Meridia’s Socimi Invests €26.5 Million in an Office Building in ​​Madrid’s Financial District

26 March 2018

Meridia’s socimi is growing its participation in the office sector. The fund, led by the Catalan executive Javier Faus, bought 90% of an office building in Madrid’s financial district. The group is in negotiations to acquire the remaining 10% in the coming days. The total price for the property is expected to involve an investment of 26.5 million euros.

The building has 7,000 square meters of area, according to Meridia Real Estate III Socimi, the company through which the fund is finalising the deal. Merida is financing the purchase with equity and a seven-year loan, granted by a Spanish financial institution, of 17 million euros.

Meridia’s socimi listed on Spain’s Alternative Stock Market (MAB) on December 29, the 47th socimi to join the MAB and the last in 2017. The socimi’s shares started trading with a market value of one euro per share, giving the company a capitalisation of 78.5 million euros. The company, which was established last year, is the fund’s third investment vehicle, created by Faus in 2001.

The vehicle has attracted the attention of various investors since its inception. The last to announce its interest in the socimi was the Puig family, which owns the Puig perfume and fashion group. The group acquired 5.25% of the socimi’s capital through its real estate investment firm Inmo.

In addition to the Puigs, its main shareholders include: the institutional investor Dreof, based in New York, which holds 18.39% of the group, a church pension fund, with 15.75%, the European institutional investor Periza Industries (1.13%), the Israeli Harel investment and financial services group (11.98%) and Credit Suisse (7.88%).

The rest of the socimi’s capital is in the hands of two local family offices: Anangu Grup, the principal holding of the Catalan company Eurofred (6.56%) and the Puig family’s Inmo (5.25%). According to a document sent to the Alternative Stock Market, the president of Meridia, Javier Faus, personally owns 5.21% of the socimi.

Original Story: EjePrime – C. Pareja

Translation: Richard Turner

Threat Of Cataluña Independence Hurts Spain’s Largest RE Companies

10 October 2017 – Expansión

One of the sectors that is being hardest hit by the insecurity generated in Cataluña following the referendum on 1 October is real estate. In just one week, the large companies in the sector have seen their stock market valuations decrease by €717 million and how the credit ratings agency Moody’s has issued warnings about the negative effect of the political tension on the growth of rental income, occupancy rates and asset valuations.

The Socimi that is most exposed to Cataluña is Merlin. The real estate giant led by Ismael Clemente owns assets worth almost €1,500 million in Cataluña. The real estate company in which Santander and BBVA own stakes is also one of the companies that has most backed this market over the last year, positioning the Catalan capital, together with Lisbon, as one of its markets for highest growth.

In the context of that strategy, at the beginning of the year, Merlin purchased the iconic skyscraper Torres Glóries – also known as Torre Agbar – for €142 million. The building, which has a gross leasable area of 37,614 m2, is one of the candidates to house the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which will abandon its current location in London due to Brexit. Sources in the sector consider that the events of recent days completely eliminate Barcelona from the running, in favour of its rivals in the bid: Amsterdam, Dublin, Bratislava, Copenhagen and Milan.

Another Socimi with a significant portion of its assets in Cataluña is Colonial. The real estate company, which is headquartered in Barcelona, has almost 10% of its assets in the region. In the office segment alone, it owns assets worth €827 million in Cataluña, making it its third market after Paris, with €6,144 million, and Madrid, with €1,339 million. Yesterday (Monday), Colonial convened an extraordinary meeting of the Board of Directors to consider moving its headquarters (and in the end, approved their move to Madrid).

One of the projects that Colonial has underway was announced at the beginning of the year, in the form of an alliance with the company Inmo, the real estate subsidiary of the Puig family, for the development of Plaza Europa (Barcelona), with an investment of €32 million. The plan to construct a 21-storey building with a surface area of 14,000 m2 will be undertaken on a plot of land owned by the Puigs. Moreover, at the beginning of the year, Colonial started work to build a turnkey office building in the 22@ district, which will involve a total investment of €77 million and which will be ready by the middle of 2018.

In terms of the other Socimis that are listed on the main stock market, Hispana holds assets in Cataluña worth €255 million at the end of June (…). Meanwhile, Axiare owns four assets in the region (…) worth just over €126 million; and two of the assets in Lar’s portfolio are located in Cataluña (…), with a combined value of €116 million.

Amancio Ortega

(…) HNWIs have also been backing the Catalan market and, in particular, Pontegadea’s exposure to the region is significant. Amancio Ortega’s company does not disclose figures by country or autonomous region (…) however, in 2011 alone, it acquired three assets worth €233 million, including BBVA’s headquarters in Plaza Cataluña, for €100 million. It also owns important buildings on Paseo de Gràcia and Plaza Catalunya, and is the owner of the Inditex group’s largest stores.

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

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA Completes Sale Of Torre Puig To Grupo Puig

7 June 2017 – La Vanguardia

BBVA has completed the sale of Torre Puig, in Plaza Europa, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona) to Grupo Puig, which has occupied the building in its entirety, as a tenant, since 2014. Aguirre Newman has managed the operation, which has now been signed, after it was announced on 24 April.

The building, constructed in 2014 and designed by the prestigious architect Rafael Moneo, measures 14,288 m2 and has 199 parking spaces.

A group of international investors with varying profiles participated in the sales process, including family offices – firms that manage the investments of wealthy individuals -, insurance companies and institutional funds, although in the end the best offer was made by Inmo, the real estate company owned by the Puig family, which participated in the process like any other interested investor.

“It has been a long and complex process given the characteristics involved, but in the end, we have closed the deal to everyone’s satisfaction”, said Hipólito Sánchez, Director of Investment at Aguirre Newman, in a statement. He is convinced that this will be “one of the most important operations of the year in the investment market in Barcelona”.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Inmo Acquires 4.7% Of Colonial & Buys Puig’s HQ From BBVA

25 April 2017 – El Español

Inmo, the real estate company owned by the Puig family, has acquired shares in Inmobiliaria Colonial to take its stake in the company to 4.7%. Meanwhile, it has also purchased the headquarters of the Puig perfume and fashion company that BBVA put up for sale in October.

Inmo encompasses the real estate activity and assets of the family-owned group, and Inmo’s investment in Inmobiliaria Colonial comes in response to its “willingness to diversify” its exposure in the real estate sector, according to a statement issued on Monday.

Regarding the acquisition of Puig’s headquarters in Plaza Europa de L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona), the property has 21 storeys and covers a surface area of 14,300 m2. (…).

Inmo’s announcement on Monday comes after Colonial reported in February that it had teamed up with the real estate company owned by the Puig family to develop a new office tower in Barcelona, an “iconic” building in the Catalan capital that will involve investment amounting to €32 million.

The project forms part of the investment in new real estate assets that the real estate company announced in its three markets: Madrid, Barcelona and Paris, for €400 million in total.

In the case of the new tower in Barcelona, the project will be constructed through a joint venture, which Colonial will constitute together with the Puig family’s real estate arm (50% each). The latter will contribute the land on which the property will be built.

The new tower will be located in Plaza Europa, next door to the headquarters that the perfume group rents out. The project involves building a 60m tall, 21-storey building, which will have a surface area of 14,000 m2. (…).

Colonial announced the new tower under the framework of investing in new assets that forms another part of its growth strategy, which it launched in 2005 after completing its clean-up and restructuring process.

Since then, the firm has accumulated investments in new assets amounting to €1,760 million, according to its President, Juan José Brugera. (…).

Original story: El Español

Translation: Carmel Drake