Sidorme Underpins Intention of Growth With Two Hotels in Madrid

8/01/2015 – Expansion

Hotel chain Sidorme has just opened a 3-star, 44-key hotel in Fuencarral Street, Madrid, at 500 meters away from the known high street Gran Via. Sidorme has invested €2.2 million in this rented building. At the end of December, another contract was nailed down on a property at Puerta del Sol Square. Set to open its doors in 2016, the 70-room hotel is undergoing a retrofitting worth €4 million.

After the two openings, Sidorme will own three hotels in the Community of Madrid region as last July the chain inaugurated an establishment in Las Rozas (pictured). Sidorme is controlled by 14 family offices from all around the country. All the hotels have three stars, a model comparable to Ibis.

The company has changed its strategy, now looking to central locations and rather to lease than to buy.

‘This is the perfect time to get resonable rents in the city centers’, assures its CEO Jairo González. ‘Moving from one place to another allows us to double the prices, depending on the demand’, he says. Sidorme advocates for growth in Barcelona and Madrid, while analyzing investment opportunities in Valencia, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Oviedo and Salamanca.

The label ‘low-cost’ will be preserved. ‘We aim at offering decent rooms with comfortable beds, Internet and showers’, Mr Gonzalez explains.

Currently, Sidorme operates in 10 hotels, of which 5 are situated in Catalonia. In 2014, the firm earned €6.9 millin and gained €400.000. In 2015, the chain expects to earn €8.5 million and gain €0.7 million.


Original story: Expansión (by Artur Zanón)

Translation: AURA REE

Cevasa Sells an Estate in Madrid, Buys 20% More of SBD Lloguer Social

8/01/2015 – Inmodiario

Spanish rental property company Companía Española de Viviendas en Alquiler S. A., abbreviated to Cevasa, has sold a real estate complex called Santa María de Cabeza, Madrid, to AKM Arganzuela for 35 million euros. The deal included 214 dwelling, 31 retail units and their corresponding parking spaces.

As a result of the sale, Cevasa is going to close the year 2014 with an extraordinary profit of 23 million, once the sold assets’ book value (€8.1 million), as well as taxes and transfer cost deducted.

Besides, Cevasa has purchased a 20% share in Sociedad SBD Lloguer Social, S. A. from Habitatges Municipals de Sabadell, S. A. (VIMUSA). Currently, Cevasa’s share adds up to 80%, demonstrating the company’s commitment to cooperation with the Local Administration on development of properties intended for long-term rents at affordable prices.

Picture: One of Cevasa’s housing developments,

Original story: Inmodiario (by the Staff)

Translation: AURA REE

Kutxabank Outsources Project Lion (Neinor) to Lone Star For €930 Mn

19/12/2014 – El Pais

Kutxabank sold half of its real estate assets in a 930 million euro deal. As the Basque entity said in a statement, private equity fund Lone Star bought 100% of Grupo Neinor.

The operation, known as  ‘Project Lion‘, allows the bank to leave from a business which is not adequate for a financial entity. Moreover, it puts in manifest Lone Star’s bet on the recovery of the Spanish property market.

This is the greatest buyout of a real estate firm since 2007 and the transaction is scheduled to be fully closed on April 30th.

The Basque group pointed out that the advantages of the sale are ‘evident’. An offload of 50% of its real estate scope means speeding up implementation of the bank’s business plan for this area, apart from outsourcing management of its REO assets to a highly specialized fund.

For the Neinor group itself, ‘Project Lion’ means an important advance in business activity, now to be led by Lone Star. What is more, the fund will develop and add value to its assets faster and more efficiently than Kutxabank could. Let alone the excellent career prospects for Neinor’s staff.

Kutxabank is planning to create a holding called ‘Newco‘, including both the entity’s reposessions and those found in balances of Neinor and Neinor Barria, with view to their subsequent sales.

Apart from the assets of Neinor, Lone Star agreed to service the properties of the entity itself.

Lone Star, a prominent international firm, has carried out 390 investments in over 1.100 transactions valued at 88.3 billion eurs in total since its foundation in 1995.


Original story: El País 

Translation: AURA REE

Hispania Presents Two Warrants For Acquisition of Realia

18/12/2014 – Expansion

Socimi (Spanish REIT vehicle) Hispania Real has officially presented in front of the Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV) its takeover bid for Realia, offering 0.49 euros for each share. This intention was made public on November 21st.

To support its words, the Trust mananged by Azora presented two securities issued by Santander and CaixaBank worth 157.7 million euros to entirely cover the purchase of 100% of Realia.

However, Hispania Real assured the tender offer will be fully disembursed from its own funds. To achieve that, the Socimi called for an extraordinary meeting to take place on December 26th, when it will file for a capital hike.

Yesterday Realia’s stocks closed at 0.61 euros each, with a total capitalization of 187 million euros.


Original article: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: AURA REE

FCC’s Refinancing Backed by 85% of Creditors

16/12/2014 – Expansion

FCC is going to close two key issues this week: the capital increase of 1 billion euros and the agreement with banks to refinance a loan of 1.39 billion euros through a partial amortization of 900 million. The placed percentage will become known on Thursday. Also, on that day the creditors will decide upon the B-tranche of 1.39 billion due in 2018, having an average cost of 13%.

According to sources with knowledge on the matter, 85% of FCC’s lenders are in favor of a 15% forgiveness on the liabilities and a 5% cut in incurred costs. Commercial banks have accepted the conditions but still the opinion of investment funds which bough some debt on the secondary market remains unknown.

FCC believes the final adhesion may reach 90%, allowing it to obtain legal approval and oblige the rest of the lenders to say ‘yes’ to the operation. However, if any of the creditors refuses, the builder is going to amortize smaller amount of money, namely 873 million euros.

Legal Alternatives

According to sources, some of the hedge funds which acquired the distressed debt of FCC are seeking legal paths to block the agreement. With such a goal in mind, they have hired law offices like Boies Schiller.

The last to sell its debt share on the secondary market was BNP Paribas, having a total exposure of 177 million euros, of which 53 million corresponded to the B-tranche. Apart from the funds, also Goldman Sachs owns a 40 million share in this part and RBS was among the first to sell its 70 million volume (21 million included in the B-tranche). According to estimations of Kepler Cheuvreux, between 15% and 20% is in hands of investors who acquired the distressed loans from their original holders.

When it comes to the capital hike, yesterday Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim sealed the purchase of 66.7 million new shares of FCC for 650 million euros, by the deed becoming the majority shareholder with a 25.6 % stake.

Slim, through his company Control Empresarial de Capitales (CEC), has subscribed to the new shares corresponding to pre-emptive right shares of Esther Koplowitz (pictured), who will now hold 22.4%. Yesterday on the stock market FCC closed at a price of 11.1 euros a share, up 0.6%.


Original story: Expansión (by C. Morán & C. Badía)

Translation: AURA REE

Cerberus, Orion Improve Their Bid For Sotogrande

12/12/2014 – Cinco Dias

Investment funds Cerberus and Orion, through their joint venture Sotogrande Luxco, have increased their bid for Sotogrande. In a relevant event notice sent to the Stock Market Regulator, the partners announced that instead of original price of 4.43 euros a share, they are going to pay 4.47 euros to buy out the company held 96.997% by NH Hotel Group.

Cerberus and Orion bettered their offer after Ernst & Young povided valuation of Sotogrande’s 50% stake in Capredo Investments. Moreover, the proposal will be considered as a sale, and not as a share swap, and therefore the payment will be realized in cash.

Last October 17th, NH conveyed its 43.5 million shares to the funds.


Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: AURA REE

UBS Increases Stakes in Hispania, Merlin REITs

9/12/2014 – Expansion

UBS Group has raised its share in Socimi (REIT) Merlin Properties (MRL) to 12.3 per cent, and the stake in Hispania (HIS) to 3.2 per cent. These hikes are worth 157 and 18.6 million euros respectively.

Precisely, UBS remains the majority shareholder of Merlin, holding 15.8 million of the Trust‘s shares. The Socimi went public on June 30th, coming down to history as the biggest initial public offering in Spain since July 2011 and the third-largest in Europe in the past 12 months.

Also, fund Marketfield Asset Management, Emanuel Friedman or Credit Suisse Group have their 10.6%, 5.2% and 4.8% shares in the REIT respectively.

Likewise, the entity increased its stake on Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios to 3.2 per cent, equivalent to 1.7 million shares.

This Socimi was listed on the stock exchange market on March 14th, gaining attention of such big-name investors as John Paulson (18.3%) and George Soros (16.7%). Furthermore, Pac Recovery Fund owns a 9.1% share, Tamerlane 5.9% and Credit Suisse 4.9%.

Currently, Hispania’s stock sells 1.05 per cent higher at 10.6 euros, and Merlin’s shares trade 0.25% up at 9.9 euros each.


Original story: Expansión 

Translation: AURA REE

Santander Pays €100 Mn to Bankia For a 19% Stake in Metrovacesa

5/12/2014 – El Confidencial

Bankia sold its 19% share in Metrovacesa to Santander, making it the majority stakeholder in the real estate company with 55.8% of the capital. The entity chaired by Ana Botin (pictured) paid around €100 million in the deal.

The vending bank led by Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri was obliged by Brussels to sell-off all the industrial shares it owns.

In turn, through the operation, Santander tries to guarantee a holding stability inside Metrovacesa and shows its confidence about economic recovery of the country’s real estate industry.

Except for the entity, Metrovacesa is also held by BBVA (a 18.3% stake), Banco Sabadell (13%), y Banco Popular (12.6%), which swapped the Sanahuja familys debt for shares in the firm in February 2009.

Banned from the stock since May 2013, Metrovacesa went public in 2004. The company’s main activity focus is property lease. It disposes of more than 1.1 million square meters of office, retail and hotel space, mostly located in Madrid and Barcelona.


Original story: El Confidencial

Translation: AURA REE

FCC Safeguards Juan Bejar’s CEO Position, While CaixaBank & Larranza XXI Plan to Leave in 2015

2/12/2014 – El Economista

Caixabank and Larranza XXI, minority shareholders of B-1998, a company through which businesswoman Esther Koplowitz holds her stake in FCC, have decided to leave from the firm in January 2015, according to information provided to the CNMV (Spanish Stock Exchange Market Regulator).

FCC has amended terms and conditions of the contract re-signed with its CEO Juan Bejar who agreed to stay in this office for at least one year more. The move by Mrs Koplowitz aimed at ‘ensuring utmost stability to the executive directors’ team’.

Assigned to this role in January 2013, Juan Bejar is given a chance to a unilateral call for the contract termination in case when Esther Koplowitz loses control over the group after the entrance of Carlos Slim.

Thus, the managing director is obliged to fulfill his role for thirteen months after the new shares of FCC issued in the framework of capital increase go public, i.e. until 22nd December 2015. If the agreement dissolved earlier, the executive will have a right to two annual renumerations as a compensation.

According to a report on FCC’s directors’ income, fixed annual earnings for CEO and vice-chairman are set at €2.5 million, and they are conditioned by a set of targets to be met.


Original article: El Economista

Translation: AURA REE

Carlos Slim Rescues Koplowitz & FCC

27/11/2014 – El Mundo

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world, has become the main shareholder of one of leading Spanish builders, Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC).

Controlled by the Koplowitz family for over six decades, the contractor reached an agreement with Slim on decreasing the holding percentage of Esther Koplowitz (pictured) from 50.01% to around 22.43%, while the Carso group of the Slims will receive a 25.63% stake. Spanish Stock Exchange Market Regulator CNMV informed the partners agreed on joint ownership of FCC without obligation of pursuing a takeover bid for the entire builder.

Slim is bound to pay over €650 million for the share, of which €500 million will be injected into FCC’s capital and the remaining amount will allow the investor to seize the pre-emptive rights of Koplowitz. The capital hike means a double victory for the businesswoman as she will be able to get out from her defaulting personal debt owed to Bankia and BBVA and to prevent her properties from being foreclosed.

The entrance of the Mexican magnate means contribution to only half of the foreseen €1 billion capital increase in FCC, thereby allowing other investors to join the hike.

On news on the agreement being at the verge of sealing, FCC’s stocks jumped up 3% and closed yeasterday at a price of €14.63 a share, meaning a total market value of nearly €1.95 billion.

Last Monday, the contractor announced it had broken negotiations with Soros and started dealing with the Carso group.

Carlos Slim will be the second prominent stakeholder in FCC as Microsoft founder Bill Gates already has a 5% share in the firm.


Original article: El Mundo (by Carlos Segovia)

Translation: AURA REE