Spain’s First Listing Sponsor is Launched: Armanext

17 April 2018 – Eje Prime

From the Alternative Investment Market to Euronext. Some of the team members from Armabex, the company that specialises in the incorporation of Socimis onto the MAB, have joined forces for the launch of Armanext, the first listing sponsor (registered advisor) in Spain authorised by the leading stock market in the Eurozone, Euronext, which integrates the stock markets in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Dublin.

The company is going to be able to advise, supervise and coordinate the admission of Socimis and SMEs onto the following markets: Euronext Access Paris, Euronext Access Lisbon, Euronext Growth Paris and Euronext Growth Lisbon. The companies that start trading on Euronext will have access to a market comprising around 1,300 companies and more than 5,000 investors around the world.

“From now on, Spanish Socimis are going to be able to comply with the requirement to be listed on an organised market such as the main Euronext market or on a Multi-lateral Trading System such as the Euronext Access and Euronext Growth markets, as permitted by the regulations”. “The pan-European stock market allows companies to opt for more flexible (financing) conditions adapted to suit family groups and SMEs, which require the intervention of an authorised listing sponsor (…)”.

Armanext is going to be led by Antonio Fernández, President of Armabex, Ana Hernández and Rafael Núñez. Hernández will provide experience in the securities and Socimi markets, whilst Núñez has a well-established track record in tax matters and business restructurings, gained during his time as a partner of two Spanish audit firms.

In September last year, Euronext opened offices in Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland with the aim of helping SMEs in those countries to develop their businesses on a larger scale through the securities markets.

Since then, several Spanish and European companies have expressed their interest in listing on Euronext and entering the Pan-European market. In the last month alone, two new companies joined Euronext from outside their domestic markets. On the one hand, the British pharmaceutical company Acacia Pharma made its debut on the Euronext Growth in Brussels whilst, on the other hand, the Italian company specialising in dental technology MediaLab started trading its shares on the Euronext Access market in Paris.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Snapshot Of The MAB’s Real Estate Companies

4 September 2017 – Expansión

An attractive tax structure and investors’ appetite for real estate assets have led to a veritable flood of Socimi debuts on the stock market in recent years. With the exception of Merlin and Colonial – which form part of the Ibex – and Axiare, Hispania and Lar España – which are listed on the main stock market – the other Socimis trade on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB). In 2013, that market opened a new segment for this type of investment vehicle, which now comprises 40 companies.

To be incorporated, Socimis must have a minimum share capital of €5 million and invest in urban properties allocated for rent. These companies, which must be listed on regulated markets, are exempt from paying Corporation Tax in exchange for fulfilling certain obligations such as the distribution of dividends in a systematic way.

The first Socimi to debut on the MAB was Entrecampos Cuatro. That company, constituted in 2004 as a merger of several companies from the Segura Rodríguez family group, was responsible for firing the Socimi-starting gun on the MAB in November 2013.

The 40 Socimis now listed on the MAB have a combined market capitalisation of more than €7,000 million and comprise a very heterogeneous group both in terms of size, as well as by specialisation and category. The companies range from family groups to institutions (with one fund or professional investor holding a stake) to publicly owned entities (with numerous shareholders).

Of the Socimis currently listed on the MAB, the largest by a long way is General de Galerías Comerciales (GGC). That Socimi, which currently has a market capitalisation of €2,547 million, debuted on the stock market in July and, despite its size, is controlled almost in its entirety by a single shareholder, the Murcian businessman Tomás Olivo. GGC is exceeded in terms of market capitalisation only by Merlin and Colonial.

GGC is followed by the Montoro family’s real estate firm GMP, in which the fund Singapore GIC owns a 30% stake. That company currently holds 27 properties in its portfolio, including several iconic buildings, such as the historical Torre BBVA (renamed Castellana 81 due to its location) and a few metres away, Castellana 77 (also known as Torre Ederra). Other large listed Socimis include Zambal, the Socimi managed by IBA Capital, with investments in offices and commercial assets; and Bay, the Socimi owned by Hispania and Barceló. The latter, which focuses on the tourist sector, held 21 assets with a gross value of €790 million at the end of last year and since then has purchased another three assets: Hotel Selomar in Benidorm for almost €16 million; Hotel Fergus Tobago in Palmanova for €20 million; and the Armadores de Puerto Rico company for €6 million.

Shopping centres are also present on the MAB. In this way, for example, Intu owns two listed shopping centres: the Socimi Asturias Retail & Leisure, owner of the Intu Asturias shopping centre (previously Parque Principado), which has a total approximate surface area of 75,000 m2; and Zaragoza Properties, owner of Puerto Venecia Shopping Resort, in Zaragoza, with a surface area of more than 200,000 m2.

Another example is the Socimi Heref Habaneras, which owns the Habaneras shopping centre in Torrevieja (Alicante).

Residential market

One of the investment segments that has gained weight amongst the specialist Socimis in recent times is the residential market. Specifically, the private equity fund Blackstone has two listed Socimis. The largest, Fidere, debuted on the stock market in June 2015 with an asset value of €304.3 million and a portfolio of 2,688 social housing properties for let purchased during the crisis.

Moreover, the fund listed another Socimi on the stock market in March, Albirana Properties, which owns more than 5,000 assets spread all over Spain, most of which are rental homes (….).

A few weeks ago, the MAB introduced a modification to its rules to tighten up the access requirements for new Socimis. This change, which came into force in August, requires Socimis to have minority shareholders in their shareholdings when they debut on the stock market. Until then, companies had a year to fulfil the requirement. This led to an intensification in terms of the number of Socimi debuts. In July alone, seven companies joined the MAB: GGC, Bay Hotels & Leisure, Grupo Ortiz, Kingbook Inversiones, AM Locales Property, Colon and Numulae (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake