GMP Puts Huawei’s Offices in Castellana Norte Up For Sale

28 May 2019 – Eje Prime

The real estate group GMP has put the headquarters of the Chinese company Huawei in Madrid up for sale. The technology giant has occupied the offices, which span 21,000 m2, since Q1 2017. The premises are located in the Castellana Norte Business Park in Las Tablas, close to the headquarters of other groups such as Mediaset and Nokia.

The Castellana Norte Business Park has become one of the most important urban renovations projects in the Spanish capital. It offers office space measuring more than 1 million m2, with capacity for over 200,000 people.

GMP, which is owned by the Montoro family and the Singapore sovereign fund, specialises in the management of offices and retail parks. It owns 18 work centres in Madrid and generated revenues of €106.7 million in 2018, up by 8% YoY.

The office market in the Spanish capital is one of the most attractive for international operators thanks to the combination of low prices (€33/m2/month) and availability (10.5%).

GMP’s decision to sell the property was taken before the US named the Chinese company as a threat to national security and vetoed it from all business with US companies.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Marta Casado Pla & Marc Vidal Ordeig)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Largest Landlords are Merlin, Colonial, GMP & Mapfre

19 April 2019 – Expansión

Merlin, Colonial, GMP and Mapfre: three Socimis and one insurance company together own 16% of the total office space in Madrid. Blackstone, Realia, Mutua Madrileña, Tristan, Pontegadea and Starwood complete the Top 10 ranking.

According to a report from Deloitte, the ten largest landlords own more than 3.1 million m2 of leasable space in Madrid, out of a total spanning more than 13 million m2 (24%). In Barcelona, there is 6.1 million m2 of leasable space.

Leading the ranking is Merlin, which owns 7% of the total stock in Madrid and more than 3% in Barcelona. Its 140-strong office portfolio is worth €5.5 billion and accounts for 45% of its total assets. The Socimi’s tenants include BBVA, Endesa, Inditex and PwC, and its star assets include Torre PwC in Madrid and Torre Glòries in Barcelona.

Behind Merlin is Colonial, which owns 3.8% of the office stock in Madrid and 4.6% in Barcelona (where it is the market leader). Its key assets include the building located on Paseo de la Castellana, 52, two properties on Calle Miguel Ángel (numbers 11 and 23), all in Madrid, and Torre Marenostrum in Barcelona.

Completing the podium is GMP, which owns 2.8% of the gross leasable area in Madrid, including Torre BBVA and Torre Ederra, both in Azca. Meanwhile, the insurance companies Mapfre and Mutua Madrileña own 2.7% and 1.4% of the total stock in the Spanish capital, respectively.

In addition, the funds have strengthened their positions in recent months. The US fund Starwood purchased a portfolio of offices in Madrid and Barcelona from Autonomy for €125 million. It also acquired the San Fernando Business Park, in conjunction with Drago, from Oaktree for €120 million.

The British fund Tristan has also been active, with the acquisition of an office complex on Avenida de Manoteras in 2017 and the purchase of six offices spanning 78,000 m2 from Colonial in 2018 (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

IBA Capital & Angelo Gordon Acquire Barajas 1 for €37.5M

7 March 2019 – Eje Prime

IBA Capital Partners and Angelo Gordon have joined forces to purchase the Barajas 1 office building from GMP for €37.5 million. The property is located at number 29 Calle Trespaderne in Madrid, has a gross leasable area of 29,173 m2 and includes 204 parking spaces. Its main tenants are SGS and Vodafone and the advisor to the operation was CBRE.

The purchasers are planning to renovate the building, modify the façade, renew the common areas, remodel the vacant homes and adapt the technical facilities.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Investors & Tenants Alike Demand Sustainable Buildings

21 February 2019 – Expansión

Sustainability has become an essential requirement in the search for offices. Beyond the social demand for spaces that are more respectful of the environment, sustainable buildings actually allow their owners to obtain higher rents, increase the valuation of their assets and make them more liquid.

“With the emergence of technology, changes in working habits and organisational efficiency, sustainability and well-being have become essential aspects for tenants and important factors for investment decisions”, explains Tomás Higuero, CEO of Aire Limpio, a group specialising in offering products and services for internal environmental quality, which works for hospitals and offices, above all.

Higuero says that the internal air quality of buildings is a fundamental factor that contributes to the health and well-being of workers. In this sense, the main REITS (a corporate structure similar to the Socimis in Spain) in US offices prioritise that their assets are certified or are in the process of being certified, and that they are healthy and efficient buildings from an energy perspective. This trend is also present in Spain and is being adopted by many of the large Socimis and real estate groups, such as Colonial, Merlin and GMP (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R.A.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Azora Acquires HQ of the Former Cortefiel Group for €28.3M

24 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Another operation has been closed in the office market in Madrid. The Socimi GMP, controlled by the Montoro family and the sovereign fund of Singapore, has sold the building located at number 51 Calle Llano Castellano to Azora. The price of the operation amounted to €28.3 million.

The property now controlled by Azora, the real estate manager founded by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio, is occupied in its entirety by Tendam, previously known as the Cortefiel Group and owner of the fashion chains Cortefiel, Women’secret, Springfield and Pedro del Hierro.

The rental contract for the building, which has a gross leasable area of 23,108 m2 and 145 parking spaces, is due to expire in 2023.

The building was constructed in 1990 and had been controlled 100% by GMP since 2015. Until then, the property was in the hands of the real estate division of General Electric through the company Renta Gestión Fuencarral.

Its new owner, Azora, specialises in the investment and management of real estate assets for third parties and has a portfolio comprising more than €4.5 billion in assets. The company was the promoter of Hispania, the first Socimi to be constituted, which made its debut on the stock market in Spain in 2014.

Azora was considering its own stock market debut, but in the end, it suspended that process last year. Azora and Hispania ended their agreement last year, after Blackstone’s successful takeover of the Socimi.

Since then, the company has focused on the residential rental market through the creation of a joint venture with CBRE Global Investment and Madison to reach a portfolio of 10,000 homes over the coming years.

Azora manages the real estate portfolios of funds and wealthy investors, such as George Soros, CBRE Global Investors, Goldman Sachs, Axa Investment Management and Bank of Montreal, amongst others (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño and I. P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

GMP Signs Spain’s First “Green” Loan with BBVA: €68M for Castellana 77

9 December 2018 – Eje Prime

The Spanish real estate sector has obtained its first green loan. Specifically, the Socimi GMP, controlled by the Montoro family, has signed a loan of that type with BBVA to finance the project to renovate Castellana 77, an office building in the Azca area. In total, the real estate company has received €68 million.

Specifically, the Socimi acquired the building from BBVA in 2015. GMP has recently completed work to renovate the property. The company’s commitment to obtain the loan has been established around the fact that the money will be used to promote sustainability, according to Expansión.

GMP, which has the Singapore sovereign fund (GIC) amongst its reference shareholders, has been working for a while to create a portfolio of sustainable buildings. 80% of its assets have the Leed stamp and, last June, one of the jewels in its crown, the former Torre BBVA, obtained the Well Oro certificate, becoming the first property in Spain to merit that distinction.

During the first half of 2018, the Socimi saw its profits soar by 81% to exceed €110 million. The company recorded revenues of €49.5 million between January and June, down by 0.8% compared to the same period in 2017.

Currently, GMP has a portfolio of sixteen assets, which sum a total of twenty-seven buildings and a gross leasable area (GLA) of 360,000 m2. All of them are located in Madrid, along with the 65,105 m2 of buildable space that the group owns, concentrated in the urban developments of Valdebebas and Las Tablas. The company’s portfolio of projects also includes a residential tourist development in Alicante, which is called Las Colinas Golf&Country Club.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

GMP’s Profits Rose by 81% YoY in H1 to €111.8M

26 October 2018 – Eje Prime

GMP has seen its profits soar and its revenues remain stable. The group recorded a profit of €111.8 million during the first half of 2018, up by 80.9% compared to the same period in 2017, according to a statement filed by the company with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

On the other hand, the company recorded revenues during the first six months of €49.5 million, in other words, 0.8% below the figure registered during the period from January to June 2017. Similarly, the EBITDA of GMP was €33.7 million in H1 2018, up by 4.3% compared to the previous year.

Founded in 1979, GMP specialises in the development, investment and management of prime offices and business parks in Madrid. The company, which made its debut on the MAB in July 2016, bases its business on the rental of the properties that it owns.

Currently, the Socimi has a portfolio of sixteen assets, which comprise a total of twenty-seven buildings and have a combined gross leasable area (GLA) of 360,000 m2. All of them are located in Madrid, as is the buildable surface area spanning 65,105 m2 that the group owns and which is concentrated in the urban developments of Valdebebas and Las Tablas.

GMP’s project portfolio also includes a residential tourism development in Alicante, which goes by the name of Las Colinas Golf&Country Club. Nevertheless, one of the company’s most recent operations involved the disbursement of €24 million for the construction of a prime office block in Madrid (see photo).

GMP was a family-owned company until September 2014 when GIC Private Limited, which has a presence in other companies in the Spanish real estate sector, such as in the P3 Logistic Parks group, entered the shareholding by acquiring 32.9% of the share capital. That operation included an investment amounting to €200 million, capital that has allowed the company to go for gold in the Madrilenian office market.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Four Largest Socimis Already Control €30 Billion of Real Estate

8 August 2018

The largest of these real estate companies multiplied their assets fourfold since their first major acquisitions in 2015. Axiare left the continuous market and Hispania will soon follow as the sector undergoes a period of concentration.

The success of the socimi regulatory regime since its launch in 2013 is reflected in the gigantic portfolio of assets that these real estate companies have amassed in the last few years. The four largest listed companies have already accumulated portfolios of properties worth nearly 30 billion euros in three or four years of operation, according to the companies’ financial reports for the first quarter of 2018.

The development of a regulatory regime for these listed real estate investment companies was helmed by the then Minister of Finance Cristóbal Montoro, as these companies were exempted from paying corporate taxes in exchange for obligations such as having to distribute at least 80% of their dividends (which is taxed) and a listing on the stock exchange, guaranteeing transparency, among other requirements. The regulatory regime followed the example of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust), which have a long history in the US and Europe.

These companies are focused on the property business, and they lease their properties, which are principally offices, shopping centres and commercial premises, hotels, rental homes and logistics warehouses.

The launch of the regulatory regime coincided with the recovery in international confidence in Spain (after the sovereign debt crisis and doubts about its financial system) as some foreign firms (mainly investment funds and later institutional capital such as insurers) that returned to the market, betting on a recovery in the reactivation of the Spanish real estate market. Moreover, socimis have been one of the principal channels for investing these international flows of capital in this type of asset.

At Least €15 Billion More on the MAB

Spain’s Alternative Stock Market. The MAB found a way to grow through the socimis. 59 of these real estate companies have already listed on the market, often as purely tax vehicles, with no major movements in their limited free float and which also do not carry out large purchases. Among them, three big ones stand out: GMP (owned by the Montoro Alemán family and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC), Uro Property (with Santander’s banking offices) and General de Galerias Comerciales (owned by the executive Tomás Olivo). At the end of last year, there were 44 of these companies in the MAB, with a value of 12.221 billion euros (+60% y-o-y), according to data from Armabex, a registered advisor.

Testa Residencial. Among the 15 socimis that joined the MAB in the last months, Testa, which is owned by Santander, BBVA, Acciona and Merlin, stands out. Testa debuted at the end of July with €2.275 billion in rental housing. Along with other companies that launched on the market this year, there are now 59 firms with at least €15 billion in property. Initially, Testa had planned to debut on the continuous market, but market doubts in June led the company to opt for its plan B. The company still plans on a move to the continuous market in the future.

Records for investments in this type of property were broken in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In the past year, 13.99 billion euros were allocated to acquisitions, according to the real estate consultancy JLL, with international funds and socimis as the main players.

The growth of these companies over the last three years has been spectacular. In the first semester of this year, when the socimis published updated property valuations, the big four had €27.336 million in their portfolios (up 3% compared to the end of 2017). The four include Merlin Properties, Colonial, Hispania and Lar España. Taking the first quarter of 2015 as a baseline, when the largest of these companies were already active and began to make their large purchases, these same companies had a total of €6.691 billion. That is a fourfold increase in three years.

If one takes into account that Colonial had not yet become socimi that year (the developer changed status in 2017), the jump is even greater since, at the time, Axiare (absorbed a few months ago by the Catalan company) is one of the top four, with only €465 million in its portfolio. At that point, Merlin, Hispania, Axiare and Lar España had total assets of €4.2 billion, 6.5 times less than at the present date.

The success of these companies has led them to be targets of large corporate operations in the sector in recent months, in a period of concentration that experts believe will continue for the time being.

The largest then, as now, is Merlin (listed on the Ibex-35), which has Ismael Clemente as its CEO. The socimi already owns properties worth €11.755 billion, mainly offices and shopping centres and commercial premises, although with increasing investments in the thriving logistics warehouse sector. The company was launched after convincing investors, mainly Americans, to acquire the so-called Árbol (Tree) portfolio and its 800 BBVA banking branches.

The socimi debuted on the stock exchange in 2014 and grew rapidly with the acquisition of Testa from Sacyr in 2015 (€1.8 billion cost) and the integration of Metrovacesa’s tertiary assets (buildings valued at €1.67 billion) in 2016. At this point, Santander became its largest shareholder, with 22.6% of the capital. The rest is highly diluted, with large international funds as the most common investors. Its flagship buildings include the Torre Agbar, where Facebook will open an office (through the CCC outsourcing company) to monitor and control harmful content on the social network.

Merlin is closely followed by Colonial (Ibex 35), which has assets valued at €11.19 billion, compared to €2.185 billion in 2015. The historic real estate company began operations in Barcelona in 1946 and decided to become a socimi last year for the tax benefits. It has made major strides through its investments, including its recent takeover of Axiare, for which it paid €1.7 billion, giving Madrid a greater weight in its portfolio. The portfolio, mainly offices (91%), includes properties controlled by its French subsidiary SFL, with buildings in Paris (33% of the total value). The core of Colonial’s shareholders includes the Mexican investor Carlos Fernández González (18.3% of the capital), the Qatar Investment Authority (10.6%), the Colombian group Santo Domingo (7.3%) and the perfume family Puig (5.1%).

The other major socimi that has been the protagonist of a recent corporate deal is Hispania, listed since 2014, which was recently taken over by the giant American fund Blackstone. In fact, Blackstone has controlled 90.5% of the socimi since the end of July and is expected to abandon the socimi tax regime in the coming weeks. The company has €2.185 billion in real estate, 66% of which corresponds to hotels. The US fund plans to use Hispania’s assets to create a large hotel platform after having also acquired the HI Partners from Sabadell for €630 million.

After the acquisitions of Hispania and Axiare, the only large company that will remain on the continuous market is Lar España, which is managed externally by Grupo Lar, with the Pimco fund as its main shareholder (19.6%). It was the first socimi to make the jump to the stock market and has assets of €1.58 billion, of which 82% are shopping centres, following its strategy of focusing on the retail sector. With that in mind, the company announced the sale of its logistics park to Blackstone for €120 million at the end of July.

Original Story: Cinco Días / El País – Alfonso Simón Ruiz

Translation: Richard Turner

Capgemini Moves its Spanish HQ to the Oxxeo Building in Madrid

9 July 2018 – Efe Empresas

The building where Capgemini is going to move more than 800 of its employees has been constructed by the real estate group GMP and designed by the architect Rafael de la Hoz, according to explanations provided by the company in a statement.

The company, which provides consultancy, technology and digital transformation services, is going to be the first tenant to occupy the building which spans a surface area of 9,365 m2.

Through these new offices, the firm is seeking to encourage collaboration between its employees in an “open, multi-disciplinary and occupational well-being work environment”. This idea will be developed both through the furniture, as well as through the common area services, digital resources and the design itself.

At the same time, the new headquarters will have a co-innovation centre in such a way that clients and partners will be able to connect with universities, emerging companies and business schools to evaluate new business models and assist with digitalisation processes.

The CEO of Capgemini in Spain, Francisco Bermúdez, explained that the change of headquarters seeks to “respond to the company’s innovation strategy at the global level”, which is why “we are backing new organisational structures that prioritise models of collaboration and experimentation.

The CEO confirmed that the Oxxeo building “will provide us with the facilities and resources that we need, and will embody the company’s identity in terms of vanguard and innovation”. Most importantly, it will offer “a renovated and well-equipped workspace with more resources for the well-being of our professionals”.

Sustainable headquarters

The building chosen by the corporation stands out due to its sustainability, given that it is the first office building in Las Tablas to be awarded the Leed Platinum pre-certificate, the highest possible distinction granted by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

It is also one of the most pioneering buildings in Europe, the first of its kind in Madrid and the second in Spain, to be included in the WELL Building Standard certification process, the leading global certification for buildings that focuses solely on human health and well-being.

Original story: Efe Empresas

Translation: Carmel Drake

Everis & AXA Sign The Largest Office Rental in Madrid Since 2013

17 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Everis and AXA have signed the largest office rental contract in Madrid since 2013. AXA’s real estate manager is going to lease almost all of Edificio Novus, located in the north of the Spanish capital, to the consultancy firm, which will occupy 37,800 m2, according to a statement issued by the insurance group.

Located close to Barajas airport, the building has six floors and spans a total surface area of 42,000 m2. It is also home to Hilti, the company that supplies technology to the construction sector. Everis is going to employ up to 4,000 people on the site, whereby centralising its workers in the capital into one building.

The asset has been owned by AXA Real Assets since 2015. Over the last three years, that group has renovated the common areas and has promoted the name Novus, the building’s new brand name since it passed into the hands of the multinational.

In addition to this contract, Everis already closed a rental contract with GMP for more than 5,000 m2 of space in the building at number 77 Paseo de la Castellana. A priori, the headquarters of the consultancy in Spain will be located there, with offices for directors and the most corporate areas of the company (…).

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake