Intu Denies Any Plans to Sell its Stake in the Intu Xanadú in Madrid

1 November 2019 – Intu Properties has insisted on its long-term commitment to the Intu Xanadú shopping centre, of which it owns 50%. Nuveen, formerly known as TH Real Estate, owns the other 50% and has also stressed its intention to stay on as a long-term investor in the asset.

Intu Xanadú has 204 stores and well-known tenants including El Corte Inglés, Aliexpress Plaza, Zara, Primark, Apple, H&M, Mango, and Decathlon.

Intu acquired the shopping centre two years ago from Ivanhoe Cambridge for €530 million, subsequently selling 50% to Nuveen for €264.4 million.

Original Story: Idealista – P. Martinez-Almeida

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Generali’s Axis Retail Partners Seeks to Acquire Two of Intu’s Shopping Centres in Spain

29 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Last March, Generali Real Estate, the real estate arm of the Italian insurer, announced the launch of Axis Retail Partners, a new subsidiary specialising in shopping centres. Axis received a 500-million euro infusion from the insurer.

This week, Axis is closing in on a potential acquisition of two of the most important assets currently on sale in Europe: the Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and Intu Asturias (Oviedo), two giant Spanish shopping centres listed for sale by the UK’s Intu Properties.

In a process led by UBS and CBRE, Germany’s ECE and Axis Retail Partners have appeared as two of the likeliest buyers, with Axis out front. Intu values its 50% stakes in Puerto Venecia and Asturias at around €425 million. Canada’s CPPIB, which shares ownership, declined to exercise its option to purchase the assets.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Ruth Ugalde

Savills: Spain willl have 260,524 m2 of New Innovative Commercial Space in 2019

3 June 2019 – La Vanguardia

According to the latest edition of the Retail Report Spain, compiled by Savills Aguirre Newman, Spain will see the addition of new innovative commercial space spanning 260,524 m2 this year, where 10 new shopping centres are going to be developed.

In addition, the real estate consultancy forecasts that shopping centres worth up to €2.5 billion could be put up for sale, including Intu’s portfolio comprising four shopping centres, which are worth c. €1 billion. The pipeline also includes other non-prime shopping centres and portfolios of supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Nevertheless, the report forecasts that investment levels in 2019 will be lower than in the previous two years, as many overseas investors, particularly those from the UK and USA, adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach to the Spanish market in light of the slow-down in the world economy and the boom in e-commerce.

In this way, demand is expected to focus on small convenience centres, particularly those linked to supermarkets, and prime and secondary retail parks that are not so affected by e-commerce.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Eurofund Finalises the Entry of a Partner into its Project in Lleida & Starts Marketing

25 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Eurofund is taking another step towards making the Torres Salses retail park a reality. The company is finalising the incorporation of a partner into its project in Lleida, which will result in a global investment of between €80 million and €100 million. In parallel, Eurofund has now started to market the retail park.

According to explanations provided by sources in the sector speaking to EjePrime, the group is finalising the signing of an agreement with a capitalist partner to handle the investment that the complex will entail. It is a typical move within Eurofund’s strategy, which typically turns to partners to finance investments whilst the fund manager itself takes care of the management.

In parallel, Eurofund has now started the marketing phase of the retail park in Lleida, which will have a surface area of 56,000 m2. The company has started making contact with operators in the leisure (cinema), restaurant, DIY, furniture, gym and food sectors, typical firms in these types of developments.

The Torres Salses project, whose construction will begin in the autumn (2019), is located between the Magraneres and La Bordeta neighbourhoods of Lleida. The complex will become one of the few commercial and leisure spaces in the area.

Last October, Eurofund received the green light from the plenary of the Town Hall of Lleida to undertake the project. In December, Eurofund Parc Lleida signed an urban management agreement with the Town Hall to execute the widening and lengthening of the Víctor Torres road and the modification of the urban planning order for the Sur 42 sector of Torre Salses.

Subsequently, in the middle of December, Eurofund made effective the purchase from Sareb of 140,000 m2 of land in Torre Salses (Lleida). The purchase, carried out through Eurofund Parc Lleida, was completed after Eurofund successfully navigated Sareb’s processes, in particular, those relating to overseas investments.

Following those processes, Eurofund is now just waiting for the commercial licence to be granted for the retail park.

Grupo Eurofund currently owns retail assets amounting to more than €3.5 billion, including centres that it has constructed, as well as those still under construction. The fund manager was founded in 1994 and its first major development was Parc Vallès, in Terrassa (Barcelona).

The company is the owner of complexes such as Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza, and has an alliance with the British operator Intu to develop new shopping centres in Málaga, Valencia and Vigo. Over the last eighteen months, Eurofund Capital Partners has converted almost €350 million into real estate operations in Spain.

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Eurofund Purchases a 140,000 m2 Plot in Lleida from Sareb

19 December 2018 – Eje Prime

Eurofund’s new macro-project in Lleida is taking shape. The group has completed the purchase from the Company for the Management of Assets proceeding from the Restructuring of the Banking System (Sareb) of 140,000 m2 of land in Torre Salses (Lleida). Eurofund’s plans involve investing €80 million to build a new shopping centre with a gross leasable area of 560,000 m2.

The purchase, carried out through Eurofund Parc Lleida, has been completed after Eurofund overcame Sareb’s processes, in particular, those relating to overseas investments. On 4 December, Eurofund Parc Lleida signed an urban planning management agreement with the Town Hall of the Catalan town to execute the widening and extension of Calle Víctor Torres and the modification of the urban planning order for the South 42 Torre Salses sector. The building work is scheduled to begin in the autumn of 2019, according to Eje Prime.

Grupo Eurofund

Eurofund currently owns more than €3.5 billion in commercial assets, including the centres that it has constructed and those that it has under development. The fund manager was founded in 1994 and its first major development was Parc Vallès, in Terrassa (Barcelona).

The company is the owner of complexes such as Puerto Venecia, in Zaragoza, and maintains an alliance with the British operator Intu for the construction of new shopping centres in Málaga, Valencia and Vigo. Over the last 18 months, Eurofund Capital Partners has co-invested almost €350 million in real estate operations in Spain.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hermes Acquires 3,345 m2 in Puerto Venecia & Prepares its Third Fund

10 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Hermes Properties is adding a new asset to its portfolio. The investment vehicle, which specialises in commercial projects, has purchased 3,345 m2 of the Puerto Venecia shopping centre, owned by Intu, which it will lease to the hamburger chain Carl’s Jr and to the service station chain Gasexpress.

With this purchase, Hermes has completed a €14 million investment across three operations, in the El Puente shopping centre in Rojales (Alicante); in commercial plots in Isla Azul, in Madrid; and this latest deal in Puerto Venecia, in Zaragoza.

The manager’s purchase in Madrid, of plots spanning a surface area of 4,000 m2, which used to be owned by Sareb, involved the disbursement of €4 million. The operations have been undertaken through Hermes’ second investment vehicle, Hermes II. The manager, owned by Delta Asesores and the consultancy firm InmoKing Real Estate, is now preparing a new program of investments to generate the vehicle Hermes III.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Intu Moves into New HQ in Madrid on Paseo de la Castellana

19 April 2018 – El Economista

The British giant Intu, owner of several shopping centres in Spain, including Xanadú in Madrid and Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza, is continuing to grow in our country with a new headquarters in the capital. The company, which until now had its offices in the Chamberí neighbourhood, has moved to a small palace on Paseo de la Castellana.

With this operation, which has been advised by the real estate consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman, the firm is expanding its office space and positioning itself in a strategic enclave in the city. Specifically, Intu is going to move to number 64 Paseo de la Castellana, into the iconic Palacete Moreno Benítez, which spans 1,350 m2, spread over five floors.

The building, constructed in 1904 by the architect Joaquín Saldaña, was inhabited for many years by the aristocracy of the time and is one of the few small palaces that has managed to survive of the 70 that used to dominate this major Madrilenian thoroughfare.

Its current owner, which will become Intu’s landlord in Madrid by virtue of this contract, is the real estate company Caboel, in which the Carbó, Bonet and Elías families hold stakes, all former owners of the Caprabo distribution group.

Caboel acquired the property in 2015 by making the best offer – €13.5 million – in a public auction organised by the State Company for the Management of Real Estate Assets (Segipsa). Until then, the building had been owned by the General State Administration, which acquired it in 1982.

The company has carried out a project to refurbish the building to subsequently obtain returns by leasing it out.

Caboel owns 30,000 m2 of office space in Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon and Porto, according to information provided on its website. The company’s portfolio comprises 150 assets, diversified across different sectors such as commercial, with retail premises and out-of-town shopping parks, as well as hotels and logistics assets.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

TH Real Estate Changes its Focus in Spain to Purchase Logistics Properties, Offices & Alternative Assets

11 June 2018 – Eje Prime

After ten years in Spain, TH Real Estate is changing its focus in terms of acquisitions. The company, which has historically purchased retail assets in the country, is going to change strategy to strengthen its portfolio with logistics properties, office buildings and alternative assets, such as halls of residence for students. That is according to Marta Cladera (pictured below), Director General of TH Real Estate Iberia, talking to Eje Prime in an interview.

“Traditionally, and due to the type of active funds, we have been very focused on the purchase of retail products” – said Cladera – “Now, we want to nurture our portfolio with logistics buildings, offices and alternative assets, such as halls of residence”. “We are analysing the market, we have a good track record in other types of assets, and so we will be able to create a portfolio with new types of assets and we will begin this year”, she added.

TH Real Estate will carry out these purchases through its fund European City Fund, which is one of the most active at the moment in terms of acquisitions and which has sufficient resources to undertake new purchases. By type of asset, the plans in terms of alternative assets involve not only the purchase of properties but also “teaming up with other operators, which may be from other parts of Europe”. In this way, TH Real Estate will follow in the footsteps of other funds such as CBRE GI and Axa, which, in their strategy to enter the hall of residence business, purchased Resa, the largest student hall company in Continental Europe.

In terms of the office sector, Cladera assures that “the competition is fierce” and the supply “is scarce”. “We are looking for buildings costing upwards of €50 million, but the supply that we are finding is not prime and those that are prime due to their location need a lot of renovation work, and that is something that holds us back, given that the numbers have to make sense for us to proceed and we have to focus on returns”, said the director.

Currently, TH Real Estate manages a portfolio worth €103 billion around the world, although Spain represents a small proportion of that, accounting for just 2% of its total business. In the Spanish market, the company owns assets worth €2 billion. “Although it is small compared to other markets, you have to look at the evolution: when we arrived in 2007, the portfolio was worth €200 million, as such, the growth over the last ten years has been significant”, she said. TH Real Estate’s team in Spain comprises nine people.

Socimi: under consideration 

Although this move is still in an embryonic phase, TH Real Estate does not rule out joining the Socimi party that is raging in Spain with some of its assets (…).

Currently, TH Real Estate owns fifteen assets across the Iberian Peninsula, of which fourteen are located in Spain and one in Portugal. Of those, two are logistics assets (acquired in 2017), and the rest are retail properties. One of the formulae that the group has used in the country has been to create joint ventures with different players for the acquisition of assets. Such was the case of the purchase of 50% of Xanadú from Intu for €264.4 million, for example (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Intu’s New Strategy in Spain: to Change the Names of its Shopping Centres

16 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Intu is betting on branding to raise the profile of its name in Spain. The company, which has a vast presence in the United Kingdom, where it owns almost twenty shopping centres, is going to replicate its British strategy in Spain, by adding the word Intu to the name of its retail complexes. This week, the company announced that its shopping centre in Zaragoza, which has been called Puerto Venecia to date, is now going to be named Intu Puerto Venecia.

It was in 2014 when Intu reached an agreement with the fund Orion European Real Estate to acquire the Puerto Venecia complex, the largest shopping centre in Spain, for €451 million. The complex contains a retail park spanning 82,600 m2, which was inaugurated in 2008 and a leisure and fashion area measuring 130,000 m2, which opened in October 2012 (…).

Since the purchase by Intu, the British group has carried out a series of changes to the appearance and management of the shopping centre. But it has not been until now that the group has decided to complete the process by adding the word Intu to the name of the complex, whereby following in the footsteps of Intu Asturias.

Now, the next step will be for Intu to apply the same strategy to the Xanadú shopping centre. The British group completed the purchase of that shopping centre, located in Arroyomolinos (Madrid), from Ivanhoé Cambridge for more than €520 million in March last year. That acquisition was the largest operation since Deutsche Bank paid €495 million for Diagonal Mar.

In May of the same year, Intu created a joint venture with TH Real Estate to share the ownership of the Madrilenian shopping centre, transferring 50% of the complex to TH Real Estate for €264.4 million, half of the amount that it had paid for Xanadú.

That shopping centre, constructed in 2003, has a total surface area of 153,695 m2 spread over two storeys and with a total of 220 stores, making it one of the largest retail complexes in Madrid. Its tenants include Inditex, El Corte Inglés, Hipercor, Bricor, Decathlon, Primark and Apple. Xanadú Madrid receives almost 13 million visitors per year and generates sales of around €230 million.

Shopping centres on the rise in Spain

Intu’s commitment to Spain comes at a good time for this retail format in the country. Sales registered at these complexes rose by 3.5% in 2017, to exceed €43.5 billion.

Specifically, revenues in the sector amounted to €43.59 billion in 2017. The market share of shopping centres and retail parks rose to reach 17.9%. Last year, around 1,900 million visits were registered at these complexes.

Meanwhile, investment in the sector soared by 35% in 2017, to €2.7 billion. During the course of last year, 29 transactions were closed involving 36 assets, according to data from the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres and Retail Parks (AECC).

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Unibail Will Invest at Least €800M in Spain Over 6 Years

26 January 2018 – Expansión

Unibail-Rodamco, the largest European real estate group, has committed investments for projects in its portfolio in Spain amounting to, at least, €800 million between now and 2024; it has already disbursed €120 million of that figure.

The Director of Development and Investments at Unibail-Rodamco in España, Javier Solís (pictured above, left), explained yesterday at a meeting organised by IESE, Tinsa and Savills Aguirre Newman, that the company has projects in its portfolio spanning a new gross leasable area (including extensions) of 187,000 m2 and a total committed investment of more than €800 million, reports Efe.

Of the projects underway, the director highlighted the shopping centre in Benidorm (Alicante), whose construction has already commenced and which is expected to open in 2020. In his opinion, the increase in visitor numbers and sales at shopping centres suggests “that returns have the potential to rise”.

The director explained that some of the investment planned for the coming years will be spent on improving its assets so that “they are more than just a place to shop”. In this sense, Solía advocates transforming them into centres for meeting up, having fun and being entertained, for enjoying new gastronomic experiences and with higher standards in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability.

In terms of future possible purchases, Solís said that the company’s intention is to incorporate new assets that are already operational, although, for the time being, it does not have any operations on the table.

In Spain, Unibail-Rodamco owns a dozen shopping centres and has two more under development. Its most high profile assets include Parquesur and La Vaguada (in Madrid) and Les Glòries and La Maquinista (in Barcelona), worth around €3.7 billion.

Westfield

Unibail-Rodamco, which has a presence in 11 European countries, reached an agreement at the end of 2017 to purchase its Australian rival Westfield for $24.7 billion (€19.8 billion).

The operation will result in the creation of a colossus with a gross asset value of €61.1 billion and a presence in 13 countries. Following the integration, Unibail-Rodamco will extend its competitive distance over its main European rivals, Klépierre and Hammerson. Indeed, one month ago, the latter announced an agreement to purchase Intu and grow in the shopping centre segment.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake