Metrovacesa Starts Building Offices Again

2 December 2017 – Expansión

Metrovacesa, which is controlled by Santander and BBVA, is looking to generate value from its tertiary (non-residential) portfolio of land and resume the development of offices. The real estate company plans to start construction of 37,000 m2 of space on tertiary land in Madrid and Barcelona.

The company, which has been focused on house building until now, owns more than 1,317,000 m2 of tertiary land, with an approximate value of €684 million. Of the total, it plans to allocate approximately 83% to offices and 10% to hotels.

In this way, in November, Metrovacesa completed the sale of an office under construction to the Socimi Axiare for €29.7 million. That property, located at number 40 Calle Josefa Valcárcel in Madrid, has a leasable area of 8,652m2, spread over seven floors and 261 parking spaces. The firm plans to hand over the asset during the last quarter of 2018.

Metrovacesa’s land does not require any urban planning permissions, and so the plots are very liquid and ready for construction to begin, allowing a quick response to the most important demands that may arise in the market.

“Our team has more than 20 years of experience in these assets, and so we are in a privileged position to maximise value through a sustainable proposal that follows the latest trends and that knows how to take advantage of the current potential in that market”, explained María Ruiz Gallardo, Director of Tertiary Assets at Metrovacesa.

Metrovacesa’s portfolio of tertiary land accounts for 25% of the total value of its assets, which amount to €2.6 billion.

These plots proceed from both the former Metrovacesa, as well as from the contributions made by the shareholder banks.

In this way, the new Metrovacesa emerged following the carve out of the land business from the 100-year old real estate company, which integrated the rest of its activities with Merlin. Metrovacesa’s shareholders decided to give the company a significant boost, with the contribution of new land worth €1.108 billion in June. Santander owns a 70% stake in Metrovacesa, having taken over the 9.21% held by Popular, whilst BBVA controls 29.6%.

Following this injection, which was articulated through a non-monetary capital increase, Metrovacesa now owns a portfolio of buildable land spanning 6 million m2 for the construction of more than 40,000 homes. Its main rivals, Neionr and Aedas, own land with the capacity to build 12,000 and 13,000 homes, respectively.

Metrovacesa, which plans to return to the stock market in February, has convened an extraordinary shareholders meeting for 19 December, when it plans to give the green light to the request for admission to the stock market of the company’s shares.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Realia Sells ‘Los Cubos’ Office Building To Therus For €52M

23 October 2017 – Expansión

The real estate company Realia, owned by Inmobiliaria Carso and FCC, which are both controlled by the Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, has sold the office building known as Los Cubos, located in Madrid, for €52 million.

The buyer is the French real estate company Therus, which is co-investing with the British investment group Henderson Park, according to several sources.

The property, which owes its name to its unique architecture, has a leasable area of 18,324 m2 and 334 parking spaces.

The real estate company put this building, located in the vicinity of the M-30 ring road, up for sale at the end of last year, as reported by Expansión at the time. The building has been vacant since the end of 2015. Before its sale, the company considered renovating it on several occasions to improve its appeal in the market.

In the end, Realia has sold the building for €52 million, compared to the initial asking price of €57 million. The sale of Los Cubos is the latest in a long line of high profile real estate investment operations closed in Spain in recent months. The investment volume in the real estate sector during the 9 months to September amounted to €10,300 million.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

TH Real Estate Buys Hypermarket In L’Aljub Shopping Centre For €18.7M

17 October 2017 – Observatorio Inmobiliario

TH Real Estate has purchased the hypermarket premises in the L’Aljub Shopping Centre in Elche, from Eroski, through its investment vehicle SEVA (Southern European Value-Add Mandate) for €18.7 million. SEVA is a vehicle managed by TH Real Estate for the investors TPG Real Estate and Partners Group, focusing on value-added investments and returns within the retail sector in Southern Europe. Including L’Aljub, this vehicle includes three assets managed in Spain and Italy, worth more than €300 million.

This investment in L’Aljub involves 9,900 m2 of space corresponding to the hypermarket, as well as 4,500 m2 of space occupied by Primark and a 200 m2 petrol station, operated by Eroski.

TH Real Estate is planning to carry out improvements at the property. Eroski will continue as the tenant and will undertake a restructuring of the space, which will reduce the hypermarket space to 5,100 m2. That will free up approximately 4,800 m2 of leasable space for the entry of new operators, whereby expanding the shopping centre area, which currently receives more than 7 million visitors per year, on average.

The L’Aljub shopping centre, which is owned by TH Real Estate, has a constructed surface area of 43,000 m2 and contains more than 100 stores. It is home to many of the major fashion, leisure and restaurant brands, such as H&M, Inditex, Primark and ABC cinemas. It is located in the city of Elche, 20km away from Alicante and 50km from Murcia, which makes it a strategic enclave on the southern axis of the Mediterranean Arc.

“We are very happy with the completion of this transaction and we are hoping to carry out the activities and remodelling work necessary to equip this asset with greater added value, as well as promote the incorporation of new operators, which will be very positive for clients visiting the centre”, said Marta Cladera de Codina, Director of TH Real Estate for the Iberian Peninsula.

Original story: Observatorio Inmobiliario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gesvalt Moves Its HQ To The Cuzco VI Building

22 September 2017 – Eje Prime

Gesvalt is packing its bags to move to a new location in Madrid. The company, which specialises in consultancy and the valuation of assets is going to move its headquarters to the Cuzco IV building, at number 141 on Paseo de la Castellana. CBRE and Valliance have advised Gesvalt on the operation.

The company has leased an entire floor of offices in the property, spanning a surface area of 1,300 m2, according to a statement issued. The office building is owned by Inpacsa and is located in the main financial and business district of Madrid.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sacyr Invites Alternative Offers For Testa

8 May 2015 – Expansión

The construction group has engaged Lazard to coordinate offers for its real estate subsidiary Testa. It was initially planning to place 30% of the shares on the stock exchange (but is now open to alternative proposals).

Sacyr was going to place 30% of Testa‘s shares on the stock exchange, but the widespread interest expressed in the market has caused the construction group to change its strategy. The company, which had proposed a public offering (IPO) of 30% of Testa’s shares to the CNMV, is currently evaluating several alternatives: to continue with the plan to place some shares in the market with qualified investors; to join forces with an institutional partner such as a Socimi or international fund; and in the meantime, it does not rule out the sale of 100% of its subsidiary. Moreover, it is also considering a fourth option, which would have a much greater strategic significance, namely the integration of Testa with a large group in the sector, in this case, Colonial, to create the largest Spanish real estate company and one of the largest in Europe.

Sacyr has engaged Lazard to carry out this process. The investment bank has instructed the various investors that are interested in Testa to make a non-binding offer for the company.

Proposals will be welcomed both for the 30% stake that Sacyr had initially planned to place on the stock exchange, as well as for the entire share capital. Lazard has given interested parties until today to present offers, say sources close to the process. One player that is interested in acquiring the real estate company is Merlin Properties. The largest Socimi by market capitalisation has acknowledged its interest in participating in Testa’s capital. Now, Merlin would be willing to acquire Testa in partnership with other investors and purchase 100% of the company, according to sources in the sector.

Corporate movement

Sacyr is also studying a possible integration of Colonial and Testa. For the time being, the conversations are very preliminary between Sacyr and the real estate company whose primary shareholder is Juan Miguel Villar Mir.

The merger of both companies would create a giant with more than two million square metres of leasable surface area in prime areas of Madrid, Barcelona and Paris and a combined turnover of €400 million. Testa’s market capitalisation amounts to €2,098 million and Colonial’s is €1,977 million.

Sources involved in the process confirm the interest shown by Colonial. The final decision will depend on the other options that Sacyr has on the table. The placement of a percentage of new shares in Testa on the stock market (a maximum of 30%) forms part of the action plan designed by Sacyr to regularise the finances of its subsidiary and provide it with greater liquidity. The shareholders of the real estate company, controlled by Sacyr (99.2%), approved an ‘accordion operation’ in February, involving a €1,197 million contribution to shareholders, comprising a €527 million ordinary dividend and a €669 million reduction in share capital.

This transaction is, in turn, subject to a simultaneous capital increase that would enable Testa to reconstruct its balance sheet through the inflow of around €500 million. It is during this phase that Colonial may enter the fray.

The real estate company chaired by Juan José Brugera is exploring growth opportunities in Spain after cleaning up its balance sheet in 2014 with a capital increase of €1,263 million, which involved the entry of Juan Miguel Villar Mir, along with Mora Banc and Qatar Investment into the share capital of the real estate company. Villar Mir is currently the owner of 24.5% of Colonial, after buying a new block of 1.46 million shares (in recent weeks).

According to experts, the potential merger of Colonial and Testa makes sense in business terms, since both companies specialise in the rental of buildings; exclusively office buildings in the case of Colonial and shopping centres and homes in the case of Testa.

Nevertheless, the change in ownership may have an impact on the financial structure of the companies, with guarantees linked to new investments and changes of control. At the end of 2014, Colonial’s net debt amounted to €2,545 million and Testa’s amounted to €1,688 million.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz and C. Morán)

Translation: Carmel Drake