assets available for sale include 7% of Abertis, the industrial division, and the Mayacobá Mexican hotels. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by C. Morán and R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia’s Divestment Plan Comes To An End After 400+ Sales

20 April 2015 – Expansión

97% of the plan has been completed / In two years, the entity has transferred 200 investments, 130 real estate companies and 80 loan portfolios, amounting to more than €15,000 million.

Over the last two years, Bankia’s divestment team has had to go to the notary’s office every other day. The intense activity in terms of the sale of investments and loan portfolios has resulted in 400+ transactions since 2013 and the entity is now close to fulfilling the mandate imposed on it by Brussels.

In total, Bankia has transferred 200 financial and industrial investments; 130 real estate companies; and 80 problem loan portfolios, according to sources close to the entity.

Thus, Bankia has already exceeded the target it was set of divesting more than €50,000 million non-strategic assets – by the end of 2014, the figure was close to €59,000 million – but not all of the companies that were agreed as part of its rescue have been transferred. 3% of the plan agreed as part of the rescue still needs to be completed.

In this final sprint, which Bankia has until 2017 to complete, the entity will have to sell off dozens (tens) of real estate and industrial companies, many of which have filed for liquidation and have hardly any value.

Strong reputation

Over the last two years, the team at Bankia, led by the Director of Investments, Manuel Lagares, has earned the respect of foreign investors by closing the sale of portfolios worth €10,000 million and financial and industrial investments, worth €5,500 million.

Although Bankia was forced to make these divestments, the funds value the fact that it is one of the few entities that has not held back from sales processes and that it stands out as one of the best entities to have adapted to demand. Thus, overseas investors recognise that one of the first doors that they call at upon arriving in Spain is that of the bank chaired by José Ignacio Gorigolzarri (pictured above), as well as those of Sareb and the Frob.

Although Bankia has now almost completed its divestment plan, the entity continues to be very active in the market, as it seeks to improve its balance sheet and free up non-productive assets.

Some of the largest transactions conducted by the team at Bankia include the sales of its shares in: Iberdrola, which it sold for €1,500 million; Mapfre, for which it obtained €1,250 million; IAG, for which it earned €675 million; and Indra, which it transferred for €337 million.

Recently, the entity had decided one of the great real estate battles in recent years, which involved Realia, where it agreed to sell its 25% stake to Carlos Slim. It may also decide to transfer its stake in Globalvia soon, for which it is negotiating, together with FCC, with the Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

Other transactions

Another transaction in the pipeline involves the sale of City National Bank of Florida, its North American subsidiary, which is pending authorisation by the Federal Reserve.

Together with its investments, Bankia has also transferred lines of business such as its asset manager, which was acquired by Cerberus; and Bankia Bolsa, which it transferred to GVC.

Original story: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake