Cerberus Looks to Expand in Spain

3 October 2019 – Cerberus is looking to increase its presence in the Spanish residential real estate market. The fund, which already owns Inmoglaciar, is in talks with investment banks to potentially acquire a larger developer to further enhance its activities in the Iberian peninsula.

Most recently, the US fund bid on Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios’s developer. However, though the fund was a finalist in the bidding process, it lost out to Oaktree, which paid €880-million for the firm, including the company’s structure and landholdings.

Other international funds have been quicker to raise their games in Spain.  Lone Star acquired Neinor and eventually took it public. Castlelake created Aedas with a land bank acquired during the crisis and also took it public. Värde took over Aelca, Parquesol and Vía Célere.

Cerberus is aiming to build 3,000 homes a year, based on its ownership of Immoglaciar and other potential acquisitions. The latest possibility is Inmobiliaria Espacio, which the Villar Mir Group put up for sale two weeks ago.

Original Story: Cinco Días – Alfonso Simón Ruiz / Pablo Martín Simón

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Inmobiliaria Espacio Negotiating to Sell Two Planned Apartment Buildings in Malaga

2 September 2019

Inmobiliaria Espacio, a subsidiary of Grupo Villar Mir, is negotiating to sell two projects for as yet unbuilt residential buildings in Martiricos, an urban development in Malaga. One building would have flats for direct sale, while the other would be used as rental housing.

The 460 new flats will be the target of a total investment of around 240 million euros.

Original Story: Idealista

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Corestate to Build 400-Bed Hall of Residence in Sevilla

3 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Corestate is expanding its footprint in the Spanish real estate sector. The fund, which is headquartered in Luxembourg, has purchased a plot of land in Sevilla from Helena Rivero, daughter of the former President of Metrovacesa Joaquín Rivero, for the construction of its second hall of residence for students in Spain. Having operated in the country since 2015, when it arrived at the hand of Grupo Villar Mir, the group has signed the acquisition of 2,200 m2 of land on which it will construct a building with 413 beds.

The project in the Andalucían capital comes after another one that the fund started work on in 2016 in Madrid, where it is currently working on the finishing touches to its first hall of residence for students in Spain. It is a renovated building in the Moncloa district, which is going to have 206 rooms and whose doors are expected to open in September, according to El Confidencial.

The plot in Sevilla is located on the Eusa campus, the university complex of the Sevillan Chamber of Commerce. With a buildable surface area of 11,000 m2, the construction work is going to be led by one of Corestate’s brands, Youniq. On the inside, the hall of residence will have a gym, study rooms, a swimming pool and fully equipped kitchens. The amount of the investment that the fund is going to make in the project has not been revealed.

Last year, Rivero purchased the plot that she has now sold plus another one, spanning 1,700 m2, located in the Club Antares area from the Chamber of Commerce. For both plots, the institution received €7.5 million.

On the Club Antares plot, Rivero is planning to compete with Corestate by constructing a prime hall of residence for students. The Andalucían businesswoman is holding conversations with another fund, Temprano Capital, to carry out that project in conjunction with the specialist operator Collegiate. The firm and the manager are already working together in Spain on a project in Finestrelles (Barcelona), as Eje Prime revealed.

In 2017, university halls of residences were the jewel in the alternative asset crown, a segment that grew significantly last year. In total, the real estate sector invested €560 million in the construction of rooms for students, compared with just €50 million that was transacted in 2016, according to data from the real estate consultancy JLL.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Inmobiliaria Espacio & Gingko to Build 800 Homes & 1 Hotel in Málaga

1 February 2018 – El Economista

Inmobiliaria Espacio, part of Grupo Villar Mir, is entering the Malagan urban development of La Térmica with a bang, in partnership with Unicaja and together with the investment fund Ginkgo. The three actors are going to carry out a reconversion project in that industrial space, where they are going to build more than 800 homes, as well as shops and a hotel.

The real estate firm has taken the step through the company Espacio Medina, in which it controls a 70% stake, whilst the remaining 30% is owned by Acinipo, part of the Unicaja group. That company has been working in property development in Málaga for 10 years and is now strengthening its commitment to the city by participating in the project to regenerate La Térmica, a site that used to house the old thermal power plant for the city of Málaga.

Specifically, Espacio Medina has acquired 20% of the company Nueva Marina Real Estate (NUMA), owner of the rights over these plots. The remaining 80% is owned by the fund Ginkgo, which acquired the entire project at the end of 2017 through its subsidiary Ginkgo Participations II, after reaching an agreement with Endesa, the main shareholder of NUMA at that time.

Regeneration project

NUMA, which has entrusted the management of the planning and the subsequent development and marketing to Espacio Medina, is going to create more than 800 homes on the La Térmica site, alongside plots for other tertiary uses such as commercial space, offices and a hotel, on a site that has a total surface area of 115,944 m2.

The real estate consultancy Catella, together with Ginkgo’s law firm, Zaforzeta & Romero Rey, and PwC, on the side of Espacio Medina, have advised the operation.

With this new investment, Ginkgo, Inmobiliaria Espacio and Inmobiliaria Acinipo are all consolidating their commitment to Málaga, which they regard “as one of the best European cities on the Mediterranean Coast with the best expectations for development and quality of life for investment over the next few years”, explain sources at the company.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Redesigns Fifth Tower & Delays Award of Construction Contract

20 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Grupo Villar Mir has listened to its partners and the Town Hall, and is going to redesign Torre Caleido, the fifth tower in Madrid. The skyscraper, which is going to be built next to the Cuatro Torres, will be adapted to the requests of Megaworld Corporation, its Philippine partner, and the local government led by Manuela Carmena. Amongst other features, the project is now going to include a supermarket and a cinema, as well as more lifts than initially planned, as requested by the Town Hall.

This redesign of the building will result in a delay in the award of the construction contract, which is now expected to take place during the final month of the year. Nevertheless, OHL, the construction company that forms part of Grupo Villar Mir, is currently positioned as the favourite to build the skyscraper, since to date, it has carried out the demolition and the work to prepare the land, which spans a surface area of 33,326 m2, according to El Economista.

An investment of approximately €160 million is estimated for the main construction work to build the skyscraper, out of a total projected budget of €300 million. Moreover, Torre Caleido already knows who its most important tenants are going to be, namely: IE and Quirón. The business school has acquired 50,000 m2 of the skyscraper in its move to become the first high-rise campus in Spain, whilst the healthcare group will turn its section of the building into a state-of-the-art medical centre.

On the outside, Villar Mir has redesigned the plans to include a shopping area, which will contain a supermarket and two cinema screens, an express wish of Megaworld, the company that controls 49% of the project’s capital. The tower will have 36 storeys as well as a four-floor base, which will be 20m tall.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Seeks 40 Luxury Brands For ‘Galería de Canalejas’

19 July 2017 – Eje Prime

More than nine million people visited Madrid in 2016. Of those, 4.6 million were foreigners. The museums, Royal Palace, Retiro Park and Santiago Bernabéu were some of the most popular attractions, although the centre of the capital took the biscuit, receiving the most visitors overall. This area is also home to the most luxurious hotels in Madrid and several more are currently being built there. Nevertheless, there is no shopping area to cater for these high-end visitors and hotel guests. And that is precisely the gap that the Canalejas complex wants to fill. And if it does so, the shopping arcade could revolutionise Madrid’s high street.

After more than ten years of abandon, the group of seven buildings located at the intersection of Calles Alcalá, Sevilla and San Jerónimo promises to become a wake-up-car for retail, especially fashion, in the centre of the capital. Promoted by OHL Desarrollos and Grupo Villar Mir, Madrid’s Canalejas Centre welcomed a new shareholder in February, with the arrival of the company Mohari Limited, in which the co-founder of Poker Stars, Mark Scheinberg owns a stake. His company purchased 50% of the complex for €225 million.

A Four Seasons hotel with 200 rooms, 22 private residences associated with the hotel, a 400-space car park and the shopping arcade will comprise the complex’s four main areas. The shopping arcade, which will link Calles Alcalá and Canalejas, will be the heart of the centre and has plans to welcome more than 2 million clients every year (of the 147 million people who move in the vicinity of the centre each year).

With a select client profile, the Galería de Canalejas will comprise a commercial space with a surface area of 15,000 m2, which will be home to more than 40 fashion, cosmetic/perfume and jewellery/watch brands (on the ground and first floors) as well as a restaurant area covering more than 3,000 m2 (on the lower ground floor).

Canalejas has already started to market the space and is getting ready to sign the first agreements with some of the high-end operators, which will take receipt of their stores in November 2018 ready to open their doors in 2019, at the same time as the rest of the complex.

There are no plans for any of the large retailers (such as Zara and Uniqlo) to open stores in the complex, given that the positioning of the centre and the space requirements of such players do not tally. According to the managers of the centre, the average asking prices for the stores are below the average for the area, given that the whole zone is conditioned by Preciados, the most expensive street in Madrid for opening retail premises.

With the aim of securing around forty brands to occupy the premises, which will measure between 40 m2 and 400 m2 each, Canalejas is looking for high-end, premium firms in the fashion, jewellery and cosmetics segments (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Poker Stars’ Founder Pays OHL €225M For 50% Of Canalejas

11 April 2017 – Expansión

Grupo Villar Mir has completed the sale of 50% of Project Canalejas, the luxury home, hotel and shopping complex that it is developing in a set of historic buildings in the centre of Madrid, to the Israelí businessman Mark Scheinberg, founder of the online poker firm Poker Stars, for €225 million, according to a statement filed yesterday by OHL with Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The corporation owned by Juan Miguel Villar Mir is developing this project in conjunction with its listed construction company OHL. Both entities have sold part of their respective stakes in accordance with the percentage that they control and as part of the asset sales plan that they have in place to cut their debt. Specifically, Grupo Villar Mir has sold 32.5%, and has whereby reduced its stake in the project from 65% to 32.5%. Meanwhile, OHL has sold another 17.5%, which has reduced its shareholding from 35% to 17.5%.

OHL reported yesterday that it will record revenues of €78.75 million from the sale of its stake in the complex, and that it has already received €73.5 million, leaving an outstanding balance due of €5.25 million. The company explained that the outstanding balance will be paid in two instalments: one in December this year, amounting to €1.75 million, and the other (€3.5 million) will be received when the project is commissioned.

Grupo Villar Mir and OHL, which have recorded a combined gain of €82.85 million from this operation, will retain control over the management of the project until it is commissioned, scheduled for the beginning of 2019. Canalejas is developing a group of seven historic buildings, which comprise an entire block in the centre of Madrid, next to La Puerta del Sol, which Villar Mir bought from Santander in December 2012 and which have a combined surface area of 50,000 m2.

The project involves the refurbishment of the properties, whilst retaining their architectural and artistic features, to house 22 luxury homes and a five-star hotel, which the chain Four Seasons has already committed to operating, in what will be its debut in Spain. The complex will also have a 16,000 m2 shopping arcade and underground car park.

Original story: Expansión (by E. M.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Sells 50% Of Canalejas To PokerStars Founder

13 February 2017 – Expansión

Mark Scheinberg, the co-founder of the website PokerStars, has fought off other candidates, such as the Middle Eastern fund Adia, the real estate fund TH Real Estate and the banker Jaime Gilinski in the bid for the 50% stake in the company Centro Canalejas de Madrid that Villar Mir put up for sale last year.

The Israelí businessman and Isle of Man resident will pay €225 million for half of the development company behind the complex, and OHL will receive €78.85 million of that amount, after it sold the 17.5% stake that it owned in the company through its subsidiary OHL Desarrollos, confirmed the company last Thursday in a statement to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

Following the operation, OHL Desarrollos and Grupo Villar Mir, which will continue as shareholders of the company with stakes of 17.5% and 32.5%, respectively, will retain control over the management of the project until it opens. The sale will generate a profit of approximately €29 million for OHL.

Scheinberg, who is 43 years old and who has a fortune worth $4,100 million according to Forbes, thanks to the success of his online gaming portal, has whereby become the new partner in the project that Villar Mir is undertaking in the centre of Madrid. It involves the renovation of seven former Santander office buildings into a luxury complex containing a Four Seasons hotel, c. 20 high-end homes and a shopping arcade covering 9,000 m2. (…).

For this development, Villar Mir created a company in which its subsidiary Inmobiliaria Espacio owned a 75% stake, with the remaining 25% owned by OHL, which also assumed the roles of promoter, developer and construction company. The budget for the development was set at €500 million, an amount that the group was intending to fund in its entirety.

Nevertheless, problems with the group’s builder caused Villar Mir to propose the sale of a minority stake in the complex, amongst other divestments (…).

To accelerate this sale, Grupo Villar Mir engaged the real estate consultancy firm Colliers last September. A multitude of investors, from all sorts of backgrounds, were interested in the asset. In the end, the vendor opted for Scheinberg as a partner in its Madrilenian project. (…).

Project

The Canalejas Complex will open at the beginning of 2019, three and a half years later than planned, after work at the site was temporarily suspended due to differences in opinion regarding the conservation of the protected elements of the properties. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz and Carlos Morán)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Who’s Who In The Cinco Torres?

13 January 2017 – Cinco Días

The future Torre Caleido, whose plans were unveiled on Tuesday by Inmobiliaria Espacio (Grupo Villar Mir), will add 70,000 m2 of real estate space in the area known as the Cuatro Torres complex. As such, there will be five skyscrapers at the top of the Paseo de la Castellana from 2019, which means that Madrid’s skyline will change once again. In total, the five towers will supply around 300,000 m2 of space to companies.

Although when the plans were first presented for these skyscrapers in Madrid, many people had their doubts regarding their success, the reality is that the four towers are almost fully occupied now and the two main tenants for the fifth tower have already been confirmed.

Caleido will have 70,000 m2 of space in total and, unlike the neighbouring towers, will be used for social purposes on land granted by the Town Hall of Madrid to Grupo Villar Mir for 75 years. (…).

The new IE University campus will occupy 48,000 m2. And the lower platform will be home to a Quirón Salud clinic, covering 11,000 m2 and dedicated to preventative and sports medicine. The tower will also house a retail and restaurant area, which will come as a real blessing for the employees who work in the area, given that they have barely any services at the moment. The retail space has not been leased yet. In addition, Grupo Villar Mir is looking for possible partners with whom it can undertake the work, which will begin within the next few months.

The history of the four towers, on the plot of land that used to house Real Madrid’s former Ciudad Deportiva at the northern end of the Paseo de la Castellana, began commercially in 2008, when the first skyscrapers were completed.

One of them is the current Torre Cepsa…designed by Norman Foster, which was initially intended to house the headquarters of Repsol, but the oil and gas company sold it to Bankia for €815 million before the real estate bubble burst. The now nationalised bank, in turn, leased the building to Cepsa, with the option to buy it…and that company, in turn, sold it in 2016 to Pontegadea, the family office owned by Amancio Ortega for €490 million. (…).

At the end of 2015, Torrespacio, designed by Henry N. Cobb and promoted by Inmobiliaria Espacio, was also sold to the Philippine wine group Emperador for €558 million. (…). It has an occupancy rate of 86%.

Prior to that, Torre PwC also changed hands. (…). It houses the 5-star Eurostars Madrid Tower Hotel and the offices of the consultancy firm PwC, which moved in to occupy the upper floors in 2011. (…). It is 236 m tall, has a surface area of 50,000 m2 and was designed by the architects Carlos Rubio Carvajal and Enrique Álvarez-Sala.

Torre Cristal, the tallest building in Spain at 250 m2 tall, is the only tower that has not changed hands since it was built – it is owned by Mutua Madrileña (…). Designed by César Pelli, the skyscraper was conceived to house several tenants and currently has an 85% occupancy rate. The consultancy firm KPMG now occupies one third of the property, after moving there last year from Azca. Other tenants include MasterCard, Red Hat, Cerner, Commerzbank, Seat, Agbar and ThyssenKrupp, amongst others.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Emperador Wants To Completely Fill Torrespacio

19 September 2016 – Expansión

Take advantage of the improvement that the Spanish real estate sector is enjoying to increase the value of its Spanish jewel. That is the objective that the Philippine group Emperador has set itself. The company, which specialises in the sale of alcoholic drinks, erupted onto the real estate market in November with its purchase of the Torre Espacio skyscraper, measuring 235m tall and with a surface area of 60,000 sqm, located in the Cuatro Torres complex in Madrid.

Emperador fought off other candidates that have more experience in the Spanish property market, by offering Grupo Villar Mir €558 million. Ten months later, the Philippine group has launched an ambitious marketing campaign, which includes a new name (Torrespacio versus the original Torre Espacio), with the aim of achieving a 100% occupancy rate in the tower (it is currently around 85% full).

“We want to boost the campaign launched in 2015 when we saw an upturn in office rental prices in Madrid”, explains Eduardo Corral, the CEO of Torre Espacio Gestión, the company (belonging to Grupo Villar Mir) that has been responsible for managing the skyscraper since it was constructed. Its role has not changed as a result of the change in ownership. “The Emperador Group has not asked us to do anything new and although it was not included in the sale and purchase contract, our long-term management contract remains in place”, said Corral.

Prices

The managers of Torrespacio are looking for new tenants to occupy the available space, measuring 8,800 sqm, at a time when office rental prices in Madrid are experiencing a slight increase; they amount to €27.50/sqm/month in the prime office area (CBD) of the city. “We are reviewing our rents, but we are in line with market prices”, says the CEO of Torre Espacio Gestión.

The prices are well below €45/sqm/month that the first tenants paid for the same skyscraper, which is 57-storeys high. “In 2009, we started to fill the building, and we achieved a 70% occupancy rate, but in 2008, we already had preliminary rental agreements, and, despite the crisis, we have achieved an 85% occupancy rate”.

Since it was opened, the main tenant of Torrespacio has been Grupo Villar Mir, something that has not been affected by the change of owner. “Villar Mir continues its commitment to lease the property and, so do the other tenants. The next lease contract is not due to expire for three years”.

Tenants

The future tenants will not only be neighbours of Villar Mir, but also of the British, Dutch, Canadian and Australian embassies, the tobacco company BAT, Red Bull, Ubi and the Emperador group itself, which has opened its Madrilenian offices on the 28th floor of the skyscraper. “They are just finishing their move”, confirms Corral. Before the arrival of Emperador, the most recent tenant to move into the tower was the Chinese group Qbao, who moved in at the beginning of the year.

Of the available space, there is just one floor left in the top third of the building (the 44th floor), four floors in the middle section (floors 31, 29, 27 and 23) and two half floors. “We have one of the best buildings in Madrid and Europe, and the companies that move in will enjoy services such as a gym, a hairdresser, facility services, three restaurants and a chapel”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake