Quabit Creates a Corporate Network to ‘Attack’ the Rental Market

24 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Quabit is looking to the future and is organising its business to respond to the new trends in the residential market. The company, chaired by Félix Abánades, has started to create a new corporate network under the activity of freehold properties, a business concept that is used for asset management with ownership rights. The constitution of these companies comes in response to “the evolution of the market and the importance of businesses such as the rental market”, according to explanations provided by Quabit to Eje Prime.

Specifically, the property developer has recently created four companies: Quabit Freehold Properties, Quabit Freehold Properties Levante, Quabit Freehold Properties Centro and Quabit Freehold Properties Sur, whereby covering a large proportion of the Spanish peninsula. All of the companies have their registered addresses at number 1 Calle Capitán Haya in Madrid, which is also home to Quabit’s headquarters.

In this way, the company is getting its business ready to meet the needs of new generations, who see renting as a more feasible option. These types of companies may also be the seed of a future Quabit Socimi, although sources at the company say that this option has been “parked” for the time being (…).

Quabit, recent steps

Last year and the beginning of 2018 have been very positive for Quabit. The property developer bid farewell to 2017 with a net profit of €14.4 million, which represented an increase of 80% compared to the €8 million it earned in 2016.

Moreover, the company recorded turnover of €535.7 million in 2017, although its sales fell by 83% due to a reduction in stock during 2016 and because new developments will start to be handed over this year, according to the real estate company. The market value of Quabit’s assets (GAV) as at 31 December 2017 amounted to €399.3 million.

Moreover, the group’s plans involve continuing to fatten up its portfolio with the purchase of new land to continue growing. In April, the company signed a line of credit for up to €50 million with the aim of financing the acquisition of buildable land focused on the construction of residential real estate assets.

The real estate company signed that loan with several funds advised by Taconic Capital Advisors UK and Grupo Royal Metropolitan España. Specifically, according to the agreement, the line will be used to finance 70% of the amount corresponding to the acquisition of land and taxes, whilst the remaining 30% will be financed by Quabit.

The signing of that line of credit formed part of the new investment financing scheme set out by Quabit in its Business Plan for 2017-2022 (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Goldcar’s Founders’ Socimi Earns €4.4 Million in 2017, Up 45%

27 March 2018

Trajano had a turnover of €18.7 million in 2017, double that in 2016. Its asset portfolio already has a value of 326 million euros.

The Alcaraz brothers’ socimi is on the right track. Trajano Iberia Socimi, managed by the real estate investment division of Deutsche Asset Management, closed 2017 with a net profit of 4.4 million euros, increasing its year-on-year profit by 45%, according to the company’s disclosure to the Alternative Stock Market (MAB).

The Alcaraz brothers, the founders of the Goldcar vehicle leasing company, hold a 10.5% stake in the publicly listed company. The socimi closed last year with a gross operating profit (EBITDA) of 12.6 million euros, twice the amount in 2016.

Trajano’s gross asset value in portfolio (GAV) rose to 326 million euros in 2017, while the net value (NAV) reached 12.5 euros per share, an increase of 25%.

After its acquisition of the Alcalá Magna shopping centre in February of last year, the socimi is one hundred percent invested. The company currently has five “maximum quality” operating assets, with a leasable area of almost 151,000 square meters and an occupancy rate of 98%.

In addition to Alcalá Magna, the company manages the following assets: Parque Logístico Plaza in Zaragoza; the Echevarría building in Bilbao; the Nosso shopping centre in Vila Real, Portugal; and the Isla de Manoteras business park in Madrid.

The company’s net financial debt on the value of its assets amounted to 138.7 million euros at the end of 2017, a figure significantly higher than the 42.1 million euros on December 31, 2016.

Original Story: EjePrime

Translation: Richard Turner

Residential Socimi Galil Capital Receives Green Light for MAB Debut

21 February 2018 – Eje Prime

A new Socimi is going to make its stock market debut in 2018. Galil Capital, a company specialising in residential assets, has received the green light from the Alternative Investment Market’s Coordination and Incorporations Committee to start trading. Worth €20.5 million, the company still has to wait for approval from the MAB’s Board of Directors, which always has the last word.

Galil Capital RE Spain has received a favourable report from the body responsible for the entry of new companies onto the MAB, to which it has submitted a reference price for its company of €10 per share.

The company’s portfolio of real estate assets comprises five buildings located in Barcelona and Madrid, which all have commercial premises on their ground floors, also owned by the Socimi.

With this new arrival, the MAB will come close to having fifty listed companies, and that is before the debut of Témpore Properties, the Socimi owned by Sareb, which plans to ring the bell before the spring. The company’s GAV amounts to €175 million, a volume that will be added to the €773 million in assets that have made their debuts on the Alternative Investment market in recent months.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinver Acquires 40,000m2 Plot In Getafe To Build Logistics Warehouse

31 October 2017 – Observatorio Inmobiliario

Neinver has acquired 40,000 m2 of industrial land on the Carpetania Industrial Estate in Getafe (Madrid), where it plans to build an industrial warehouse with a GLA (Gross Leasable Area) of 24,000 m2. This project, which involves an investment of approximately €16 million, reflects the company’s commitment to logistics development; since its creation, the firm has now built more than 2 million m2 of logistics assets.

Currently, Neinver is one of the main property developers, managers and investors in the southern part of the Community of Madrid, with more than 70,000 m2 of GLA under management in the Getafe area.

According to Juan Carlos Ortega, Director of Industrial and Logistics at Neinver, “with this operation, Neinver is strengthening its position as a developer of logistics projects in the Spanish market. Besides managing a portfolio spanning half a million m2, the development of a new warehouse in a location as strategic as Carpetania, reflects the company’s commitment to this sector, so rooted in the origins of Neinver”.

This operation comes after Neinver acquired two other logistics assets in Barcelona and Pamplona, with a combined constructed surface area of 15,000 m2, in February of this year, through Colver, its joint venture with Colony Northstar.

In total, Neinver currently manages a portfolio of 500,000 m2 in terms of logistics and industrial surface area, corresponding to a gross asset value (GAV) of €300 million.

Original story: Observatorio Inmobiliario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania To Invest €650M Ahead Of Company Sale In 2020

3 May 2017 – Expansión

Hispania is getting ready to embark on a new phase. The Socimi in which George Soros owns a stake wants to update its hotel portfolio, by purchasing new assets and reposition its existing properties, with the aim of preparing the company for sale, which must happen before March 2020 – the date on which the company will celebrate its sixth anniversary of trading on the stock market.

The company plans to invest €400 million in new hotel acquisitions, which it will undertake, for the most part, before September, including an establishment in Mallorca with 250 rooms that is expected to be completed soon and which will turn it into the largest hotel owner in Spain and the third largest group in Europe behind Pandox and Foncière des Murs.

The group has 38 hotels and 11,000 rooms. The gross asset value (GAV) of its hotel portfolio amounts to €1,257 million, according to the most recent valuation performed by CBRE.

Similarly, the company will spend €250 million on the repositioning and renovation of its portfolio. This investment effort will be undertaken primarily in 2018. The group will finance this investment using its own capital and through debt.

In this way, the managers seek to have Hispania ready by the first quarter of 2019 to prepare it for its sale. The Socimi is considering selling off the whole company – excluding its offices and homes – through a transfer of control, rather than by selling off the assets individually or in batches.

The entry of Soros into the group’s most senior management body, following the incorporation of Benjamin D. Barnett, analyst at Soros Fund Management UK Management LLP, into the Board, will facilitate contact with international investors interested in the company, according to sources in the market.

In addition to its hotel portfolio, the Socimi managed by Azora also owns 27 office buildings, worth €520 million and measuring more than 185,000 m2, as well as a portfolio of homes comprising 750 units worth €230 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin & Metrovacesa Will Approve Their Merger On 15 Sept

12 August 2016 – Expansión

Metrovacesa and Merlin have both convened General Shareholders’ Meetings on 15 September 2016, in order to approve their merger. Before the operation, the companies will distribute a combined dividend amounting to €116 million in total. Specifically, Merlin will distribute a maximum of €66 million to its shareholders, whilst Metrovacesa will pay out €50 million.

The main shareholder of Metrovacesa is Banco Santander, with a 70% stake, followed by BBVA, with 20% and Banco Popular, with almost 10%.

The agreement between Merlin and Metrovacesa includes a penalty of €75 million, plus the reimbursement of costs incurred, in the event that their respective General Shareholders’ Meetings do not approve the operation.

In addition to approval from the shareholders, the merger requires the green light from the Competition authorities. The companies notified the CNMC about the deal at the end of July and, according to the agreed timetable, the transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter.

The merger will give rise to a new real estate giant in the tertiary sector – offices, shopping centres, logistics warehouses and hotels – with a gross asset value (GAV) of €9,300 million and annual gross rental income of €450 million.

In addition, the operation will involve the grouping together of rental homes from Metrovacesa and Testa – owned by Merlin. The combination of the residential businesses of both groups will include more than 4,700 homes, with a GAV of €979 million. Testa Residencial will take on bank debt amounting to €250 million.

It is expected that Merlin will render advisory, planning and strategic management services to Testa Residential for a period of 30 years from the operation close, for a cost of €7.7 million p.a., which may be increased by 1.5% p.a. and which may be paid for through the capitalisation of shares.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Competes With Hispania To Become Largest Hotel Socimi

26 July 2016 – Expansión

Merlin, which has incorporated several hotels into its portfolio following its purchase of Testa, now owns 24 properties worth €654 million. Merlin is the largest real estate company and Socimi in Spain.

The merger between Merlin and Metrovacesa will create the largest real estate company and Socimi in Spain, market leader in the office segment and with a leading position in the shopping centre sector. In addition, the new Merlin will be one of the largest hotel lease operators in Spain, which will allow it to catch up with Hispania, the Socimi in which the investor George Soros holds a stake.

Following the integration with Metrovacesa, Merlin will go from owning 12 hotels worth €398 million to having 24 hotels with a gross asset value (GAV) of €654 million. In this way, the new Merlin will increase the value of its assets by 1.6 times following the integration, which is expected to be closed during Q4 2016, after the competition authorities and the general shareholders’ meetings of both companies have approved the deal.

By number of rooms, the union of Merlin and Metrovacesa will give rise to a hotel lease giant, with almost 4,500 rooms and a gross yield of 5.8%. The operation will also allow the group to increase the appeal and liquidity of its hotel division. The hotel business will account for around 7% of the new Merlin, which will have an total asset portfolio worth €9,300 million.

The company’s integrated portfolio of assets will include hotels as iconic as the Eurostars de las Cuatro Torres, inherited from Testa and the Barceló Torre, inherited from Metrovacesa, both located in Madrid.


For the time being, Hispania leads Spain’s ranking of the owners of hotels operated and managed by third parties, both in terms of the number of rooms and asset value. At the end of the first quarter, Hispania’s hotel portfolio included 8,234 hotel rooms in total, across 27 hotels, as well as two shopping centres and a plot of land, with a gross value of €862 million. In addition, in March, Hispania acquired the mortgage debt of Dunas Hotels & Resorts from several financial institutions, whereby acquiring 1,183 rooms in four hotels. The group, which owns the Hotel Guadalmina Spa & Golf (Marbella) and the Holiday Inn Bernabéu (Madrid) also bought the Hotel Oasis Resort (Lanzarote) last week. Following that operation, Hispania now owns 35 hotels and more than 10,400 rooms. Merlin’s hotel lease contracts all involve fixed rents, whereas Hispania operates using all types of lease contracts. Some include variable components linked to the evolution of the business. Currently, that is the most common type of lease contract in the hotel sector.


Nevertheless, Merlin has described its hotel division as “non strategic”, “which means that, in the medium term, it will be looking for a way out of this arm of its business”.

Sources in the sector believe that, if it chooses to exit the hotel business in a single transaction, then we will see a record-breaking operation in the hotel market. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Resurgence Of Spain’s RE Market: Who’s Who?

11 July 2016 – Expansión

Spain’s real estate companies are making a name for themselves on the European map, particularly thanks tothe merger of Merlin and Metrovacesa. The Socimis and funds are also boosting the sector and are throwing themselves into the tertiary business. (…).

Following its merger with Metrovacesa, Merlin now owns assets with a gross value (GAV) of €9,317 million and a net value of €4,927 million. This portfolio of assets have catapulted it into the top ten ranking of the largest listed Socimis in Europe, all of which have a GAV of more than €9,000 million. The largest three are Unibail Rodamco (€37,800 million) Klepierre (€22,100 million) and Land Securities (€18,700 million). Merlin is ranked eighth. Unlike its European counterparts – who are much more specialised but who have a presence in more countries – Merlin is focusing its activity in Spain, although it does own some assets in Portugal and has a more diversified portfolio.


The operation between Merlin and Metrovacesa “is a clear sign of the professionalization of the sector”, according to Humphrey White, CEO of the consultancy firm Knight Frank (…).

Other, smaller Socimis are also competing in the race to grow in size, such as Axiare, Hispania Real and Lar España, which have also gained prominence in the sector. A tier below, we find other Socimis such as Cuatro, Promorent and Mercal Inmuebles, which are listed on the specialist MAB market.

Other Socimis

“One of the first effects of this merger is that the other Socimis are going to have to following the path adopted by Merlin and carry out operations of this kind, so as to place themselves at the same level in the market”, says Borja Ortega, Director of Capital Markets at JLL.

Compared with Merlin, the other Socimis in Spain are much smaller in terms of asset values. Specifically, Hispania, with GAV of €1,500 million; Lar, with €1,050 million; and Axiare with around €900 million, are above or near the threshold of €1,000 million, but light years away from the €9,300 million held by the newly merged Merlin. The large players in the capital markets, such as Blackstone and Fidelity, are demanding liquidity (in terms of share trading) from the listed companies to invest in their share capital. (…).

In this way, the Socimis are facing up to companies with a long history in the real estate sector, such as Colonial, which specialises in prime offices in Barcelona, Madrid and Paris, with assets worth almost €7,000 milion. Colonial, chaired by Juan José Brugera, is currently evaluating the possibility of investing in other European cities, particularly offices in prime locations. The company, one of the real estate companies that survived the burst of the bubble, has just approved the distribution of its first dividend since 2008. It has also launched an investment plan whereby it will allocate €400 million to the acquisition of real estate assets and undertake a €265 million capital increase.

In addition to the Socimis, another major player that has burst onto the new property map with a vengeance is Pontegadea, the investment arm of the founder of the textile empire Inditex, Amancio Ortega.


Pontegadea’s assets, worth more than €6,000 million, are located across a dozen countries in Europe, America and Asia. The company invests in buildings where some of its Zara mega-stores are opening in major cities, such as New York, Boston and Milan. In addition, it has purchased unique office buildings in prime areas such as Torre Picasso in Madrid, considered its largest single investment to date (€400 million). It also owns hotels, such as the one it has just purchased in New York for €68 million from the fund KHP Capital Partners. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by G.Martínez and R.Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Listed RE Companies’ Values Soared By 30% In 2015

29 March 2016 – El Confidencial

(…). Colonial, Merlin, Hispania, Realia, Axiare and Lar, the six largest listed RE companies (in Spain), have been the drivers of the recovery that maligned the property sector until recently and, they are also, the major beneficiaries of the recent change of pace.

During the last year, these companies have been the value of their assets soar by between 25% and 30%, depending on whether one looks at their gross asset value (GAV) or net asset value (EPRA NAV). Although this spectacular rate of growth has been driven in large part by the commitments made by these companies to the recovery of the sector, in the form of lots of purchases, the data also reflects an improvement in the underlying valuations of many of their assets.

That positive trend has been felt most acutely in the segments in which these companies mainly operate, in other words, in the office, hotel and shopping centre segments, as well as the logistics business. By contrast, the residential and land segments have barely entered the portfolios of these companies.

As the table in the original article shows (see link below), the GAV or market value of the real estate investments made by these six companies increased by 25.7% last year, an improvement that in the case of Colonial was also seen in its stake in the French firm SFL, in the case of Merlin, in the purchase of Testa, and in the case of Hispania, in a leap driven by the consolidation of its hotel Socimi Bay, whilst in the case of Axiare and Lar (the latter publishes fair values), the figures simply reflect the high investment rate recorded last year.

But if we take the EPRA NAV as the reference indicator, which reflects the net value of the assets, in other words, which discounts the debt and excludes certain concepts that are not expected to materialise with certainty, we see that the improvement in valuations is even greater, reaching almost 30% on average (in the case of Realia, the NNAV value has been taken as that was the figure published).

Neverthless, this increase in asset values has not been reflected in the same proportion in the share prices of the companies. Although all of them recorded increases last year, and important milestones were reached, such as Merlin’s incorporation into the Ibex 35, the improvement in share prices fell a long way below the variations in the value of their assets.

Stock market

The company that performed best on the stock exchange last year was Realia, whose share price shot up by 49%, thanks to the takeover war between Carlos Slim and Hispania to take control of the company. Despite losing the battle, the Socimi led by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio was, alongside Axiare, the next best performer on the stock market, closing 2015 with an increase of 20%; whilst the company led by Luis López de Herrera Oria recorded an increase of 21.9%. Meanwhile, Colonial’s share price rose by 16.3%; Merlin Properties was up by 15.1% and Lar España’s rose by 3%.

Nevertheless, most of those gains have evaporated already this year, as the real estate companies have also suffered from the poor start to the year that has been seen on stock markets around the world. Almost all of them have recorded share price decreases during the first quarter, the only exceptions being the company led by Pere Viñolas, which has risen by 4.6%; and Realia, whose share price is being driven by a second takeover bid from Slim, and by the demands from Polygon to increase his offer of €0.80 per share. (…) According to the company’s own annual report, its NNAV per share amounts to €1.20.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake