Fidere Looks to Sell Off Assets in Catalonia

19 November 2019 – Fidere, the subsidiary of Blackstone, is looking to sell off some of its holdings in the Spanish province of Catalonia. The socimi will begin by selling the Isla del Cielo building in Barcelona, located in the Parque Diagonal Mar.

On the other hand, Fidere has opted not to sell off its holdings in the Community of Madrid. The rental properties, including the Sanchinarro, San Sebastian Reyes, Majadahonda and Hispanidad buildings, are squarely aimed at premium buyers and currently have an occupancy rate of 50%. Fidere assumed the management of these assets at the beginning of the year.

The Isla del Cielo building is currently listed on several real estate sites. The residential complex consists of two apartment blocks with a constructed area of ​​approximately 38,000 m2.

Original Story: OK Diário – Lorena Torío

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Vivenio Acquires Three Apartment Blocks in Madrid and Barcelona

29 August 2019

Vivenio, a socimi owned by Spain’s Renta Corporación and the Dutch fund APG, has acquired three residential buildings, all currently occupied by rental tenants. The assets, which the socimi purchased from Fidere, will add a total of 500 new flats to Vivenio’s portfolio. Two of the apartment blocks are in Madrid and one is in Barcelona.

The deal, which is tied to a series of conditions, will cost the socimi a maximum amount of 85 million euros. The socimi has already deposited 25% of the total.

Original Story: Idealista

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Blackstone Selling More Than €900 Million in Assets

9 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

The U.S. giant Blackstone, following an asset rotation policy, has begun to sell some of the assets it has acquired since it began operations in Spain in 2012. Specifically, Blackstone is selling off some of the portfolio it took on upon its acquisition of Hispania.

So far, Blackstone has accumulated a portfolio valued at more than 23 billion euros. After its acquisition of Hispania, the US investment giant has already sold several office buildings. Blackstone is also analysing the sale of some of the residential assets it controls through its socimi Fidere, which is listed on the Alternative Stock Market (MAB). In total, counting completed and expected sales, the American fund will pocket more than €900 million.

Ilunion is one of the principal portfolios of assets Blackstone has sold so far this year. The assets include five office buildings in Madrid, which sold at the beginning of the year to a subsidiary of Zurich Seguros, Rex Spain ZDHL, for €163.6 million.  The American giant is analysing further investment opportunities in the country.

Original Story: Expansion – Rebeca Arroyo

Project Castillo: Blackstone Puts 11,000 of Catalunya Banc’s Subprime Mortgages Up for Sale

13 June 2019 – El Confidencial

Blackstone has engaged Bank of America to liquidate almost all of the remaining Catalunya Banc subprime mortgages that it purchased from the State between 2014 and 2015 as part of Project Hércules.

After almost five years of actively managing the portfolio, the US fund now has just 31,000 of the more than 100,000 subprime mortgages that it purchased, which are worth €1 billion compared with €5.7 billion in 2015.

Project Castillo is going to contain almost 11,000 of those mortgages, all of which are up to date in terms of payments, but which have been refinanced at some point over the last 5 years.

This sale forms part of a series being undertaken by Blackstone as it completes its first cycle of investments in Spain. In this context, the US fund’s rental home Socimi Fidere put most of its assets up for sale recently.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Combines Testa’s and Fidere’s HQs & Prepares to Sell a Mixed-Asset Portfolio

28 May 2019 – Valencia Plaza

Blackstone has combined the headquarters of its rental housing Socimis, Testa and Fidere, in Madrid. The companies, which manage 10,770 and 6,500 rental homes, respectively, will continue to operate as separate entities but will seek to obtain synergies through the management of their portfolios.

Testa and Fidere will both now operate out of offices on Paseo de la Castellana, 257, which are already occupied by Testa. Moreover, the two Socimis have convened their respective General Shareholders Meetings for the same day, Monday 24 June.

In the meantime, Blackstone is considering putting up for a sale a portfolio of several types of real estate assets that it considers mature and non-strategic. The portfolio of potential assets to divest is worth around €400 million and could include around 1,000 homes from Fidere, although none of them will be the flats that the firm acquired from the Municipal Housing Company of Madrid.

Blackstone is currently the largest owner of real estate assets in Spain, worth around €20 billion including logistics assets, offices and commercial properties, amongst others.

Original story: Valencia Plaza 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Puts a Portfolio of FIdere’s Homes Worth €150M-€200M Up For Sale

25 April 2019 – Expansión

The US fund Blackstone has launched the sale of a portfolio of homes belonging to its Socimi Fidere worth between €150 million and €200 million.

According to sources, several interested parties are already analysing the portfolio, whose perimeter may vary depending on the offers received. This sale forms part of a wider initiative by Blackstone to rotate some of the assets in its portfolio. The US fund has already put some of the offices owned by another Socimi Corona up for sale.

Since 2012, Blackstone has invested almost €24 billion in real estate in Spain, where it is the owner of several investment vehicles and management companies, including the Socimis Testa, Albirana and Torbal, as well as Hispania.

Original story: Expansión (by R. A.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Prepares a Series of Portfolio Sales Following its 6-Year Spending Spree

27 March 2019 – El Confidencial

The US fund Blackstone, which has been so busy on the buy side in recent years, is getting ready to put the for sale sign up, over some of its assets at least. It is preparing the sale of several portfolios, including the Socimi Corona, the homes of Fidere and also some of the former assets of Popular that it acquired from Santander.

Several sources have confirmed that the US fund is currently designing portfolios for sale in order to rotate some of the €20 billion in property that it now owns in Spain. Most of the portfolios are expected to be small, between €50 million and €300 million, although the fund is reportedly also working on some larger deals that could reach €600 million. The plan is to put the portfolios on the market before the summer.

Blackstone’s target market includes pension funds and insurance companies, which operate with lower costs of capital and which, therefore, can afford to pay more. It already trialled that strategy with the sale of Hispania’s offices to Zurich, to great success. But Blackstone will also target other funds looking to grow or complement their existing investments.

Despite this vendor activity, the US giant is still committed to buying assets in Spain. It simply wants to rotate its most mature assets, given that it started making investments in the country in 2013.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde and J. Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania’s Profits Fell by 56% YoY in 2018 to €96.5M

28 February 2019 – Expansión

Hispania recorded a net profit of €96.5 million in 2018, down by 56% compared to a year earlier, according to the accounts filed with the CNMV by the listed real estate investment company (Socimi) controlled by Blackstone.

Revenues from rental income rose by 6.8% to amount to €151.7 million, according to the Socimi’s accounts, which were managed by Azora until August, whereas now their management is divided between HI Partners (hotels), Rivoli (offices) and Fidere (homes), all of which are linked to Blackstone. The company is expected to cease trading on the stock market on 1 April.

In September, Hispania’s new management team decided that Azora would no longer manage the three branches of the Socimi, a move that resulted in the early termination of the contract, in exchange for the payment of a penalty amounting to €224 million.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Launches its 6th Socimi in Spain with 1,600+ Rental Homes

27 December 2018 – El Diario

Blackstone is increasing its position as the largest landlord in Spain. On Thursday, the vulture fund received approval to list its sixth Socimi, Euripo, on the stock market, which will make its debut with an initial value of €110 million. On its balance sheet, another 1,600 homes that will join the more than 20,000 properties that the fund already owns.

Euripo will make its debut on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), the secondary market in Spain, where it will join other Socimis owned by the US fund, including Fidere, Albirana, Corona and Torbel. Blackstone also recently took control of 80% of Testa, the largest rental home company in Spain, ownership of which it shares with Banco Santander.

In this way, almost one in ten Socimis in Spain have Blackstone as a majority shareholder. As is usual in the operation of this fund, Euripo is owned by a company belonging to Blackstone that is based in Luxembourg.

In this case, Blackstone is listing a portfolio comprising more than 2,000 real estate assets including homes, garages and commercial premises proceeding from the divestment of two financial entities, BBVA and the now extinct Banco Popular. Of the total portfolio, it has direct ownership of 1,900 assets, whilst another 400 are in the hands of a related company, which will likely end up on Euripo’s balance sheet, according to comments included in the IPO document.

There are currently more than 60 Socimis listed in Spain on the MAB, the main stock market and the Ibex 35. Blackstone has been the most active investment fund, especially in the rental home segment, where it controls almost a quarter of the companies currently listed.

The set of assets that Blackstone is debuting on the stock market with this new Socimi is worth around €215 million, of which half are located in Madrid and Barcelona. The remainder are distributed across 35 Spanish provinces, according to the aforementioned IPO document.

Currently, less than 30% of the properties of this company are occupied. For this reason, the company expects to increase its revenues by improving the occupancy ratios and by increasing the rents charged for each occupied home by between 4% and 5%. Moreover, it says that 7% of its assets are illegally occupied.

Original story: El Diario (by Diego Larrouy)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Negotiates Sale of the Ilunion Portfolio with Zurich for c. €100M

13 November 2018 – Cinco Días

The real estate giant Blackstone is pushing ahead with several divestments from its recently acquired Socimi Hispania. The US fund is negotiating with the insurance company Zurich regarding the sale of a portfolio of office buildings, which are occupied by Ilunion as a tenant, according to confirmation from sources in the real estate sector. The price of the operation will exceed €100 million.

Blackstone acquired Hispania through a takeover launched in the spring, which valued the Socimi at almost €2 billion. The US fund completed the operation because it was primarily interested in the company’s hotel assets, given that it owned 13,100 rooms across 46 hotels, the largest owner in the country in that segment. The US giant wants to create a hotel platform in Spain and, in fact, has already ceded the management of those establishments to its company HI Partners, the manager of other hotels purchased from Sabadell.

In total, Hispania’s portfolio has a gross asset value (GAV) of €2.811 billion. The most residual part, Hispania’s housing, is already being managed by another company owned by the fund, Fidere. And for the office component, the strategy is to divest the assets.

When Blackstone acquired Hispania, it broke off an agreement that the Socimi had with the British fund Tristan Capital Partners to divest the entire office portfolio for more than €500 million. That was the second time that the sale had been thwarted, previously Swiss Life was the buyer, in that case at the end of the summer in 2017, when the uncertainty surrounding the Catalan sovereignty process meant that the conditions of the insurance company were more demanding.

By contrast, the strategy now is to put this portfolio up for sale in a piecemeal fashion. The most advanced process relates to four properties in Madrid, which are all occupied by Ilunion, the holding company of the ONCE, as the tenant.

The largest property is the Torre 30 Building, appraised at €50 million at the end of 2017. Located next to the M-30 by the junction with the A-2, it was constructed in 1968, renovated in 2006 and has a surface area of 11,417 m2.

The sale also includes the Mizar Building, a property next to Torre 30, where in addition to Ilunion, Eysa and Paramount also have their headquarters, according to Hispania’s public documents, and which is worth €27.4 million. They are joined by the Pechuán building in Plaza Sagrado Corazón de Jesús next to Príncipe de Vergara, worth €19 million. Finally, the portfolio contains a property on Calle Comandante Azcárraga in the Pio XII area, worth €10.1 million.

Those four buildings had a combined appraisal value of €106.5 million as at 31 December 2017. Their current value is unknown but it is expected to be higher given that in May, Hispania revalued its assets upwards by 5.7% on average.

The rest of the office portfolio is not officially up for sale, but given that they are not strategic assets for Blackstone, the expectation is that it will receive offers for them, as a group or in different sub-portfolios.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake