Bankinter’s Socimis Manage Assets in Spain Worth €850M

23 April 2019 – Idealista

Bankinter currently has two Socimis operating in the Spanish market, Ores Socimi and Atom Hoteles Socimi. Between them, they manage a real estate portfolio worth more than €850 million, according to the latest reports filed by the entities with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

The hotel Socimi, controlled by Bankinter and GMA, has the largest portfolio, comprising 21 assets located all over Spain and worth €489.2 million at the end of 2018.

Almost 60% (12) of the hotels are vacation properties and the rest (9) are urban establishments. For the time being, the hotels are mainly concentrated in the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and Andalucía, but the company is preparing to expand overseas, where it seeks to acquire establishments in the USA, France, Italy, Germany and Greece.

Meanwhile, Ores, which is jointly controlled by Bankinter and the Portuguese giant Sonae Sierra, owns a portfolio of 35 retail assets worth €362.5 million as at 31 March 2019.

Ores’s portfolio is well diversified by asset type, size and location, with occupancy rates of almost 100%. The properties include hypermarkets, supermarkets, retail parks and high street stores leased to chains such as Continente, Mercadona, Inditex, Media Markt and Mango.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Real Estate Investment in Cataluña Amounted to €2.25bn in 2018

4 March 2019 – Finanzas

Investment in the Catalan real estate sector registered a new record of €2.25 billion in 2018, up by 3.3% compared to 2017, boosted by the office sector, according to data from CBRE.

In fact, offices accounted for 42% (€947 million) of the region’s total investment volume in 2018, up by 25% YoY, as 388,000 m2 of office space was leased. It was followed by the hotel sector, where €422 million was invested, despite a YoY reduction of 39%.

The logistics, retail and residential sectors accounted for the rest of the investment figure, amounting to €289 million, €252 million and €113 million, respectively.

59% of Cataluña’s real estate investment came from overseas, in line with previous years, primarily from the USA (40%), UK (17%), the Middle East-Asia Pacific (16%) and France (14%).

Star operations included Blackstone’s purchase of Edificio Planeta for more than €200 million; Tritax Big Box’s acquisition of the VGP Park Mango for €150 million; and the purchase of the NH Collection Gran Hotel Calderón for €96.9 million.

Original story: Finanzas

Summary/Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Hotel Investment Set a New Record of €4.9bn in 2018

10 January 2019 – Expansión

The hotel segment broke a new record last year thanks to two key operations: the takeover of Hispania by the US fund Blackstone and the takeover of the chain NH by the Thai firm Minor.

The hotel segment made history again in 2018 with a record investment volume of €4.9 billion, which represented an increase of 33% with respect to the previous year, boosted by the US fund Blackstone’s takeover of the Socimi Hispania and the Thai firm Minor’s takeover of the Spanish chain NH.

According to data from the consultancy CBRE, last year, 240 hotel assets were transacted in Spain spanning 36,500 rooms in total, which represents growth of 17% and 30%, respectively. In other words, more and larger-volume operations were closed in 2018 than in 2017.

The hotel market whereby completed five extraordinary years, driven by the excellent evolution of tourism. Spain is a market leader in this activity, with 81.9 million international visitors in 2017 and 81.2 million last year (…).

The most active investors in 2018 were institutional players, which accounted for 66% of operations, followed by hotel groups (21%) and private equity and family offices (13%). In the ranking of operations, the purchase of Hispania stands out, which ended up in the hands of Blackstone after the fund acquired more than 90% of that company. The US giant purchased the Hungarian-born magnate George Soros’ 16.56% stake in Hispania in April and, subsequently, launched a takeover valuing the company at €1.992 billion. After successfully completing the takeover in September, Blackstone became the largest hotel owner in Spain, with a portfolio of 46 assets and more than 13,144 rooms.

After the purchase of Hispania, came the takeover of NH by Minor. Following that operation, the Thai group became the owner of a portfolio of 350 hotels in Europe and Latin America – 30% of which are in Spain.

Other significant operations also included the entry into the market of the Chinese group Gaw Capital, which acquired 50% of the Hospes Hotel Group, worth €125 million, teaming up with Omega Capital, the family office owned by Alicia Koplowitz, owner of the other 50% of the chain.

In terms of individual assets, the purchase of the luxury Villa Magna Hotel in Madrid stands out. The Turkish group Dogus sold it to the Mexican Socimi RLH, chaired by Allen Sanginés-Krause for €210 million.

Renovation

The National Director of CBRE Hotels España, Jorge Ruiz, explained that, as well as the vertiginous sale of hotel assets, the notable investments in asset renovations stood out once again.

“The Spanish hotel stock is better equipped today to face the challenges on the horizon, such as the recovery of competing destinations, the impact of a hard Brexit and a slowdown in the Spanish economy”, he said.

Ruiz explained that, unlike during the previous upward cycle, hoteliers have opted to invest in renovating their portfolios, which will allow them to increase their prices.

In terms of the type of assets, vacation hotels accounted for 64% of investments, following the trend established in 2017, due in large part to the purchase of Hispania, whose hotels are located primarily on the Spanish islands and along the coastline. Investment in urban assets went from 40% to 36%. In 2018, the main star asset were 4-star hotels, which accounted for 64% of operations, followed by 5-star hotels, with 21%.

Star destinations

By destination, the Canary Islands accounted for 35% of investment, followed by the Balearic Islands, with 20%. The third-ranked location was Madrid, with 12%, followed by Barcelona (8%) and Málaga (5%) (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Atom Socimi to Go Public With Assets of More than €500 Million

7 August 2018

The Atom socimi, founded by Bankinter, offers the bank’s private banking clients an alternative for investing in the hotel sector. 

Atom announced its IPO in January and now owns 23 hotels with more than 5,200 rooms, managed by chains such as Meliá and Marriott. 

The investment vehicle devised by Bankinter has a 7-year investment horizon, to be followed by disinvestment, though the bank is permitted to extend it

Bankinter will take its socimi public, a listed real estate investment company that has already acquired 23 4- and 5-star hotels spread over Spain. The hotels and their 5,200 rooms are managed by Meliá Hotels International and Marriott International, among others, and are valued at more than 500 million euros. At the end of 2017, the bank began offering its private banking customers the possibility of investing in the socimi, which was dubbed Atom Hotels and constituted on January 5, 2018. Atom was created to acquire a portfolio of hotels for long-term leasing, as Hosteltur tourism news reported late last year.

On February 2, the socimi finalised a capital increase through which it reached a total funding level of €247.8 million and, after that, began acquiring hotels after having analysed a significant number of possible market operations, investing almost all of its available capital. In July, it became known that Meliá had sold the Meliá Sevilla, Sol La Palma and Sol Jandía Mar hotels, in the provinces of Seville, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas, to Atom, while maintaining a contract to manage the properties.

Just a few weeks ago, the socimi signed a syndicated 5-year, 191-million-euro mortgage loan, through which it obtained the necessary financial resources to complete its planned investments and reach a total of 23 hotels in its portfolio.

The portfolio is “well diversified” by asset type, location and operator, with fixed rents of 78%, rental contracts with an average required compliance of 10 years and minimal needed investment as most of the hotels have already been renovated or are in the last stages of renovation, sources said.

The bank intends that the portfolio of hotels should offer the socimi’s shareholders an annual dividend of close to 5%. The socimi is expected to be listed on the MAB, Madrid’s Alternative Stock Market.

Atom’s main shareholders are Bankinter’s private banking clients, with a minimum investment of 200,000 euros and a maximum ceiling of 15% of their financial assets.

Other investors, including Bankinter, the socimi’s manager, GMA, and institutional investors, also have investments of at least €60 million.

The bank led by María Dolores Dancausa allocated roughly 18 million euros while GMA invested another €9 million, so both have sufficient minority stakes in socimi to be represented on its board of directors. Unlike other socimis, Bankinter’s investment vehicle has a disinvestment term of 7 years, although the bank reserves the possibility of extending it.

This is not the first socimi launched by the financial institution. In February 2017, Bankinter launched Ores together with Sonae Sierra, which invests in commercial assets such in Spain and Portugal. Socimis and investment funds have served to boost the sale of hotel portfolios, a report by the Hotel division of Colliers International stated. In the year to June, Spain saw the second largest amount of investments in the country’s history, 1.83 billion euros, down 13% from 2017. Socimis and investment funds played an important role in the feat.

Original Story: Hosteltur

Translation: Richard Turner

CBRE: Hotel Investment Plummets by 55% in H1 2018 to €960M

6 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Investment in the hotel sector is dropping down a gear in Spain. Despite the significant growth in tourist rates, investment in the Spanish hotel sector fell by 55% during the first half of 2018 with respect to the same period last year, down to €960 million.

Assets for vacation use accounted for 78% of the total amount disbursed in the sector, which continues to be one of the most sought-after in the world, according to a report from CBRE.

Data from the consultancy firm also highlight that institutional investors are responsible for the majority of the market, accounting for 43% of the spending in Spain between January and June, followed very closely by the hotel groups themselves, with 40% of the market. Family offices only accounted for 12% of operations.

With respect to the first half of 2017, the main changes that CBRE has noted in its report about hotels is the decrease, of up to 90%, in terms of investment undertaken in Barcelona and Madrid. This fact has resulted from a significant decrease in capital investment in urban assets, which decreased from 54% last year to 22% during the first half of this year.

Moreover, three-quarters of the transactions that were undertaken during the first half of 2018 corresponded to the sale and purchase of individual assets, compared with 25% of operations that involved portfolios.

The main investments signed in the Spanish hotel market were Portfolio Alua, for an approximate sum of €165 million; the Ritz Carlton Abama and the Costa del Sol Princess, whose amount was not disclosed; and the €63 million that was disbursed for IFA Interclub Atlantic.

“Interest in the Spanish hotel market has not diminished but it is true that the increase in asset prices and the shortage of opportunities is shifting the focus of investors to secondary destinations, which, also, have performed extremely well in recent months”, explains Jorge Ruiz, National Director of Hotels at CBRE in Spain.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Formalises Revised Takeover Bid for Hispania

27 June 2018 – Eje Prime

The deal involving Blackstone’s purchase of Hispania has entered the home stretch. This lunchtime, the US fund has asked Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV) to authorise a modification to the offer presented in its takeover bid for the Socimi, to €18.25 per share, a figure that both parties agreed to last week, according to a statement issued by the stock market regulator in a relevant fact.

The increase in the bid by Blackstone came hand in hand with a commitment from Hispania to accept the new offer, which values the Socimi at more than €1.992 billion. In April, the fund made its first offer of €17.45 per share, following its purchase of 16.5% of the company.

The initial bid fell below the expectations of the real estate company, which specialises in the hotel sector, but it now recommends the acceptance of the operation’s new conditions, which it describes as “attractive”.

All of the directors of the Socimi have reached an agreement to accept this new offer for 100% of its shares, equivalent to 48,108 shares, which account for 0.044% of Hispania’s share capital.

Azora (with 1.1 million shares and 1.070% of the capital) has “irrevocably” committed to accepting the new offer from Blackstone, as has Canepa (as the management company of Row Fund, which controls Tarmelane) on behalf of Tarmelane.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Indian Fund Platinum Estates Creates €300M Fund to Buy Hotel Assets

28 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Platinum Estates is investing and divesting in Spain. The fund led by the Indian investor Harry Mohinani has launched a new vehicle, its third in Spain, to acquire hotel assets. The entity is going to have a purchasing capacity of €300 million.

In order to set up this new vehicle, Platinum Estates has been engaged in a period of divestment, according to El Confidencial. In recent months, Platinum Estates has agreed the sale of four Hilton establishments (Garden Inn Luton, Manchester Airport, Warwick and St. Anne’s Manor).

Moreover, the fund also sold a luxury residential development that it was promoting on c/General Oraá (Madrid) and Edificio Estel (Barcelona, pictured above), the building made famous for housing the headquarters of Telefónica and which it purchased at the height of the economic crisis.

The latter was the subject of the star operation in the divestment strategy of Mohinani’s fund, given that Platinum paid around €56 million for the property, four years ago, and has sold it for almost €150 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

PwC Forecasts Record RE Inv’t in Spain This Year

17 May 2018 – Expansión

The real estate market in Spain is striding towards a new investment record. That is according to the partner responsible for this area at the consultancy firm PwC, Rafael Bou, speaking yesterday at the presentation of a report about trends in the real estate market in Europe – he highlighted that the best international scenario favours the arrival of new projects.

Bou affirmed that there is “widespread optimism” amongst the main players in the sector. “Even 2017, with Brexit and Trump, was a year of record investment, and so 2018 ought to be even better, given that we do not have any of that”, he said. In this sense, he also indicated that there is greater political stability in Europe following the elections in France and Germany,

Another factor that will favour the achievement of this investment record is that the European Central Bank (ECB) is going to maintain interest rates low. Bou confirmed that the uncertainty hanging over the sector is not knowing when the current expansive cycle will end; he put a date on the horizon. “Next year, the uncertainty in this regard may increase with the appointment of a new Chairman of the ECB”.

Madrid, the fifth most attractive city

PwC’s survey, compiled in collaboration with the Urban Land Institute, places Madrid as the fifth-ranked European city for conducting real estate business. If we look at the small print, the Spanish capital is ranked in sixth place in terms of the development of projects and in fifth place for the capture of investment.

The research confirms that significant growth is expected in the capital’s office rentals. “Compared to other European capitals to the north, the growth in rental prices has been restricted by the setback that the Spanish economy suffered following the global financial crisis”, he said. PwC highlights the evolution of the retail and hotel sectors, and the repositioning of offices. Madrid has risen four places in the ranking with respect to last year.

Barcelona, which has risen by five places, is now ranked in eleventh place overall. The Catalan city was ranked in thirteenth place in terms of investment and in ninth place for the development of real estate projects.

The report indicates that Barcelona is one of the cities that could most benefit as a result of Brexit, although it warns of the dangers of secessionism. The analysis highlights that the retail, office and residential sectors are currently at a critical point. So too is logistics. “Boosted by demand from e-commerce companies, investors and property developers are buying logistics warehouses and developing new spaces in Barcelona in a speculative way, for the first time since the global economic crisis”, according to the report. “Some people are now talking about a price bubble in the logistics sector in light of the boom that it is experiencing”, added Bou.

The 800 surveys that have been used to compile the study were conducted prior to 1 October 2017, and so they do not reflect the impact on the real estate sector of the political crisis resulting from the Cataluña-independence process. “Having overcome the initial shock, investment has been recovering gradually”, explained Bou. Most overseas investors have returned. “Some people have decided not to invest, but others saw an opportunity in terms of prices and competition and came back quickly”, he said.

Would Barcelona and Madrid have occupied similar positions in the ranking if the surveys had been carried out after 1-O (1 October 2017)? Bou highlighted that Madrid is always ranked higher than the Catalan capital because it is a larger city.

Original story: Expansión (by Gabriel Trindade)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania’s Shareholders Approve Block Sale of its Office Portfolio for €600M+

4 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Hispania is putting the sale of its office portfolio back on the table. Today,  at its General Shareholders’ Meeting, the Socimi will submit to approval the block sale of its rental office portfolio, a set of 25 buildings worth €603 million. It is a divestment that the Socimi, in which George Soros holds a stake, launched a year ago, suspended in October 2017, and which it has now resumed.

Hispania’s assembly is also going to approve the distribution to shareholders of an extraordinary dividend of €1.97 gross per share linked to the completion of that divestment. The payment will be charged against the issue premium and will involve distributing €215 million in total. This dividend will be added to the ordinary remuneration to shareholders, which will amount to €0.87 per share this year, the first payment of which, amounting to €0.41295 gross per share, was already made in March.

Besides Soros, who holds a 16.6% stake in the firm, the other main shareholders are other overseas institutional investors, such as Fidelity, with a 7% stake, Conepa, with another 6% stake, and Bank of Montreal and BlackRock, with 3% each. The Socimi chaired by Rafael Miranda is framing the sale of its office portfolio within its strategy to focus on the hotel business.

Other items on the agenda at Hispania’s General Shareholders’ Meeting include the re-election of the directors to their roles as the Chairman of the firm and another five members, including Concepción Osácar, José Pedro Pérez-Llorca and Joaquín Ayuso. Hispania will also approve its accounts for 2017, which reported a net profit of €222.82 million, down by 27.7% compared to the previous year.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank to Lend €3bn to Hotel Sector

15 March 2018 – Expansión

CaixaBank has declared the hotel sector strategic for increasing its credit investment. Through its new line of business CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism, the entity has just signed an agreement with the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (Cehat) to make available a specific financing line of €3 billion to its 13,000 establishments over two years.

The bank led by Gonzalo Gortázar closed 2017 having granted €1.5 billion in loans to the hotel sector, where it has a portfolio of 14,000 clients – two out of every three hotels in Spain – and €5 billion in terms of business volume. With the launch of the new division, CaixaBank expects to grow its loans to this segment by 20% during the first year.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake