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”.


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

The Alcaraz Family Buys Caja España’s Former HQ In Madrid

23 November 2016 – Expansión

Another new luxury housing development is going to be built in Madrid. The family office owned by the Alcaraz family has purchased the building located on Calle Velázquez 23 – which used to house the headquarters of Caja España – from Banco Ceiss, where it plans to construct luxury homes.

The financial entity, which was created as a result of the merger of Caja Duero and Caja España, has taken advantage of the increase in prices driven by the economic recovery in Spain and the lack of high quality products to sell this iconic asset, located in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood. The operation has been advised by Aguirre Newman.

The Alcaraz family plans to demolish the property and build a new residential development, but it will respect the façade and arquitectural value of the asset. Velázquez 23 has an above ground surface area of 2,548 m2, as well as 450 m2 of basement space, which may be used for retail purposes and parking.

This building is located on one of the most sought-after axes for the development of high quality residential properties, just a stone’s throw from the Retiro Park and Calle Serrano, which is home to lots of major luxury brands. The price of homes in this area exceeds €10,000/m2 in some cases.

Other developments

This project is the latest in a long line of luxury developments that are already on the market, such as the one on José Abascal 48, comprising 17 homes with a surface area of between 100m2 and 400 m2; as well as others that are underway at Juan Bravo 3 and Canalejas.

The former, now known as Lagasca 99, which is being promoted by the Lar Group, is located in the neighbourhood of Salamanca and is expected to be sold in 2018. Meanwhile, the group of seven properties in Canalejas, a project being undertaken by Inmobiliaria Espacio and OHL, is located between Calles Alcalá, Sevilla, Plaza de Canalejas and Carrera de San Jerónimo. In addition to a hotel and shopping arcade, the Canalejas plan includes 22 luxury residences, which will be operated by the Four Seasons chain, along with the hotel.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Plans To Invest At Least €240M In 2017

7 October 2016 – Expansión

Lar España has the capacity to invest at least €240 million in 2017, according to comments made by the Socimi in a presentation to analysts.

The company will also have a further €300 million available from the possible sale of its non-commercial assets between 2017 and 2018, meaning that it will not have to resort to the market or to a capital increase to raise funding. Lar, like all of the other Socimis, is obliged to rent out its assets for at least three years. After that period, the firm may divest its properties to release cash to make new purchases.

Lar explained to the market that the luxury housing development Lagasca 99, located in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood in Madrid, will be ready for sale during the first quarter of 2018. Similarly, the firm owns several non-commercial assets, specifically offices in Madrid (Egeo, Arturo Soria, Torre Spínola and Eloy Gonzalo) and Barcelona.

In July, the Socimi completed a capital increase amounting to €147 million. A month and a half later, it signed the purchase of the Gran Vía de Vigo shopping centre for €141 million. At the time, the company reported that, including that asset, it had identified opportunities in the market amounting to €838.5 million.

The value of the almost 25 real estate assets in the group’s portfolio amounts to €1,191 million, according to the latest available valuations. Of that figure, 76% relates to retail and commercial development assets, 13% are offices, 6% are logistics assets and 5% are residential properties.

Lar España, which is managed exclusively by the Lar Group, has indicated that it plans to reduce its management fees by adopting a new policy. The group also said that it plans to launch value adding initiatives aimed at increasing the appeal of its assets and improving their occupancy rates and rents.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Takes Control Of 100% Of Portal de la Marina

17 November 2015 – Expansión

The Lar Group will transfer the remaining 41.22% stake that it holds in the Portal de la Marina shopping centre in Ondara (Alicante) to the Socimi Lar España.

According to Lar, sales at the shopping centre increased by 15% during the first nine months of the year.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar Acquires 3 Logistics Warehouses From UBS For €18.5M

27 May 2015 – Expansión

The Lar Group has purchased three logistics warehouses in the Alovera de Corredor del Henares (Madrid) and Juan Carlos I de Almussafes (Valencia) industrial estates for €18.5 million from UBS Real Estate GmbH, through its two fully owned subsidiaries.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Socimis Invest €420M+ In Asset Purchases In Q1 2015

6 April 2015 – El Economista

The main listed real estate investment companies (‘sociedades cotizadas de inversión inmobiliaria’ or Socimis) have continued to make purchases in 2015. During the (first three) months (of the year), they have spent more than €420 million on the acquisition of office buildings, residential complexes, logistics warehouses and hotels.

Merlin Properties, which debuted on the stock exchange in June last year, with a valuation of €1,250 million, has invested the largest amount during the first three months of the year (€146.3 million).

Since the start of the year, the company has acquired the office building located at number 8 World Trade Center Almeda Park (WTCAP) in Cornella de Llobregat (Barcelona) for €36.5 million and has spent €38.1 million on another office building located on Calle Alcalá 38-40 (Madrid), which is entirely leased to the Ministry of the Interior.

Similarly, it has acquired a logistics warehouse measuring 16,242 m2 in Getafe (Madrid) for €12.75 million, which is leased to Transportes Souto; another measuring 72,717 m2 in Vitoria for €28.58 million, leased to Norbert Dentressangle; and has spent a further €19.8 million on another warehouse located in Coslada (Madrid), measuring 28,490 square metres, which is leased to Azkar.

Following these acquisitions, Merlin’s property portfolio exceeds 717,000 m2 and generates gross annual rental income of €132.2 million.

Meanwhile, the Socimi owned by the Lar Group purchased a plot of land jointly with Pimco measuring 26,203 m2, located on Calle Juan Bravo, 3 (Madrid), where the Juan Bravo Plaza project was being carried out, led by the property developer Eurosazor, owned by Rafael Ortiz, in which Fernando Fernández-Tapias and Paloma Mateo also hold shares.

Lar España will now take over the management of this new real estate project with the objective of constructing a first class residential building in one of the “prime” (real estate) areas of the city, close to the Golden Mile. This transaction takes the Socimi’s total investment to €458.7 million in 15 deals since its IPO.

Meanwhile, Hispania, – the listed investment company controlled by Azora and in which the multimillionaires George Soros and John Paulson hold shares – has acquired a residential complex measuring 39,000 m2 in Sanchinarro (Madrid), comprising 284 homes and 311 garages, for €61.15 million.

It has also purchased an office building located on C/Príncipe de Vergara, 108 (Madrid) measuring 7,324 m2 for €25 million, as well as the three-star Hesperia Ramblas Hotel (Barcelona) for €17.5 million and the four-star Vincci Málaga Hotel for €10.4 million.

Finally, AxiaRE has acquired two office buildings in Madrid, one located in Campo de las Naciones and the other on Calle Juan Ignacio Luca de Tena, for €40.5 million in total.

Since its IPO, the company has closed 9 investment transactions valued at €464 million, through which it has acquired 18 properties, which have a combined rentable surface area of more than 402,000 m2.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE GI To Buy Airesur – Sevilla’s Largest Shopping Centre

25 March 2015 – El Confidencial

Today (Wednesday), CBRE Global Investors will formalise its purchase of Airesur from the Lar Group for €75 million. In addition, it expects to invest a further €10 million in repositioning and expanding the shopping centre located (on the outskirts of the city of) Sevilla.

New first class transaction in the real estate sector. CBRE Global Investors, the international real estate asset manager, has reached an agreement with the Lar Group to purchase the Airesur shopping centre, the largest in Sevilla. Airesur has a surface area of 37,283 square metres and is located next to the only store that IKEA has, for the moment, in the Andalusian capital.

The definitive transfer of this asset is expected to take place today, after a busy process led by JLL, which also involved several international funds, according to sources familiar with the process. Despite the high level of interest, the complex financial structure hiding behind Airesur, coupled with the need to undertake additional investments to expand and reposition the centre, tipped the scale in favour of CBRE GI, which not only has the financial muscle (require for a transaction of this size), but also has more than 20 years of experience in the management of real estate assets.

After a lengthy due diligence process (internal audit), a price of around €75 million has been agreed, which is close to the latest official valuation completed by Savills (€77.5 million), as at the end of 2014. Nevertheless, it is long way off of the €102.5 million that Lar paid when it acquired the shopping centre in the summer of 2006, in conjunction with Morgan Stanley’s private bank (which today forms part of Caixabank).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake