Lar to Invest €200M Buying Retail Assets After Divesting Other Assets Worth €425M

25 April 2019 – El Economista

Lar is entering a new phase in which it will specialise in retail after divesting all of its offices and logistics assets. The Socimi has received total proceeds of €425 million from its recent sales, of which it intends to dedicate around €200 million to new purchases over the next three years.

According to José Luis del Valle, President of Lar España Real Estate, the Socimi is now going to focus on operations in the commercial segment only, including both asset purchases and new developments, to continue to expand its €1.5 billion portfolio.

Lar is coming to the end of the development of Vilanova Park in Sagunto (Valencia), Lagasca 99 in Madrid and Lagoh in Sevilla and so it has the capacity to take on more promotion projects in the future, according to Miguel Pereda, CEO of the Socimi.

Following its recent asset sales, Lar has approved the distribution of an extraordinary dividend amounting to €25 million, charged against the accounts for 2018, equivalent to €0.80 per share. This represents the largest dividend in the Socimi’s history and is 67% higher than last year’s payout.

On Wednesday, the Socimi completed the sale of the last office building left in its portfolios – the property located at Calle Eloy Gonzalo in Madrid, which is now in the hands of Swiss Life.

In addition to its forecast new operations, Lar is also working on the repositioning of its assets, with plans to invest €40 million in total.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Lar España’s Profits Fell by 4.6% in 2018 to €129.3M

1 March 2019 – Expansión

Lar España recorded a net profit of €129.3 million in 2018, which represented a decrease of 4.6% with respect to the previous year, whilst its revenues grew by 0.3% to €77.8 million.

According to explanations provided by the company, this result includes a charge of €17.9 million in the first quarter, to comply with the Grupo Lar management contract, as it achieved divestments of €100 million.

Without that negative effect, which is only going to be recorded in 2018 (…), the resulted would have amounted to €155.7 million, 7% more than in the previous year. Meanwhile, the EBITDA amounted to €55 million, up by 0.3%.

The firm completed divestments amounting to €272.5 million in 2018 and invested €75.6 million in the renovation of its asset portfolio.

In terms of dividends, the sale of the luxury homes at Lagasca 99 (Madrid) will allow the company to increase its remuneration to shareholders from €0.49 in 2017 to €0.80 in 2018, a rise of 63.2%.

At the end of 2018, the firm’s financial debt amounted to €621.7 million. Last year, its assets appreciated in value by 12.1% (…).

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Sells an Office Building in Madrid for €37M

31 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Lar España is continuing to divest assets. The Socimi has announced the sale of the Torre Spínola office building for €37 million. The property, which was acquired in 2014 for €19 million, has appreciated in value by 94.7%.

The Socimi invested almost €9 million in the comprehensive renovation of the building with construction work that included the demolition of all of the elements inside the building, as well as improvements to the visibility of the façade.

The group is whereby continuing with its plan to divest non-strategic assets. Today, the company also completed the sale of the Joan Miró building in the Catalan Capital, to the German firm AEW for €28.8 million.

Lar España owns a portfolio of 17 real estate assets whose value amounts to €1.499 billion, of which €1.376 billion correspond to shopping centres, €39 million to an office building on c/Eloy Gonzalo and €84 million to the residential development Lagasca 99.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Which Homes Cost More Than €10,000/m2 in Madrid?

2 November 2018 – Expansión

Canalejas (€14,500/m2)

Canalejas is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated major luxury mega-projects. Owned by OHL and Mohari Limited, the company owned by the Israeli businessman Mark Scheinberg, the central corner surrounded by Calles Alcalá, Sevilla and Carrer de San Jerónima, now known as Project Canalejas, is going to be home to the first Four Seasons hotel in Spain, with 200 rooms, as well as 22 luxury apartments costing €14,500/m2 on average. For the project, 7 historical buildings have been joined together, which used to house the headquarters of some of the most important banking institutions in the country, and in which €300 million have been invested. Of the 22 properties available, 16 have already been sold, including a penthouse for €10 million.

Lagasca 99 (€11,800/m2)

But the record for an apartment with these characteristics in the centre of Madrid is still held by the duplex that was sold on Lagasca 99 at the end of 2016. It is a penthouse duplex spanning 703 m2, with a terrace and private swimming pool, and two parking spaces, which was sold for €14 million. That building, which is currently being promoted by Grupo Lar, after suffering several ups and downs in its development history, has become one of the most exclusive buildings in Madrid, with 44 new homes in total, measuring between 300 m2 and 700 m2 each, and of which 90% have now been sold.

General Castaños 2 (€20,000/m2).

Meanwhile, the property developer Mabel Real Estate has undertaken a stunning renovation of the property at c/General Castaños, 2. Although the 11 homes that the building is going to comprise never actually went on the market (they were offered directly to private investors), the sector calculated that the prices amounted to around €20,000/m2.

José Abascal 48 (€10,000/m2)

Two years ago, the first homes in one of the best fully reformed buildings in the Castellana area, José Abascal 48, started to be handed over. Three exclusive penthouses are still available, including the so-called “duplex penthouse retreat” measuring 462 m2, with terraces spanning 100 m2, 4 parking spaces, a storeroom and an independent service room, which is on the market for €5.87 million.

The home has two main entrances on each of its floors, in such a way that you can access the rooms from the lift if you do not want to use the internal stairs. Moreover, the building has an exceptional entrance hall and an automated parking lot, an events area, a 100 m2 gym and a spa.

Original story: Expansión (by L. Ruiz-Ocaña)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar Raises Dividend by 67% and Opens the Door to Corporate Operations

9 October 2018

The socimi will distribute €75 million in 2019 / The socimi will book 115 million euros with the delivery of its luxury flat development Lagasca, in Madrid, and roughly 110 million euros from the sale of its three office buildings.

Lar España is moving forward with its plan to focus on the retail market and pay-outs to its shareholders. The company, which expects to deliver the homes in the Lagasca99 luxury development (Madrid) before the end of the year, will raise its dividend to 75 million euros in 2019, compared to the 45 million euros it distributed last May and the €30 million in 2017.

The socimi will propose a dividend equivalent to 5% of the value of its assets (NAV), which will imply an outlay of about €50 million. The company will also pay an extraordinary dividend in 2019 associated with the sale of Lagasca99 for about in €25 million.

The president of Lar España, José Luis del Valle, highlighted, yesterday on Investor Day, the socimi’s evolution and the fulfilment of its strategic plan. “In a few months, we are going to become a socimi focused exclusively on retail. With approximately 550,000 square meters of commercial space, we are the largest operator in Spain, and we also have a specialised manager who is committed to the project.”

Sale of assets

Del Valle recalled that, of the disinvestments of non-strategic assets planned for the years to 2021, the company has already executed 47% in one year for €276 million. Another €115 million will be added to that figure from for the delivery of Lagasca99 and the sale of the three office buildings that the company still has in its portfolio – two in Madrid and one in Barcelona -, which will take place between this year and the beginning of 2019, for about €110 million. As Expansión announced on October 5: “Disinvestments are taking place above the purchase price and with capital gains compared to the last valuation.”

At the same time, it will continue with its investment plan with the purchase of assets for approximately €250 million. Lar bought the Rivas Futura business park in Madrid for €62 million and the Parque Abadía shopping mall in Toledo for €14 million. “We will continue to take advantage of opportunities and, where appropriate, we will address new developments such as Vidanova Parc, in Sagunto, which opened in September and O Lagoh, in Sevilla, which will open in mid-2019,” Miguel Pereda, board member and managing director of Grupo Lar.

Regarding future corporate operations, Del Valle recalled that Lar “is in the market and attractive.” He added: “I think the best thing for the shareholder is the execution of the current business plan, but we are in the market and we can evaluate buyer interest at any time.” Among the shareholders of Lar España, the manager Pimco stands out (19.6%), along with Group Lar (its manager, with 10%); and Franklin Templeton (7.9%).

Regarding potentially negative changes to the tax regime governing socimis, Del Valle found the enactment of such a measure to be unlikely: “There is no point in undoing a formula that has worked and is not part of the problem.”

Original Story: Expansión – Rebeca Arroyo

Translation: Richard Turner

Lar España Sells 47% of its Portfolio of Non-Strategic Assets in Just One Year

9 October 2018

The socimi will use the 522 million euros it obtained from the sale of its portfolio of logistics assets and offices to focus on the ownership and management of its shopping centres.

Lar España is implementing its divestment plan successfully. The socimi sold 47% of its total portfolio of non-strategic assets in just one year and will use the influx of cash to focus on the ownership and management its shopping centres, a sector in which it is one of the principal players in the country.

Lar España’s assets that do not correspond to the retail segment are valued at 522 million euros. The company plans to sell the entire amount between 2018 and 2021. For the moment, it has already sold off all of its logistics properties and two of its five office buildings for a total of 276 million euros.

The socimi will take a significant additional step in its process of divestment when it delivers the luxury homes it has built in the Madrid’s city centre, at 99 Lagasca, before the end of the year. Lar España expects to raise 115 million euros through the operation. The company is also in the process of selling its other three office buildings.

The company, which is chaired by José Luis del Valle, will allocate these resources to strengthen its presence in the Spanish retail market. Lar España’s business plan envisages allocating 265 million to build and improve shopping centres, and another 250 million for acquisitions without the need to resort to new capital increases or tighten its financial structure.

Lar’s latest acquisitions include the Rivas Futura retail park, in Madrid, for 62 million euros, and the Abadía shopping mall, in Toledo, for fourteen million euros.

Original Story: EjePrime

Translation: Richard Turner

Lar España Invests €2M on Renovation of As Termas Shopping Centre in Lugo

31 August 2018 – Eje Prime

Lar España is revaluing one of its assets. The Socimi specialising in retail is going to invest €2 million in the renovation of its As Termas shopping centre, located in the city of Lugo.

The building work will begin in September and is expected to be finished by the end of the year. The company has set itself the objective of improving the restaurant areas and the overall comfort of the centre to “allow greater convenience for both customers and tenants”.

The company is also going to launch other renovation projects soon, including the refurbishment of the following shopping centres: Megapark in Vizcaya; Ànec Blau in Barcelona; and Portal de la Marina in Alicante. As at 30 June 2018, the market value of Lar España’s asset portfolio amounted to €1.58 billion.

During the first half of 2018, Lar España invested €41.3 million, with the largest amount being allocated to the development of the Palmas Altas shopping centre in Sevilla, followed by the Lagasca 99 residential development in Madrid and the VidaNova Parc retail park in Valencia.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Excites the Market with its Logistics Portfolio

23 April 2018 – Expansión

The Socimi, which owns five complexes in Guadalajara and Valencia, has received a dozen offers for its assets, all of them for a price of more than €75 million.

Some of the players that have bid for Lar España’s logistics portfolio include the US fund Blackstone, P3 Logistic Parks – a platform controlled by the Singapore sovereign fund -, Palm Capital, CBRE Global Investors, Ares Management and Nuveen, according to market sources speaking to Expansión.

In the logistics sector, the Socimi in which the fund manager Pimco holds a stake, owns four complexes in the municipality of Alovera (Guadalajara), in the heart of the Corredor del Henares.

Together, that site comprises ten logistics warehouses with a total constructed surface area of 142,630 m2 occupied by tenants such as Saint Gobain Isover Ibérica, Tech Data, Carrefour and Factor 5. In addition, the Socimi owns a logistics complex in Almussafes (Valencia) containing a logistics warehouse with a constructed surface area of 19,211 m2. That warehouse is occupied by Valautomoción, the supplier of car parts and accessories to Ford, which was acquired by Ferrostaal in 2015.

According to the latest figures published by the Socimi, its portfolio of logistics assets has a valuation of almost €90 million. Moreover, Lar owns around 200,000 m2 of space for a new logistics development in Cheste (Valencia), which it is not planning to sell until it has finished construction there, to make the investment profitable, according to information reported by the company at the time.

According to Lar’s accounts, the land, which it purchased less than a year ago from Bertolín, has doubled in value since the investment was made. The Socimi paid €2.2 million for the 112,813 m2 plot in Cheste in May 2017 and, at the end of last year, it had a market value of €5.2 million.

Other divestments

Lar España has launched an asset rotation plan to raise cash and undertake new investments in shopping centres After selling two office buildings to Colonial, both in Madrid, for €112 million, the company now has three office buildings in Madrid and Barcelona worth around €85 million.

Moreover, it expects to raise €110 million from the sale of its stake in the luxury residential development Lagasca 99 (Madrid), which it owns jointly with Pimco.

In parallel, the company is going to maintain its investment plan. It expects to allocate €220 million to new acquisitions in retail centres and parks and will invest €247 million in developments, especially commercial ones, and another €49 million on improving its assets.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar Launches Fund to Coinvest in Residential Segment in Spain & Latam

12 March 2018 – Expansión

Founded in 1975 by Felipe Pereda, the real estate developer Lar was one of the few high-profile companies during the boom that survived the subsequent crash. Having become the manager of one of the largest real estate companies on the stock market, Socimi Lar España, the company owned by the Pereda family has not been neglecting its house building activity. “We are currently working on residential projects in seven countries. At the global level, we are working on projects involving 18,000 units”, explains Miguel Amo, Director General of the Lar Group.

This extensive portfolio also includes the Spanish market, where the company has focused on the residential business, after years of investing in shopping centres (it has a clause not to invest in commercial assets beyond the Socimi). “The first thing we did when we saw the signs of recovery in the market in 2013 was to team up with Fortress to acquire a portfolio containing almost 1,400 homes and plots of land spread all over Spain from Sareb. With that batch, we created a FAB (banking asset fund), which expires this year, with the delivery of the final homes. Next, we entered the luxury business, with Lagasca 99, a project that we are managing and in which we also hold a stake through the Socimi. And, with the market recovering, we saw the opportunity for new build projects”, said Amo.

First fund

Last year, after selecting several plots of land, Lar opted to create a fund, called Acacias Inmuebles, to promote seven projects with 450 homes in total. “The vehicle was created in July 2017 with €35 million and we have now invested 100%. We manage it and we own 30% of the vehicle (…) and the rest is owned by investors from Spain and Peru (…), explains the head of Lar.

In total, Acacias Inmuebles is going to promote five primary residence projects over the next three years in Madrid, Valencia, Málaga, Torremolinos and Sevilla, and two other second-home developments in the Malaga towns of Benalmádena and Mijas (…).

The success of that first vehicle has caused the real estate company to launch a second fund. “We are asking for a minimum capital investment of €500,000. It is a fund without any intermediary liquidity, but which will distribute dividends when the projects are handed over and the investments will be recovered within a period of between three and five years, with an approximate annual return of 12%”.

Besides Acacias and Lagasca, Lar owns other plots for the development of an additional 400 homes. “They are located in Móstoles (Madrid) and Valladolid; in the case of the latter, we will likely sell off some of the land to be developed by third parties”, said Amo. In addition to its activity in Spain, the majority of Lar’s developments are based abroad, primarily in Latin America.

Specifically, Lar, which was one of the first Spanish real estate companies to branch out overseas (in 1998) has 9,000 homes under construction in Mexico, another 5,000 in Peru and 1,300 in Colombia (…) “We are also building in Romania. We always do it by ourselves, in conjunction with a local team, and we are very happy with the results so far”.

Revenues

Thanks to all of these projects, Lar had forecast revenues of between €400 million and €450 million in 2017, which would be added to the fees received for the management of the Socimi. “2017 was a good year in all areas, we sold 1,500 homes in private contracts and 1,300 were notarised. This year, we will hand over 1,500 homes, of which between 200 and 300 will be in Spain”, highlights Amo.

Lar is also committed to buying land for its subsequent management. “In Spain, we are also going to intensify our investment in land. We think that developable land is running out all over Spain, after 10 years with no investment and, so there is a need to “manufacture” land. We want to acquire plots for at least 1,000 homes and if we can buy land for 3,000 units, then even better”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Buys Rivas Futura Shopping Centre for €62M

6 February 2018 – Expansión

The Socimi in which Pimco holds a stake has purchased the Rivas Futura shopping complex, in the Madrilenian town of the same name, for €62 million.

Lar España has completed its first investment of 2018. The Socimi, whose largest shareholder is the fund manager Pimco, has completed the purchase of the Rivas Futura shopping complex, located in the Madrilenian town of Rivas.

Inaugurated in 2016, this complex was promoted by the real estate firm Avantis, and became a reference in Madrid, with a surface area spanning more than 55,000 m2 and first-class tenants such as Media Markt, Conforama and Toys R Us. Next to the retail park, the same real estate firm constructed a large office complex and a shopping centre called H2Ocio. Recently, that shopping centre also changed hands, with the manager CBRE Global Investors acquiring 70% of the property.

In 2008, Avantis’ liquidity problems meant that it had to find a new owner for the complex. The real estate subsidiary of Axa spent €81 million to buy the centre at that time. Years later, the fund Lone Star was awarded the park as part of Project Octopus, formed by loans from the German bank Eurohypo.

Now, the Socimi managed by the real estate group Lar has become its new owner, after paying €61.6 million to the most recent owner: Credit Suisse.

With this new investment, Lar España has become the largest operator of retail parks in Spain, with more than 150,000 m2 in its portfolio. Its flagship assets include the Megapark complex in Barakaldo, where the Socimi owns both the Megapark shopping centre and the factory outlet (acquired for €170 million), as well as the leisure area; that operation was closed at the end of October.

This purchase also represents the first acquisition of a commercial asset by the Socimi in Madrid, where it already owns a luxury housing development, Lagasca 99, as well as two office buildings. At the end of last year, Lar España put its office portfolio, comprising four assets and worth €170 million, up for sale. Since then, it has sold two of the assets, both located in Madrid and both sold to the same buyer: the real estate firm Colonial.

During the first nine months of 2017, Lar España generated profits of €72.2 million, up by 55% compared to a year earlier, after earning €57.2 million, up by 36%.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake