Hispania Will No Longer Be a Socimi & Blackstone Will Channel its Future Profits via the Cayman Islands

13 June 2018 – El Confidencial

Following the green light granted by the CNMV – Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission – for Blackstone’s takeover of Hispania, the countdown has begun for the US fund to take control of the company, a milestone that is dependent upon it obtaining 50% plus one share and which, if no rival offer prevents it, could start to take shape on 13 July, when the term for the acceptance of the offer comes to an end.

From that moment on, Blackstone plans to exclude the Socimi from the stock market, which means that it will lose the benefits of the special tax regime, whereby it has been exempt from paying corporation tax in exchange for distributing at least 80% of its profits in the form of dividends, which are taxed at between 19% and 23%.

Blackstone’s decision will, therefore, have a direct impact on the public coffers, given that the conversion of Hispania into a limited company (SA) means that it will now be taxed as a company. Nevertheless, as is typical amongst these large investment vehicles, the fund has created a company structure aimed at financially optimising its tax bill for the duration of the investment period.

According to confessions made by Blackstone itself to the CNMV, the offer is being made through the company Alzette Investment Sarl, which was constituted on 2 February in Luxembourg for the purposes of this operation. Its only shareholder is Alzette Holdco Sarl, also a Luxembourg-registered company and itself wholly owned by BRE/Europe 9NQ Sarl, which is in turn controlled by BREP Investment 9NQ LP, an exempted limited partnership registered in the Cayman Islands.

As such, the ultimate parent company operates under a tax haven that ensures that it will be free from paying taxes for 50 years (…). In fact, the shareholders of BREP Investment 9NQ LP are different offshore companies owned by Blackstone, which are also covered by the exempted limited partnership structure of the Cayman Islands, with the exception of two, which are headquartered in the US tax haven of Delaware, and which are the entities that really benefit from this structure.

Flagships of opportunistic investment

Blackstone’s BREP funds are the US giant’s “flagships of the opportunistic investment funds”, according to its own definition in the takeover prospectus “with USD 75 billion of investment capital, a net return of 16% since 1991 and 1% of losses over 27 years”.

In order to raise the €1,589.6 million that Alzette will have to hand over if all of Hispania’s shareholders accept the terms of its offer (the fund already controls 16.5% of the share capital after it acquired the stake previously owned by George Soros), the different Blackstone funds have committed to contributing the money, either through capital, shareholder loans or other intra-group financing instruments.

In these types of company structures, the different loans arrangements made between the parent companies and their subsidiaries allow them to decrease the overall tax bill in the different countries in which the corporate chain operates in the form of the interest payments that the funds make to themselves and which allow them to “repatriate” the money invested to the Cayman Islands, at the same time as reducing the profit, and with it, the tax charge.

In the case of the takeover bid for Hispania, in addition, Blackstone is also planning to resort to lenders to raise financing amounting to €850 million, referenced to 3-month Euribor, plus a margin of up to 2.25% per annum, and with a maturity date of 15 May 2021, and with the option of being renewed for one more year.

Business plan

Similarly, in order to acquire the stake from Soros, Blackstone signed a financing agreement with Morgan Stanley for a maximum amount of €250 million, although in the end it only drew down €128.6 million. In terms of the financial commitments that Hispania currently has (€894.8 million), Alzette says that it is analysing different refinancing options, including both raising new debt and increasing the level of leverage.

In terms of the business, Blackstone’s plans for Hispania include completing the sale of the office portfolio, which the Socimi had to put on hold at the last minute, even though it had already reached an agreement with Tristán to sell it for more than €500 million, due to the presentation of the takeover bid.

By contrast, in terms of the hotel assets, which are the jewel in the Hispania’s crown, its intention is to hold onto the majority of them for between three and seven years, and transfer their management to the team at HI Partners, the company that the US fund acquired last year for €630 million and which it will likely end up merging with the Socimi.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meliá to Open 1 New Hotel Every 15 Days During 2018 and 2019

7 June 2018 – Expansión

Meliá is accelerating its growth trajectory and is seeking to continue exporting its brands overseas. The Mallorcan hotel chain is planning to open 50 new hotels around the globe over the next two years. “This means that, on average, and with the exception of force majeure or unexpected events, we will be opening a hotel somewhere in the world almost every two weeks”, said Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, Vice President and CEO of the group at the General Shareholders’ Meeting yesterday.

The company ended last year with 375 hotels and 96,239 rooms in 43 countries. Of the total, 68% of the group’s hotels are located in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 33% in America and 9% in Asia-Pacific.

In this sense, the President of Meliá, Gabriel Escarrer Juliá, highlighted that expansion will continue to be a fundamental “motor” for growth. Escarrer Juliá explained that of the new openings planned until 2019, 20% will be located in EMEA countries, another 20% in the Mediterranean, 27% in America and another 33% in Asia-Pacific.

“Our bet for Asia-Pacific is clear if we consider that since 2013, we have more than quadrupled the number of hotels there to 45, including those that are operational and being opened”, he said.

Escarrer highlighted the operating performance of the company, which last year generated a profit, excluding capital gains, of €128.7 million, up by 27.8%, which allowed it to distribute a dividend of €0.1682 per share, in other words, €38.6 million.

Currently, 31% of the group’s EBTIDA, around €90 million, stems from the management of hotels. “This model allows us to generate high returns with minimal capital requirements since we invest in the acquisition of high-value management contracts and not in real estate assets”.

The CEO of Meliá underlined the effort undertaken in terms of digitalisation and quantified the investment in this area at €100 million over the last three years. That has resulted in the greater role of the corporate website in the business. The director explained that revenues proceeding from melia.com amounted to €520 million in 2017, up by 21%.

The director said that the group’s strategy involves continuing to rotate assets and strengthen their alliances with their partners to grow and improve the hotel portfolio. In 2017, Meliá spent €244 million maintaining and renovating its hotel portfolio.

“We have initiated a new valuation of our portfolio of assets, the global results of which we will have during the third quarter. I trust that the outcome of that valuation exercise will be positive.

Escarrer also referred to the challenges facing the company, including the push from new competitors such as Airbnb and the political instability.

Risk factors

“We feel very comfortable and confident of being able to fulfil the objectives of our strategic plan, although we monitor the main risk factors in our industry very closely, such as the evolution of the so-called collaborative economies and of processes that generate uncertainty, such as Brexit and the complex political situations in countries such as Italy and Spain”.

In any case, he reiterated the forecasts for 2018, with an improvement in RevPAR (average revenue per available room) (…) and an increase in margins of between 100 and 150 basis points.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankinter Continues to Fatten Up its New Hotel Socimi Atom

3 April 2018 – El Español

After the success of Ores, the shopping centre Socimi managed by Sonae Sierra and whose ownership Bankinter shares with the insurance company Mapfre, the bank has recently constituted another real estate investment company as an alternative way for its most select clients to generate greater returns from their wealth (…).

The company is called Atom. Another Socimi that, with a share capital of almost €25 million, started work three months ago from offices leased to it by the bank in the La Finca Business Park, in the Madrilenian suburb of Pozuelo de Alarcón.

No date set for its stock market debut

Although at first, the possibility was considered that Atom would make its stock market debut during the first quarter of 2018, that decision has now been delayed. “No date has been set for the stock market debut. It could happen at any time. In a matter of weeks or months”, say sources at the bank led by Dolores Dancausa (pictured above), the CEO (…).

Bulky portfolio in just 3 months

Nevertheless, and unlike Ores – which made its debut on the MAB on 22 February 2017 without a single asset in its portfolio – Atom is going to start its stock market life with a bulky portfolio of assets. In just three months, it has acquired around 20 hotel establishments.

The last six – including the Hotel Rey Don Jaime de Valencia- were incorporated at the end of March, when the Socimi took advantage of an asset divestment by the private equity firm Atitlán, led by Aritza Rodero and Roberto Centeno, the son-in-law of the President of Mercadona, Juan Roig. Atom added 900 bedrooms to its portfolio through that operation.

Although it has not been disclosed, sources in the sector consulted by this newspaper indicate that the other hotels acquired by Atom could be the 11 establishments that Banco Sabadell left out of the operation, closed in October, in which the entity chaired by Josep Oliu sold the hotel management platform HI Partners to the fund Blackstone for almost €631 million.

Whilst in the case of Ores, Bankinter engaged Sonae Sierra as a specialist shopping centre manager, for Atom, it has empoyed Global Myner Advisors Hotels Capital Invest (GMA-HCI), a company led by Víctor Martí Gilabert, which has proven experience in the management of hotel assets (…).

Atom’s Board

In addition to Martí Gilabert, on the Board of Atom – which is chaired by Eduardo Ozaita, who was recently appointed the Director General of the Commercial Bank of Bankinter, switching roles with Fernando Moreno, who has moved to lead Business Banking –  sits Esther Colom García, who has been hired as the Legal Counsel of the new Socimi (…).

Together with Ozaita, on Atom’s Board as Bankinter’s representative is its Director of Investment Banking, Jaime Íñigo Guerra, who also sits on the governing body of the Socimi Ores. Atom’s Board is completed by Antonio Riestra and Ignacio Díaz, the sole administrator of Otels Hospitality Services.

In theory, the idea being proposed by Bankinter is for Atom to make its debut on the MAB with a portfolio of hotels worth around €200 million, with two-thirds of the establishments located in holiday environments and the remaining one-third located in strategic urban nuclei.

The split of Atom’s share capital will be similar to that of Ores

To raise this share capital, Bankinter has committed to contributing around €20 million, the manager GMA-HCI around €10 million, and other institutional investors another €30 million. Most of the money, around €120 million, will be provided by Bankinter’s own private banking clients. The minimum investment per client will be €200,000, up to a maximum of 15% of each individual’s financial wealth.

Bankinter wants Atom to have a similar shareholder structure to that of the Socimi Ores, in which the financial institution holds a 10% stake (7.48% through the parent company and 2.54% through Línea Directa), the insurance company Mapfre holds 6%, the Castellón based companies Corporación Juan Segarra and Inmuebles Gil Comes hold 5% each, and the manager Sonae holds 3.75%. The remaining 70% is owned by Bankinter’s private banking clients.

Original story: El Español (by Juan Carlos Martínez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

RIU to Invest €2.5bn in New Hotels & Refurbishments Between Now & 2022

16 January 2018 – Expansión

RIU will spend €650 million this year on the refurbishment, construction and purchase of hotels, and will make investments of €2.5 billion in total between now and 2022, according to explanations provided yesterday by the group’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Pepe Moreno.

In this way, the Mallorcan chain is accelerating the rate of investment seen over the last five years, in which it committed to undertake investments amounting to €1.95 billion. Specifically, the company reached a record last year with investment of €600 million, which was €200 million more than forecast at the beginning of the year.

During 2017, RIU opened two new hotels – the RIU Dunamar in Costa Mujeres (México) and the expansion of the RIU República de Punta Cana– and it refurbished five hotels in their entirety. Moreover, in June, it purchased Edificio España from Grupo Baraka for €272 million.

RIU recorded revenues of €2.156 billion in 2017, up by 7%, and closed last year with 92 hotels, 43,135 rooms and 28,894 employees.

In 2018, the chain plans to open four hotels and undertake five major refurbishment projects.

In terms of the focus for growth, RIU wants to continue strengthening its urban business, which it inaugurated in 2010 with a hotel in Panama, and which nowadays includes six operational hotels. Moreno said that the company will continue to analyse opportunities in the main cities of North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

The RIU urban brand has two new projects underway: the first urban hotel in Spain, located in Edificio España (Madrid), which is expected to open its doors at the beginning of next summer (2019) and its second hotel in New York, on which work is underway, very close to Times Square, which will also be inaugurated in 2019.

In addition, the chain wants to grow in Asia, where it already has two projects under construction, in the Maldives and Dubai.

Moreno said that RIU will continue to bet on growing its owned hotels – the firm currently owns 84% of the hotels in its portfolio – and he said that the chain is not interested in growing inorganically or debuting on the stock market.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

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

Banco Sabadell Sells its Hotel in Boí Taüll Ski Resort

13 December 2017 – Crónica Global

This December, Banco Sabadell has completed the sale of Aparthotel Augusta, an establishment located in the Catalan ski resort of Boí Taüll. The operation has been advised by the international consultancy firm Christie & Co and has been closed for €1.5 million, according to sources in the sector.

The buyer is the Kesse Invest group, a company specialising in managing mountain tourism experiences (…).

Start of the ski season

Aparthotel Augusta is a four-star establishment containing 39 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. It offers additional services such as a 1,200 m2 Spa and an outdoor swimming pool, two features that differentiate it from other accommodation options in the area, according to the same sources.

The transaction has been closed just after the start of the ski season in Boí Taüll, which opened on 1 December. The Catalan ski resort owned by the Nozar group expects a repeat of the good performance recorded last year, the best for a decade, with a 40% increase in turnover and 20% more skiers.

These figures are encouraging the Nozaleda brothers, the managers of the ski resort, to try and negotiate with the Generalitat to obtain an extension of the concession granted to them by the public company Actius de Muntanya, which runs until 2023. That process has not been started yet due to the on-going political situation in Cataluña, which first started in the summer and which has led to the calling of elections on 21 December.

Sabadell’s hotel divestment

Banco Sabadell, which has declined to confirm the details of this transaction, indicates that the deal forms part of its strategy to divest its hotel business. After selling its HI Partners division to Blackstone for €630 million (at a profit of €55 million) on 17 October, it was left with 11 (hotel) assets on its balance sheet, which it holds through the company HI Holdco Gestión Activa.

In addition to the establishment in Boí Taüll, a month ago, the bank sold a hotel it used to manage in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) to Hotusa – the hotel in question was the 4-star Eurostars Asta Regia.

Original story: Crónica Global (by Cristina Farrés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Invests €190M To Reposition Its Hotel Portfolio

25 September 2017 – Expansión

Hispania is going to invest €190 million to reposition its hotel portfolio between now and 2019 to maximise its value. At the end of the first half of the year, the Socimi managed by Azora owned a portfolio of 39 hotels and 11,059 rooms, most of which are located in the Canary Islands.

Some of the most strategic hotels, according to the presentation to investors submitted by Hispania to the CNMV on Friday, include the Hotel Club San Miguel (Ibiza), on which it is going to spend capex of €50 million; and the Hotel Holiday Inn in Madrid, acquired in 2015 and in whose modernisation, the Socimi is going to invest €34 million. In parallel, Hispania has another €100 million of capex budgeted for other potential projects.

In addition to the investment in the modernisation and repositioning of the establishments in its portfolio to superior categories, Hispania is basing its model on a diversified portfolio of operators – it works with Barceló, Meliá, NH and Vincci, amongst other hotel chains – and it has lease contracts that combine fixed and variable components. Its roadmap, according to the presentation, forecasts achieving cost savings through economies of scale, as well as enhancing direct sales.

Currently, 69% of the revenues from its hotels come through tour operators. Thanks to its asset optimisation strategy, Hispania expects to increase the value to its shareholders by more than €30 million in the Guadalmina and Holiday Inn Hotels. Meanwhile, in the portfolio as a whole, it hopes to generate €60 million of additional cash.

The company, which has not detected any impact on demand following the terrorist attack in Barcelona in August, expects revenues per available room (RevPar) to grow by more than 10% this year.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

RIU Seeks To Grow Its ‘Hotel Plaza’ Business Line

17 May 2017 – Expansión

RIU is on a roll. As it waits for the starting gun to fire on its Edificio España project in Madrid, the Mallorcan hotel chain is analysing other destinations in order to strengthen its Plaza business line, which is strategic for the group, whereby adding new locations to the Plaza brand.

The CEO of RIU and Head of Canary Islands, Morocco, Portugal and Cape Verde, Félix Casado, explained in an interview with Expansión that the group is considering destinations such as Barcelona, Paris and Rome to continue the business it started in 2010, when it opened its first RIU Plaza hotel in Panama. Since then, it has added another five Plaza branded establishments in Berlin, Dublin, Miami, Guadalajara and New York. But, for the time being, it does not have any in Spain. At the beginning of the year, the company announced its plans to team up with Baraka to manage and invest in the mega-hotel that the Murcian group is planning to open in Edificio España.

“We are very excited about the idea of handling this project in Madrid, in particular, in a building as iconic as Edificio España. The negotiations are not proving easy and now we have to wait for the purchase operation to be closed, which has been delayed for three months, before we can start construction”, said the Director. Casado said that his firm’s investment commitment with the Baraka Group “continues”, in line with expectations, with the aim of creating a joint venture to which the hotel chain will contribute 25% of the investment.

In terms of the possibility of undertaking a project on its own, in the event that Baraka does not manage to close the purchase within the scheduled timeframe – i.e. by June – Casado simply said that that option “is not envisaged”. And he added: “The other line would be a separate study that would have to be analysed from the point of view of the required investment and the return”.

Entry into China

Besides the urban business, the hotel group’s growth plan involves expanding into vacation destinations, both in America as well as in Asia.

The company, which operates in 19 countries with almost one hundred hotels, is considering entering China, starting out in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. “We would be willing to invest in all of these destinations. RIU is going to attend the ITB Tourism Fair in China to consolidate its relations there and create new business opportunities”, said Casado.

In addition, RIU has not ruled out returning to Cuba, which it left in 2015, with the management of new hotels. “We are looking at various possibilities to return to Cuba. We have experience in that destination and if an opportunity arises that fits with out philosophy then we will explore it”.

Renovations

In addition, the hotel group is committed to repositioning its products through major renovation projects. Within the framework of this strategy, the Spanish group will spend €400 million this year on construction and renovations, of which almost €150 million will be spent on improving its hotel portfolio in Spain.

“We are diversifying the product and we are updating it, so as not to get left behind, with the aim of ensuring that our clients are happy, which is one of the priorities of RIU”, he said. Recently, RIU opened the doors to its Club Hotel RIU Costa del Sol in Torremolinos, after combining and renovating the RIU Belplaya and RIU Costa Lago hotels.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Rationalises Its Portfolio & Backs Logistics Sector

7 April 2017 – Expansión

Following two years of intensive investments, Merlin is now preparing to rationalise its portfolio and extract greater value from its assets. The Socimi led by Ismael Clemente (pictured above) has set itself the challenge of improving the occupancy rates of its offices and shopping centres, as well as strengthening its presence in the logistics sector.

In February, the company announced its plans to increase its stock by more than 500,000 m2. The company has also started to rotate its assets and, following the deconsolidation of the residential business, it closed the sale of its hotel portfolio to Foncière des Murs for €535 million at the end of December.

Another one of the firm’s objectives is to maintain a balanced level of debt. In this way, last October, it placed €800 million in 10-year bonds to cover a bridge loan to Metrovacesa.

Original story: Expansión 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Top 4 Socimis’ Profits Rose Five-Fold In 2016

3 March 2017 – Expansión

Spain’s largest listed real estate investment companies (Socimis) – Merlin, Hispania, Lar España and Axiare – which all debuted on the Spanish stock market between March and July 2014 with €2,560 million to invest, closed their second full fiscal year with significant increases in their income statements.

The four companies recorded a combined profit of €1,131.2 million in 2016, almost five times as much as in 2015 (€244.7 million). Of that amount, almost half was generated by a single company: Merlin Properties, which saw its profits soar by more than 1,000%, following the integration of the real estate company Metrovacesa onto its balance sheet.

The other Socimis also managed to substantially increase their earnings, thanks in large part to the increase in their asset portfolios. Specifically, these four Socimis owned assets worth €14,445 million at the end of 2016, up by €5,256 million compared to the same date a year earlier. Again, the impact of Metrovacesa on Merlin’s portfolio was the main reason behind the increase in its assets, although the other three Socimis also saw their respective portfolios grow.

Nevertheless, unlike in the previous year, the Socimis opted to make much more selective purchases in 2016, each specialising in a different RE segments (offices, shopping centres, hotels, etc) – this represented a change in strategy compared to 2015 when the main aim of all of them was to grow in size and, therefore, buy assets to generate revenues.

In this sense, the combined turnover of these companies amounted to around €608 million in 2016, compared with €233.03 million the previous year.

The increase in their portfolios has also had an impact on the stock market, above all, given the capital increases that were completed last year, with the aim of financing new investments. In this case, the companies that debuted on the stock market between March and July 2014, with a combined market capitalisation of €2,560 million, now have a global capitalisation of more than €7,900 million.

Divestments

From this Spring onwards, the period (three years) that the Socimi rules require these companies to hold onto their assets for, in order to benefit from the exemption to pay tax on the profits obtained in a transaction, comes to an end.

In the case of Merlin, for example, it already completed several divestments in 2016. For example, the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente deconsolidated the residential portfolio that it had inherited from Testa and merged it with Metrovacesa’s equivalent portfolio; today it holds a 16.1% stake in that divested company.

Similarly, on 30 December 2016, Merlin sold its portfolio of hotel assets to Foncière des Murs for €535 million.

A special case in Hispania, the firm in which George Soros holds a stake. It was created on the basis of a model inspired by traditional private equity and venture capital funds, for a period of six years, and so intends to sell all of its assets before March 2020.

In the case of Lar, its non-strategic assets include the luxury housing development on c/Lagasca 99, which the Socimi hopes to have sold and handed over to the new owners by the first quarter of 2018.

Original story: Expansión (by R.Ruiz and R.Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake