Villar Mir Seeks 40 Luxury Brands For ‘Galería de Canalejas’

19 July 2017 – Eje Prime

More than nine million people visited Madrid in 2016. Of those, 4.6 million were foreigners. The museums, Royal Palace, Retiro Park and Santiago Bernabéu were some of the most popular attractions, although the centre of the capital took the biscuit, receiving the most visitors overall. This area is also home to the most luxurious hotels in Madrid and several more are currently being built there. Nevertheless, there is no shopping area to cater for these high-end visitors and hotel guests. And that is precisely the gap that the Canalejas complex wants to fill. And if it does so, the shopping arcade could revolutionise Madrid’s high street.

After more than ten years of abandon, the group of seven buildings located at the intersection of Calles Alcalá, Sevilla and San Jerónimo promises to become a wake-up-car for retail, especially fashion, in the centre of the capital. Promoted by OHL Desarrollos and Grupo Villar Mir, Madrid’s Canalejas Centre welcomed a new shareholder in February, with the arrival of the company Mohari Limited, in which the co-founder of Poker Stars, Mark Scheinberg owns a stake. His company purchased 50% of the complex for €225 million.

A Four Seasons hotel with 200 rooms, 22 private residences associated with the hotel, a 400-space car park and the shopping arcade will comprise the complex’s four main areas. The shopping arcade, which will link Calles Alcalá and Canalejas, will be the heart of the centre and has plans to welcome more than 2 million clients every year (of the 147 million people who move in the vicinity of the centre each year).

With a select client profile, the Galería de Canalejas will comprise a commercial space with a surface area of 15,000 m2, which will be home to more than 40 fashion, cosmetic/perfume and jewellery/watch brands (on the ground and first floors) as well as a restaurant area covering more than 3,000 m2 (on the lower ground floor).

Canalejas has already started to market the space and is getting ready to sign the first agreements with some of the high-end operators, which will take receipt of their stores in November 2018 ready to open their doors in 2019, at the same time as the rest of the complex.

There are no plans for any of the large retailers (such as Zara and Uniqlo) to open stores in the complex, given that the positioning of the centre and the space requirements of such players do not tally. According to the managers of the centre, the average asking prices for the stores are below the average for the area, given that the whole zone is conditioned by Preciados, the most expensive street in Madrid for opening retail premises.

With the aim of securing around forty brands to occupy the premises, which will measure between 40 m2 and 400 m2 each, Canalejas is looking for high-end, premium firms in the fashion, jewellery and cosmetics segments (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Saint Croix Acquires Blanco Store On c/Goya For €15M

13 February 2017 – Eje Prime

Saint Croix, the Socimi owned by the Colomer family, has won the bid to acquire the Blanco store located on Calle Goya in Madrid. The company has spent €15 million on the premises, which several other investors, including Jesús Antúnez, also bid for. Antúnez came close to winning, but Saint Croix took the prize in the end.

The Socimi owned by the Colomer family (which also owns the real estate developer Pryconsa) has spent €15.25 million acquiring the property, which has a gross leasable area of 863 m2. In other words, it has paid a price equivalent to more than 17,600/m2. The company has also acquired two parking spaces as part of the operation.

Until now, the premises were owned by the real estate arm of the former owner of the Madrilenian chain Blanco (which specialises in fashion retail), namely, Inversiones Blasol. The company, whose administrator is Bernardo Blanco Moreno (son of the founder of the Blanco fashion chain) and which was constituted in 19991 with the corporate purpose of leasing real estate assets, filed for voluntary creditors’ bankruptcy in December 2014 in Commercial Court number 10 of Madrid. The company is now in the middle of negotiating its bankruptcy arrangement.

Inversiones Blasol has several other assets up for sale, including a store on Calle Pelai, 1 in Barcelona. That establishment has a commercial area of 200 m2. Jesús Antúnez also bid for those premises, and sources consulted by Eje Prime report that he offered €4 million.

According to the most recent results filed by the company, as at 30 September 2016, the Socimi had a portfolio comprising 209 assets, worth €339.26 million. They include retail premises, such as the Zara store on Conde de Peñalver (Madrid) and several supermarkets leased to Día; office buildings such as CLH’s headquarters on Calle Titán; and several four- and five-star hotels on Isla Canela (Huelva), managed by chains such as Iberostar, Meliá and Barceló.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ayco Buys Hotel Byblos In Mijas For €60M

26 September 2016 – Real Estate Press

As a result of this operation, Hotel Byblos hopes to restore its reputation as a luxury establishment in the health and family tourism sector, focused on the world of golf.

Ayco’s representatives have communicated that the real estate group plans to completely rebuild the property, which houses one of the largest five-star luxury hotels on the Costa del Sol. They plan to retain the hotel’s characteristic features, as well as incorporate new elements, such as a health and beauty area.

The five-star Hotel Byblos Hotel is an icon of the tourism industry on the Costa del Sol, since many internationally famous personalities have passed through its facilities, including the mythical Rolling Stones and Lady Di, amongst many others.

The establishment, opened in 1986, achieved enormous international fame as an icon of high quality tourism until it was acquired by the real estate group Aifos, which then led it to ruin, until its closure on 31 May 2010. In 2009, the British magnate Lord Sugar, founder of the mythical information technology company Amstrad, acquired the hotel and considered the possibility of reopening it in 2013, but that did not end up happening.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Puts 144 Hotels Up For Sale Worth c. €1,000M

20 May 2016 – Expansión

CaixaBank has launched a mega hotel operation. The Catalan entity wants to sell off the majority of the hotel assets that have come into its possession during the course of the crisis, as well as some that it will soon foreclose. To this end, it has brought Project Sun onto the market, advised by N+1, whereby it is looking to sell its exposure in 144 hotels, valued at almost €1,000 million, according to financial sources.

The operation is divided into two portfolios: one with unpaid loans secured by 112 hotels; and the other with 32 hotel assets already foreclosed by the entity. In total, the properties that CaixaBank wants to sell contain almost 11,000 rooms.

This is the largest financial operation involving the divestment of hotels launched to date in the Spanish market. Bankia undertook a similar operation in 2014, with Project Amazonas, containing hotels worth €800 million, which were awarded to the specialist fund Starwood; and another one in 2015 for €400 million – known as Project Castle, which was sold to Davidson Kempner Capital and Bank of America.

Market trend

Santander and Sareb also wanted to join the party. Last year, the entity led by Ana Botín launched Project Formentera, containing 17 hotels worth €170 million. Meanwhile, Sareb, put a portfolio up for sale containing assets inherited from Polaris World, which were worth €500 million before they were transferred to the bad bank. Both operations have been postponed until this year.

The operation launched recently by CaixaBank has been distributed amongst investors. The entity hopes to close the deal during the month of July. Of the 144 hotels, two thirds are located in Andalucía (37), Cataluña (22), the Canary Islands (19) and the Balearic Islands (17), with an average value of almost €7 million. Both Andalucía and the Canary Islands are regions were CaixaBank increased its presence thanks to the acquisition of Banca Cívica. The other assets are distributed all over Spain.

85% of the hotels are four- and five-star properties, and more than half are holiday properties, situated on the coast. The portfolio also includes rural and urban accommodation. This type of portfolio mainly attracts large international opportunistic funds, such as Cerberus, Apollo, Oaktree, Starwood – specialists in hotels – and Blackstone.

Once they have been awarded such portfolios, investors try to make profits from the operation by selling the hotels to large specialist groups or to local property developers; and by restructuring the debt. Project Sun contains 108 loans, of which 35 are up to date and 75 are overdue. (…).

Clean-up

For CaixaBank, this type of operation allows it to reduce its default rate, obtain profits – depending on the price paid – and release provisions. The Catalan entity held €9,500 million of problem assets (net of provisions) linked to the real estate sector at the end of the first quarter 2016. This figure had decreased by 11% in the last year thanks to the sale of portfolios and foreclosed assets through Servihabitat.

In addition to this portfolio, the Catalan entity has another group of assets up for sale, Project Carlit, advised by PwC, through which it hopes to sell of €790 million in doubtful loans to property developers.

Original story: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Oaktree Enters Exclusive Negotiations On Project Gaudi For c.€500m

13 April 2015 – CoStar Finance

Oaktree Capital Management has entered exclusive negotiations with FMS Wertmanagement for the predominantly Spanish Project Gaudi commercial real estate loan portfolio for a price thought to equal just over €500m, CoStar News has learned.

Negotiations are ongoing and the Board of FMS Wertmanagement is still to approve the sale, but Colony Capital, the second finalist, is no longer in the running to acquire the bad bank’s prospective maiden European NPL.

Project Gaudi, named after the legendary Catalan architect, has an unpaid balance of €740m, and is expected to trade at around 68 cents in the euro.

Cerberus Capital Management and Orion Capital Managers made up the top four, as revealed by CoStar News at the turn of the New Year.

Project Gaudi loan portfolio, which is being sold by Cushman & Wakefield’s Corporate Finance team in London, is comprised of 18 loans with broadly an equal split of performing, sub-performing and non-performing loans.

Project Gaudi, comprised of 16 loans secured by Spanish assets and two loans secured by Portuguese commercial properties, includes:

  • two five-star hotels in Barcelona and Cascais;
  • five shopping centre and leisure centres;
  • four business parks in Madrid and Barcelona;
  • a portfolio of 17 self-storage assets; and
  • several residential and industrial development sites.

The marquee asset in Project Gaudi is the 483-bed Hotel Arts in Barcelona (pictured), managed by Ritz-Carlton.

A consortium comprised of Host Hotels & Resorts, Dutch pension fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and Jasmine Hotels Pte, an affiliate of Singapore sovereign wealth fund’s GIC Real Estate paid €417m in July 2006 for Hotel Arts, which at the time was the largest ever single-asset real estate transaction in Spain.

FMS Wertmanagement, founded in 2010 after the German government nationalised Hypo Real Estate, brought the Project Gaudi loan portfolio for sale in October.

The four second round finalists all placed bids above 60 cents in the euro, which reflects a price of €444m or above.

First round bidders included Davidson Kempner in a joint venture with Värde Partners, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, Marathon Asset Management, Sankaty Advisors, BAML, Colony Capital, Starwood Capital, Apollo Global Management and Lone Star.

FMS Wertmanagement had as much as €13.4bn in remaining commercial real estate loans, as at the end of 2013, including €5.8bn of German loans, €1.8bn of US loans, €1.7bn worth of UK commercial real estate loans and €0.8bn and €0.6bn of loans secured by assets in France and Netherlands, respectively.

Spain has returned to economic growth in 2014 following seven difficult years of rising unemployment, salary deflation and depressed consumer spending.

But an increase in business activity has led to unemployment reducing and consumer confidence has reached its highest level since 2001 with improvements in disposable income and recovering house prices reinforcing this optimism.

All parties declined to comment.

Original story: CoStar Finance (by James Wallace)

Edited by: Carmel Drake