Fadesa’s Former Owner Returns to Real Estate

24 August 2018 – Eje Prime

Manuel Jove has returned to the Spanish real estate sector. The Spanish businessman, once the owner of the ill-fated real estate giant Fadesa, is determined to generate a profit from the land worth €540 million that he owns through his holding company Inveravante.

The executive from A Coruña, one of the 15 wealthiest people in Spain, is starting to move away from his businesses relating to renewable energy to return to the fold of real estate development, according to reports in El País.

Jove has worked in this vein for the last five years and in 2017, he managed to sell the vast majority of the 264 homes that he brought onto the market. So far in 2018, the businessman has already started work on new urbanisations in Madrid, Andalucía, the Canary Islands and his native Galicia. Jove still has a lot of work to do, thanks to the plots of land that he owns all over the country.

In addition to the residential market, the executive has a considerable presence in the hotel sector. His chain, Attica 21, improved its turnover last year, whilst the residential complex that Jove owns in Tánger (Morocco) comprising 800 homes has recently incorporated the operation of a five star Hilton hotel. As a result, the real estate arm of Inveravante is growing at a rate of 35% and now accounts for 34% of sales.

In 2017, boosted by the wind farms, which accounted for 57% of turnover, as well as a small wine and food products division, Inveravante recorded revenues of €184 million, up by 22% compared to the previous year.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

La Caixa Finalises its Purchase of 49.9% of Saba for €900M

6 June 2018 – Expansión

Criteria is planning to acquire 100% of the parking lot group, which has itself closed several operations in recent months, resulting in the addition of almost 15,000 parking spaces to its portfolio.

Reorganisation between the shareholders of Saba, the parking lot group controlled by Criteria (50.1%), the industrial holding company of la Caixa, and in which Torreal (20%), KKR (18.2%) and ProA (10.5%) hold stakes, along with 3,000 minority shareholders (1.2%).

Criteria is finalising the acquisition of the remaining 49.9% that it does not yet own in Saba for €900 million, according to sources in the infrastructure sector. It remains to be seen whether this operation will be completed in time to be approved at the Ordinary General Shareholders’ Meeting, which is scheduled to be held next Tuesday, 12 June. The celebration of the assembly had been postponed from 9 May precisely for the purpose of signing the deal that will see Criteria take complete control over the group chaired by Salvador Alemany.

The agenda for Saba’s General Shareholders’ Meeting includes the ratification and appointment of the company’s directors. In the event that the takeover does not take place, the most feasible option would be for another General Shareholders’ Meeting to be convened, but in that case an Extraordinary one.

The price at which Saba had been valued initially amounted to around €1.4 billion for 100% of the Catalan company, based on a multiplier of around 14 times its EBITDA in 2016. Saba’s accounts for 2017 have not been published yet, pending the General Shareholders’ Meeting next week, but a slight increase is expected both in turnover and profits, boosted by the strong performance of the firm in countries such as Portugal. In 2016, the company recorded a comparable gross profit of €94 million after generating revenues of €205 million, 66% of which were recorded in Spain.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Á. Patiño, A. Zañón & C. Morán)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Urtinsa Sells 5 Nursing Homes in Madrid for c. €50M

14 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Grupo Urtinsa is getting out of the market for nursing homes for the elderly. The brothers Pablo and Jaime González, formerly participants of the Eurovegas deal, have sold five nursing homes that they owned in the Community of Madrid to a Spanish investor. A year ago, the owners of the holding company got rid of their specialist manager, Valdeluz, which ended up in the hands of the giant Sanitas, which re-routed that activity to its Sanitas Mayores division.

The nursing homes, located in Alcorcón, El Escorial, Torrelodones, Colmenar Viejo and Carabanchel, have 840 beds in total and employ 500 people. Experts in this sector calculate that the operation must have been closed for around €50 million, according to El Confidencial.

Lady luck could have shined the other way for the González brothers if the Eurovegas deal had not fallen into misfortune a few years ago. Urtinsa owns some large plots of land in Alcorcón, including several buildable plots of land, which were of interest to the US multi-millionaire Sheldon Adelson, the property developer behind the gaming city that the Spanish Government was keen to build at the height of the huge economic crisis that the country was experiencing at the time.

Despite the sale of the nursing homes, the González’s holding company still owns companies of all kinds, some of which are related to the real estate sector. Such is the case of the construction firm Arpada and the property developer Valdeversa.

The most recent set of results from Grupo Urtinsa, corresponding to 2016, saw the firm record losses of €353,648, compared with a profit of €114,979 that it generated a year earlier. The holding company’s asset portfolio amounted to €82.4 million at that time, with net equity of €20.36 million.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Only-Apartments Creates ‘Cerbium Holding’ After Buying Tech Firm TBD

7 February 2018 – Eje Prime

Only-Apartments is starting a new phase. The tourist apartment rental platform has carried out a non-monetary capital increase to purchase the technological company Texting Big Data (TBD) for €1.5 million. Following the operation, the company will create Cerbium Holding, which is what the company will now be called.

Listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), the general shareholders’ meeting of the real estate company approved the issue of 703,990 new shares to finance the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of TBD. By virtue of the agreement, the majority shareholders of the technology firm, Guillem Junyent, Pier 46 and Wecap Barcelona, will now be shareholders of the new holding company, according to Expansión.

Moreover, Only-Apartments has expanded its Board of Directors with the inclusion of two of TBD’s other shareholders, Ángel Cánovas and Sajama Invest, who will accompany the proptech’s cofounders, Alon Eldar and Elisabet Cristià (pictured above), as well as Jaime Buxó. Meanwhile, Juan Marín has resigned from the Board.

Following this operation, the holding company will have two lines of business: the traditional arm, linked to tourist accommodation; and the new technological branch, which will offer technological consultancy and management services, amongst other activities.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

ECI & Matutes Negotiate the Sale of Ayre Hotels for €200M

12 January 2018 – Expansión

Advanced conversations / The retail giant and hotel chain want to cash in on the sale of a hotel portfolio comprising five establishments and more than 800 rooms.

El Corte Inglés and Grupo Matutes want to take advantage of the good times that the tourist sector is enjoying and the investor appetite for the real estate market to sell some of the assets in the Ayre chain – a brand of urban hotels, which they jointly control (50:50) – and make some money.

Specifically, the groups are finalising the sale of a portfolio comprising five hotels, with more than 800 rooms, located in Madrid, Barcelona, Oviedo and Córdoba, worth around €200 million, according to sources in the sector. Those sources indicate that the two companies have already received several offers and that the operation could be closed during the first quarter of the year.

Ayre was created in 2006 as the urban brand of the Palladium Hotel Group – then known as Fiesta and belonging to the Grupo Empresas Matutes (GEM) –. At the end of that year, El Corte Inglés purchased a 50% stake in the chain, through Parinver, its holding company. The retail group classified that acquisition as an operation of a financial nature at the time.

Currently, the urban chain Ayre owns 10 hotels in Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia, Córdoba and Oviedo. Last summer, the companies decided to put half of the assets up for sale and reposition at least two of the other establishments – the hotels in Valencia and Sevilla – under the Only You brand, the premium sub-brand of Ayre.

The company that owns Ayre is FST Hotels, controlled equally by Fiesta Hotels & Resorts (Grupo Matutes) and Parinver (El Corte Inglés). FST Hotels, which is headquartered in Palma de Mallorca, closed 2016 with turnover of €49.4 million, up by 14% and a net profit of €4.2 million, up by 100% compared to 2015, according to the most recent accounts filed with the Commercial Registry.

The President of the Company is Abel Matutes Juan, whilst Florencio Lasaga, the director of El Corte Inglés and President of the Ramón Areces Foundation (its largest shareholder) serves as the Vice-President. FST Hotels also has Jesús Nuño de la Rosa, the CEO of El Corte Inglés, on its Board, as well as Carlos Martínez Echevarría and Cristina Álvarez Guil, both directors of the retail group; and Abel Matutes Prats, Director General of Palladium, amongst others.

The operation forms part of the strategy of Grupo Palladium, whose objective is to grow through hotel management, and move from being an owner to a manager, in line with other Spanish chains. Palladium, which is headquartered in Ibiza and is more than 40 years old, has 50 hotels in six countries – Spain, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Italy and Brazil – and operates three other brands besides Ayre: Palladium Hotels & Resorts, Fiesta Hotels & Resorts and Ushuaïa.

Meanwhile, El Corte Inglés would add the sale of this hotel portfolio to the list of non-strategic divestments that the group has undertaken in recent months: in November, it reached an agreement with the fund GPF to sell it the management of its Motortown workshops, located in 55 of its shopping centres; in October, the company chaired by Dimas Gimeno sold 40% of Torre Serrano to Infinorsa for €50 million; and in September, it sold off a logistics warehouse in La Bisbal del Penedès (Tarragona). The group has also sold buildings in Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla, amongst other cities, in recent months.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo and V. M. Osorio)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Riberas Family Buys Gran Vía 4 from Socimi Autonomy Spain

21 December 2017 – Eje Prime

Autonomy Spain Real Estate owns a portfolio comprising two buildings: Omega, located in Madrid, and Pallars, located in the 22@ district of Barcelona.

The Riberas family is gaining weight in the real estate sector. The owners of Gestamp and Gonvarri have acquired an office building located at number 4 Gran Vía for €43 million. The property was owned until now by the Socimi Autonomy Spain.

The price paid by the Riberas family is 40% higher than the most recent valuation of the building and more than double the amount paid by the fund, according to El Confidencial. The Riberas family has undertaken this operation through its holding company Acek Desarrollo y Gestión Industrial, with the aim of moving into the building shortly.

Through Acek, the brothers Jon and Francisco Riberas control the largest industrial group in Spain, whose flagship brands include the automobile component manufacturer, Gestamp, a listed company with a market capitalisation of €3.378 billion, and the steel company Gonvarri.

Autonomy Spain Real Estate owns a portfolio comprising two buildings, Omega, located in Madrid, and Pallars, located in the 22@ district of Barcelona. The company was created in 2012, with the aim of analysing investment opportunities in the Spanish real estate sector. The main objective of the company is the acquisition and management of the highest quality properties in prime locations.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Ruggieri Family Acquires a Hotel in Mallorca for €70M

5 December 2017 – Eje Prime

The Ruggieri family is continuing to back Spain. A month after announcing the stock market debut of its Socimi Elaia Investment Spain (EIS), which has been trading on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) since 2 November, the French family has acquired a hotel in Mallorca for €70 million. The operation has been carried out through Lagune, an investment vehicle specialising in tourist and healthcare real estate assets, which is owned by the clan’s holding company, Grupo Batipart.

The hotel, located in the Mallorcan area of Cala Romántica, has 267 rooms and will be operated by the chain Iberostar. The intention of Lagune is to completely remodel the establishment to increase its category rating and turn it into a four-star property.

The establishment is the first that the investment vehicle has acquired in the hotel sector in Spain, although it already owns 16 healthcare residencies in the country. It purchased those properties at the beginning of this year and entrusts their management to the nursing home firm DomusVi.

Currently, the Ruggieri family controls other assets in Spain, through EIS (in which it holds a 66% stake) in Madrid, Barcelona, the Costa del Sol, Mallorca and the Costa Brava. In Europe, the family office owns a real estate portfolio worth around €1 billion, located in France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grosvenor Buys 3 More Residential Properties In Madrid

26 October 2017 – Eje Prime

The youngest multi-millionaire in the world has set his sights on Spain. The young Duke of Westminster, 26, has acquired three properties in Madrid, where he is going to build luxury homes. The latest project involves the transformation of a property that used to house the Philatelic Forum for many years. The plan is to build twelve properties there for wealthy tenants, according to Cinco Días.

The Spanish subsidiary of Grosvenor has also purchased a plot of land on Calle Jorge Juan, where it plans to construct seven apartments and a property on Santa Engracia, which will contain 18 homes once the building has been renovated.

To carry out this series of investments, the British company has joined forces with the holding company Amcorp, which is headquartered in Malaysia and which has funds amounting to €70 million.

In addition to the residential market, Grosvenor is looking to purchase offices for their rental, according to the company. In Spain, the firm is a partner of the Sonae Sierra joint venture, one of the main players in the shopping centre sector.

Grosvenor, led by Mark Preston, currently owns properties with a value of around €7,300 million, most of which are located in the United Kingdom, where, it is also the main landowner in London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods. These assets generated revenues of €298 million in 2016 and profits of almost €90 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

KKR Finalises Its Purchase Of Hipoges & The Pepper Group

24 October 2017 – Voz Pópuli

The investment giant KKR is multiplying its commitment to Spain. The US fund is on the verge of signing two operations, which will see it obtain real influence in the property and financial sectors. Moreover, it is participating in other major processes to purchase portfolios of banking assets, such as Project Invictus, although Bain Capital is expected to be victorious in that case.

The next operation to be signed in the market is the deal involving Hipoges. And according to financial sources consulted by Vozpópuli, KKR has imposed itself in the sales process of that recovery and real estate asset management platform, which was founded in 2008 by former directors of Lehman Brothers.

KKR’s offer has convinced the vendors – comprising the main directors and the fund Cerberus, which holds a 40% stake – ahead of the bid submitted by the British group Cabot. Sources in the market estimate that the price will amount to €25 million – €30 million in the end.

With the purchase of Hipoges, KKR will be able to compete on equal terms to acquire large portfolios of problem assets from the banks. In this regard, four large funds dominate the market: Blackstone, owner of the platform Anticipa and now Aliseda; Apollo, which controls Altamira; Cerberus, a shareholder of Haya Real Estate; and Lone Star, the main investor in Neinor. KKR is led in Spain by Jesús Olmos and Alejo Vidal-Quadras (pictured above).

Other funds in this league include TPG, which owns 51% of Servihabitat, although it has maintained a rather low profile in recent months; and Oaktree, which manages its assets through Sabal Financial.

What is Hipoges?

Hipoges is one of the main independent servicers, alongside Finsolutia, TDX Indigo and Copernicus. It has 200 employees across four countries and it manages loans and properties worth €8,000 million.

On the other hand, KKR is currently finalising the takeover of the Australian firm, the Pepper Group. That consumer financing institution has a lot of activity in Spain, through 300 employees, and has just made the leap into traditional banking with the acquisition of a small Portuguese entity, which also has a branch in Madrid: Banco Primus. As such, Pepper will soon start to grant mortgages in Spain.

Pepper was one of Banco Popular’s partners, in one of the last alliances to be signed by Ángel Ron; however, it only lasted for a few months until Emilio Saracho broke off the agreement.

The group will be an investee company and so the executives of KKR are not expected to get involved in the management of the company beyond sitting on the Board of Directors of the holding company in Australia. Even so, Vidal-Quadras has participated in the operation to value the business in Spain, and so his opinion will be taken into account when determining the financial entity’s strategy.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Centurion Real Estate Will Debut On The MAB In July

27 June 2017 – Expansión

Shareholders of the blood products manufacturer Grifols are finalising the debut on the stock market of Centurion Real Estate, a Socimi that is owned in its entirety by Scranton Enterprises. Scranton is a holding company headquartered in The Netherlands, which owns 8.67% of the Catalan company Grifols. The real estate company will start to trade on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) in July, according to financial sources.

Centurion was founded in 2014 in Barcelona – where its headquarters are located – with the aim of “identifying acquisition opportunities in the real estate market for their subsequent management and operation under lease contracts”, according to Scranton.

Scranton

Grifols sources admitted yesterday that members of the family that controls the pharmaceutical group are some of the around twenty shareholders of the Dutch holding company and they said that board members, former board members, directors and former directors of the Spanish company participate in the business – which has its registered office in Amsterdam – although they did not reveal the composition of the shareholders.

Centurion is chaired by Juan Javier Roura, who used to be responsible for Treasury and Risk Control at Grifols until 2015, where he previously served as Finance Director. Other members of the board of directors include Jordi Fabregas, Núria Martín and Tomás Dagá, founding partners of the law firm Osborne Clarke in Spain; Dagá is also a director of Grifols and of some of the group’s subsidiaries.

The Socimi closed last year with own funds of €61.33 million, up by more than ten times compared to 2105. Its turnover amounted to €5.28 million, almost 5% higher than last year. Its profit reached €2.27 million and the company distributed €1.82 million in dividends.

In light of its imminent debut on the MAB, the company has prepared an audited report of its activity during the first four months of 2017, a period in which its turnover amounted to €1.71 million and its profit reached €421,591.

Grifols’ buildings

According to the same document, Centurion Real Estate is the owner of four buildings, currently occupied by Grifols in the city of Barcelona (Calle Jesús y María) and in the Barcelonan suburb of Sant Cugat del Vallès (Avenida de la Generalitat), where the group has its headquarters. In March, the Socimi formalised the acquisition of retail premises in Plaza Francesc Macià, 10, in Barcelona, on the ground floor of Winterthur’s former headquarters for €50 million.

To undertake its business, Centurion signed a €40 million mortgage loan with BBVA in October 2016 and a €10 million loan with Santander in February 2017.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Orihuel and M. Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake