Andorran Banks Finance FC Barcelona’s Repurchase of Land in Can Rigalt

16 October 2018 – Eje Prime

FC Barcelona has obtained Andorran financing to purchase Can Rigalt. The Catalan club has signed a €20 million loan over four years with MoraBanc to comply with the ruling won by the real estate company La Llave de Oro for the plots of land, located in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, according to the sports newspaper Palco23.

The operation in Can Rigalt dates back to 1998 when the board, chaired at the time by Josep Lluís Núñez, acquired those plots near the Camp Nou to build a sports city. Nevertheless, the project was abandoned and it was not until 2005 when the former-President Joan Laporta managed to transfer them to the real estate firm La Llave de Oro for €35.4 million. Nevertheless, the purchase contract included a series of clauses whose breach allowed the company to undo the purchase and recover its money. And that is what has ended up happening.

The most important point and the one that ended up tipping the balance against FC Barcelona during the arbitration proceedings was the obtaining of permits to build homes. The first arbitration award established that 30 July 2014 was the deadline for the club to fulfil and ensure that the Town Hall of L’Hospitalet and the other players involved had facilitated the urban planning process. Nevertheless, the burst of the real estate bubble left the operation up in the air and the group requested a new arbitration award to resolve the operation.

That ruling came in June 2016, when the Arbitration Court of Barcelona corroborated that, after ten years, the requirements established in the purchase contract had not been met. For that reason, it forced the sports entity to return the €35.4 million that it had charged for the land, as well as some legal interest amounting to €11.6 million. The entity tried to negotiate a discount, although its annual report confirms that, in the end, it made the payments established in the ruling.

In the Camp Nou offices, there is not too much hope regarding the future of these plots, which spans 10,000 m2 and have a significant volume of buildable space. In fact, a decision was taken to impair the potential of this asset by €29 million in the accounts for 2016-2017, placing its accounting value at €8.44 million, as revealed by this newspaper. It is “a reasonable valuation established by an independent expert”, says the entity, which trusts that the evolution of technology will allow it to reduce the costs of converting the electricity sub-station next to the land and its transformation is what makes the real estate operation unviable today.

This is not the only urban planning project that FC Barcelona has faced problems with. Laporta also forecast the construction of Barça Park in 2007-2008, a thematic space, next to the Barcelona-El Prat Airport. The club paid €18.74 million for the land, but never managed to overcome the administrative procedures due to the breach of several environmental rules that prevented the development there of any kind of sporting, leisure or training activity. Last year, it applied an additional depreciation of €1.13 million and today its value amounts to just €3.07 million.

Original story: Eje Prime (by M. Menchén)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor & La Llave de Oro to Build 2 Residential Towers in Barcelona

10 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Neinor Homes and La Llave de Oro are joining forces to unblock two projects in Plaza Europa, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. The property developers have jointly invested €20 million in the construction of two buildings that are going to add a total of 172 new homes to this municipality in Barcelona.

The construction of the buildings is going to be entrusted to Inbisa Construcción, which has already started work, expected to be finished within eighteen months. Neinor is going to develop one of the towers, which will contain 77 homes and which will be added to the development of 91 homes that the company led by Juan Velayos already has under construction in Plaza Europa. Meanwhile, La Llave de Oro will do the same with the second building, which will be 70m tall and will contain 95 homes.

These are two of the few plots that have not been developed yet in Plaza Europa de L’Hospitalet, an area focused primarily on the office market, which was first developed in 2007.

The area’s tenants include companies such as Inbisa, KPMG and GB Foods. Currently, the occupancy rate exceeds 85% with rents ranging between €14/m2/month and €16/m2/month, according to data from Savills Aguirre Newman.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

La Caixa’s Subsidiary Inmo Criteria Negotiates Purchase of Tertiary Plot in 22@

6 June 2018 – Eje Prime

More and more operations are being negotiated in the 22@ district of Barcelona. The latest to join the party is La Caixa, which, through its real estate subsidiary Inmo Criteria, is negotiating the purchase of a plot in 22@ on which it plans to build two office buildings with an above ground surface area of 27,000 m2, according to sources close to the operation speaking to Eje Prime. Although no more details have been disclosed at this stage, the price of the operation could amount to €34 million and will have also caught the attention of another group, namely Glenwell Group, which specialises in opportunities in the Spanish real estate sector, according to the same sources.

Nevertheless, Inmo Criteria is the best-positioned player to acquire this plot. If the operation goes ahead, then the real estate arm of La Caixa will acquire a plot of land located on the block of Calle Ávila y Badajoz, where two buildings are planned, spanning 14,500 m2 and 12,500 m2, respectively. The plots are owned by several owners, including the Miette Group, which declined to comment on the negotiation process.

According to sources close to the operation, the price being considered for the purchase of this land is, approximately, €1,250/m2, which would mean that for 27,000 m2, the buyer could end up spending between €33 million and €34 million. If Inmo Criteria does acquire the plot, it will carry out the promotion and marketing of the offices and will entrust the construction work to a third party, like a large number of groups in the sector do, such as Colonial for example.

Inmo Criteria is the owner of a portfolio of properties with a net value of €2.8 billion, of which €505 million are classified as available-for-sale, €605 million as rental properties, €1,146 million as land and €557 million dedicated to affordable housing programs. The portfolio of properties is managed by InmoCaixa, a company that belongs 100% to CriteriaCaixa (…).

Land in 22@ is highly sought-after

Land in 22@ has attracted attention from a large number of operators, who have invested in the district to promote new residential and office buildings. One example is La Llave de Oro, which signed the purchase of a plot measuring 3,330 m2 in the 22@ district of Barcelona in April for €22 million. On that plot, which had been owned by Metrovacesa, the group plans to build 17,400 m2 of offices (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Metrovacesa Negotiates with Funds to Build New Offices

23 May 2018 – Expansión

Metrovacesa, the property developer in which Santander and BBVA hold stakes, wrote a new chapter in its history on 6 February with its return to the stock market after five years away and with an ambitious growth plan in its sights. Following a lacklustre debut on the stock market and with a land portfolio worth €2.6 billion, the company is now preparing to show the market that it is capable of fulfilling its planned targets for the hand over of homes and generation of returns from its portfolio of non-residential land.

In this sense, Metrovacesa is holding negotiations with international funds in order to create joint ventures to promote offices. “We are holding advanced conversations and we hope to close several joint ventures before the end of the year”, explains the CEO, Jorge Pérez de Leza (pictured above), in an interview with Expansión.

The proposed model involves creating joint ventures in which the financial partner will control 75%, whilst the remaining 25% will remain in the hands of Metrovacesa: “That would allow us to sell land at prices close to the GAV (gross asset value) or higher and to retain a stake in each project”.

Metrovacesa currently owns tertiary land spanning more than 1.3 million m2, which has an approximate value of €684 million.

In addition to the joint ventures with financial partners, the company is planning to sign more turnkey projects, like the one sealed last year with Axiare for the sale of a building under construction located at number 40 Calle Josefa Valcárcel in Madrid, which will be handed over at the end of 2018, for €30 million.

“The aim of the company was to launch 36,000 m2 through turnkey projects and joint ventures in 2018, and we are going to exceed that figure”, said the CEO. In parallel, the firm is continuing to sell tertiary land. In April, it reached an agreement with the property developer La Llave de Oro to sell a plot in the 22@ district of Barcelona for €22 million and it is negotiating other operations worth €14 million, which will allow it to exceed the objective for 2018. With these operations, the company is generating cash, whilst it prepares the launch of its primary business: the development of homes.

Advantage

Pérez de Leza reveals that the company will launch between 3,500 and 4,000 units in 2018, which will allow it to advance in its goal of reaching cruising speed in 2021. According to its initial plans, it will hand over 520 units in 2018 and then 700 and 3,500 units in 2019 and 2020, respectively: “That will allow us to be on track to break even by the end of the year and follow a positive path next year”.

In the opinion of the director, one of the property developer’s competitive advantages is its land portfolio, which has capacity for the construction of 37,500 homes. “We can fulfil our delivery objectives for the next eight years without having to buy any land. That means we can take things calmly compared to our competitors”, he said.

Pérez de Leza also defends the group’s commitment to diversify its portfolio: “There is no buildable land left in Madrid, Barcelona and Costa del Sol. If you want to carry out significant deliveries (of new homes), you need to open yourself up to other markets”. And he also reveals that the firm has received offers to sell non-developable land that it has ruled out until the urban planning permits have been obtained. “Land management is an added-value strategy, we have a team ready to do it and we can obtain higher margins. Selling now would mean losing euros along the way”, he said.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

La Llave de Oro Buys Land in Ibiza to Build 65 Homes

8 May 2018 – Eje Prime

La Llave de Oro is on a roll in the office and residential sectors in Spain. After purchasing a plot of land on which to build offices in the 22@ district of Barcelona from Metrovacesa last June for around €20 million, the group is continuing to explore new destinations into which to expand its business. The latest has been the purchase of a plot of land in Santa Eulària des Riu, in Ibiza, on which it will build 65 homes, according to Ferrán Marsá, CEO of the group, speaking to Eje Prime.

According to Marsá, the project in Ibiza is currently being reviewed, although the plans are for the building work to begin imminently. In addition to homes, common areas, car parks and swimming pools will also be built on the plot.

Moreover, this is not the group’s only project on the Balearic Islands. In Palma de Mallorca, the company is immersed in the construction and subsequent sale of a development comprising 16 homes and parking spaces at number 16 Calle Alber, in the Es Rafal Vell area. La Llave de Oro also has a sales office in Palma de Mallorca.

Nevertheless, the group’s main business is focused in Cataluña. La Llave de Oro is currently building fifteen homes at number 286 Calle Pallars, in Barcelona, as well as another 30 homes (plus two commercial premises and a car park) in Nou Rubí, in Rubí.

La Llave de Oro is also working on a 95-home development in Plaça Europa, in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat. There, the company is also going to build a commercial premise, two social rooms and 106 parking spaces. It will be one of the developments that incorporates the greatest number of new features in terms of customisation and energy ratings.

To reach the 450 homes that La Llave de Oro plans to hand over in the coming years, the company has also started work on the construction of almost 60 homes at number 179  Passeig Taulat, in Barcelona, as well as on 90 homes in Sant Cugat del Vallés, which correspond to the second phase of the Volpellers development.

Diversification strategy 

Although La Llave de Oro is going to continue to focus on the development and construction of primary residence homes in Barcelona and the first metropolitan ring, the company is also going to keep looking for opportunities to diversify its revenues. One of the businesses that the group is firmly backing is the hotel sector, as well as the office segment.

The company opened a hotel on Avenida Drassanes in the Catalan capital in 2012, the Andante Hotel, with 134 rooms and which it manages directly. This model involving the development and subsequent management of a hotel, whose results have proved very satisfactory, is what the firm wants to replicate in at least two or three more establishments.

In terms of the office sector, La Llave de Oro used to own a portfolio of almost twenty rental properties, prior to the crisis, which it sold to Goldman Sachs two years ago to raise funds for its property development and construction business, in a deal worth €90 million.

Now, La Llave de Oro is expressing interest in returning to that business segment through the construction and rental of several office buildings in Barcelona. Its purchase last year of a 3,300 m2 plot in the 22@ district of the Catalan capital for €22 million forms part of that strategy. The group plans to build 17,400 m2 of office space on that plot, which used to be owned by Metrovacesa (…).

La Llave de Oro group recorded turnover of €125 million in 2017, compared with €140 million in the previous year. Its workforce comprises 200 professionals (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Metrovacesa Sells Tertiary-Use Plot in Barcelona for €22M

26 April 2018 – La Vanguardia

Metrovacesa has sold a plot of tertiary-use land in Barcelona, located in the 22@ district of the Catalan Capital, to the property developer La Llave de Oro for €22 million, according to a statement from the real estate company.

The company in which Santander and BBVA hold stakes says that with this transaction, it has now achieved 75% of the total land sales target that it set itself for 2018.

Metrovacesa has closed the sale of this land after completing all of its urban planning management procedures in December. The plot forms part of a portfolio of tertiary-use land owned by the real estate company spanning 1.3 million and worth around €700 million, which represents 27% of its total portfolio.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona From The Sky: 123 Cranes At Work In The Catalan Capital

7 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Cranes and new projects are drawing a new real estate business in Spain once again. According to the study Barcelona from the sky, compiled by the real estate consultancy CBRE, the Catalan capital has 187 projects underway, requiring 123 cranes altogether. Of the total number, 75% are dedicated to residential projects and 17% to tertiary projects, whilst 8% of the cranes are being used for other kinds of projects, according to the report.

By sector, the residential market is the most active in Barcelona with 107 new build projects and 34 refurbishment projects currently underway or due to start imminently. In total, the Catalan capital is currently decorated with 77 cranes working on the construction of new residential developments, led by the largest Spanish property developers, such as Neinor and Aedas, as well as some more local players, such as La Llave de Oro and Nuñez I Navarro.

Cuitat Vella and Eixample are the districts where the most refurbishment projects are being carried out, due to the age of the housing stock there. There are eight projects (24% of the total) and eleven projects (32%) underway in those neighbourhoods, respectively. Many of these renovation projects, especially those closest to the city’s nerve centre, such as along Passeig de Gràcia and Plaça Catalunya, are high standing affairs, such as the refurbishment of Casa Burés, located at number 2 Calle Girona.

In terms of new build homes, the districts of Sarria-Sant Gervassi, Horta-Guinardo, Eixample and Sant Andreu are leading the ranking, with 18, 15, 12 and 11 new build projects, respectively (…).

The tertiary sector is also building 

(…). In the office segment, there are twelve projects underway after several years of little construction activity due to the economic crisis, in general, and in the office sector, in particular.

“The greatest number of projects, both new build and renovations, are concentrated in the 22@ area, in the district of Sant Martí, where key projects include the future Parc Glòries and the Luxa Business Park, amongst others”, according to the study (…).

Several projects are also underway in the Sants-Montjüic area, including the construction of the Campus Administratiu, which the Generalitat de Catalunya will occupy and Can Batlló, very close to Plaça Cerdà. In addition, construction work is expected to start at the beginning of 2018 on the construction of the remaining two towers that form part of the Barcelona Fira District project, owned by Iberdrola (…).

In the retail segment, four renovation projects are underway in the Catalan capital, whilst one new space is being constructed, with the development of the Finestrelles shopping centre in Esplugues de Llobregat, which will open its doors at the end of 2018. This project is being executed by the Belgian property developer Equilis and has a gross leasable area of 25,700 m2.

Moreover, renovations are being carried out on several of the city’s main shopping streets, such as Las Ramblas, Fontanella and Paseo de Gracia, as well as in some of the large retail spaces such as the Glòries Shopping Centre.

Hotels and others 

“More than two years have now passed since the implementation of the hotel moratorium, which has negatively affected the number of hotel developments”, says CBRE’s study. Nevertheless, the construction of new hotels has not stopped in Barcelona, given that some players obtained their building permits in time. There are currently fourteen projects underway, with six cranes working on them in total (…).

According to CBRE, a small number of the projects currently being carried out in the city do not form part of the residential or tertiary sectors. Fifteen projects are underway at the moment involving twenty cranes to build or renovate parks, churches, schools, gyms, infrastructure work and nursing homes.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Healthcare Activos Buys Nursing Home In Barcelona

2 August 2017 – Expansión 

Healthcare Activos is pushing ahead with the construction of a portfolio of buildings to be used as hospitals and nursing homes for the elderly. The investment vehicle led by Jorge Guarner (pictured above) – former CEO at SARquavitae– and Oaktree Capital has just acquired a nursing home in Barcelona for €16 million, which until now belonged to a Goldman Sachs fund.

It is the Los Tilos nursing home, located in the neighbourhood of Gracia, and it has a surface area of 16,000 m2 – 7,000 m2 allocated to parking – and 258 beds. The facilities, located in a very sought-after area, are managed by Grupo Bastón de Oro and residents pay between €2,200 and €2,500 per month to live there.

Financing

Healthcare Activos has financed 60% of the operation through a loan granted by CaixaBank. The nursing home formed part of a package of assets that Goldman Sachs purchased at the beginning of 2015, through B Capital Partners, from the Barcelona-based property developer La Llave de Oro, in a deal worth €90 million that included 18 buildings. The fund owned by Guarner and Oaktree has invested €62 million since December on the purchase of seven healthcare assets, containing 1,263 beds, across Spain.

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Goldman Sachs Buys 18 Buildings in Barcelona For €90 Mn

12/01/2015 – Expansion

Goldman Sachs reaffirms the willingness to invest in the Spanish property market. The U.S. bank has bought a package of 18 buildings from developer La Llave de Oro for around €90 million. They are 13 free-market blocks of apartments, three subsidized buildings and two nursing homes. All of them are located in Barcelona and 90% occupied.

At the transaction, Goldman teamed up with an experienced local partner, the B Capital Partners group, which contributed to the purchase as a minority partner.

Back in March, the U.S. entity injected €20 million in real estate firm Colonial and thereby took a 5.072% stake in it.

 

Original story: Expansión ( by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: AURA REE