Cerberus Prepares for Haya’s Stock Market Debut After the Summer

9 February 2018 – Cinco Días

Metrovacesa achieved it on Tuesday, despite problems to cover supply and the nefarious stock market session that it suffered. The large Spanish property developer, which abandoned the equity market in May 2013, made its return last week. It hasn’t exactly eased the way for the upcoming debuts of Vía Célere, owned by the fund Värde, or the Socimi Testa. But it hasn’t made a total hash of it either.

In this way, the US fund Cerberus is in the process of contracting the banks that will handle the debut its Spanish real estate servicer subsidiary on the stock market. The aim is for that firm to be listed from September. The entities that are on the list of candidates have already done their calculations and are citing a valuation for the company, albeit preliminary, of around €1.2 billion. The aim is to place between 35% and 50% of Haya Real Estate’s capital at this stage. A spokesman for the company declined to comment on this information.

The company, which was created in October 2013, manages property developer loans and foreclosed real estate assets from Bankia, Sareb, Cajamar, Liberbank, BBVA and other financial institutions, worth €39.88 billion at the end of September 2017.

The process of going public is the logical next step, after Haya placed €475 million in high yield bonds in November, with ratings of B3 (Moody’s) and B- (S&P). In other words, in the junk bond range, six levels below investment grade.

The underwriters of that debt, which matures in 2022, were Santander, Bankia, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. And they sold it with considerable success. Despite its credit rating, the firm pays an annual return of just over 5% for that liability.

Haya, led by Carlos Abad Rico (formerly of Canal + and Sogecable) offers services across the whole real estate value chain, but it is not a property developer. Rather, it manages, administers, securitises (…) and sells real estate assets such as homes and offices, but it does not own any of the properties.

Bankia Habitat was the seedling of Haya, and it has grown in line with the need by the financial sector to get rid of assets linked to property. One of Haya’s key businesses is the management of loans linked to the real estate sector. It advises on loans and guarantees, recovers debt and converts loans into foreclosed real estate assets.

The other major part of its revenues stems from the recovery and management of properties through their sale or rental. Haya employs 680 professionals and has a sales network of 2,400 brokers. The value of its property developer debt portfolio amounts to €28.7 billion and its real estate asset portfolio amounts to €11.2 billion. Moreover, Haya is going to bid to manage the assets sold by BBVA to Cerberus in November. Haya’s current shareholder acquired 80% of the BBVA’s portfolio of real estate assets, amounting to around €13 billion, for €4 billion (…)


The Spanish banks’ other real estate management companies are waiting for Cerberus to make the first move, according to financial sources. Haya will open the door to the stock market for them if everything goes well or it will serve to consolidate the sector, both here and in Europe.

There are three high profile players on the list. Servihabitat, which manages assets amounting to around €50 billion and which belongs to the fund Texas Pacific Group (TPG), which has held a 51% stake since September 2013, when CaixaBank sold it that percentage; the bank still holds onto the remaining 49%. Altamira, owned by Santander (15%) and the fund Apollo (85%), which also handles assets worth around €50 million in Spain. The volume managed by Solvia, owned by Sabadell, amounts to around €31 billion.

Moody’s warns that the business of Haya Real Estate, the largest company in the sector in Spain, depends on the economic performance of the company and the renewal of its current management contracts. Specifically, one of the most important, with Sareb (…), signed in 2013, is due to expire in December next year.

In terms of its strengths, the ratings agency indicates Haya’s extensive knowledge of the market and its high margins. The firm’s gross operating profit (EBITDA) during the first nine months of last year amounted to €89.8 million, with net income (the amount really invoiced by the company) of €165.8 million.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Pablo Martín Simón and Laura Salces)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor Invests €275 Million Up to September and Accelerates the Pace of Development

31 October 2017

The company has available land valued at 1.4 billion euros, enough to build 12,000 homes.

Neinor Homes accelerated the pace of its investments and pre-sales in the third quarter of 2017. In the first nine months of the year, the developer acquired 24 plots of land to develop more than 3,000 homes for 275 million euros, of which 103 million euros were invested just in the third quarter.

The company, which went public on March 29, finalised sales worth 169.4 million euros, in line with forecasts, and closed September with a net loss  of 6.1 million euros and a positive gross operating profit of five hundred thousand euros.

So far this year, Neinor has delivered five developments with a total of 185 homes, which has allowed it to generate revenues of 39 million euros. The rest of the proceeds came from its servicing business (21 million euros), through a contract that it has with Kutxabank for the management of the bank’s real estate assets, and especially the legacy assets, for 109 million, through the divestment of assets acquired as part of the agreement reached in 2014 with the financial entity.

The developer, led by Juan Velayos, has 71 developments in production, including some 5,500 homes, of which 2,000 units are in the construction phase, and will not reach cruising speed before 2020 when it expects to deliver between 3,500 and 4,000 homes annually.

Neinor executed pre-sales for 370 homes in the third quarter, totalling 1,080 pre-sold homes for the year, worth 368 million euros. The company’s total accumulated pre-sales reached €697 million with 2,101 homes.

Arrival in Portugal

The CEO of Neinor, Juan Velayos, explained that with the last quarter’s investments, the company had completed 100% of the purchases projected in its strategic plan for the whole of this year and 42% of its objectives for 2018. The company continues to analyse opportunities and has a pipeline worth 300 million euros.

Velayos announced that the company is studying investments in new markets such as, among others, Portugal. “The Portuguese market fits in with our strategy, the macroeconomic environment is propitious, there is limited supply and real demand, and the next step is to identify if land is available that can be bought at the prices we want, without forgetting the time factor. Licensing takes more time in Portugal than it does in Spain. ”

Taking advantage of opportunities in Catalonia

As for Catalonia, Velayos has indicated that Neinor’s exposure in the region is limited. Thus, although 16% of its total number of homes – some 30 developments and 1,900 homes – are in this area, of which, 1,500 homes are already in production, and more than 900 have been pre-sold.

In this way, only 4% of the value of its assets in Catalonia have not been taken up. “Catalonia has been a good play during these last two years even though there was already some political uncertainty; I am much more optimistic than just a few weeks ago. I think that common sense in Catalonia is going to recover,” he added.

Regarding the purchase of land in Catalonia to launch new developments, the CEO of Neinor explained that the firm is studying some operations in the region and that if they fit with their strategy, they will take advantage of them. “If windows of opportunity are opened, we are going to take advantage of them, Catalonia is an engine of the Spanish economy, and it continues to be so despite the circumstances,” he assured.

New board member

The company has altered the composition of its board of directors after the reduction in Lone Star’s participation, which sold 27% of the developer promoter in an accelerated operation, last September.

Thus, Neinor has announced the departure of proprietary director Dominique Cressot, Lone Star’s representative, and the appointment of Alberto Prieto as independent director. Thus, the number of independent directors now amounts to four out of a total of seven.

Prieto is currently Managing Director for Real Estate at BDO Spain and has extensive experience in the residential land market developed over more than 20 years at Knight Frank, of which he was CEO, and at BDO.

Original Story: Expansión – Rebeca Arroyo

Translation: Richard Turner

Cilsa Buys 52,000 m2 Of Logistics Warehouses In Port Of Barcelona

12 July 2017 – Eje Prime

A logistics operation has been closed in the port of Barcelona. Cilsa, the management company of the ZAL zone at the Port of Barcelona and in which the Socimi Merlin Properties owns a stake, has agreed with the Socimi Luri 6 (formerly Santander Banif) to acquire 51,988 m2 of warehouses located in the port area for €16.4 million.

The warehouses acquired by Cilsa have an occupancy rate of 77%, in such a way that the company currently has 11,767 m2 of available space to lease. The operation will be formalised with a loan issued by the Port of Barcelona.

With these new assets, Cilsa will have 451,032 m2 of warehouses at the ZAL Port, which it leases out, as well as a Service Center office building measuring 11,250 m2.

In addition, Cilsa has granted surface area rights to clients who have constructed another 232,000 m2. Last year, the company recorded a gross operating profit of €20 million and a net profit of €5.2 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Empark’s Owners Engage JP Morgan To Sell The Giant For €850M

19 May 2017 – Expansión

Empark is back on the market. The Portuguese controlling shareholders of the car park company have engaged JP Morgan to find a buyer for an entity worth around €850 million, on the basis of the prices and valuations of other similar transactions in the sector. Empark is the leading car park company in Spain with 500,000 parking spaces in the Iberian Peninsula, the United Kingdom and Turkey. The firm’s gross operating profit (EBITDA) amounts to €65 million and its debt, which the company has been restructuring over the last year, amounts to €475 million.

Following the most recent changes, Empark’s shareholder structure is still dominated by the Portuguese investors Silva & Silva, which own 78% of the company. The second largest shareholder is the Chinese conglomerate Haitong, with a 14% stake.

The company’s control vehicle is dominated by the founding families, who participate in the management of the group. The main executives of Empark are José Augusto Tavares, Pedro Mendes (Executive President) and Antonio Moura.

The last attempt to sell the company was made in 2015. Then, the company progressed to the stage of selecting a buyer, Vinci Park (Ardian), but the operation did not come to fruition. Vinci Park reported the breakdown in its negotiations to buy Empark in July of that year after finalising its due diligence work, which produced unsatisfactory findings. Ultimately, the company was concerned about Empark’s high exposure to town halls which, following the local elections held that year, were considering “re-municipalisation”.

Sources close to the fund Ardian say that they are not interested in the operation at the moment. The infrastructure investment giant put Indigo (formerly Vinci park) up for sale this year for around €3,000 million. The sale of Empark is quite complex, given that the shares of the car park company serve, in turn, to secure the shareholders’ personal loans.

According to sources close to the operation, the Portuguese shareholders have dragged the other shareholders into the sale and have been given until the beginning of October to find a buyer. They are keen to leverage the ‘drag along clause’ set out in the company’s shareholder agreements (which means that when a third party makes an offer to purchase the company by buying all of its share capital, then the shareholder that has the ‘drag along right’ may force the other shareholders to sell their stakes to the buyer).

Sources in the sector believe that if Pedro Mendes and his partners do not find an investor with a reasonable offer in time, Haitong may push ahead with the operation by itself or with one of Empark’s creditor banks. Deutsche Bank is one of the company’s latest lenders. The German bank manages the fund RREEF Infrastructure.

One of the possible candidates to analyse the purchase operation is the fund First State, which acquired España Parkia from the Nordic fund EQT and Mutua Madrileña in 2016 for just over €300 million. The US fund Alinda is also very active in Spain. It has made an offer to buy Isolux’s car park portfolio. Another candidate could be the Chinese firm Haitong

Original story: Expansión (by C. Morán)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Realia Multiplies Profits By 9x To €130M In H1

28 July 2016 – Expansión

Realia generated net profit attributable to the parent company amounting to €130 million during the first half of the year, which represents an increase of almost 9x with respect to the €14.9 million registered in the same period last year.

This strong increase in earnings comes even though gross operating profits (EBITDA) rose to a lesser extent, by 3%, to €19.7 million, and operating income fell by 1% to €49.6 million.

In a statement to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV), the company explained that the net result reflects a positive impact of €113 million thanks to discounts associated with the refinancing process.

Specifically, €72 million came from the refinancing of residential debt, and a further €41 million was financed by a shareholder loan acquired by Inversora Carso from Sareb.

Without these items, to which a positive impact of €9.3 million can also be added, arising from the variation in the value of real estate investments, the net attributable profit would be €11.1 million, compared with €6 million in the same period in 2015.

Realia’s real estate assest have a combined surface area of 404,807 sqm, whilst the occupancy rate of its assets amounts to 91.8%, up from 90.6% in the first half of 2015.

The slight decline in half yearly income was due to a 6% decrease in contributions from the real estate business, which fell by €2.6 million, due to the empty Los Cubos building.


The company also recognised net financial debt amounting to €890 million at the end of H1 2016, down by 18% compared with the end of H1 2015.

Realia reduced its gross financial bank debt by €762 million to €927 million as at 30 June 2016, down by 45% compared with the same period last year.

The net financial result amounted to €109.1 million, after applying the discounts amounting to €113 million, explained the company in information sent to the market supervisor.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Enters The FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Index

9 June 2015 – Hispania Press Release

Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios, S.A., (hereinafter, Hispania), announces its inclusion in the real estate index FTSE EPRA / NAREIT, the main benchmark for European real estate. Hispania’s inclusion in the index will become effective from 22 June.

The FTSE EPRA/Nareit Global Estate Index is an indicator managed by the European Public Estate Association (EPRA) that is designed to represent general trends in real estate equities worldwide. In order to form part of the index, companies must: generate a significant gross operating profit (EBITDA) from real estate; report their audited annual accounts in English; comply with a minimum specific liquidity requirement; and have a minimum free-float market capitalization.

The members of this index share standards of financial information between each other and with investors, as well as information about corporate governance practices. Hispania’s membership of this index will increase its visibility to international investors and provides a seal of quality and transparency in the global field of listed property.

Original story: Hispania Press Release

Edited by: Carmel Drake

‘Melia Hotels’ Doubles Net Profit In Q1 2015 To €16M

13 May 2015 – Expansión

Melia Hotels International’s results are improving, driven (primarily) by the strength (of the recovery in the) Spanish tourism sector. The chain controlled by the Escarrer family increased revenues by 13.64%, to €358.9 million during the first quarter (of 2015). Its gross operating profit (EBITDA) improved by 13.52%, to €60.2 million, whilst net profit doubled, from €8.15 million to €16.17 million.

Melia attributed this progress to the good performance of the hotel business, in which RevPar (revenues per available room) increased by 12%. And the increase was not driven by the holiday segment alone, the RevPar of the urban business segment also rose, by 14.8%.

For the full year, the company expects the increase in RevPar to be in the high single digits. Melia experienced a 5% increase in demand in Spain during Semana Santa (Easter), which it expects will be maintained this summer. In the Mediterranean, reservations for the summer season are almost 15% higher than in 2014. During the year to March, the group had signed 14 new contracts. Melia’s share price increased by 0.04% on the stock exchange yesterday to €11.24 per share.

Original story: Expansión (by Y. Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Increases Its Capital By €614M To Fund New Purchases

16 April 2015 – Expansión

Yesterday, the listed real estate investment company (‘sociedad cotizada de inversión inmobiliaria’ or Socimi) Merlin Properties announced a capital increase amounting to €613.7 million. According to the Socimi, the aim of the operation is to (raise finance) to continue with its purchase of real estate assets.

The increase will be conducted through the issue of 64.6 million new shares with a nominal value of one euro and a premium of €8.50, said the company. The current shareholders, which include large funds and fund managers such as Marketfield and UBS, will have pre-emptive purchase rights. Two rights will be required to subscribe each new share. It is hoped that CNMV will publish the prospectus today following its approval.

The increase in the share capital of Merlin Properties comes less than a year after its IPO on 30 June 2014.

The company, which first floated on the stock exchange with capital of €1,250 milllion and a pre-agreement to purchase almost 900 branches and a number of banking offices from BBVA, has already invested all of its own funds and has also made use of bank financing to fund additional purchases. One of the most desirable assets in its portfolio is the Marineda shopping centre in La Coruña, which it acquired for €260 million.

Rising share price

At the General Shareholders’ Meeting, which was held just a few weeks ago, Ismael Clemente, the Chairman of the Socimi, said that the company was working on investment transactions with a value of up to €2,000 million, including office buildings, asset portfolios and shares in companies.

The Socimi closed 2014 with rental income of €56.6 million, a gross operating profit of €38 million and a net profit of €49.7 million. Yesterday, the real estate company’s shares closed at €13.10, up 0.77%.

Merlin’s recent purchases include the acquisition of an office building on Calle Alcalá in Madrid and a logistics warehouse in Coslada (Madrid), for which it paid almost €58 million in total.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake