Bankia Entrusts the Sale of 3 NPL Portfolios Worth c. €1bn to KPMG

3 March 2019 – El Confidencial

Bankia is on course to fulfil one of the objectives of its strategic plan a year early. Two years ago, the entity set itself the target of divesting almost €9 billion from its balance sheet between 2018 and 2020, and last year alone, it sold problem assets worth €6 billion. With the sales forecast for this year, it is set to achieve its goal a year ahead of schedule.

In this context, the entity is launching the sale of three portfolios, worth around €1 billion, with the aim of selling them in the middle of this year.

The largest portfolio, worth around €500 million, comprises doubtful property developer loans; the next, worth around €200 million, contains unsecured debt; and the final one, worth several hundreds of millions, has yet to be defined. All three have been entrusted to KPMG for their sale.

Despite its huge efforts last year, Bankia still has around €8 billion in doubtful loans and €3 billion in foreclosed assets on its balance sheet.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Summary/Translation: Carmel Drake

Liberbank Sells its HQ on the Outskirts of Madrid for €45.3M

1 March 2019 – El Confidencial

Last year, Liberbank sold its headquarters in Madrid for €45.3 million under a sale and leaseback arrangement, generating gains of €23.4 million. The bank will continue to occupy the property, located in the Fuente de la Mora area of the Spanish capital, on a rental basis.

Liberbank acquired the building from Sareb in 2015. The identity of the purchaser has not been revealed.

Original story: El Confidencial

Summary translation by: Carmel Drake

Merlin’s Revenues Rose by 5.2% to €509M in 2018

1 March 2019 – Expansión

The Socimi Merlin Properties closed 2018 with an increase in revenues thanks to the strong performance of its rental properties. Its total turnover amounted to €509 million, up by 5.2%, boosted by a 6.5% improvement in gross sales to €500 million. The real estate company’s EBITDA reached €403 million, up by 2.8%. The operating result fell by 22% to €855 million.

The company’s main source of income is the rental from its office buildings, followed by its shopping centres. The value of the Socimi’s assets amounted to €12.0 billion at the end of December 2018, which represented a YoY increase of 6.1%. The occupancy rate of its property portfolio rose to 93.4%.

Yesterday, the company highlighted the cost control of its financial debt, which amounted to €4.9 billion with an indebtedness ratio of just over 40% and financial costs that have reduced to 2.13% following the most recent refinancings.

The company has a cash balance of €350 million (…). In 2018, Merlin undertook investments amounting to €569 million and property sales amounting to €594 million, with a premium for its divestments of 3.1% (…).

Merlin’s share price closed trading at €11.10 per share yesterday, down by 1.2%.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España’s Profits Fell by 4.6% in 2018 to €129.3M

1 March 2019 – Expansión

Lar España recorded a net profit of €129.3 million in 2018, which represented a decrease of 4.6% with respect to the previous year, whilst its revenues grew by 0.3% to €77.8 million.

According to explanations provided by the company, this result includes a charge of €17.9 million in the first quarter, to comply with the Grupo Lar management contract, as it achieved divestments of €100 million.

Without that negative effect, which is only going to be recorded in 2018 (…), the resulted would have amounted to €155.7 million, 7% more than in the previous year. Meanwhile, the EBITDA amounted to €55 million, up by 0.3%.

The firm completed divestments amounting to €272.5 million in 2018 and invested €75.6 million in the renovation of its asset portfolio.

In terms of dividends, the sale of the luxury homes at Lagasca 99 (Madrid) will allow the company to increase its remuneration to shareholders from €0.49 in 2017 to €0.80 in 2018, a rise of 63.2%.

At the end of 2018, the firm’s financial debt amounted to €621.7 million. Last year, its assets appreciated in value by 12.1% (…).

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Día Engages PwC to Handle the Sale of 300 Supermarkets

22 February 2019 – Idealista

Día is looking for solutions to cushion the impact of its business plan, which forecasts the elimination of up to 2,100 jobs, by selling off its premises. The company has engaged PwC to look for a buyer or buyers for as many stores as possible of the 300 that it plans to close this year.

Día is going to present an Employment Regulation File to the company’s unions, which has already been announced will affect a maximum of 2,100 employees, all in Spain. To minimise the redundancies, the company wants to get rid of the property that it is hoarding in a large number of locations across the country and raise all of the funds that it can.

Most of the dismissals that Día is planning will be concentrated amongst staff in the stores that are going to be closed, in such a way that, to the extent that interested parties can be found to acquire those establishments, they will try to reach an agreement with them to absorb the workforce, or at least, some of it.

Día is whereby returning to PwC after entrusting the firm with a similar task to divest its cash & carry business, Max Descuento, for which it expects to receive almost €50 million.

The Big Four firm, which is making contact with industrial companies interested in acquiring this business, will propose acquiring the stores in batches. Día expects to have closed all of its divestments by the middle of this year.

Original story: Idealista 

Translation: Carmel Drake

El Corte Inglés Considers Creating a Socimi to List its Real Estate Assets on the Stock Market

15 February 2019 – Modaes.es

El Corte Inglés is looking for solutions for its portfolio of real estate assets. The Qatari sheikh Hamad Al Thani, the third largest shareholder in the Madrilenian department store group, has proposed the creation of a Socimi to manage the rental of its assets.

The plan proposed by Al Thani, who entered the company’s share capital last summer, involves creating a company in which El Corte Inglés would own a 51% stake. The remaining 49% of the shares would be listed on the stock market.

The Qatari investor already proposed this solution to the previous President of the group, Dimas Gimeno, but it was not successful then, according to El Economista. For the time being, the Board of Directors of El Corte Inglés has not received a formal petition regarding the plan.

The real estate portfolio of El Corte Inglés is worth €17.1 billion, according to a report from Tinsa. The department stores and hypermarkets are worth €15.0 billion, whilst the warehouses, offices and mixed-use buildings are worth €1.1 billion. Finally, the high street establishments are valued at €1 billion.

It is estimated that, in the event that the operation proposed by the sheikh goes ahead, the valuation of the assets could amount to half their current value, around €8.2 billion, according to Tinsa.

In parallel, the group is continuing to work on the sale of 130 real estate assets worth €2 billion in conjunction with the consultancy firm PwC. The property that El Corte Inglés wants to divest now comprises land, offices and buildings defined as non-strategic. Those assets also include some logistics centres.

The objective of these divestments is to reduce the group’s debt so that it can obtain a level of solvency that will allow it to raise financing in the capital markets at a lower price. In this sense, Núñez de la Rosa, the President of the group, has committed to reducing the group’s liabilities by €1 billion in twelve months.

Currently, the real estate portfolio of El Corte Inglés comprises 94 shopping centres, which account for 87% of the total value of the company’s assets. Two of those properties are valued at more than €500 million each, and another two are worth between €400 million and €500 million each.

The department store group recorded EBITDA of €335 million during the first half of 2018, up by 4.4% YoY. Between January and August, the company recorded turnover of €7.6 billion, up by 0.4% YoY.

Original story: Modaes.es

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meridia III Raises €44M to Grow its Property Portfolio

31 January 2019 – Idealista

The Catalan fund Meridia is giving a boost to one of its Socimis. Meridia Real Estate III, led by the businessman Javier Faus, has increased its capital by €44 million, according to an announcement made by the group in the Official Gazette of the Mercantile Registry (BORME). This increase will serve to allow the company to continue with its business plan and add new properties to its portfolio.

According to explanations provided by the company to Idealista News, this increase forms part of the normal operation of the investment vehicle during its investment phase. Meridia Real Estate III is a vehicle dedicated to investment in all segments of the real estate sector in Madrid and Barcelona. The company’s portfolio currently comprises nine assets, including office buildings, industrial platforms and a shopping centre.

One of the most recent operations to be closed by the investment vehicle was the acquisition from the US fund Värde of a plot with a buildable surface area of 24,600 m2 in the 22@ district of Barcelona for €25.8 million.

The company, which purchased that land through its Socimi Meridia III, has already paid half of the cost of the operation. Payment of the remaining €12.9 million has been postponed until 17 March 2020, and it has been guaranteed by a mortgage on the land acquired, according to reports by the company to the stock market regulator.

With this purchase, the company is seeking to undertake a transformation plan for tertiary purposes in the Barcelona district. Currently, Meridia III owns more than 60,000 m2 of buildable space in the 22@ district, making it one of the leading investors in that area of the Catalan capital.

Meridia’s Socimi has been listed on the MAB since the end of last year. The company has starred in some of the most important operations of the last two years, both in the office market, as well as in the retail segment (…).

The fund manager is preparing to launch its fourth fund onto the market before the end of this year. The company is currently in the pre-market phase in territories such as Benelux and Israel, amongst others. The group’s new investment vehicle will join Meridia II, currently in its divestment phase, and Meridia III.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Sells an Office Building in Madrid for €37M

31 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Lar España is continuing to divest assets. The Socimi has announced the sale of the Torre Spínola office building for €37 million. The property, which was acquired in 2014 for €19 million, has appreciated in value by 94.7%.

The Socimi invested almost €9 million in the comprehensive renovation of the building with construction work that included the demolition of all of the elements inside the building, as well as improvements to the visibility of the façade.

The group is whereby continuing with its plan to divest non-strategic assets. Today, the company also completed the sale of the Joan Miró building in the Catalan Capital, to the German firm AEW for €28.8 million.

Lar España owns a portfolio of 17 real estate assets whose value amounts to €1.499 billion, of which €1.376 billion correspond to shopping centres, €39 million to an office building on c/Eloy Gonzalo and €84 million to the residential development Lagasca 99.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lennar Corporation Sells 30 Homes for €14M

22 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Lennar Corporation is continuing to squeeze its Socimi. Since October, Al Breck has sold thirty assets from its portfolio for €14 million. The operations have generated an accounting profit of approximately €5.8 million, according to a statement filed yesterday with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

This series of sales follows that of another 41 assets that the Socimi divested between June and October, whose volume amounted to €26 million and which generated a profit of €10.5 million.

The bulk of the divestments have been homes, together with storerooms and parking spaces. The plan forms part of the MAB entry strategy, which the company established when it made its debut. Then, the real estate firm owned around 639 rental homes, all located in the centre of Madrid. The Socimi formed its asset portfolio through a purchase operation from Segurfondo Investion in December 2014.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA Sells its Stake in Avantespacia to Manuel Jove’s RE Company

8 January 2019 – El Economista

BBVA is continuing to divest property. This time with the sale of its stake in Avantespacia Inmobiliaria, the company that it constituted in 2016 to undertake real estate projects in Spain.

The entity has sold its remaining 30% stake in the firm to Inveravante, the holding company owned by the businessman Manuel Jove, the founding partner of the real estate company, who now owns the entire firm.

With this operation, Avantespacia “is strengthening its commitment to the residential real estate sector in Spain, with housing developments in the prime areas of the main provincial capitals of our country”, said the company in a note.

This operation forms part of a company restructuring process of the real estate division of Inveravante with the aim of “charting a global strategy, in accordance with the challenges that the sector poses for the future in both the domestic and international spheres”.

Jove’s company, founded in 2007 in A Coruña, divides its activity into different business areas, since in addition to real estate, it also works in the hotel segment, in selected agri-food products, and in the energy sector. Currently, the company has an international presence and operates in Morocco, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Germany and Romania.

BBVA has been one of the most active entities in the sale of loan portfolios, signing its most recent operation on 26 December with the sale of Project Ánfora to an entity managed by the Canadian pension fund CPPIB. Specifically, it sold a portfolio of loans comprising mainly doubtful and non-performing mortgage loans, with a live balance of approximately €1.49 billion (…).

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake