Auren Sells 3rd Floor Of Its HQ In Madrid For €10.5M

9 October 2017 – El Economista

The professional services firm Auren has sold one floor of its office building in Madrid to a Spanish foundation for €10.5 million, according to sources in the sector.

The headquarters of the consultancy firm is located in the Edificio Masters I building on Avenida General Perón, 38; Auren has operated from that multi-owner property for almost 20 years. When it first moved in, it acquired the third floor of the building and then went on to lease more space on two other floors, as the company continued to grow. Now that this asset is no longer strategic for the firm, it has opted to undertake a long-term sale & leaseback operation, which has been advised by Catella.

The transaction comprises one floor measuring 1,669 m2 and 16 parking spaces in the property, located in the Azca business district, which has established itself as a strategic enclave over the last few decades, above all for companies in the financial and technological sectors.

This operation, which has been closed at the high end of the market in terms of price per square metre, is another example of the good times that the office sector is enjoying. During the first nine months of this year, the office segment accounted for 24% of all real estate investment in Spain.

In this sense, Pablo Carvajal, Director of Capital Markets at Catella, highlights that “we are in an increasingly competitive market where it is hard to find quality assets for sale. That means that sale & leaseback operations, involving tenants of the calibre and solvency of Auren, in prime locations, are particularly attractive for investors looking for long-term stability”.

Auren is one of the largest multidisciplinary firms in Spain, with 51 offices in nine countries and more than 200 offices in 60 countries through Antea. The firm closed 2016 with a total turnover of €52.2 million, up by 4% compared to 2015. The company offers the following services: Audit, Legal & Tax Advice, Consultancy and Corporate and employs more than 1,500 people in the countries in which it has an international presence.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Interview With Arcano Bosses: Álvaro De Remedios & Jaime Carvajal

19 September 2017 – Expansión

Interview with Álvaro de Remedios (pictured above, left) and Jaime Carvajal (pictured above, right), President and CEO of Arcano / The executives are committed to backing the Spanish economy and do not believe that Cataluña will break the rule of law.

In 2003, after a lifetime as an investment banker, Álvaro de Remedios (Madrid, 1968) decided to found Arcano and he was soon joined by Jaime Carvajal (Madrid, 1964). Both shared the vision of accompanying their clients throughout the transaction process and of placing the knowledge of senior executives at their disposal. Fourteen years later, Arcano has 15 partners, a workforce of more than 140 people, offices in Madrid, Barcelona and New York, and it has added the management of alternative assets and real estate advice to its core investment banking business.

Q: The boutique advisors have completed quite a few high-profile operations in recent months.

Jaime Carvajal: It is a world that is growing. The bankers at boutique firms have a lot of experience and the teams are more senior than in the large investment banks, in general. But sometimes, it is good to have both profiles involved in an operation. For this reason, Jefferies makes so much sense for us.

– What fruits are being born from the alliance with Jefferies?

Álvaro de Remedios: We are Jefferies’ partners in Spain. We benefit from its status as a global bank with an international presence and a great sectoral specialisation, and they benefit from our local presence and closeness to the market. Apart from the fact that we have business cards with different logos on them, we act as a single firm. We signed the alliance more than two years ago. The first year was spent understanding each other’s businesses, and during this second year, we have participated in several operations together (…).

Q: Do you expect to see an upturn in corporate operations?

Á.R: Yes, we think so, although that could just be our perception and not the view shared by the sector. We have closed around 30 advisory operations in the last 18 months. We are all very busy.

Q: Are the prices of operations rising due to the high degree of liquidity?

Á.R: There is a lot of liquidity and prices are clearly rising, but there is one key element that is different to before the crisis and that is the fact that financings are much more prudent than before. Prices are higher, but they are not off the scale, and financing is more conservative because investors are being cautious. The scars from the crisis are still there and that is a lesson.

Q: Are investors willing to earn less in this environment?

J.C: The very low interest rates have forced a change in expectations and has resulted in the arrival of new investors, such as infrastructure and pension funds, which are willing to forgo profitability in exchange for assuming lower risk. That is what is driving up prices.

Q: Is the real estate market at its peak in Spain?

Á.R: We are not betting on a rise in interest rates or an increase in prices; we bet on our own added value: we buy a building, we do it up and that is how we generate returns. Our expectation is that prices are not going to grow by much more in the real estate market, but, with our strategy, we are still generating returns (…).

Q: Is the economic outlook bright?

J.C: At Arcano, we started to back the Spanish economy in 2012 and we continue to do so. There are no significant risks threatening the economy: the banking system is robust and the problem of Popular has been resolved. The only clear problem is the inevitable increase in interest rates, but that is not going to happen in the short term, at least in Europe (…).

Original story: Expansión (by S. Arancibia, I. Abril and A. Stumpf.)

Translation: Carmel Drake