Inveravante’s Subsidiary Avantespacia is Building More than 2,800 Homes

19 March 2019 – Eje Prime

Avantespacia, the real estate subsidiary of Inveravante, the company chaired by the businessman Manuel Jove, is going to build more than 2,800 homes over the next few years across 19 developments in Spain and Morocco.

In Spain, the company already has 17 projects underway comprising more than 1,700 homes. The developments are located in six autonomous regions: Madrid, Andalucía, Cataluña, Galicia, Navarra and the Canary Islands.

In Morocco, the A Coruña-based company is marketing two tourist complexes in Casablanca and Tánger comprising 1,144 apartments in total.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Roger Arnau)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Avantespacia Buys Land in Pamplona to Build 164 Homes

11 March 2019 – Europa Press

Avantespacia, the property developer owned by Manuel Jove’s company Inveravante, has purchased two plots in Pamplona for the construction of 146 new homes, whereby expanding into Navarra for the first time.

The plots are located in the city centre, close to Plaza de los Fueras, where it will build 18 luxury homes and next to the Glorieta de Cuatro Vientos, where it will construct 128 luxury homes.

These developments will be added to projects that the company is already working in premium areas of Madrid, Andalucía, the Canary Islands, Asturias, Aragón, the Balearic Islands and Galicia.

Original story: Europa Press

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

BBVA Sells its Stake in Avantespacia to Manuel Jove’s RE Company

8 January 2019 – El Economista

BBVA is continuing to divest property. This time with the sale of its stake in Avantespacia Inmobiliaria, the company that it constituted in 2016 to undertake real estate projects in Spain.

The entity has sold its remaining 30% stake in the firm to Inveravante, the holding company owned by the businessman Manuel Jove, the founding partner of the real estate company, who now owns the entire firm.

With this operation, Avantespacia “is strengthening its commitment to the residential real estate sector in Spain, with housing developments in the prime areas of the main provincial capitals of our country”, said the company in a note.

This operation forms part of a company restructuring process of the real estate division of Inveravante with the aim of “charting a global strategy, in accordance with the challenges that the sector poses for the future in both the domestic and international spheres”.

Jove’s company, founded in 2007 in A Coruña, divides its activity into different business areas, since in addition to real estate, it also works in the hotel segment, in selected agri-food products, and in the energy sector. Currently, the company has an international presence and operates in Morocco, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Germany and Romania.

BBVA has been one of the most active entities in the sale of loan portfolios, signing its most recent operation on 26 December with the sale of Project Ánfora to an entity managed by the Canadian pension fund CPPIB. Specifically, it sold a portfolio of loans comprising mainly doubtful and non-performing mortgage loans, with a live balance of approximately €1.49 billion (…).

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Fadesa’s Former Owner Returns to Real Estate

24 August 2018 – Eje Prime

Manuel Jove has returned to the Spanish real estate sector. The Spanish businessman, once the owner of the ill-fated real estate giant Fadesa, is determined to generate a profit from the land worth €540 million that he owns through his holding company Inveravante.

The executive from A Coruña, one of the 15 wealthiest people in Spain, is starting to move away from his businesses relating to renewable energy to return to the fold of real estate development, according to reports in El País.

Jove has worked in this vein for the last five years and in 2017, he managed to sell the vast majority of the 264 homes that he brought onto the market. So far in 2018, the businessman has already started work on new urbanisations in Madrid, Andalucía, the Canary Islands and his native Galicia. Jove still has a lot of work to do, thanks to the plots of land that he owns all over the country.

In addition to the residential market, the executive has a considerable presence in the hotel sector. His chain, Attica 21, improved its turnover last year, whilst the residential complex that Jove owns in Tánger (Morocco) comprising 800 homes has recently incorporated the operation of a five star Hilton hotel. As a result, the real estate arm of Inveravante is growing at a rate of 35% and now accounts for 34% of sales.

In 2017, boosted by the wind farms, which accounted for 57% of turnover, as well as a small wine and food products division, Inveravante recorded revenues of €184 million, up by 22% compared to the previous year.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Azora Postpones the Liquidation of its European RE Investment Fund

6 March 2018 – Expansión

Strategy / The manager is asking the shareholders of Azora Europa 1, including Sabadell, Bankia, Abanca, Manuel Jove and the President of Ebro Foods, Antonio Hernández Callejas, to extend the divestment period.

With renowned shareholders, the firm Azora Europa 1 has convened an Extraordinary General Shareholders’ Meeting on 21 March, where it is going to address a change of strategy. The company was created by the heads of Azora in 2005 with the aim of looking for real estate investment opportunities. Two years later, when the real estate bubble burst in Spain, the firm started its journey with investments from Sabadell, Bankia, Kutxabank and Abanca, the businessman Manuel Jove – President of the holding company Inveravante and founder of the real estate company Fadesa –, and the President of the listed company Ebro Foods, Antonio Hernández Callejas.

Azora Europa 1 chose Eastern Europe as its primary investment destination and rental properties as its main asset. Thus, between 2008 and 2015, Azora Europa undertook 10 real estate projects in Poland and another one in the Czech Republic. During that period, Azora’s fund closed its investor period with a total volume of €410 million, of which €140 million corresponded to own funds.

Ten years after its launch, its directors terminated the fund’s journey and requested authorisation from its shareholders to initiate the divestment process. Nevertheless, one year on, the company has taken a step back from that initial plan and is going to ask its investors to postpone its complete liquidation. The fund, which at its height accumulated a dozen properties, two for residential use and the rest for office use in Poland and the Czech Republic, has decided to divest the residential complexes and the Galerías Louvre in Prague, and exclusively hold onto its office portfolio in Poland. The reason given is the high returns offered by those assets, say sources at Azora. It is a portfolio leased almost in its entirety and which includes, amongst others, the headquarters of BNP Paribas Fortis in Krakow and the Harmony Office Centre in Warsaw, whose main tenant is Millennium Bank.

Now, the heads of Azora (the company that also manages the Socimi Hispania) are going to have to obtain approval from their shareholders, on 21 March, to extend the initial divestment period. At the meeting, the subject of a capital reduction will also be addressed, for a maximum amount of €6.16 million.

Valuation

According to the latest published accounts, Azora Europa 1’s real estate investments were worth €260.7 million as at December 2016, compared with €269.5 million a year earlier. In 2016, the fund recorded revenues of €30.6 million, of which €12.8 million proceeded from the sale of properties (compared with €1.8 million generated from the same concept a year earlier). In that year, Azora Europa 1 recorded losses of €3.73 million, primarily due to provisions recorded for the impairment of tax credits.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cranes Return To Spain After Almost A Decade Away

19 December 2016 – La Vanguardia

After nine years away, since the financial crisis first started to crush the real estate bubble in 2007, cranes have returned to form part of the Spanish landscape during 2016, They are a visible sign of the recovery that the real estate sector has been enjoying since 2014.

With just a few weeks to go before the end of the year, real estate investment is on track to set a new record in 2016, of almost €14,000 million, thanks to large-scale operations such as the merger of two giants in the sector, Merlin and Metrovacesa, to create the largest real estate company in Spain, with assets worth more than €9,300 million.

This year, the growth of the economy, improvement in employment, low interest rates, return of financing and the continuous inflow of foreign capital have combined to allow the real estate sector to consolidate its recovery despite the political uncertainty that hung over Spain for most of the year.

After almost a decade of paralysis, the property developers that survived the crisis and others created more recently have set cranes up on the streets, especially in cities with the most economic and tourism activity, where the “stock” is now practically non-existent and demand for new homes a reality.

Quabit is planning to invest €470 million between now and 2020 on the purchase of urban land on which it will build more than 3,000 homes; and Neinor Homes has set itself the objective of launching around 40 new developments this year and selling more than 1,500 homes.

The newly formed company Dospuntos, controlled by the US fund Värde Partners, plans to invest €2,000 million over the next six years and complete 2,000 homes per year from 2019 onwards. Vía Célere has just bought the largest available plot of land in the centre of Madrid from Repsol and Adif, which is ready for the construction of homes.

Inveravante, owned by the business man Manuel Jové, and the real estate subsidiary of BBVA, have joined forces to promote 850 homes; the German investment fund Aquila Capital and Ónice will spend €100 million building luxury homes in La Moreleja; whilst Ibosa will invest another €30 million converting the Hotel Foxá M-30 into homes.

The recovery of the sector is undeniable. According to the notaries, house purchases grew by 10.3% in September, a percentage that rises to 13.2% according to INE, after registering eight consecutive months of increases and growth of 10% in terms of the signing of mortgages for house purchases.

The Ministry of Development calculates that prices rose by 1.6% during the third quarter, to complete 6 consecutive quarters of increases, whilst permits for the construction of new homes soared by 32% in September to reach figures not seen since 2011.

Moreover, house purchases by foreigners grew by 19.7% during the first half of the year, with Britons leading the ranking, despite the threat of “Brexit”. (…).

During 2017, the number of transactions is expected to grow by 6.5% and prices are forecast to rise by 3.5% to reach 2004 levels. Meanwhile, Tinsa estimates that prices will remain stable or will increase by between 1% and 2%, at most, during 2017, in line with forecasts for the end of this year. (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia (by Cora Serrano)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Which Players Will Shape The RE Sector In 2017?

5 December 2016 – Expansión

The end of 2016 will mark not only a new record in terms of real estate investment in Spain, but also the start of a new phase in the sector, after three years of recovery.

“In mid-2013, funds like Blackstone started to close operations, at a time when the market was completely paralysed. That prompted a magnet effect, which, together with the creation of Socimis and the reorganisation of the banking sector, launched the recovery of the sector”, said Adolfo Ramírez-Escudero, President of CBRE.

Thus, after closing last year with an investment volume of €12,884 million, the expectation is that the figure will reach €13,900 million by year end 2016. “We may reach record investment figures by year end, as new property owners, with a more institutional profile, enter the market, such as German investment funds, insurance companies, etc.”, he said.

The investment figure may be maintained next year if corporate operations continue, say sources at the consultancy firm. “We are living in a different Spain, with GDP growth of 3.2% this year and forecast GDP growth of 2.5% next year. That has a direct correlation with employment and, therefore, with real estate”, said Ramírez-Escudero.

For this new phase, one of the most important players will be the large Socimis, which have continued to close operations this year, but in a more measured way as they have been more focused on managing their properties; as well as German funds, such as Invesco Real Estate and the real estate division of Deutsche Bank.

Nevertheless, these more risk-averse investors will share the stage with another kind of player in the Spanish real estate sector in 2017. “We are pretty convinced that there is going to be a new property developer cycle, given that the real estate companies have now been established, with new capital. Next year, the property developers will be building new products”, said the Head of CBRE.

Residential segment

These new players will include Neinor Homes. The real estate company, created by the fund LoneStar with the former subsidiary of Kutxabank, has become a key player in the property development sector, with projects underway across Spain. In 2017, the company led by Juan Velayos will debut on the stock market, whereby restoring the profile of property developers, such as Martinsa Fadesa and Reyal Urbis, which fell from grace following the burst of the bubble.

Another player in the residential sector will be Avantespacia. The new real estate company, in which Inveravante (Manuel Jove’s company) owns a 70% stake and Anida (BBVA’s real estate arm) owns a 30% stake, will promote almost one thousand homes during its first phase of development. Its first project in Málaga, with 135 properties, is already being sold, whilst in Madrid, the new company is preparing a development in the Francisco Silvela area.

But development will not only be happening in the residential segment, major projects are also planned for the office and shopping centre segments. In the former, Merlin Properties is expected to play an important role. Spain’s largest Socimi is currently working on the development of an office building in the Isla Chamartín area, in the north east of Madrid.

In addition, it has just completed the purchase of the Adequa business park, a complex that comprises four office buildings and a shopping area, with space for the construction of a 24-storey skyscraper, with a total surface area of 29,000 m2.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The ‘German Bad Bank’ Acquires Gran Vía, 68

18 May 2015 – El Confidencial

The building located at number 68 Gran Via, which used to belong to Carlyle, has a new owner: the ‘German bad bank’, FMS Wertmanagement, the equivalent of Sareb in Spain.

The building located at number 68 on the coveted avenue in Madrid has a new owner. FMS Wertmanagement, more commonly known as the ‘German bad bank’ – the equivalent of Sareb in Spain – has acquired the property, which was the first acquisition made by the private equity firm Carlyle in Spain at the end of 2005.

This asset used to belong to the real estate fund Carlyle Europe Real Estate Partners II (CEREP), which filed for bankruptcy in March 2012. It is estimated that the fund paid €45 million and so had to obtain a loan from the German entity Hypo Real Estate to finance the transaction – Hypo was taken over by the German Government in 2009 – and the debt has ended up in the hands of FMS. According to sources close to the transaction, this asset, which is currently worth around €21-23 million, has had lots of suitors.

In fact, in addition to FMS, the holding company that owns the investments of the businessman Manuel Jove (Inveravante) and the US fund, Autonomy, which has an opportunistic profile and arrived in Spain in 2013, both submitted bids.

In the context of the bankruptcy, the sale has been conducted by the bankruptcy administrator; and all indications suggest that FMS could have acquired the building for the amount of the debt, around €40 million. The sources consulted by this newspaper say that the German bad bank intends to seek a buyer for the property, at a time when the Spanish real estate market has taken off (again), and in an area (Madrid’s Gran Via) that has sparked so much interest and activity over the last year and a half.

Carlyle’s real estate ‘troubles’ in Spain

We have to go back almost ten years to see Carlyle’s first foray into the real estate sector in our country. At the end of 2005, the firm bought this property, which dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, from the Urconsa group – it was formerly owned by La Unión and Fénix Español – with a view to renovating it and turning it into luxury apartments. With a surface area of 7,600 m2, comprising three retail floors and eleven additional floors for residential use, it is totally empty at the moment.

Carlyle had intended to build 75 luxury apartments, preserving the original façade of the iconic building in the centre of Madrid. Its commitment to the real estate sector in Spain was clear and it expected to have the renovation completed within two years. However, its plans took a turn for the worse.

The Town Hall of Madrid did not grant the construction licence until April 2008, according to Cinco Días, and by 31 October 2010, only one of the commercial premises was leased out.

“We are delighted to have made our first investment in Spain. The residential market in Madrid is buoyant and we think that there will be strong demand for these new apartments in a building as impressive as this. We hope that this will be the first of many investments in Spain”, said Rachel Lupiani, Director of Carlyle Real Estate, after the deal was announced. She was responsible for closing the transaction, which was advised by the consultancy firm CB Richard Ellis and the law firm Clifford Chance.

In Spain, Carlyle also acquired land on Calle Alcalá in Madrid and the Telefónica headquarters in Barcelona – for which it paid €219 million in 2007.

The German bad bank is now looking for a buyer

The German bad bank, which operates in a similar way to Sareb, was created in 2010 with assets from the nationalised bank Hypo Real Estate. These included almost €900 million of non-performing assets and loans, including the debt relating to Gran Via, 68.

Just like in the case of Sareb in Spain, FMS is now looking for buyers for many of its non-performing assets and loans. In fact, at the beginning of this month, it sold the Gaudí debt package, which it had also inherited form the nationalised Hypo Real Estate, to the Californian fund Oaktree. That portfolio included debt relating to the Hotel Arts de Barcelona, a five-star property managed by Ritz-Cartlon, as well as another luxury hotel located in the Portuguese town of Cascais, five shopping centres, four office buildings, 17 storeooms and other residential and industrial assets.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz and R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Holds Board Meeting As Martinsa’s Deadline Looms

26 February 2015 – Cinco Días

Sareb held an ordinary Board meeting yesterday (as it does once a month) with the case of Martinsa Fadesa on the table. The creditor banks of the real estate company have until today, Thursday, to decide whether or not to approve the new proposed agreement presented by the company to avoid its liquidation. According to financial sources, the debt obligations that Sareb holds in Martinsa Fadesa amounted to €1,457.8 million as at June 2014. The (real estate company’s) second largest creditor is Caixabank with €907.9 million.

Martinsa Fadesa submitted a new proposed agreement to avoid its liquidation to its creditors on 30 December, since it is unable to make some of the payments stipulated in the previous agreement. Under the new proposal, the company highlighted that if it won its claim in the Supreme Court against Manuel Jove, the former chairman of Fadesa, against whom it had filed a multi-million euro lawsuit, then it would allocate the resources to pay its creditors.

Fernando Martín (pictured above) agreed the purchase of Fadesa from Manuel Jose between 2006 and 2007, in a transaction valued at €4,045 million. In 2008, Martinsa Fadesa filed for bankruptcy, the largest ever case in Spain, with debts of approximately €7,000 million. In 2011, the company reached a payment agreement with its creditors and so emerged from bankruptcy. That same year, the company decided, in its shareholders’ meeting, to file a social responsibility claim against Jove and the former CEO of the company, Antonio De la Morena, for €1,576 million. The former Chairman of Fadesa, who is now the Chairman of the Inveravante group, said then that the measure was “absolute nonsense”. The Commercial Court number 1 in La Coruña and the Provincial Court of La Coruña rejected the claim filed by Martinsa Fadesa, and so the company appealed to the Supreme Court. This month, the Supreme Court also rejected Fernando Martín’s claim.

The blow dealt by the Supreme Court to Martinsa Fadesa damages the real estate company’s prospects of avoiding liquidation even further. In addition, the Supreme Court ordered the company to pay all of the legal costs, which will require the immediate disbursement of several million euros (up to €60 million, according to legal sources).

Between January and September 2014, Martinsa generated turnover of €95.2 million, an increase of €24.5 million on the same period in the previous year, and it recorded losses of €201.6 million (vs. losses of €322.9 million during the first three quarters of 2012). In 2013, the group lost €652 million, and recorded negative equity of €4,288 million.

Like many other real estate companies, despite having a negative net equity balance, Martinsa avoided the requirement for dissolution under the Companies’ Act, thanks to Royal Decree Law 10/2008, which removes the requirement to account for impairments relating to real estate investments. Martinsa’s financial position is clearly very delicate and may be further compounded by the fact that the Government may decide not to renew the relevant regulation this year.

Representatives of the creditors met with the company last week and called for the departure of Fernando Martín as owner and shareholder, according to sources. Although liquidation may seem like the most logical course of action for the company, the same sources do not rule out the possibility of a last minute agreement being reached to avoid that measure.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alberto Ortín Ramón)

Translation: Carmel Drake