Inmobiliaria Espacio & Gingko to Build 800 Homes & 1 Hotel in Málaga

1 February 2018 – El Economista

Inmobiliaria Espacio, part of Grupo Villar Mir, is entering the Malagan urban development of La Térmica with a bang, in partnership with Unicaja and together with the investment fund Ginkgo. The three actors are going to carry out a reconversion project in that industrial space, where they are going to build more than 800 homes, as well as shops and a hotel.

The real estate firm has taken the step through the company Espacio Medina, in which it controls a 70% stake, whilst the remaining 30% is owned by Acinipo, part of the Unicaja group. That company has been working in property development in Málaga for 10 years and is now strengthening its commitment to the city by participating in the project to regenerate La Térmica, a site that used to house the old thermal power plant for the city of Málaga.

Specifically, Espacio Medina has acquired 20% of the company Nueva Marina Real Estate (NUMA), owner of the rights over these plots. The remaining 80% is owned by the fund Ginkgo, which acquired the entire project at the end of 2017 through its subsidiary Ginkgo Participations II, after reaching an agreement with Endesa, the main shareholder of NUMA at that time.

Regeneration project

NUMA, which has entrusted the management of the planning and the subsequent development and marketing to Espacio Medina, is going to create more than 800 homes on the La Térmica site, alongside plots for other tertiary uses such as commercial space, offices and a hotel, on a site that has a total surface area of 115,944 m2.

The real estate consultancy Catella, together with Ginkgo’s law firm, Zaforzeta & Romero Rey, and PwC, on the side of Espacio Medina, have advised the operation.

With this new investment, Ginkgo, Inmobiliaria Espacio and Inmobiliaria Acinipo are all consolidating their commitment to Málaga, which they regard “as one of the best European cities on the Mediterranean Coast with the best expectations for development and quality of life for investment over the next few years”, explain sources at the company.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Operación Neo: Lone Star Negotiates Sale of Former Fecsa-Endesa HQ in Barcelona

28 November 2017 – El Confidencial

Lone Star is on the verge of closing another chapter in its history, with the sale of the last major asset that forms part of Project Octopus, a portfolio comprising more than €4,000 million in real estate loans from the bank Eurohypo in Spain and Portugal, which the US fund acquired three years ago, in conjunction with JP Morgan.

The asset in question is the former headquarters of Fecsa-Endesa in Cataluña, a building with a surface area of 35,000 m2, whose three chimneys form part of Barcelona’s skyline and regarding which, it is holding exclusive negotiations with the joint forces of the Tramway group and the German vehicle Indigo Capital.

The conversations are now in the home stretch and may even be closed this afternoon, according to sources familiar with the process, although they also indicate that a second finalist is waiting in the wings, which could take over if these negotiations do not end up proving fruitful.

This operation marks another step forward in Lone Star’s strategy to unwind its positions in the Spanish real estate market, following the sale of the rest of Project Octopus and of the property developer Neinor Homes. That company debuted on the stock market in the spring and following several share sales, the US fund now only controls a 13% stake. Moreover, it goes against the grain of the current situation in the real estate market in Cataluña, which has all but come to a standstill due to the ‘independentista’ challenge.

This property, which has been empty for five years, has both environmental and change of use problems, which have certainly conditioned its sale. Constructed on the site of an old coal generation plan at the beginning of the 20th century, the subsoil of the plot contains impurities from the former coal and gas operations, which constitute the main risk to this operation and which have convinced other interested parties to withdraw from the process.

Impact of the sovereign challenge

In addition, the property has a key 4 urban planning rating, which restricts its use to public services with a technical component. In fact, its former owner, Grupo Sanjosé, which acquired the building from Endesa in a “sale & leaseback” operation, did not manage to resolve the change of use, which allowed Lone Star to execute the debt linked to the building in 2015.

And so on and so forth, because the sovereign crisis in Cataluña was about to bring down the process, launched in September and managed by JLL, in which firms such as Meridia, Colonial, Oaktree, Tristan, GreenOak, Värde and Stoneweg expressed an interest, according to sources.

In the end, only two candidates have submitted bids, for around €20 million, and the winner will likely have to double that investment figure in order to be able to carry out all of the renovation work that this asset requires to be in a position to generate value again.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Sold 13,796 Properties Between Jan & Sept, Up By 55% YoY

15 November 2017 – Expansión

Yesterday, the bad bank reported updated figures for its commercial business. Between January and September, it sold 13,796 properties, up by 55% compared to the same period last year, boosted by commercial campaigns and the change in the real estate cycle. These figures imply a drop in the growth rate compared to the previous quarter, most likely influenced by the lower activity typically seen in August. Note, the data relates to the first 9 months of the year until 30 September and therefore does not reflect the suspension of real estate activity in Cataluña since that date.

The sale of residential properties grew by 50% YoY, whilst the sale of warehouses, retail premises, hotels and offices rose by 99%. The bad bank also sold 710 plots of land, up by 31% compared to the previous year.

Sareb is also involved in property development activity. This year, the company has sold eleven developments that it received when they were unfinished.

The bad bank’s total revenues grew by 3.6% during the 9 months to September – after increasing by 21% during the first 6 months of the year – to €2,394 million.

Sareb has never made any money. Its cumulative losses amount to €781 million. Since its creation, it has reduced its toxic asset balance by 23% and has repaid 19% of the debt it issued initially.

Renewal of the board

Sareb is going to subject the renewal of its Board of Directors to the General Shareholders Meeting for approval. The former minister and former President of Endesa, Rodolfo Martín Villa, who represents the Frob, will depart for reasons of age. He will be substituted by Eduardo Aguilar, former CEO of Seguros. The representative of Popular will resign from the board to make way for Jaime Rodríguez Andrade, Director General of Problem assets, restructurings and corporate investments at Santander. And the representatives of CaixaBank will be replaced: Jorge Mondéjar and Antonio Cayuela will take over from José Ramón Montserrat and Antonio Massanell.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Núñez i Navarro Doubled Its Profits In 2016 To €33.1M

5 September 2017 – Eje Prime

Núñez i Navarro recorded a good set of results last year. The company, the largest unlisted real estate company in Cataluña, saw its profits soar in 2016 to €33.1 million, up from €12.9 the previous year. In this way, the group has returned to growth and is getting closer to its best result ever, recorded in 2007 when it generated a profit of €48.6 million.

The group attributes the increase in its net result to an improvement in its recurrent rental income, a recovery in the value of its assets, which had depreciated during the crisis, and income resulting from a ruling, confirmed by the Supreme Court, which obliged Endesa to indemnify the company for the purchase and sale of real estate in Palma de Mallorca, according to Crónica Global.

By contrast, Núñez i Navarro’s turnover fell in 2016. The company recorded revenues of €110 million, down by 5.1% compared to the same period a year earlier, when its sales amounted to €116 million. The company’s consolidated own funds rose to €595 million.

The group’s business lines include property development and the operation of real estate assets, in particular offices, retail stores, homes, car parks, industrial warehouses and hotels.

The group’s Board of Directors still comprises members of the founding family. It includes Josep Lluís Núñez Clemente, his wife María Navarro Obón and their sons Josep Lluís and Josep María Núñez Navarro.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Sells Endesa’s HQ In Málaga To Family Investor

17 May 2017 – 20 Minutos

The consultancy firm Aguirre Newman has led the sales operation of Endesa’s headquarters in Málaga, a property owned by Merlin Properties and located on Calle Maestranza, number six, in the La Malagueta neighbourhood.

The building, which is leased to the electricity company, has a gross leasable area of 2,046 m2 and was constructed between 1930 and 1940. The asset may be used for compatible purposes in additional to its existing use as offices and it will continue to serve as the headquarters of the energy company in Málaga.

Merlin Properties, the leading listed real estate investment company (Socimi) in the acquisition and management of tertiary real estate assets on the Iberian Peninsula, entrusted the sales process of the real estate asset to Aguirre Newman, according to a statement from the consultancy firm. (…).

According to several sources in the sector, the buyer is a family investor.

Original story: 20 Minutos 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gas Natural Sells Its HQ In Madrid To IBA Capital For €120M

24 November 2016 – Expansión

Gas Natural has had a change of heart in its strategy to sell its real estate jewels in Madrid. The firm chaired by Isidro Fainé, which engaged the real estate consultants CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield in the summer to sell its main real estate assets in the capital, has decided to divide up its batch of four properties and sell the most sought after asset, located on Avenida de San Luis, in a separate transaction.

In this sense, the energy company has reached an agreement with IBA Capital, through its Socimi Zambal, to sell its headquarters in the capital located on Avenida de San Luis 77. The transaction will be completed within the next few days for around €120 million, once the bureaucratic procedures have been completed.

The firm has opted for the sale & leaseback formula, involving the sale of the property and its subsequent lease for a period of ten years.

The real estate fund manager, which purchased Vodafone España’s headquarters in Madrid just over a year ago, has knocked out the Spanish real estate and investment manager, Drago Capital, from the process, which until now was the favourite candidate for taking over Gas Natural’s buildings in Madrid. Drago Capital, which has been in exclusive negotiations with the energy firm for several weeks regarding the purchase, was unable to complete the operation as it failed to obtain financing from the banks.

In terms of the rest of the buildings up for sale – one property on Avenida de América 38; the Acanto 11 complex; and the Antonio López complex, on Antonio López 193– , the company has decided to reopen the process and invite those investors who expressed interest in the initial process to participate. Besides Drago Capital, the finalists also included Henderson Park and Has Capital.

In total, the combined surface area of the four complexes amounts to 57,000 m2. In addition, this asset portfolio includes 1,695 parking spaces. Specifically, Gas Natural’s headquarters on Avenida de San Luis 77 has a surface area of almost 32,000 m2, which is dedicated to office space. With this operation, Gas Natural is taking advantage of the real estate sector’s current strong performance to generate value from its properties and earn some cash, without having to move its staff by remaining as the tenant.

The office market in Madrid and Barcelona has heated up a lot in recent months due to the shortage of high quality products in good locations. During the first three quarters of this year, investment in the office market amounted to €2,200 million, according to data from Aguirre Newman.

Gas Natural’s approach is in line with that of some of its rivals, which have also opted to divest their real estate investments. For example, Torre Cepsa, located in the Cuatro Torres complex in Madrid, was sold to Amancio Ortega’s investment vehicle, Pontegadea, two months ago for €490 million. Meanwhile, Endesa’s headquarters in the capital is owned by the Socimi Merlin and Iberdrola’s head office in Bilbao is partly owned by Kutxabank.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo & M. Á. Patiño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Drago Finalises Purchase Of Gas Natural’s RE Jewels

7 November 2016 – Expansión

The investment firm Drago Capital, together with the Canadian pension fund manager PSP Investments, has emerged as the clear candidate to acquire the real estate jewels of Gas Natural Fenosa in Madrid. The firm is now holding exclusive negotiations with the energy company to put the finishing touches to a deal that is likely to close within the next few weeks.

According to market sources, the offer from the Spanish real estate vehicle manager, which was presented as part of a consortium with the Canadian fund, has supplanted those submitted by the other suitors also interested in the assets.

The operation values the energy company’s assets in Spain’s capital at just over €300 million, which means that this will be the largest sale and leaseback transaction (sale to a third party and subsequent rental of the property) since 2010.

The firm chaired by Isidro Fainé engaged the real estate consultancy firms CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield in the summer to sell its main real estate assets in Madrid. This process sparked interest amongst private equity funds and investors alike, both at home and overseas.

Other candidates

Specifically, in addition to Drago, the investors Iba Capital, Henderson Park and a family office participated in the bidding until the latest round. Has Capital, which had also expressed its interest in Gas Natural’s properties, withdrew at the last minute as it was unable to raise financing.

The assets up for sale are: the group’s headquarters in Madrid, located on Avenida de San Luis 77; a property on Avenida de América 38; the Acanto complex, at number 11 on the same street; and the Antonio López complex on Calle Antonio López 193.

Altogether, the global surface area of the four complexes amounts to 57,000 m2. In addition, the portfolio of assets includes 1,695 parking spaces. (…) .

Gas Natural’s move comes at a time when its competitors are also divesting their real estate assets.

Specifically, Torre Cepsa – one of the Cuatro Torres in Madrid – was acquired just two months ago by Pontegadea. That purchase – the largest ever undertaken by Amancio Ortega’s investment vehicle – was completed in September and saw the founder and largest shareholder of Inditex spend €490 million.

Meanwhile, Endesa’s headquarters in the capital is owned by Merlin; and Iberdrola’s headquarters in Bilbao is partially owned by Kutxabank.

Repsol still owns its headquarters in Madrid, in Méndez Álvaro, however, there has been speculation that the oil company may sell the asset. (…).

According to the consultancy JLL, real estate investment in the office segment is expected to exceed €2,400 million in 2016. That figure falls below the record €3,170 million achieved last year due to the limited supply of high quality products. During the first nine months of 2016, investment in offices amounted to €1,572 million, with Madrid accounting for the vast majority of that figure (€1,150 million).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo & M. A. Patiño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Duro Felguera Puts Its Non-Core Properties Up For Sale

4 November 2016 – Expansión

Liquidity crisis / The engineering group has two large corporate headquarters in Madrid and Gijón, which it is looking to sell to cover its financial commitments whilst it resolves several legal disputes overseas.

Duro Felguera explained yesterday during the presentation of its results for the 9 months to September 2016 that it has ordered the sale of its “non-productive assets” to avoid the deterioration of its cash balance whilst it resolves legal disputes overseas for unpaid invoices amounting to more than €300 million. According to the sources consulted, the assets under analysis include the company’s two major headquarters in Madrid and Gijón, the proceeds from which could amount to several tens of millions of euros.

For the time being, the company has issued a sales mandate but has not specified which formula it will use for the divestment. In recent years, many of Spain’s large corporations have sold their headquarters through sale and leaseback contracts, whereby the company sells the property but remains as the tenant for a certain number of years. Ferrovial, Acciona, Prisa, Telefónica, Santander, Gas Natural and Endesa, amongst others, have all used this formula in recent years.

Duro Felguera’s office building in Madrid has been on the company’s balance sheet for two years, after it acquired it for €20 million in 2014. The previous owner was the real estate company GMP. The headquarters is located on Vía de los Poblados, in the north of Madrid, alongside the M-40 ring road and the Campo de las Naciones business park.

Duro Felguera’s headquarters in Madrid has a useful surface area of 13,791 m2. It is an eight-storey building – five of the floors are used for offices, two are used for parking and one contains an undercover space for storage and other facilities.

In Gijón, the company chaired by Ángel Antonio del Valle owns of one of the best complexes in the city’s Scientific and Technological Park. That building has a surface area of more than 9,000 m2.

Legal disputes

Duro Felguera will have to use the proceeds from its divestments to cover several urgent obligations. In December, for example, the company is due to repay a loan amounting to €35 million.

In parallel, the group is looking to encompass its financial commitments into the process of recovering its unpaid invoices overseas. Yesterday, the company stated that “it is holding negotiations with various credit institutions (Bankia, Santander, Popular, BBVA, Sabadell and CaixaBank) to adjust the maturity dates of its debt to bring them in line with the expected resolution dates of these conflicts.

In Australia, the group is fighting against one of its client, the Korean firm Samsung C&T, for overruns on the mining project Roy Hill. The court of arbitrage in Singapore calculates that DF may recover almost €140 million (the last invoice amounted to €40 million, plus €90 million in avals). The Australian courts are claiming €46 million, of which €9 million has been already recovered. In Argentina, Duro is claiming another €150 million for overruns at the power plant in Vuelta Obligado. Finally, in Venezuela, the Government led by Nicolás Maduro still owes the Spanish group €101 million.

Original story: Expansión (by C. Morán)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Therus Will Invest €110M To Build New Office Complex In Madrid

22 September 2016 – Mis Oficinas

The building will be constructed on the last plot of land, measuring 21,000 sqm, that was available in this area in October 2015, when it was purchased from Unide. There is now no buildable land left in the area.

Construction at the site is due to begin in October. The project involves the design of a 33,123 sqm complex of offices and 800 parking spaces in the Vía Poblados area of Madrid. The real estate complex, which covers 56,000 sqm, of which 23,000 sqm will be underground, will comprise two office buildings, in a modern architectural style, linked by a covered pedestrian walkway. Each property will have its own entrance hall with lifts and access to the two underground car parks, which will allow the buildings to be divided perfectly as two independent properties or to be used together by a single tenant.

Building I will measure 13,000 sqm and be spread over six floors. It will have an open space of between 2,500 sqm and 3,200 sqm and as such will comply with one of the main demands of companies seeking new locations at the moment. Meanwhile, Building II, measuring 21,000 sqm, will be spread over seven floors. In total, both properties will have capacity for 3,00 employees. “It is an exceptional project due to its design and location, given that it has dual visibility over both the M-11 (airport) and the M-40 – the main ring road – and it is right next to the metro”, said Olivier Crambade, the CEO of Therus Invest.

The Campo de las Naciones area is home to more than 500,000 sqm of office space. The headquarters of many major multinational companies are located there, including Coca-Cola, Ericsson, Endesa and Iberdrola. (…). The search for a tenant for the new offices has already started.

In parallel, the firm is looking for an investor for the complex, where construction work is expected to be completed in September 2018. “The idea is to sell the property to an end investor and we are already in advanced negotiations; we expect to close the operation before the end of the year” (…).

“The ground floor is the key to this project, given that it is an open space that promotes the flow and use of its occupants. It is surrounded by gardens and restaurants, and there won’t be a single car in sight. The car park is in the basement. (…)”, said Crambade.

Crambade is proud of his new project. “At the moment, there are no new offices on the market in Madrid, and so a high quality project of this size in such a good location represents a very good opportunity for investors. There are not many products that can give you a return of 6% or 6.5%.

Original story: Mis Oficinas

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bain Capital Hires Andrea Brentan As Senior Advisor

5 November 2015 – Expansión

Yesterday, Bain Capital Private Equity and Sankaty Advisors announced the appointment of the former CEO of Endesa, Andrea Brentan (pictured above), as senior advisor for Spain.

According to the management team at Bain Capital, this appointment confirms the fund’s interest in “continuing to invest” in Spain. Brentan, who is currently the non-executive President of FTI Consulting Spain, was CEO of Endesa between 2009 and 2014.

Acquisition of Atento in Spain

Bain Capital Private Equity has around $75,000 million in assets under management around the world. In Spain, Bain Capital acquired Telefónica’s customer service subsidiary, Atento, in 2012. The operation was reportedly worth more than €1,000 million.

Sankaty Advisors, the global credit subsidiary of Bain Capital, manages investments in around 100 companies and has acquired loan portfolios amounting to €2,300 million from banks in Spain and other European countries in the last three years.

Brentan was the CEO at Endesa when Enel took control of the group.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake