Vukile Increases Castellana Properties’s Share Capital by €7M to Fund New Purchases

12 June 2018 – Eje Prime

The South African fund Vukile is looking after its investment vehicle in Spain. The Socimi Castellana Properties has increased its share capital by €7 million to undertake new purchases, according to explanations provided by the group to Eje Prime. The company is whereby continuing with its investor appetite, which was sated in May with the purchase of the Habaneras shopping centre for €80.6 million.

“Castellana Properties is immersed in an ambitious growth process”, explain sources at the company. “Last year, the Socimi acquired eleven retail parks in Spain for approximately €300 million, to become a strategic player in the real estate sector and, specifically, in the retail sector”, explain sources at the company.

“The capital increase forms part of this growth strategy; it will allow us to increase the company’s financial capacity to undertake new and exciting projects”, they conclude. Following this increase, the resultant subscribed share capital will amount to €33.4 million. The South African fund Vukile now has a portfolio containing thirteen shopping centres in Spain and an investment made to date of €290 million across the whole Spanish market.

Since last year, the group has closed several operations in the Spanish market. Redevco Iberian Ventures, the joint venture between the real estate company specialising in retail Redevco and funds managed by the global alternative asset manager Ares Management, sold nine retail parks to the Socimi for €193 million.

In December, the group acquired two retail spaces in Granada and Murcia with an investment of €65 million. Alameda Park has a surface area of 25,000 m2 and was acquired for €54.6 million, whilst Pinatar Park occupies 10,637 m2 and involved an outlay of €10.7 million.

The only operation signed by Vukile and Castellana Properties so far this year has been the purchase of the Habaneras shopping centre for more than €80 million. The complex was constructed in 2005 by Metrovacesa. Since then, the asset has passed through the hands of Unibail-Rodamco, in 2008 and Harbert, which acquired Habaneras for €65 million.

That centre has a gross leasable area of 24,158 m2 and contains 70 stores distributed over three floors and more than 800 parking spaces. Its tenants include operators such as Zara and H&M. The Habaneras shopping centre received 4 million visitors last year and recorded operating revenues of €5 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vukile Negotiates Purchase of the Habaneras Shopping Centre

25 January 2018 – Eje Prime

A new corporate operation is on the horizon in the shopping centre sector in Spain. The Habaneras complex may be changing hands once again, given that the investment fund Harbert European Real Estate Fund is negotiating its purchase for €80 million from the Socimi Castellana Properties (managed by Vukile).

The Habaneras shopping centre was constructed in 2005 by Metrovacesa. Since then, the complex has been owned by Unibail-Rodamco, which bought it in 2008, and by Harbert, which acquired Habaneras for €65 million, according to Expansión.

The complex has a gross leasable area of 24,158 m2, contains 70 stores spread over three floors and has 800 parking spaces. Its tenants include retailers such as Zara and H&M. The Habaneras shopping centre ended last year with 4 million visitors and operating revenues of €5 million.

Meanwhile, the South African fund Vukile already owns a portfolio containing thirteen shopping centres in Spain and has made investments to date amounting to €290 million across the whole Spanish market.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vía Célere, Aedas, Neinor & Aelca are Open to Corporate Operations

22 January 2018 – Expansión

Spain’s large property developers are warning that the shortage of land and the slow pace at which licences are being processed will lead to a rise in house prices.

Following the start of the concentration of the large Socimis, with the takeover of Axiare by Colonial as the main exponent, the real estate sector is looking to other companies in the sector to star in the new corporate operations, namely, property developers led by investment funds.

With a land portfolio spanning almost 5 million m2 and more than 10,000 homes under construction, Neinor Homes, Aedas, Vía Célere and Aelca are the leading property developers to have emerged from this current real estate cycle. With the first two listed on the stock market and the second two with plans to that end, their directors say that the commitment from large investment funds and the creation of new property developers is positive, despite the competition. “Competition motivates and helps us. It improves processes, which leads to a better purchase experience for the end customer”, explains Javier Gómez (pictured above, top right (on the left)), CEO and founding partner at Aelca, speaking at the New Housing Industry conference, organised by Expansión and its supplement magazine ‘Su Vivienda’ (Your Home), both part of the El Mundo group.


Although companies and funds, such as Harbert, Patrizia and ASG, have their own growth plans in the residential market, the shortage of available land for all of them implies that they will have to form alliances between them. “We are in a privileged position. We hold land on our balance sheet for the development of our business plan over the next five years. Having said that, we are obliged to analyse operations that add value for our shareholders, including corporate operations”, said Sergio Gálvez, Director of Business Development at Aedas.

In this context of corporate operations, Vía Célere, which is preparing to debut on the stock market in 2018, and Aelca, have something in common, which, nevertheless, also pushes them apart: their largest shareholder is the US fund manager Värde Partners. “There has been a lot of talk about whether Aelca and Vía Célere could work together, but the structure of and funds and the assets they own are different and that could lead to conflict. We would need to resolve that first”, said Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado (pictured above, top left), founder and CEO of Vía Célere.

“We think that Spain is a market that is going to be consolidated, where there is space for between five and ten large players and where size is a significant advantage”, reveals Juan Velayos (pictured above, bottom left), who, nevertheless, recognises that it is difficult in his case, since his firm does not have a single controlling shareholder, following the gradual departure of its founder, Lone Star, from the company’s share capital over the last few months.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz and Jesús de las Casas)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Large Overseas RE Funds Are Building Homes In Spain

10 April 2017 – Expansión

Large international funds such as Invesco, Harbert, Activum SG and Stoneweg are developing residential projects in Spain in search of high returns.

Following their arrival in Spain at the end of 2013, the international investment funds have become the players to watch in the Spanish real estate market. Attracted by the decrease in prices following the burst of the bubble, the funds entered the market looking for opportunities in the tertiary sector (primarily, in the office and commercial segments). Nevertheless, the price rises of these properties and the improvement in the macroeconomic situation in the country have led them to place their focus on a new type of investment: residential assets.

“The main advantage of investing in residential assets is the return. Currently, the returns on residential investments is greater – by between 13% and 20% – than those generated by other assets (be they commercial, logistics, etc.), which have been cut recently, as the upwards trends have been reduced by increasingly higher competition, due to the shortage of products in good locations and the rise in land prices”, said Gonzalo Gallego, Partner in Financial Advisory at Deloitte.

“We have seen many international funds and players investing in the residential sector: Kennedy Wilson, Lone Star, Greenoak, Grosvenor, Autonomy Capital, Invesco, as well as family offices and representatives of large equity firms such as Shaftesbury, the Capriles family, Stoneweg and Dazia, amongst others. In general, they promote to sell, but we are also awaiting the imminent arrival of international giants such as Greystar and Round Hill and Allianz, in the residential rental business, where they see an important niche for the professionalisation and institutionalisation of this sector”, explains Humphrey White, CEO at Knight Frank in Spain.

One of the most active funds is the German fund Activum SG Capital Management. Currently, that investor, through its Spanish subsidiary ASG Iberia, is working on the construction of 2,000 homes in six developments, such as in San Juan (Alicante), Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) and Málaga.

Another international fund that has decided to back the residential sector in Spain is Invesco. “We are trying to avoid or assume urban planning risk in our residential investments, with the aim of not exceeding our investment schedule. For this reason, we only invest in buildable land and in properties that do not need special urban planning procedures to change their use or buildability”, explain sources from the fund’s residential department in Spain. Its projects include the development of 30 homes on Paseo de la Habana in Madrid, another one on c/Serrano, also in the capital, and the transformation of an office building into 58 homes close to Calle Colón in Valencia.

Meanwhile, Harbert Management Corporation (HMC) has decided to invest in the Spanish residential sector through a local partner, the management company Momentum. “In 2008, partners that have experience working with funds founded Momentum. In 2012, we started to see opportunities for those investors in the residential sector and, in 2014, we purchased our first plot of land in Aravaca from La Caixa”, explained Gabriel Fernández de Gamboa, Founding Partner at Momentum. Alongside this management company, HMC has invested in six plots of land in Madrid and another one in Málaga for the development of more than 600 homes and is searching for new opportunities in the market.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Harbert Buys The Habaneras Shopping Center From Unibail

24/12/2014 – Expansión

Spain’s real estate sector has been buzzing with activity over the past few months, and it’s going to continue up to the very last days of the year with the close of a major sales transaction. As seen with the vast majority of operations in 2014, the purchaser of the property is a foreign fund; in this case, the American group, Harbert Management Corporation, has closed the acquisition of Habaneras shopping center in Torrevieja (Alicante).

Promoted by Metrovacesa, the shopping mall boasts 64,000 square meters and more than 24,000 meters of retail space. Unibail bought the mall, which is located next to Maquinista in Barcelona, from Metrovacesa for €423 million in 2008.

Last year, the property in Alicante received 3.7 million visitors, according to the Spanish Association of Shopping Centers.

Harbert has shelled out €65 million for the property, according to industry sources. The fund, managed by Knight Frank, has created a REIT.

Unibail is one of the largest owners and managers of shopping centers in Europe and Spain. The company boasts 14 shopping centers in Spain, including Splau in Barcelona; Bonaire in Valencia; and La Vaguada in Madrid. At the end of 2011, it invested €185 million when it bought the shopping center, Splau, in Barcelona, from Acciona, making it one of the largest operations in the sector that year.

The company, which is listed on the Paris and Amsterdam stock exchange, is currently in the midst of an asset turnover in Spain.

Habaneras is not the first center to be sold by Unibail this year. The Franco-Dutch company sold Albacenter shopping mall to Lar España for €28.4 million.

New Projects

The real estate company is not only selling, but also investing in projects, such as the expansion of La Maquinista in Barcelona, and the construction of a new shopping center in Mallorca, whose total investment exceeds €255 million.

Also, Unibail is currently one of the third finalists in the bid for the Madrid shopping center, Plenilunio, for which it is willing to pay around €330 million.

Original article: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Aura REE