Compagnie Secures Financing for Spain’s Largest New Shopping Centre

28 November 2017 – Expansión

Yesterday, the French group Compagnie de Phalsbourg managed to close financing, amounting to €157 million, for its first shopping centre in Spain: the Open Sky centre in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid), according to Expansión.

The establishment will have a gross leasable area of 85,000 m2, will house 100 stores, 3,500 parking spaces and a large garden area with a central lake.

To obtain the necessary resources for its project, Compagnie de Phalsbourg has resorted to non-bank financing through a competitive process. Sources close to the operation maintain that a single fund has subscribed 100% of the financing. According to the same sources, it is a fund based in the City of London, specialising in the real estate sector.

“This process is a boost for Spain because it shows that international investors, in this case, French and British players, see potential in Spain”, say financial sources. The crisis in Cataluña has not affected the process in this case, whose negotiations started long before the tension escalated in that regard.

The French group expects that Open Sky will be inaugurated by the end of next year. In fact, the first earth movement work has now begun and the land that Compagnie acquired for €110 million from the Town Hall of Torrejón in 2015 is being prepared (…).

The company has already signed agreements with around twenty fashion labels, accessories brands and service providers, including with many high-profile names such as Adidas, Reebok, Decimas, OVS, Okaidi, Merkal, Kiwoko, Orchestra, RKS, Celio, Encuentro Moda and Druni, amongst others. Moreover, the shopping centre will have 11 Cinesa cinema screens with capacity for 1,200 people and it has already signed agreements with restaurant groups such as the Vips group, with its five brands (Vips, Fridays, Ginos, Wagamama and Starbucks); the Zena group (Fosters and Cañas y Tapas) and the Restalia group (100 Montaditos and La Sureña).

Once Open Sky is fully operational, it is expected to generate approximately 1,000 new jobs in the region.

The Spanish investment boutique Alantra has served as the sole advisor to the operation for the French group. In addition, Alantra has advised the firm on three other projects in Spain. Meanwhile, Clifford Chance and Uría have been responsible for providing legal advice (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Andrés Stumpf)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Luxury Brands Conquer Madrid’s Golden Mile

17 October 2017 – Expansión

Fashion labels such as Sonia Rykiel, Oliver Peoples, Tesla and Audemars Piguet are arriving on the main shopping streets of the Madrilenian neighbourhood of Salamanca, with their first stores in the Spanish market.

The Spanish real estate market is enjoying good times, with investors interested in buying assets and commitments from all kinds of brands to open stores on the country’s main shopping thoroughfares. This interest is very apparent in the Madrilenian neighbourhood of Salamanca, the capital’s luxury shopping area, with the arrival of numerous new brands, such as the car firm Tesla (…).

The exclusive brand behind the 100% electric cars has taken over a store on Calle Serrano in Madrid, just a stone’s throw from Puerta de Alcalá, as Expansión revealed on 2 September. Specifically, Tesla has leased a 275 m2 store, at number 3 on the famous street along the Golden Mile (…).

“The Golden Mile in Madrid is a sought-after area for the majority of the luxury brands that decide to move to the capital. This means that sections  (of the street) that were less appealing until now, such as the uneven side of the road and the bottom section of the street, no longer have as much availability as they used to in previous years. Examples of this are the case of Tesla at number 3, and Malababa at number 8”, explain sources at the consultancy firm Ascana.

Tesla and Malababa are joining Kenzo and Audemars Piguet, the latest luxury brands to open stores on the famous Madrilenian thoroughfare (…).

Other sought-after streets

The commitment to the luxury market does not end on Calle Serrano (…). Adjoining streets, such as Calles Ortega y Gasset, Lagasca and Claudio Coello are also welcoming new international brands. “The interior of the Salamanca neighbourhood has seen the departure of traditional businesses, which cannot afford the current rental prices, and their replacement by premium brands. Not all of the brands can afford to pay for a store on the best stretch of Serrano; such premises are only available to 10% of firms”, says Ignacio Acha, Associate Director of Retail & High Street at Cushman & Wakefield.

“Claudio Coello is continuing to consolidate its position as one of the main thoroughfares in the Salamanca neighbourhood. Several brands are planning to open stores on that street, such as Sonia Rykiel, at number 79, Max Mara Weekend at number 63 and Pedro Miralles, at number 58″, say Ascana’s sources (…).

For brands like that, a store on Serrano or Ortega y Gasset is very expensive. The difference in price between the best store on those streets and on Claudio Coello could be up to three times”, says the Partner at C&W, the consultancy firm that has advised Sonia Rykiel on its operation.

In addition to the upcoming store openings on Claudio Coello, Ortega y Gasset has been selected as the location of choice by another international brand for its debut in Spain. Specifically, the glasses firm Oliver Peoples, owned by the luxury Luxottica group, has taken over the premises on c/Ortega y Gasset, 4, where it will open its first store in the country.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

South African Fund Vukile Acquires 9 Retail Assets For €198M

4 July 2017 – Expansión

A new institutional investor has arrived in Spain. And it comes from an unusual place for large investors in the Spanish real estate market: South Africa.

The South African real estate investment fund (REIT) Vukile Properties has completed its first operation in Spain by purchasing nine commercial assets located all over the country. The South African firm has disbursed €198 million for the properties, which have a combined surface area of 117,700 m2.

Of that amount, €193 million will be paid to the owner until now, the company Redevco Iberian Ventures, a joint venture created in 2015 by the groups Ares and Redevco to invest in the Iberian Peninsula.

Vukile has completed its purchase through the Spanish company Castellana Properties. This company, previously known as Vinemont Investments, changed its corporate structure last summer, to become a Socimi, after completing a capital increase of €12.6 million.

The first properties acquired by this Socimi form part of the portfolio that the Dutch company Redevco has been creating in the Iberian Peninsula over the last few years. The assets include five stores in the Parque Principado de Asturias complex and Parque Oeste, in Alcorcón (Madrid), spanning a surface area of 13,600 m2. The largest property is the Kinepolis complex, in Pulianas (Granada), measuring 25,900 m2 distributed over six stores.

97% of these retail spaces are leased to operators such as Mercadona, Día, Media Markt and fashion labels such as C&A and Kiabi.

For its first operation in Spain (and Europe), the South African REIT, which is listed on the Johannesburg and Namibia stock exchanges, has joined forces with the brothers Lee and Chad Morze, who it defines as “well-known and successful businessman living in Spain”. According to the commercial registry, Chad Morze is the administrator of Diversified Real Estate Asset Management, a company whose primary activity is the provision of tax, audit and accounting advice. Created at the end of 2015, the company has not filed any annual accounts yet. Lee Morze is also registered as an administrator of the same company.

Of the total amount disbursed (€198 million), Vukile has announced that it will contribute own funds amounting to €103 million, whilst the other almost €95 million will be obtained through a bank loan to Castellana Properties from the entities Santander, CaixaBank and Bankia, amongst others.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ABC Serrano Completes 2 Year Refurbishment

21 July 2016 – Expansión

After almost two years under refurbishment, the ABC Serrano shopping centre in Madrid, the former headquarters of the ABC newspaper and a property with more than one hundred years under its belt, is ready to secure new brands, attract younger customers and compete with the fashion houses and restaurants along Madrid’s golden mile.

The shopping centre, which has a retail surface area of 14,000 sqm and 255 underground parking spaces, spread over four floors, is accessible from both Paseo de la Castellana and Calle Serrano.

The co-Presidents of IBA Capital Partners, Thierry Julienne and Jesús Valderrama, explained in an interview with Expansión that, since the architect Mariano Bayón was commissioned in the 1990s to completely renovate the building and convert it into a shopping centre, ABC Serrano has not undergone any remodelling. “We have brought a sleeping beauty to life. It is another step in the regeneration of the city centre”, said Julienne.

The construction work, which began in Q4 2014 and which will be completed in September, had a budget of €15 million and has been complex. Firstly, because the building is a listed property for the purposes of cultural interest and, also, because the remodelling process has been undertaken in the presence of tenants and shoppers. “We have maintained an open dialogue with the Town Hall, which has guided us a lot”, explained Julienne.

The construction work at ABC Serrano, which has been owned by CBRE Global Investment Partners since February 2016 and in which IBA Capital participates as a shareholder and the manager of the asset, has focused on improving access between the floors and redistributing the retail space.

In this way, the flights of stairs have now been unified into a single core. In addition, the dome of the building, which was previously covered over, has been turned into a huge skylight allowing natural light to enter the building.

The construction work, which has been led by the architecture studio L35, will allow the shopping centre to secure new brands, attract customers on the weekend and improve the profitability of the asset. “We reject offers from tenants that do not fit with the centre’s image”, explained Julienne.

The co-Presidents of IBA indicated that the shopping centre, which has an occupancy rate of 70%, has signed new lease contracts with Habitat, which will open its new flagship store in a 900 sqm unit; as well as with a hand and footcare specialist D-Uñas, and Zooo-Huawei, the official technical service company of Huawei and Sony. In addition, tenants such as Neck&Neck, El Armario Francés, Sebago, Luis&Tachi, Lujans, Viena Capellanes and Calzedonia, amongst others, have renewed their contracts. “This is a trophy asset, both in terms of the location and because it is an iconic building with a new image”, said Valderrama.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake