JLL: Shopping Centre Investment Reaches Record High

7 October 2015 – Cinco Días

Real estate investment in the retail sector is breaking records, reaching levels above even those seen before the crisis. Total investment volumes amounted to €2,588 million during the first nine months of the year, an increase of 42% with respect to the same period last year, according to data from the real estate consultancy JLL.

The worst year of the crisis for this segment was 2011, when investors spent just €500 million in Spain during the whole year. At the other end of the spectrum, 2007 was the best year in terms of transaction volumes, which totalled almost €4,000 million.

During the last three quarters, 486 assets have been acquired in total through 46 operations, the majority of which have involved the purchase of shopping centres and prime retail parks (i.e. the largest assets in the best locations).

The star product for investors, by transaction volume, are shopping centres, which account for 52% of all sales. After these purchases, are their interest in individual shops (23%).

In Q3, the most noteworthy operations included the acquisitions made by Grupo Lar, which recently purchased the MegaPark de Barakaldo shopping centre for €170 million, in an operation that was advised by JLL, as well as the El Rosal shopping centre for €87.5 million. In addition, the Rivas Futura shopping centre was sold to Credit Suisse for €52 million and the Connecta Córdoba park was sold to MDSR Investments for €15.3 million.

Another highlight was the transactions involving two supermarket portfolios: the Caprabo Blue Box portfolio, which was sold to Meridia Capital for €97 million; and a group of Carrefour and Día supermarkets, which were purchased by Kennedy Wilson for €88 million.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A.S.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Closes €135M Capital Increase

17 July 2015 – Expansión

The Socimi Lar España has closed a capital increase amounting to €134.982 million.

This decision by the listed real estate company, chaired by José Luis del Valle (pictured above), comes a month after the company announced its intention to increase its share capital ahead of new investment opportunities that it has identified.

Yesterday, Lar’s Board of Directors approved a capital increase for a nominal amount of up to €39.935 million, through the issuance and circulation of up to 19.9 million ordinary shares, with a nominal value of €2 each.

The total amount issued will also include an issue premium of €4.76 per share, taking the issue price to €6.76 per share and the total capital increase to €134.982 million.

Lar has announced that Lar España will have a preferential subscription right to each share. Moreover, “shareholders will need two preferential subscription rights to subscribe each new share”, said the company to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV)

JP Morgan Securities is the sole global coordinator and placer of this transaction.

With the money raised through the capital increase, Lar will finance both its new acquisitions, as well as the purchases it has already made. (…). Lar’s most recent acquisition was the purchase of the ‘El Rosal‘ shopping centre in Ponferrada (León) for €87.5 million.

Original story: Expansión (by María Luisa Verbo Escribano)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Buys ‘El Rosal’ Shopping Centre For €87.5M

9 July 2015 – Info Bierzo

The Socimi Lar España has acquired the ‘El Rosal’ shopping centre in Ponferrada for €87.5 million, according to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

According to Lar, El Rosal has a catchment area of more than 200,000 inhabitants and an occupancy rate of 92%. Moreover, its tenants include high profile brands such as Carrefour, Zara, C&A, H&M and Worten.

Lar has taken out a fifteen year loan with CaixaBank amounting to €87.3 million to finance the transaction. It is the second shopping centre that the Socimi has purchased this year, after it acquired ‘As Termas’ shopping centre in April for €67 million.

“We also note that this is the only shopping centre within a 100km radius, which broadens its appeal even further. The fact that Ponferrada and El Bierzo are surrounded by mountains and hills creates a unique catchment area, in which all roads lead to the town in (the province of) León”, says Miguel Pereda, Director at Lar.

The purchase of El Rosal is the largest transaction that Lar has carried out to date, as part of its strategy to acquire “shopping centres that are located in major catchment areas, with potential for growth and no sizeable shopping centres nearby”.

“The centre received more than 5.4 million visitors in 2014…”, says Pereda. Over the medium term, the real estate company plans to invest €3.4 million in operators and on the building.

With this transaction, Lar now has a total investment assets of €658.4 million, of which €368.4 million has been spent on the acquisition of 7 shopping centres, located in Lugo, Guipúzcoa, Palencia, Albacete, Barcelona and Alicante, and now Ponferrada.

The El Rosal complex opened in October 2007 and has a surface area of more than 151,000 m2 (retail space of 50,800 m2), as well as 2,450 parking spaces.

The British fund Doughty Hanson, which owned the shopping centre until Wednesday has sold 100% of the capital. The British firm sold the ‘Plaza Éboli‘ shopping centre, in Pinto, in June for a reported consideration of €30 million. It paid €120 million for the two shopping centres in El Bierzo and Madrid four years ago.

Original story: Info Bierzo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Objects Of Desire: 16 Shopping Centres Up For Sale

14 May 2015 – Expansión

Between January to March (2015), funds and Socimis have invested €988 million in the purchase of large shopping establishments; and that figure that could reach €2,500 million for 2015 as a whole.

The 682 shopping centres in operation in Spain have become objects of desire for all investors interested in the Spanish real estate market. Thus, between January and March, these investors spent €988 million on the purchase of all kinds of shopping centres. “In January 2014, institutional investors did not want to purchase in Spain and now we have a very wide range of buyers: from institutions, which do not mind paying more for a good property, to opportunistic funds”, explains Vitor Pacheca, Senior Consultant of Retail Capital Markets at JLL España.

Last year, the Spanish market was the fourth favourite in Europe for investors interested in shopping centres and retail parks, with transactions as significant as Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza, which the British group Intu purchased for €451 million, having purchased Parque Principado in Asturias in 2013. Those are not the only real estate projects being pursued by the British real estate firm in Spain; it is currently developing two (shopping) centres, one in Malaga and the other in Valencia.

The most high profile case in 2015 has been Plenilunio. The Madrilenian property was acquired by the French operator Klépierre for €375 million on 17 March. The As Termas shopping centre in Lugo also changed hands; it was purchased by the Socimi Lar España. And AireSur in Sevilla was acquired by the fund CBRE Global Investors. “Last year, 28 (shopping) centres were bought and sold, representing a total investment volume of €3,200 million. In 2015, we expect that more centres will be sold but for a smaller total amount, around €2,500 million”, says Pacheco.

Although the flurry of transactions is not expected until the final quarter of the year, several shopping centres are scheduled to change owner shortly. “There are around 16 shopping centres for sale in Spain at the moment. We estimate that as many as 30 such assets may change hands between now and the end of the year”, say sources at JLL.

Doughty’s centres

That is the case of El Rosal in León and Plaza Éboli (pictured above) in Pinto (Madrid). The private equity firm Doughty Hanson is finalising the sale of those two properties, whose ownership will be transferred over the next few weeks.

The Plaza Éboli shopping centre, which was opened in 2005 and measures 62,000 m2, will be acquired by the US investor HIG for €30 million. In the case of El Rosal, which measures 151,000 m2, the new owner will be the Socimi Lar España, which has already purchased other shopping centres such as L’Anec Blau in Castelldefels (Barcelona) and Albacenter in Albacete. The Socimi will pay €90 million for El Rosal.

Another one of the 16 shopping centres up for sale is Moraleja Green in Alcobendas (Madrid). The property is on the market again after it was sold to ING by CBRE Global Investors last year. Now, the real estate division of the Dutch bank is putting it up for sale, after paying €68 million.

The Heron City shopping centre in Barcelona is also up for sale; it opened in 2011 and occupies a surface area of 101,000 m2, of which 36,358 m2 is dedicated to retail space.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Doughty Finalises The Sale Of Two Shopping Centres

23 April 2015 – Expansión

Activity continues apace in the shopping centre sector. The private equity firm Doughty Hanson is finalising the sale of two shopping centres in Spain, namely Plaza Eboli in Pinto (Madrid) and El Rosal in Ponferrada (León), which it acquired in 2011 for €120 million.

The two properties were acquired by Doughty in March 2011 and four years later, they are getting ready to change hands. The company paid the Portuguese real estate company Sonae Sierra €120 million for both assets. Now it is selling them for €115 million, according to sources close to the transaction.

For the centre in León, Doughty has received an offer from the Socimi Lar España for €85 million. In the case of Plaza Éboli, the fund is finalising its sale to the US investor HIG for around €30 million.

Plaza Éboli was opened in March 2005 and has a constructible surface area of 62,000 square metres, over four floors, of which 31,306 square metres are used for retail space. The main tenants include E. Leclerc, which has a supermarket, and a chain of cinemas, which occupies more than 2,000 square metres. Moreover, the centre has 1,004 parking spaces.

In the case of El Rosal, the property was opened in October 2007. It has a surface area of more than 151,000 square metres of which 50,851 square metres are used for retail space, according to the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres. It also has 2,450 parking spaces.

With its acquisition of El Rosal, the Socimi Lar España is continuing to increase the number of assets in its portfolio (especially retail premises and logistics warehouses), which were valued at €406 million at 31 December 2014. These include the shopping centres L’Anec Balu in Castelldefels (Barcelona) and Albacenter, in Albacete.

Socimi

Already this year, the Socimi controlled by Miguel Pereda has acquired the As Termas shopping centre in La Coruña for €67 million.

The real estate company debuted on the stock exchange in March 2014 with €400 million of capital to invest; funds it had received from large institutional investors, such as Pimco.

Meanwhile, the interest expressed by the US fund HIG Capital in the Madrid shopping centre reflects the investor frenzy between large international funds. In the case of HIG, it closed its first real estate acquisition purchase in 2013 when it acquired almost one thousand homes from Sareb, as part of the so-called portfolio Bull.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake