Franklin Templeton Teams Up with Meridia to Invest in Social Infrastructure

17 June 2019 – El Economista

The global investment manager Franklin Templeton has created a new fund to invest in social infrastructure across Europe, with a specific focus on Spain. To this end, it has teamed up with the Spanish manager Meridia to search for opportunities in the student hall, hospital, nursing home, university and school sectors, amongst others.

Franklin Templeton has committed €160 million to the fund in an initial phase, but the vehicle is open to new funding and so there are really no limits in terms of investment size

The alliance in Spain has already completed its first operation with the acquisition of a juvenile court in Madrid. Meanwhile, the Franklin Templeton Infrastructure Fund has also purchased a clinic in London and a nursing home on the outskirts of Milan.  

Original story: El Economista (by Araceli Muñoz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Dedir Clínica Buys the Site of the Former Hospital del Aire in Madrid for €22.6M

11 March 2019 – Planta Doce

The Ministry of Defence has completed the sale of the plots of land on Calle Arturo Soria in Madrid that used to house the Hospital del Aire until 2004. The buyer is Dedir Clínica, owned by Welldone Investment, which has paid €22.6 million for the site. The group also owns the building where the Hospital Quirón Palmaplanas is located in Palma de Mallorca.

The plots of land in Madrid have a surface area of almost 30,000 m2 and are currently dedicated to public use, although that status may be changed to private or residential use. The hospital that previously stood on the site was demolished in 2004 and the land is currently in disuse.

Original story: Planta Doce

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Solvia Sells 3 Hospitals Leased to Quirón for c. €200M

31 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Solvia is making cash with its real estate portfolio. The servicer of Banco Sabadell has sold three buildings in Barcelona, Bilbao and San Sebastián, which are all leased to the hospital group Quirón. The operation has been signed with a domestic investor, whose name has not been revealed. Moreover, the consideration paid for the assets has not been disclosed either.

Owned by the German giant Fresenius, Quirón has long-term rental contracts for these three properties. Solvia said that there has been a lot of interest in the operation from players both at home and overseas.

Hospital Quirón Barcelona is located just five kilometres from the centre of the Catalan capital. The property, constructed in 2006, was renovated in 2017 and contains 187 beds in total.

Hospital Quirón Vizcaya, meanwhile, is located in the town of Erandio, ten kilometres from the centre of Bilbao. That building is home to 110 beds.

Finally, Hospital Quirón San Sebastián (pictured above) forms part of a former palace dating back to 1936 and, subsequently, was converted into a hospital comprising a complex of three buildings. That hospital is located just two kilometres from the centre of the city and has 60 beds in total.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mercal Analyses Hotels As It Seeks To Diversify Its Portfolio

12 May 2016 – Expansión

Mercal, the Socimi listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) since July 2014, is analysing new business opportunities to diversify its portfolio and is looking at hotel assets in particular. “We are focusing on urban hotels”, explained the CEO of Mercal, Basilio Rueda, who specified that his firm is looking to acquire assets worth up to €20 million (maximum), whose day-to-day operation will be left in the hands of professional managers.

The company’s real estate assets are currently distributed as follows: commercial premises (60%), a hospital in Málaga (30%) and offices (10%). “We want to grow but in an orderly and realistic fashion, ever mindful of our commitment to generate returns and fulfil our dividend promises”, said Rueda. Mercal’s General Shareholders’ Meeting recently approved a capital increase for a maximum of €3 million.

The group debuted on the MAB with a share price of €29 and since then, its stock value has increased by almost 18%.

The CEO of Mercal explained that the company has ruled out certain operations so as not to “distort” its profitability. “Some of the operations being undertaken in the market are generating returns of 3%. Personally, I have my doubts as to whether the Socimis can keep investing for such returns without their dividends being affected”, he explained. In this sense, Mercal’s CEO highlighted that the company’s gross profitability currently exceeds 7%.

In any case, Rueda was categorical when it came to ruling out a bubble involving the Socimis and he said that he thinks that there is still scope for the development of these real estate investment vehicles. “The spread between the expected dividends from a Socimi and the return on a 10-year bond is enormous. This makes the Socimis very attractive and means that the capital that is not willing to bear the risk of variable-rate securities is being channelled into the real estate sector instead”, he said.

Rueda acknowledged that the political uncertainty is affecting investment. “Investors are willing to invest in Spain, but many are waiting to see what will happen over the next few months”, he said. Nevertheless, he considers that the current economic trend indicates that Spain will continue to grow. “The real estate sector is 100% aligned with the economic situation in the country”, he added.

Original story: Expansión (by R.Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

‘Quirón Salud’ Considers Opening A Hospital In The Fifth Tower

7 October 2015 – Cinco Días

The Quirón Salud group is currently considering opening a hospital in the so-called fifth tower, the skyscraper that the Villar Mir group is planning to build at the northern end of the Paseo de la Castellana, on land that was previously home to Real Madrid’s former Ciudad Deportiva. This step would enable the company led by Juan Miguel Villar Mir to construct this emblematic building.

The Villar Mir group was awarded the plot of land next to the Cuatro Torres in April. The company is planning to build a new skyscraper on the site and has always hoped that building would house a private health centre. The corporation won this project, through its subsidiary Inmobiliaria Espacio, but does not have any tenants for the property for the time being.

Initially, the sector thought that the US hospital group Mount Sinai was the most likely candidate to occupy the skyscraper, in its first expected foray into Spain, but the numbers did not stack up for the healthcare company – it concluded that the rental charge was too high for a social use building, according to sources close to the operation.

Now, the baton may be passed to Quirón Salud, the main private hospital group in Spain, which was created following the merger of IDC Salud (formerly Capio) and Quirón. According to sources at the company, it is currently evaluating the project. The company has 70 health centres, including the Fundación Jiménez Díaz, and manages several public hospitals in Madrid, as well as a number of prestigious clinics such as La Luz, San José and the Ruber, in the capital and Teknon and Dexeus, amongst others, in Barcelona. However, the company has not yet confirmed what kind of centre or facilities it would consider opening in the tower.

Two weeks ago, it was announced that Villar Mir will receive help from the Swiss fund Corestate Capital to construct the skyscraper. In a statement, the company announced that the project will require investment of €240 million, and although it did not specify how much each partner will invest, it did say that the possible tenants will be “a hospital, university or government body”. In fact, construction of the property is not expected to start until the tenant (client) has been identified so that the building can be tailored accordingly.

Over the last few days, the possibility of opening a business school in the tower has been evaluated. Some market sources insist that it will be hard for Quirón to make the numbers stack up to open a hospital in the skyscraper.

Villar Mir acquired the plot of land in a tender after presenting the highest bid; the company will pay the Town Hall an annual fee of €4 million for 75 years, in other words, €300 million in total. The plot has a surface area of 67,000 m2 and a buildability of 70,000 m2, of which 52,500 m2 must be allocated to social use (for example, a hospital); the remainder will be developed as retail space. That part is precisely what the hundreds of employees who work in the four adjoining towers want the most, given the lack of restaurants and services currently in the area.

Villar Mir also owns one of those skyscrapers, Torre Espacio, which is currently up for sale, with an asking price of around €600 million. The possible bidders include international funds, such as UBS, Aca, Corporación Financiera Alba and Pontegadea.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A. Simón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Joins Forces With Corestate To Fund Fifth Tower

24 September 2015 – Expansión

The company led by Juan Miguel Villar Mir has signed an agreement with the Swiss fund Iberian Corestate to jointly develop the plot of land next to the Cuatro Torres complex, on the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid, following the problems he encountered trying to finance the project by himself.

Grupo Villar Mir decided to look for a partner to reactivate the project to construct a new building on the plot of land located behind the Cuatro Torres complex, following the difficulties it faced tackling the construction alone, due to the need to inject €500 million into OHL. To this end, Villar Mir has signed an agreement with the Swiss fund Corestate, a real estate investment specialist, to invest €240 million in the project through its company Iberian Corestate Capital Advisors. (…).

Last year, Villar Mir was awarded the concession to operate the plot of land, which is owned by the Town Hall of Madrid, after it agreed to pay a fee of almost €4 million per year for the next 75 years. Villar Mir’s company, Espacio, had planned to construct a tower on the site, of a similar height to the other four skyscrapers (the tallest one measures 250m), which would require an investment of around €450 million.

That is not the only asset that Villar Mir owns in the complex. The company invested €400 million in Torre Espacio, an office building that was inaugurated in 2007, of which €187 million was used to purchase the land.


(…). Following the failed negotiations with the Mount Sinai hospital group…Villar Mir is now studying other options, including the option of signing a deal with a tenant form the world of academia or changing the structure of the building to make it more suitable for the operations of a hospital company.

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

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axa Buys Abandoned Hospital Towers In Burjassot (Valencia)

22 September 2015 – Expansión

One of the concrete structures in Valencia, which has been abandoned for years, now has a new owner. The towers, located on the outskirts of Valencia, next to the Palacio de Congresos, were developed by Coresol and subsequently foreclosed by Bancaja and then Nau.

Now, Axa Real Estate has undertaken an investment on behalf of two of its clients: Medical Properties Trust, a US investor fund, which provides capital to healthcare operators, and Teacher Retirement System of Texas, a pension fund for teachers from the US state.

Axa Real Estate Investment Managers and IMED Hospitales have reached an agreement to develop the new ‘Hospital Privado IMED Valencia’, which will be located in Burjassot, Valencia near the V-35.

According to Nau’s own accounting records, an investment of €20 million will be required to complete the construction work; moreover, the 30-year finance lease contract is worth €28 million.

As a result of the agreement, Axa Real Estate Investment Managers will become the developer of the building and will undertake the necessary investment. Meanwhile, IMED Hospitales will take on the management of the health centre, which is expected to open within c. 20 months, announced the entity in a statement.

Axa Real Estate will embark on the development of the centre, transforming the current plot of land, which measures 4,300 m2 and contains the completed concrete structure, into a hospital with a surface area of 35,000 m2.

It is expected that the Hospital IMED Valencia will treat 150,000 patients per year…IMED and Axa Real Estate Investment intend to equip the complex with the most advanced technological resources to ensure the provision of a first class health service. (…).

Axa Real Estate holds the largest portfolio of real estate assets in Europe, with assets worth more than €60,000 million at the end of June 2015. It has more than 160 third party institutional clients all over the world, and also handles the management of the funds of 10 companies from Axa insurance. Axa Real Estate employs more than 500 professionals specialising in real estate across 23 countries.

Meanwhile, IMED Hospitales is a hospital group with 11 years of experience. It first opened its doors in Benidorm with the Hospital de Levante in 2004. Currently, the group operates four centres: two hospitals in Benidorm and Elche and two polyclinic centres in Teulada and Torrevieja. Since its inauguration, more than 350,000 patients have been treated in IMED, more than 55,000 surgical procedures have been performed and more than 2,500,000 clinical cases have been opened.

This acquisition was sourced and advised by Geskaria Real Estate Investments, a boutique advisory firm specialised in off-market investment opportunities in Spain, UK and Mexico.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Will Construct A Skyscraper Close To Cuatro Torres

20 April 2015 – Expansión

Project / The owner of OHL and Espacio is going to invest €500 million on the construction of a building behind the Castellana complex in Madrid, which will house a hospital and a shopping centre.

The businessman Juan Miguel Villar Mir (pictured above) is going to promote a new large real estate project in Madrid. The business man, who is in the middle of the construction of a hotel, residential and commercial complex in Canalejas, in the centre of the capital, through his group Villar Mir, has submitted the best offer for the plot of land located just behind the Cuatro Torres Business Area complex.

The land, which has a surface area of 33,325 square metres and a buildable surface area of 70,000 square meters, was originally going house a convention centre. However, in 2010, the Town Hall of Madrid halted the project, despite having already commenced the construction work, due to a lack of funds and, at the end of 2014, it decided to seek an alternative plan. In March, the Government of Ana Botella received several offers – four to be specific.

Other offers

In the end, Grupo Villar Mar has been named as the winner of the tender process, at the expense of the proposal submitted by the Socimi Hispania, which participated with Ferrovial.

Villar Mir made the highest bid, since the group that owns the construction company OHL and the real estate firm Espacio will pay an annual fee of €4 million for the concession, which grants the right to use the plot of land for a period of 75 years. The town hall requested that the winning bidder pay an annual fee of at least €1.935 million. The other bid that was accepted, led by Hispania, offered to pay €2.6 million per year for the plot of land. A third proposal, submitted by Axa, was declared inadmissable due to formal defects and a fourth bid did not meet the minimum fee demanded by the Town Hall, according to sources close to the process.

Villar Mir’s proposal includes a hospital and a shopping centre. The Town Hall of Madrid demanded that around 53,000 square metres of the 70,000 square metres available would be allocated for public use, which will be the hospital area. The remainder, around 17,500 square meters will be turned into a shopping cenetre to provide services for the area.

Villar Mir will place the entire buildable area in a single building, which may have up to 35 floors, similar to Torre Picasso, which is 156 metres tall, compared with the 250 metre high Torre Foster and Torre de Cristal, located next to the future property. “It will be an iconic building”, say sources close to the process.

The company expects to invest €500 million the project, including construction costs, which will amount to around €200 million and the payment of the concession, which will amount to €300 million in total. Villar Mir is negotiating with several hospital groups that already operate in Madrid to become their landlord, although its negotiations with one player in particular are more advanced than with others, explain the same sources.

Currently, the Cuatro Torres complex, located at number 259 Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid, has four skyscrapers: Torre Foster, owned by Bankia and leased to Cepsa; Torre PwC, owned by Testa; Torre de Cristal, owned by Mutua Madrileña; and Torre Espacio, owned by the real estate arm of the Villar Mir group.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrid Gov’t Wants To Sell Its Land Next To The Cuatro Torres

24 March 2015 – Expansión

Plans / Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the deadline for bidders to submit alternative plans to the Town Hall for the land where a convention centre was initially proposed.

The Town Hall of Madrid has decided to take advantage of the momentum in the Spanish real estate sector and make a profit from the plot of land it owns next to the Cuatro Torres, land that was severely hit by the crisis.

The site, located just behind the four skyscrapers owned by Bankia, Sacyr, Mutua Madrileña and Grupo Villar Mir, was designed to house Madrid’s International Convention Centre. However, in 2010, once construction work had already begun, Madrid’s Government got into financial difficulties, which put a stop to the project that was going to cost €300 million.

Five years later, the Town Hall of Madrid has launched a tender for the development of this plot and the transfer of the right to use this land for a 75-year period. The deadline for the receipt of offers ends tomorrow, according to the initial plan. However, sources in the real estate sector believe that this date may be extended, since interested parties have barely had a month to evaluate the land’s characteristics and its possible uses.

The land measures 33,325 square metres, with a maximum buildable area of 70,000 square metres. Around 53,000 m2 of this space must be devoted to public use. The remainder, around 17,500 square metres, may be used as a commercial area, but not a large shopping centre. “The special plan classifies the land as a single premises and, as an alternative use, it includes the possibility of devoting the land to the public administrations. Moreover, it establishes a regime of compatible uses, such as recreation and leisure, small and medium sized shops and other tertiary uses besides offices”, say sources at the Town Hall.

The possibilities include the construction of a large educational centre or a hospital. To this end, several investment funds have made contact with companies, Spanish and international, to offer them a turn-key project. That is, they buy the land and construct a building for a company, which then commits to rent it under a long-term contract.

In its award of the land, the Town Hall will take into account not only the financial offer, but also the requirement for the buildings be energy efficient, both during their construction and their subsequent use, and that the architectural appearance contributes “a singular piece to the urban landscape”. The successful bidder will pay an annual fee of €1.935 million.


KPMG’s recent move to the Cuatro Torres makes it the latest tenant to occupy offices in the complex. Opened between 2008 and 2009, the Madrid skyscrapers suffered when the (real estate) bubble burst, as its rate of uptake slowed down. Following KPMG’s move, Mutua’s property (Torre de Cristal), which until now had the most space available, will reach an occupancy rate of 70%. Torre Foster, owned by Bankia, is mostly occupied by Cepsa, although the bank itself also uses several floors. Sacyr’s skyscraper is entirely rented out to PwC and the Eurostars hotel, whilst the Torre Espacio has an occupancy rate of close to 90%.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake