Ores Doubles its Portfolio in a Year & Closes 2018 with Assets Worth €357.4M

11 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Olimpo Real Estate (Ores) is establishing itself in the market. The Socimi owned by Bankinter and Sonae Sierra closed last year with a portfolio comprising 34 assets worth €357.4 million. In this way, the company has doubled the valuation of its assets since the end of October 2017, a few months after it made its debut on the stock market. At that time, the firm held a total of 16 investments worth €172.6 million.

At the end of 2018, the value of the Socimi’s portfolio amounted to €357.4 million across 34 assets, comprising mainly hypermarkets (28.5%) and supermarkets (14.7%), retail parks (15.2%) and out-of-town stores (14.4%), as well as premises (8%) located on the main streets of large cities.

During the last four months of 2018, four investment operations were undertaken for a total value of €27.5 million. Specifically, the firm completed the purchase of two supermarkets, an out-of-town store in Santander and a commercial premise in Vigo.

“These operations are in line with Ores’ investment strategy, in urban locations in Spain’s main cities, and with first-class operators as tenants and long-term and stable lease contracts”, said the company in a statement sent to the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

Ores is a company whose main activity is the acquisition and management of commercial real estate assets, both in Spain and Portugal. The company was created in December 2016 by Bankinter and Sonae Sierra, made its stock market debut at the end of February 2017 and has been increasing its investments and assets ever since.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Catalana Occidente Buys its 4th Building in 22@ District for €20M

25 July 2018 – El Economista

The Catalana Occidente Group is building up its portfolio in the 22@ district, the fastest growing office area in Barcelona, where it has just acquired a property for €20 million, according to confirmation provided by various sources to this newspaper.

The building in question is a WIP project, which was owned, until now, by its developers, the Castellvi group and the funds Stoneweg and 1810 Capital Investments. This is not the first operation that the investors have closed with the Catalana Occidente Group, which in September last year also acquired the Luxa office complex, in one of the most important operations of the year in the Catalan capital’s office market.

In that case, it paid €90 million for the two independent buildings spanning 10,000 m2 (Luxa Silver) and 7,000 m2 (Luxa Gold) – plus almost 300 parking spaces – which are leased to Amazon and WeWork. The latter has also just signed a lease contract to occupy the neighbouring WIP building, which has a surface area of 4,400 m2 and which is located at number 121 Calle Ciutat de Granada.

These three newly built and avant-garde design buildings join the other properties that the group purchased at the beginning of last year, also in the 22@ technological district, when it acquired the headquarters of Atos, together with La Llave de Oro, for around €21 million.

RE assets worth €1.17 bn at end of 2017

The Catalana Occidente Group owned real estate assets worth more than €1.17 billion at the end of 2017, mainly offices, which account for 95% of its estate. In this way, in the last two years, its investment strategy in the real estate sector has focused on the purchase of corporate buildings located in prime areas of Madrid and Barcelona. In its latest purchase, the company has been advised by the real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Currently, the group is not investing in the residential market or in the development of land, although it is active with projects to renovate and reposition its portfolio.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

VBARE Secures an Additional €1.5M to Finance New Investments

2 February 2018 – Press Release

The Socimi has signed three mortgage loans to finance its on-going investments in Madrid, as well as in Spain’s main capitals. 

VBARE Iberian Properties Socimi (VBARE) has raised financing for its next round of investments after signing three mortgage loans amounting to almost €1.5 million (€1,491,786.69) in total and secured by some of the company’s assets in Madrid.

The first loan, from Banco de Crédito Cooperativo, dated 29 January, is secured by 15 assets located in different parts of Madrid and amounts to €675,786.69. The other two have been signed with Banco Sabadell and are secured by two other buildings, also located in Madrid, for a combined sum of €816,000.

According to VBARE’s Director General, Fabrizio Agrimi (pictured above), the Socimi finds itself in a time of great investor appetite, “we are analysing several investment opportunities, not only in Madrid but also in the main Spanish cities”.

Achieving an initial net return of at least 4% without leverage and a discount on the acquisition price of 4% over the market value are the criteria that the Socimi has established in its investment strategy for new assets.

VBARE is a real estate investment vehicle specialising in the acquisition and management of residential assets for rental. It operates under the special Socimi regime and has been listed on the MAB since 23 December 2016 (…).

VBARE currently has a portfolio comprising 197 assets. To date, the company has analysed assets worth more than €500 million and is constantly on the lookout for new business opportunities that fit with its investment policy.

Original story: Press Release

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aina Purchases 50% Of Gran Hotel Velázquez From Didra Group

25 July 2017 – Expansión

Aina Hospitality – the fund promoted by Edmond de Rothschild and Jaume Tàpies – has purchased 50% of the iconic Gran Hotel Velázquez from the Didra Group. The property is located at number 62 of the Madrilenian street whose name it bears.

This asset, located in the neighbourhood of Salamanca, just a stone’s throw from the Retiro park and in the heart of Madrid’s golden mile, has been owned by the Didra Group for just a few months. It is currently undergoing a comprehensive renovation with the aim of ascending its category.

Together with the Didra Group, owned by the Ardid Villoslada family, Aina Hospitality will reposition the property, transforming it into a five-star hotel. Last year, the family office owned by the Ardid family reached an agreement with the Salazar family – the former owners of SOS Cuétara – to purchase this hotel for €63 million and now, almost a year later, it has decided to open up the share capital to Aina Hospitality.

At the moment, the four-star Gran Hotel Velázquez, has 143 rooms but it recently closed its doors to undergo a complete refurbishment.


Following its renovation, the hotel will have 111 rooms and suites, a restaurant, a rooftop terrace, cinema, bowling alley, luxury spa and fitness centre.

Tàpies, the CEO of Aina Hospitality, highlighted the excellent location of the hotel: “Madrid is a cultural, historical and leisure destination and it is a tourist and financial centre. This hotel is located in the centre of the city, close to some of the most important tourist attractions and the historical centre”.

The operation represents Aina Hospitality’s seventh investment in Europe and is in line with the investment strategy carried out by the manager to date. Aina Hospitality purchases high-end properties – with four- and five-stars ratings. In addition to Madrid, the fund has recently made acquisitions in Paris, Eindhoven, Vienna, Brussels and Berlin.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Plans To Invest €300M In Hotels In 2017

5 June 2017 – Expansión

The Socimi, managed by Azora and in which George Soros holds a stake, debuted on the stock market in March 2014, with the aim of raising funds with which to buy assets over a three-year period and to improve them.

For the next three years, it planned to focus on managing those assets, with a view to selling them all before March 2020 in order to ensure that its shareholders made profits on their investments

Now, this plan will continue for some of its current portfolio, specifically, for its rental homes (worth around €230 million) and offices (around €520 million), whereas for its hotel assets (more than €1,200 million), “it now makes the most sense for us to change shareholders”, explained the Director General of Hispania and Director of Corporate Development at Azora, Cristina García-Peri.

The idea of selling the assets, making cash and distributing it with a large dividend made sense where we were dealing with diverse assets, but nowadays 70% of Hispania’s portfolio “is worth more together than separate”, she said.

For this reason, the Socimi is going to divest its residential rental assets, homes that it is selling off one by one, and the 25 office buildings that it holds in Madrid and Barcelona.

The gross value of those offices amounts to €520 million although, it is likely that the sales price will be higher because the company has received indicative offers for values that exceed that figure, said García-Peri, who highlighted that these types of assets are still proving to be “very attractive” because rental prices are rising and interest rates are still low.

In terms of its hotels, Hispania, which currently owns 37 establishments, will continue buying new units until the end of the year, given that its shareholders decided that the acquisitions should continue beyond March, the deadline that had been set initially.

“We are looking at block operations as well as certain individual deals”, explained the Director at Hispania, who said that they are continuing to focus on vacation hotels where international clients predominate.

“We have a fantastic portfolio in a very powerful industry, which has a lot of potential to keep growing. It is a product that allows us to diversify”, she added.

García-Peri underlined that, for this reason, bringing about a change of control is now the most “efficient” option for the current shareholders.

The Director said that she doesn’t know whether any of Hispania’s current shareholders will continue with the company beyond 2020. She also discounted the possibility that any hotel group could be interested in buying Hispania’s assets because many of the establishments are managed by operators with lease contracts that span more than ten years.

“We have created an alternative portfolio, with a product that is very well understood”, highlighted García-Peri, who confirmed that Azora will continue investing in hotels, “without a doubt”, both in Spain and overseas, and that it may continue managing Hispania beyond 2020, if the new shareholders so wish.

Currently, Hispania’s major shareholders include Soros Fund Management (16.678%) and FMR (7.589%).

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ivanhoé Puts Madrid’s Xanadú Shopping Centre Up For Sale

14 September 2016 – Cinco Días

It is going to be one of the largest operations in the real estate market. The Canadian giant Ivanhoé Cambridge has begun the process to prepare the sale of the Xanadú de Arroyomolinos shopping centre (in Madrid), one of the largest five shopping centres in Spain. The aim is to close the transaction during the first half of 2017.

Several real estate brokers have already registered their interest and, in turn, have started to sound out potential investors with high purchasing power, given that it is expected that the operation price will exceed €500 million; that would represent a record figure for a transaction involving a shopping centre in Spain.

Madrid Xanadú was inaugurated in 2003. The property was developed by a joint venture between the US multi-national The Mills and the Spanish company PGC (Parcelatoria Gonzalo Chacón), which sold its stake to its American partner a year later. The real estate company Ivanhoé Cambridge acquired the centre in 2007 for €770 million, in an operation that included two other retail complexes in the UK and Canada.

Located 29 km away from the centre of Madrid, Xanadú was an innovation more than a decade ago as it included an artificial ski slope, open all year round. The centre has a gross leasable and leisure area measuring 152,000 sqm, exceeded only by Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza), Marineda City (A Coruña) and Parquesur (in Leganés, Madrid), according to data from the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres and Retail Parks (AECC). The centre is home to range of stores including the Inditex group, H&M, Apple and Primark. Hipercor and El Corte Inglés also have shops there, although those assets would fall outside of this transaction.

The search for investors

Various source in the sector have confirmed that Ivanhoé Cambridge has commissioned the US real estate broker Eastdil Secured to start designing the sales process. It is likely that the firm will look for a partner with a presence in Spain (one of the large specialist consultancy firms) with more knowledge of the local market. The aim is that the process to look for possible buyers will begin between October and November so that an agreement can be reached from the beginning of next year onwards.

Eastdil Secured was in fact responsible for selling the Diagonal Mar shopping centre in Barcelona this summer to Deutsche Bank for €493 million, in a record deal that demonstrated investors’ confidence in the economic recovery in Spain and in the local real estate sector after the harsh years of the crisis, which began in 2008.

Expected to fetch at least €450 million

The various sources disagree with respect to the possible price of this asset, saying that it could range from €450 million to more than €500 million. In its favour, this shopping centre is one of the largest in the country, it houses many of the major retailers, and it also offers a vast leisure space. But, unlike Diagonal Mar, it is a long way from the city centre. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Ivanhoé Cambridge explained that the firm does not comment on “market speculation” about the investment strategy.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake