Blackstone Creates ‘Testa Home’ to Manage 20,000 of its Rental Homes

10 January 2020 – El Economista

Blackstone has created a new company, Testa Home, to manage 20,000 of the rental flats owned by its Socimis and other subsidiaries.

The entity will be led by Fidere’s current president, Juan Pablo Vera, and will owned by Testa (58.12%) and Fidere (41.88%).

The aim is to make the management of the portfolio more efficient, optimise operating costs and returns, and render an improved service to tenants.

Of the 20,000 flats, 11,000 are owned by Testa, 6,500 by Fidere, 2,000 by Aliseda and 500 by Hispania.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Socimis More than Double their Market Capitalisation in 3 Years

9 January 2020 – Expansión

Altogether Spain’s Socimis have a market capitalisation of €28 billion, having seen their value on the stock market soar by 60% in 3 years, according to a report compiled by Gloval Building Value.

The two largest Socimis, Merlin and Colonial, which are both listed on the Ibex, account for more than 40% of that total, with a combined market capitalisation of €12 billion and asset portfolios of €12.4 billion and €11.8 billion, respectively. They are followed by General de Galerías Comerciales (GGC), with a market capitalisation of €3.7 billion; GMP (€1.1 billion); Testa (€850 million) and Castellana Property (€600 million). The latter four all trade on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

The specialist real estate companies (Socimis) first began to take off in Spain in 2012 following a legislative change that afforded their shareholders tax benefits. In the last 7 years, more than 80 Socimis have joined the MAB and more still are expected to make their debuts over the coming years.

Just two of the major Socimis have disappeared in that time: Hispania, which was acquired by Blackstone and merged with HI Partners; and Axiare, which was absorbed by Colonial in 2018. Finally, four smaller Socimis have been excluded from trading (Bay, Kingbook, Colón and Autonomy) and one (Promorent) has transferred to the Expanding Companies segment.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Hotel Investment Fell by 49% in 2019 Due to Lack of Large Deals

8 January 2020 – Expansión

According to CBRE, investment in the hotel real estate sector amounted to €2.5 billion in 2019, down by 49% YoY. In total, 126 hotels changed hands last year, containing 15,000 rooms, together with another 3,200 planned rooms.

Most of the transacted properties were individual assets (72%), with just 28% of the hotels forming part of portfolios, down from 65% in 2018. The main reason for the decrease is a reduction in corporate operations in 2019. Blackstone took the market by storm in 2018 when it made a takeover bid for the Socimi Hispania, which was the largest hotel owner in Spain.

By type of asset, more than half of investors (51%) invested in urban assets in 2019, resulting in a decrease in investment in the vacation sector.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Seguros Pelayo Acquires Office Building in Alcobendas from Hispania

18 November 2019 – Seguros Pelayo has acquired the office building located at Avenida Bruselas 15, Alcobendas, for more than 11 million euros from Hispania.

The building, which is fully occupied, has an approximate surface area of 3,500 m2 and recently underwent a renovation. Alcobendas, a city on the outskirts of Madrid, has an array of established firm operating in the area. The area also has good transport links, with easy access to the A-1 and the M-30 and M-40 ring roads, a few minutes from the centre of Madrid and the Barajas International Airport.

Original Story: Idealista – Custodio Pareja

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Investment Funds Eye Thomas Cook’s Assets in Spain

30 September 2019 – International investment funds are already circling over Thomas Cook’s assets in Spain after its bankruptcy last week. Investor interest is focusing on the Balearic Islands, where Cook operates about 20 units.

Blackstone has recently been the most active buyer in the Balearic Islands through its hotel division, HI Partners. The groups Atom Hotels, Portobello Capital, Covivio, CBRE Global Investors, Corum AM, Elaia Investment, Apple Leisure Group, KKR and Hispania are also active in the region.

Beyond the failure of Thomas Cook, a recent fall in tourist arrivals from Germany has also put pressure on some small and medium-sized operators, providing more fodder for the mill.

Original Story: Preferente

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

 

Blackstone Selling More Than €900 Million in Assets

9 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

The U.S. giant Blackstone, following an asset rotation policy, has begun to sell some of the assets it has acquired since it began operations in Spain in 2012. Specifically, Blackstone is selling off some of the portfolio it took on upon its acquisition of Hispania.

