Castellana Properties Incorporates Unibail’s Shopping Centres into its Portfolio

28 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Castellana Properties is now the ninth largest Socimi in Spain. The company, which is controlled by the South African fund Vukile, has doubled the value of its portfolio to €900 million by incorporating the firm Morzal Property into the fold. Morzal is the vehicle through which Vukile purchased four shopping centres from the giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in July.

The General Shareholders’ Meeting of Castellana approved the purchase of 100% of Morzal at the same price as the initial operation was closed, according to Eje Prime. The incorporation of the company, which paid Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield €490 million in July for its four assets, has been carried out through a capital increase subscribed by a non-monetary contribution of Morzal’s share capital, attributing a value of €6 per share to the shares of Castellana Properties.

Following this incorporation, the Socimi has increased its portfolio with the following shopping centres: Los Arcos (Sevilla), Bahía Sur (Cádiz), El Faro (Badajoz) and Vallsur (Valladolid). In total, the manager is adding a gross leasable area (GLA) of 121,300 m2 to reach a total of 318,622 m2 distributed all over Spain.

The market capitalisation of the company now amounts to €460 million, whilst the average value of its assets has increased from €27 million to €48 million, and its vacant space has decreased from 3.3% to 1.8%.

“The acquisition of these four shopping centres significantly strengthens our portfolio and reaffirms our commitment to the retail real estate sector in Spain”, said Alfonso Brunet, CEO of Castellana Properties.

Similarly, in terms of the future, Vukile has the commitment to inject another €200 million into Castellana over the coming years, as revealed by Eje Prime. In April, the fund subscribed an agreement with the Socimi to undertake capital increases for that maximum value in the event that it does not find the necessary partners to continue buying retail parks and shopping centres with, “given the need for financing to undertake such investments”.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vukile Finalises Purchase of 4 Shopping Centres from Unibail for €490M

18 July 2018 – Idealista News

One of the deals of the year in the shopping centre sector is on the verge of completion. The South African fund Vukile, through its Spanish real estate vehicle Castellana Properties Socimi, is in the process of buying four shopping centres from the European giant Unibail-Rodamco for €489 million. Castellana Properties, which also acquired the Habaneras shopping centre in May, is going to add the Bahía Sur, El Faro, Los Arcos and Vallsur complexes to its asset portfolio in Spain, all of which are currently owned by the French company specialising in shopping centres.

Vukile will acquire these assets in a block purchase, although Unibail-Rodamco had been negotiating their sale with other groups, such as Lar España and Klépierre, on an individual basis. The French group, which completed its integration with the Australian firm Westfield in June, has signed a binding offer agreement with Castellana Properties for €489 million. According to sources familiar with the operation, that amount may decrease before the final sale is signed.

From now on, Castellana Properties Socimi will have the following shopping centres in its portfolio: Bahía Sur, which spans 59,300 m2 and is located in Cádiz, close to Puerto Real and San Fernando; El Faro, which spans 66,300 m2 and is located in Badajoz; Los Arcos, located in Sevilla, with a surface area of 44,000 m2; and Vallsur, located in Valladolid with a surface area of 36,000 m2.

The sale of these four assets forms part of the operation carried out last year with Barnasud, the complex acquired by Meridia Capital, a Catalan fund owned by the businessman Javier Faus, who paid Unibail-Rodamco €35 million for the asset (…).

Currently, the group led by Christophe Cuvillier has a portfolio in Spain worth €3.556 billion and receives 126.2 million visitors per year. Those assets account for 10% of its global portfolio.

Castellana Properties, on a mission to acquire shopping centres in Spain

Since its creation, Vukile has been increasing its portfolio of assets in Spain through Castellana Properties in a frenetic way. In July last year, Vukile purchased nine retail parks from Redevco Iberian Ventures, the joint venture between the real estate company specialising in retail Redevco and the funds managed by the global alternative asset management company Ares Management, for €193 million.

Before the end of the year, Castellana Properties formalised the purchase of two retail spaces located in Granada and Murcia for €65 million (…).

The only operation signed by Vukile and Castellana Properties so this year has been the purchase of the Habaneras shopping centre for more than €80 million (…).

Original story: Idealista News (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Unibail-Rodamco Puts 4 Shopping Centres Up For Sale

14 March 2018 – Eje Prime

Unibail-Rodamco is getting rid of a package of assets that are non-strategic for the group. The French giant has put the following complexes up for sale: Los Arcos, in Sevilla; Bahía Sur, in Cádiz; Vallsur, in Valladolid, and El Faro, in Badajoz, on the basis that they do not fulfil the group’s needs in the Spanish market, according to sources close to the company speaking to Eje Prime.

According to the same sources, “the assets that the group wants to divest are profitable, but due to their location, size and strategy, the firm has decided to get rid of them”. Unibail-Rodamco has entrusted the sale of these four assets to the real estate consultancy firm Cushman&Wakefield.

Sector sources say that, initially, the Equinocio shopping centre in Madrid was also going to be put on the market alongside the other four assets, however, Unibail-Rodamco must have changed its mind at the last moment. The price that Unibail-Rodamco has set for each asset is unknown.

The sale of these four assets forms part of the operation that the firm carried out last year with Barnasud, the complex acquired by Meridia Capital, a Catalan fund owned by the businessman Javier Faus, which paid Unibail-Rodamco €35 million for the asset.

In recent years, the French group has spent a significant amount on the renovation of some of its shopping centres in Spain. The most ambitious project was the Glòries shopping centre, where the company invested €150 million on its complete transformation. In total, the transformation added 12,500 m2 of public space, spread over 8,500 m2 of new streets, 2,500 m2 of urbanisation and pavements around the site and 1,500 m2 of new green space in the 22@ neighbourhood.

Whilst Unibail-Rodamco waits to receive the green light for the expansion of one of its main shopping centres in Spain, La Maquinista, the group’s portfolio in Spain comprises 12 shopping centres, with Barcelona and Madrid as the cities that are home to the most complexes. Whilst in the Catalan capital, the company operates La Maquinista, Glòries and Splau, in Madrid it manages La Vaguada, Equinoccio and Parquesur shopping centres.

In the rest of the country, Unibail-Rodamco has one complex in Valencia, Bonaire; one in Cádiz, Bahía Sur; one in Sevilla, Los Arcos; Vallsur, in Valladolid; El Faro, in Badajoz, and one in San Sebastián, which operates under the name Garbera.

Currently, the group led by Christophe Cuvillier has a portfolio in Spain worth €3.6 billion, which receives 126.2 million visitors per year. These assets represent 10% of the firm’s global portfolio.

Double-digit growth in Spain

The company ended last year in the Spanish market with a net profit of €161 million, up by 10.3% compared to 2016, when the group earned €146 million.

In this way, Spain has become one of the highest growth countries for Unibail-Rodamco. In all of the markets in which it operates, the French company recorded a net profit of €1.35 billion in 2017, up by 5.8% compared to the previous year, when its earnings amounted to €1.27 billion (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

GSA Wants to Invest €0.5bn in Student Halls in Spain

7 December 2017 – Expansión

The British firm Global Student Accommodation (GSA), which specialises in student accommodation, arrived in Spain in June with the purchase of Nexo Residencias from Oaktree Capital Management. This move, which allowed it to add a portfolio of 2,300 beds in the country, was just the beginning, given that the company plans to reach 10,000 beds by 2025 and invest approximately €0.5 billion in the country. In this way, Spain would account for between 20% and 25% of the firm’s portfolio in Europe, which in turn is expected to account for 45% of the total worldwide.

“To date, we have invested €0.2 billion and we expect to invest approximately €0.5 billion in total”, explained the founder and CEO of GSA, Nicholas Porter, in an interview with Expansión.

Spain represents one of the company’s priority markets, although the firm also plans to expand its presence to other countries in Europe and Latin America, to reach 250,000 beds around the world by 2025. GSA is present in eight countries and thirty cities in two regions: EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Asia-Pacific.

“Over there next ten years, there are going to be 100 million more students in university education. That trend is going to be driven by the growth of the middle class in China, India and other regions in Asia. The globalisation of university higher education and educational institutions exporting their brands will allow us to reach more markets than ever”, he states.

Porter explains that, of the company’s objective of reaching 250,000 beds around the world by 2025, “right now, we have achieved 10% of that figure”.

GSA promotes, manages and invests in student halls in locations close to the most important universities in the world.

Specifically, the company currently has projects underway with forecast investment of USD 1 billion around the world and a portfolio under development of around 21,000 beds. Moreover, to achieve its objective, the firm plans to leverage its brand through franchises in other markets, such as, for example, Latin America.

New markets

The company operates its halls of residence through the brands Uninest Student Residences, The Student Housing Company and Nexo Residencias, which it acquired in June 2017, representing its debut in Spain. “We see Nexo as an expansion platform, not only in Spain, but also in the south of Europe and Latin America”.

Currently, GSA has 1,500 operational beds in Spain and 900 beds under construction in Barcelona, which it plans to open in September 2019. Specifically, the operating portfolio is located in the centre of Madrid and includes: Galdós, with 370 beds, in Ramiro de Maeztu; El Faro, inaugurated in September 2016 and located in Moncloa with 358 beds; and Claraval, on c/ San Bernardo, with 186 beds. It also owns the Lope de Vega hall of residence in Alcalá de Henares, which it recently opened and which houses 468 students, both from Spain and overseas.

Moreover, it has two additional development plans underway in Barcelona, which will be ready for use in 2019 with 900 more beds (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake