Criteria Finalises the Purchase of a 8,000 m2 Building in 22@ for €35M

9 April 2019 – Eje Prime

InmoCaixa, the real estate arm of La Caixa’s holding company Criteria is finalising the purchase of a 8,000 m2 building located at number 331 Calle Llull, in the 22@ district of Barcelona.

The building is managed by the German fund manager GLL and the purchase price is reported to amount to €35 million.

The property is currently leased in its entirety, mostly to Torraspapel, the paper company belonging to the Lecta group, which occupies 7,000 m2.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Mapfre to Invest in Property due to Low Interest Rates

7 March 2019 – Expansión

Mapfre has announced its intention to invest in more real estate in light of the low interest rates in the global markets. The insurance group ended 2018 with real estate investments worth €2.9 billion, accounting for 4.3% of its total investments, having invested heavily in the renovation of its asset portfolio during the year.

Given the scarce supply and illiquidity of the real estate markets in Madrid and Barcelona, the firm has already created two companies headquartered in Luxembourg to invest in properties in Paris and Germany. It also plans to acquire real estate in Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan and Luxembourg.

Moreover, it has teamed up with the German real estate fund manager GLL, with whom it aims to invest up to €300 million in properties in some of the main European cities.

The objective of the insurance company is to generate returns of between 4% and 6% p.a. on a recurring basis and to diversify its portfolio.

The firm did also divest some properties last year, in Portugal, Chile and Palma de Mallorca, which together with the appreciation of other assets, resulted in net gains for the group of €47 million.

Most of Mapfre’s investment portfolio comprises public and corporate fixed income securities, which had balances of €49.3 billion and €8.9 billion, equivalent to 56% and 18% of its total portfolio, respectively, at year end 2018. Equities accounted for €2.4 billion (4.9%) and investment funds €1.3 billion (2.7%).

Original story: Expansión (by E. del Pozo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mapfre Divested Non-Strategic Assets Worth €130M in 2017

7 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The insurance company Mapfre is still interested in the Spanish real estate sector, but it is divesting certain assets that it considers to be non-strategic in the country. The company sold properties worth €130 million in the Spanish market last year, according to information presented in the group’s annual report for 2017. The most high profile sales were carried out in Madrid and included the Luchana building, amongst others.

During the year, divestments amounting to around €130 million were carried out in Spain and Portugal. Highlights include the sale of a plot of land in Valdemarín (Madrid) for €5.5 million and two plots in Palma de Mallorca for €22.5 million, plus a series of other smaller assets for €24.5 million in total.

One of Mapfre’s main divestment operations last year was the sale of the Luchana building to GMP for €72 million. It is an exempt asset, dating back to the beginning of the 1980s, located just six minutes from Paseo de la Castellana by foot.

GMP is currently renovating that property, which spans a gross leasable area of 14,424 m2, spread over eleven above ground floors in total, ten office floors and one commercial-use floor at street level. Its main tenant is Mapfre, which houses the headquarters of its General Regional Management team for Madrid and Verti in this building.

In total, all of the operations signed in the Iberian Peninsula generated gains of more than €65 million for Mapfre, according to the annual report.

Investment in its asset stock in Spain 

But Mapfre has not only been selling assets in Spain, it has also been feeding its portfolio by investing in the renovation of its properties. The insurance group has undertaken improvement work on its portfolio in Madrid, where it has finished work on an asset it owns on Calle Sor Ángela de la Cruz amounting to €8 million, where the General Regional team for Madrid is located; and work on Plaza de la Independencia amounting to €7.39 million. That building has already been leased out for the most part (70% of the leasable surface area).

In addition, Mapfre has started refurbishment work on the facilities of its property on Calle Mateo Inurria, a building that has been leased in its entirety to the Ministry of Finance for a rental cost of €5.04 million per year. Improvement work on its offices on Calle General Perón is still underway with an investment of €5.81 million in 2017. Work is also still underway on the tower in Barcelona amounting to €22 million in 2017, which is expected to be completed during the first half of 2018.

At the end of 2017, the market value of Mapfre’s real estate investments in Spain amounted to €2.945 billion, “with latent capital gains of more than €750 million”, explains the group. Of the total, approximately 58% corresponds to properties for own use, and the remaining 42% relates to properties that are rented out to third parties or are on the market for sale. The occupancy ratio of the rental properties amounts to 83%, considering that at the moment, more than 7,500 m2 of its space is being renovated for repositioning on the market from 2018 onwards.

Commitment to Europe 

In March, the insurance group announced its partnership with GLL to launch a fund to invest up to €300 million in the purchase of prime offices in Europe over a two to three year period.

The new vehicle launched by Mapfre and GLL aims to enter large capitals cities across the continent (Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium) with the aim of achieving returns of between 4% and 6% per year and diversifying its portfolio against other types of financial assets (…).

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mapfre & GLL Launch New €300M Office Fund

8 March 2018 – Iberian Property

The insurance company Mapfre and GLL have just formed a new partnership for the launch of a new investment fund amounting to €300 million.

The vehicle will focus on the purchase of offices in some of the major European markets, such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Luxembourg, according to the Spanish real estate firm. The idea is to achieve returns of 4%-6% per year, diversifying the portfolio of the entities.

In Spain, Mapfre already owns a portfolio of buildings including Plaza de la Independencia, 6 in Madrid and Torre Mapfre in Barcelona.

Original story: Iberian Property

Edited by: Carmel Drake

The New Owners Of Gran Vía, Madrid

5 February 2015 – Expansión

Amancio Ortega acquired Gran Vía, 32 for €400 million in January 2015.

Axa Real Estate broke records when it paid almost €20,000 per square metre for Gran Vía, 37.

Rental prices on the street have appreciated by 40% since before the crisis.

The opportunities for refurbishing buildings and adding value are attractive for many investors.

In the last year and a half, investors, real estate companies and hotel chains have all acquired buildings on the street.

The iconic street is divided into three main sections: from Alcalá to Fuencarral, from Fuencarral to Callao and from Callao to Plaza de España.

The second section has the highest demand and is where many flagship stores are located, with rents of up to €185 per square metre per month.

Tenants of the premises between Callao and Plaza de España pay an average rent of €120/sqm/month and those between Fuencarral and Banco de España pay an average of €60/sqm/month.

The 100-year old Madrilenian street has become an object of desire for many investors, attracted by the growth potential of its rents for office buildings and, more importantly, for the retail spaces that house many of the world’s fashion giants.

More than 10 buildings have been sold on the same street in barely 15 months. The real estate activity on Gran Vía is frenetic. The 100-year old Madrilenian artery is living a golden age, reflecting the current boom in the investor market in Spain, above all in the centres of Madrid and Barcelona.

Along the 1.3km length of Gran Vía, investors ranging from Amancio Ortega, the owner of Inditex and the insurance company Axa, to Mexican investors and hotel groups, such as the Spanish chain VP Hotels, have all bought properties in recent months. These investments have driven the volume of acquisitions through the roof, to €1,185 million on one single street in a year and a half. “Almost every player in the market is showing an interest in Gran Vía, including developers, funds, private investors, real estate companies and hotel specialists”, explains Elvira Rodríguez, Director of High Street Investment at the consulting firm Aguirre Newman.

And it is not only the profile of investors that is diverse, so too are the properties they are buying, and as a result, the prices being paid. The firm GLL paid €54 million for the premises located at number 48, whilst Pontegadea spent €400 million for the building at number 32, which is currently undergoing renovation work and which will soon be the home of another fashion chain, Primark.

Why do all these investors want to buy property on this street?

“The investors that are buying on Gran Vía today have confidence in the potential that the street has both in terms of rental yields and the appreciation in property values. Another important aspect that has seduced some investors is the opportunity that the street offers for refurbishing some of the buildings and generating value through their active management”, say Aguirre Newman.

One of other main attractive features is the street’s focus as a visitor attraction, both for residents of Madrid as well as tourists. “From the point of view of retail, the street has shown counter-cyclical behaviour, since during the years of crisis, rental yields on the retail outlets on the best section of Gran Vía grew by more than CPI and no downwards adjustments have been observed”.

According to a report by Aguirre Newman, Gran Vía is the only high street where rents have not only not declined during the crisis; they have actually increased, by 40% since 2006. In 2014 alone, rents increased by 9.3%, on average, to amount to almost €200 (€185) per square metre per month in the areas with highest demand.

Landmark stores

If the Madrilenian street is enjoying good times, then the behaviour of the section between Fuencarral and Callao is positively boomly. There, fashion giants, such as H&M, Zara, Mango and Primark have stores (or are preparing to open one in the case of the Irish firm). “Rents in Gran Vía will increase by more than 10% this year along the best section. In terms of new retail brands, some international companies still do not have a flagship store in Spain and may move in during 2015”, says Rodríguez.

Therefore, and even though almost half – 46% to be exact – of the stores on the street have a surface area of less than 200 square metres, the current flagship stores and those that will be created in the future, make Gran Vía one of the most attractive areas for investors and operators, says the report published by the real estate consultancy firm.

But it is not only the large fashion chains that are fighting for space on the Madrilenian thoroughfare. Its tourist appeal has not gone unnoticed by the many of the buildings’ owners or by hotel operators. The insurance company Generali, owner of number 10, will convert its property, which used to house the offices of Madrid’s Ministry of Education, into a hotel that the chain Vincci will operate. In addition to the project at Gran Vía 10, there has also been a change in the operator of the former Ada Palace, located at number two, which will become The Principal Madrid Hotel in a few months time.

At Gran Vía 31, the Mexican family Díaz Estrada, which also owns the property that houses the Apple Store a few blocks away from Gran Vía (in the emblematic Puerta del Sol), is looking to form a partnership with a hotel chain to convert its property into another prestigious establishment. “There is interest in three and four star hotels from both domestic operators, such as Barceló, Vincci and Praknik, as well as European ones, for example, Pestana”, says Rodríguez.

Conscious of this furore, the public administrations, such as the Community of Madrid, have taken advantage of the opportunity to make money from their properties and continue as tenants. In this way, the Community of Madrid has received more than €46.6 million for the buildings located at numbers 3, 18 and 20. Also, number 14, which they rent, has been sold by the Spanish company Dafor to a Mexican investor.

New projects

The good times that the Madrilenian street is currently enjoying will continue for the next few years, thanks to two landmark projects, located at the beginning and the end of Gran Vía: the Canalejas complex, led by Grupo Villar Mir, and the Edificio España, acquired by the Chinese businessman, Wang Jianlin. Both complexes will include a hotel, a retail area and luxury housing.

In addition, Wanda’s project is one of five hotel projects in the Plaza de España, which will all involve refurbishments in the near future: the Torre de Madrid, a 259-room four star hotel that will be managed by Barceló; another two properties owned by the hotel chain VP Hotels (one four- and five-star hotel, with 302 rooms) and the Hotel Chiqui, a four star establishment with 160 rooms. In total, 1000 new hotel beds.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

GLL Fund Buys Gran Via C&A Store For €55 Mn

13/05/2014 – Expansion

 Foreign funds continue with their gambling on the Spanish real estate. One of the most recent examples is the purchase of a German fund that acquired a shop of C&A brand on the Gran Via Street in Madrid. GLL Real Estate expects to receive a 5% return from the 2.500 square meter unit.

The C&A store is found at 48 Gran Via Street on the ground floor of a new construction building. The upper part of the property consists of luxury homes. It is the only building built along the street within the past sixty years.

The exact amount paid for the property remains uknown, however sources from the market estimate that the operation may have brought a €55 million gain to the seller. Last year, GLL Real Estate bought a BBVA´s office situated on the Paseo de Gracia Street in Barcelona. A year earlier it also acquired headquarters of Planeta on the Paseo de Recoletos Street in Madrid.


Original article: Expansión (by M. A.)

Translation: AURA REE

German Landing on Paseo de Gracia for €24.000 per Square Meter

No, this is not a flashback from the spring in 1939 and Angel Viñas has not written this article. We talk about the most interesting real estate transaction of the summer 2013, althought it has almost slipped unnoticed. (…) For the first time since the beginning of the recession in 2007, a core capital appears on the Spanish land.

(…) On August 20th, a German real estate fund, GLL Real Estate Partners, acquired Tree Inversiones, a vehicle consisting of clients of Deutsche Bank, Banca March and international funds: AREA Property Partners and Europa Capital – BBVA´s branch office at 25 Paseo de Gracia Street in Barcelona. 

The office (…) of total 1.800 square meter space has been sold for 31.1 million Euros. The amount indicates a price set at 24.000 €/m2. (…) GLL will be obliged to find a first-class tenant and provide them long-term rent and protection against inflation. (…).


Source: El Confidencial