So far, Blackstone has accumulated a portfolio valued at more than 23 billion euros. After its acquisition of Hispania, the US investment giant has already sold several office buildings. Blackstone is also analysing the sale of some of the residential assets it controls through its socimi Fidere, which is listed on the Alternative Stock Market (MAB). In total, counting completed and expected sales, the American fund will pocket more than €900 million.

Ilunion is one of the principal portfolios of assets Blackstone has sold so far this year. The assets include five office buildings in Madrid, which sold at the beginning of the year to a subsidiary of Zurich Seguros, Rex Spain ZDHL, for €163.6 million.  The American giant is analysing further investment opportunities in the country.

Original Story: Expansion – Rebeca Arroyo

Blackstone’s Spanish Hotel Portfolio is Worth €3.5bn

3 June 2019 – La Vanguardia

In recent years, the US fund Blackstone has invested €3.5 billion in the Spanish hotel sector through its specialist manager HI Partners, making it the largest hotel owner in Spain and the third largest in Europe after the Swedish firm Pandox and the French group Covivio.

HI Partners was created four years ago and owned 17 establishments by the time Blackstone acquired it in 2017 for €640 million. A year later, the US fund launched a successful takeover bid for the Socimi Hispania, which gave it control of another 45 hotels.

According to Alejandro Hernández-Puértolas, Partner and CEO of HI Partners, the firm now owns 62 establishments in Spain, with around 18,000 rooms. By region, 53% of its rooms are located in the Canary Islands, where it has 25 establishments, 26% are in the Balearic Islands (18 hotels) and the remaining 21% are located across the Peninsula above all in the Costa del Sol, Valencia and Cataluña.

HI Partners is headquartered in Barcelona and has offices in the Canary and Balearic Islands. It employs 100 professionals and its hotels are managed by 19 different operators including Marriott, Barceló, Hilton, Melià and Ritz Carlton.

Original story: La Vanguardia (by Rosa Salvador)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Azora Prepares a Fund to Invest €1.3bn in Hotels & Hostels

30 May 2019 – El Confidencial

Azora is currently holding conversations with various investors to launch a new fund through which it hopes to invest between €1.2 billion and €1.3 billion in hotels in Spain as well as in hostels in the main tourist markets across the Mediterranean.

The company founded by Concha Osácar (pictured above) and Fernando Gumuzio expects to launch the vehicle within the next few weeks as soon as agreements have been signed with the first anchor investors.

Azora, which used to manage the Socimi Hispania, until it was sold to Blackstone last year, has been very active in the Spanish hotel market in recent months after it purchased a hotel portfolio in Benidorm and the Costa del Sol in March comprising 1,670 rooms.

The company is also expected to enter the market for nursing homes for the elderly in conjunction with another fund, with the aim of investing up to €300 million over the next few years.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E.S.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Puts a Portfolio of FIdere’s Homes Worth €150M-€200M Up For Sale

25 April 2019 – Expansión

The US fund Blackstone has launched the sale of a portfolio of homes belonging to its Socimi Fidere worth between €150 million and €200 million.

According to sources, several interested parties are already analysing the portfolio, whose perimeter may vary depending on the offers received. This sale forms part of a wider initiative by Blackstone to rotate some of the assets in its portfolio. The US fund has already put some of the offices owned by another Socimi Corona up for sale.

Since 2012, Blackstone has invested almost €24 billion in real estate in Spain, where it is the owner of several investment vehicles and management companies, including the Socimis Testa, Albirana and Torbal, as well as Hispania.

Original story: Expansión (by R. A.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Blackstone’s Hotel Socimi Hispania Ceases Trading on the Stock Market

4 April 2019 – La Vanguardia

Hispania, the largest hotel owner in the country, will stop trading on the stock market from tomorrow Friday 5 April. This outcome has been on the cards since the Socimi, which owns 46 hotels located all over Spain, was taken over by the US fund Blackstone last year.

Blackstone paid €18.25 per share for the Socimi, compared with the firm’s debut price of €10.00. On Thursday, Hispania closed trading at €17.82 per share.

The Socimi, which is worth almost €2 billion, will abandon the stock market five years after making its debut in March 2014. It is the first Socimi to have trading in its shares terminated in this way.

Original story: La Vanguardia 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake