Excem Debuts on the MAB with a Market Value of €16.8M

9 July 2018 – Expansión

The Socimi dedicated to the rental of rooms for young people is going to make its stock market debut at a price of €1.40 per share. The Socimi is going to debut with a portfolio of 28 homes, which contain 181 rooms for rent, all located in the centre of Madrid.

The real estate firm Excem, which was constituted in 2015, has the aim of investing in urban properties located in central areas of Madrid, Barcelona and other main cities in Spain. It targets properties that are suitable for renovation and redecoration and subsequently leases out rooms to students and young professionals.

Currently, the Socimi is looking to extend its activity in the capital to other cities with “high demand and limited supply of these types of assets for rent”, including Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia, Málaga, Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela, according to information provided in the explanatory prospectus that accompanies its debut on the MAB.

Around 40% of the company is controlled by Excem, a group owned by the Hatchwell family. In fact, the Socimi is chaired by David Hatchwell, who started his professional career in Goldman Sachs and HSBC before joining the group.

With the aim of undertaking its investment and growth strategy, Excem’s Socimi has conducted a number of capital increases since 2016 and has mortgaged all 28 of the homes that it holds in its portfolio.

At the moment, it has an indebtedness level equivalent to 38.5% of the value of its assets, well below the leverage limit of 70% that the company has imposed on itself.


The Socimi markets the rental of its homes through its own online platform (www.homiii.com) and by subleasing through other specialist companies. Since September last year, it has had an agreement with Uniplaces, a company from the United Kingdom specialising in reserving accommodation for students in a number of European cities. According to the prospectus, at the end of March, the firm had 175 lease contracts for its rooms (96.7% of its portfolio) with different tenants.

By virtue of the contracts, the tenants pay a monthly rent and make a contribution towards shared utilities (water, electricity, gas, internet and central heating) after handing over a deposit equivalent to one month’s worth of both concepts by way of guarantee.

Excem has the aim of achieving a gross return on each asset of between 4% and 6%, a percentage calculated as gross income from rental over the investment made. The Socimi has been created with the option of setting itself an expiry date, given that it does not rule out selling its properties once the minimum period of three years established for Socimis has come to an end, or dissolving the company after the seventh year, “depending on what the shareholders agree on the basis of the performance of the company, as well as the current and future properties in the portfolio”.

Original story: Expansión 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander & Blackstone Launch Spain’s Largest Financing Deal Since the Crisis: €7bn

2 January 2018 – El Confidencial

The largest real estate operation in Europe is going to also bring with it the largest financing deal the sector has seen in recent times. The sale of €30 billion in Banco Popular assets that Banco Santander agreed with Blackstone last summer is going to mark another milestone in January when the two partners plan to close a mega-loan amounting to €7 billion.

This debt will be assumed by the joint venture created ad hoc to buy the portfolio of assets. It promises to be backed not only by Spanish entities but also by large international investment banks and funds that invest in debt, some of which may include entities owned by Blackstone. According to sources familiar with the operation, the net value of the assets amounts to around €10 billion.

To finance that property portfolio, the liability structure of the new company (the assets and liabilities of which will be equal by definition) will consist of 30% capital and 70% debt. Given that Blackstone is going to control 51% of the share capital and Santander 49%, each shareholder will have to contribute around €1.5 billion to the vehicle (the former will have to contribute slightly more given its slightly larger stake), whilst the remainder of the joint venture’s balance sheet will comprise the aforementioned €7 billion in debt that is expected to be signed this month.

The fact that the joint venture is going to have such a high percentage of debt allows the return on capital to increase: the lower that is, the greater the return with the same profits. That is what is called leverage and it is normal for it to be even higher in vehicles of this kind. By way of example, Sareb (the semi-public bad bank that absorbed the properties of the rescued savings banks) comprises 90% debt and just 10% capital.

Santander deconsolidates Popular’s real estate

After increasing the provisions against this portfolio to 63% in the case of foreclosed assets and to 75% in the case of the loans, the net valuation of all of the toxic real estate that the new company will own amounts to €9.7 billion. To that figure, we have to add the final valuation of Aliseda, the former real estate manager of Banco Popular, which also formed part of the operation. Almost half of the assets sold are land (€12.6 billion gross), followed by residential (€8 billion), retail (€2.1 billion), industrial warehouses (€1.5 billion) and hotels (€0.8 billion), as well as €4.9 billion split between offices, garages and other types of real estate assets.

This company was created because Santander wanted to remove (deconsolidate) Popular’s real estate from its balance sheet after it purchased the entity in June. It could have sold it in its entirety, but it chose to create a vehicle in which the majority was held by another shareholder – Blackstone, which fought off Lone Star and Apollo to win the auction and pay €5.1 billion – and retain a 49% stake. In this way, it will be able to obtain additional profits if the recovery continues in the real estate market and the company sells the assets for more than their current value. For the time being, it will have to inject the aforementioned share capital, amounting to €1.5 billion.

Although the small print of the conditions associated with this financing still needs to be confirmed, the deal underlines the growing business that is currently being seen in terms of real estate loans and debt funds. In the last month alone, Metrovacesa has closed a loan for €275 million and Testa has raised €800 million with the bonus of not having to mortgage any of its buildings.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Segovia & R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axiare Raises €144M In Financing To Fund New Acquisitions

23 December 2016 – Expansión

Axiare Patrimonio has closed four financing agreements, with ING, CaixaBank and BBVA, amounting to €144 million. The Socimi led by Luis López de Herrera-Oria has said that it will allocate these resources to new acquisitions and the active management of its real estate portfolio.

These loans have an average term of 7.3 years; an average total financing cost of 1.5%; and 95% of the principal will be repaid on maturity, according to the firm. Axiare also highlighted that the agreements do not stipulate any penalties in the event of early cancelation. They raise the company’s gross leverage ratio to 44%.

Since its creation in July 2014, the Socimi, which focuses on offices and logistics, has closed financing agreements amounting to €538 million.

For these operations, Axiare Patrimonio has been advised by Gómez-Acebo y Pombo.

ING Bank has been advised by Hogan Lovells; CaixaBank by Uría Menéndez; and BBVA has used its own internal legal experts.

The CEO of Axiare Patrimonio, Luis López de Herrera-Oria, has said that these financing agreements reflect “the quality of the current portfolio and the trust in our management team”. “These agreements are further proof that Axiare Patrimonio remains firmly committed to fulfilling its business plan. We are approaching the end of 2016 with a very good outlook”, said the director.

Axiare has been very active in recent months. The Socimi’s assets are worth around €1,230 million and it has invested €275 million in total during 2016.

Original story: Expansión (by R.Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone To List Its Socimi ‘Fidere Patrimonio’ On MAB

25 June 2015 – El Mundo

Blackstone is going to list Fidere Patrimonio on the Alternative Investment Market (‘Mercado Alternativo Bursátil’ or MAB). The Socimi was constituted with a stock of social housing purchased by  the private equity firm in Madrid in recent years. The shares in the new Socimi will start trading on Monday 29 June, at €21.08 per share. This price represents a company valuation of €212 million.

Blackstone created Fidere Patrimonio with a portfolio of 23 social housing developments (rental properties), containing 2,688 apartments, which the fund has bought over the last few years, mainly in the Community of Madrid. (…).

With this IPO on the MAB, Blackstone seeks not only to comply with the rules governing Socimis, but also to acquire a financing mechanism for raising funds, which will to drive the future growth of the company, and will also “raise the company’s profile and attract new shareholders”.

In this sense, Fidere Patrimonio says that it will focus its investment policy on new companies with real estate portfolios owned by Blackstone’s investment funds and on “analysing new investment opportunities that arise in the market”.

‘Solvent’ tenants

However, the Socimi has said that, for the time being, it will focus on managing its current portfolio of homes “with the aim of increasing shareholders’ returns”. To this end, it has revealed that its leasing policy for social housing is based on “selecting tenants who are economically solvent and who have long-term visibility over their income”, in order to increase the occupancy rate of its homes.

Specifically, the company asks its tenants to provide their last two payslips and then checks that the percentage rental spend will not exceed 40% of their (respective) salary; it also performs checks to confirm that prospective tenants are not registered on Asnef’s credit black list. (…).

Blackstone’s Socimi is aiming to secure an occupancy rate of between 80% and 95% for its housing stock, compared with its current rate of 76% and the 2014 year-end rate of 68%.

Profits and dividends

Meanwhile, Fidere Patrimonio closed 2014 with a net profit of €1.6 million, whereby overcoming the “losses” that it had recorded in the previous year. The Socimi’s turnover amounted to €5.54 million, of which €4.6 million was generated by the social housing in Madrid that the fund purchased from the EMV.

In terms of financing, the firm has financial net debt of around €65.7 million, equivalent to 22% of the market value of its assets. The company considers that this “reduced” leverage will encourage the payment of dividends.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

RE Investment Returns To Pre-Crisis Levels: €10,200m In 2014

20 February 2015 – El Economista

Spain became the second largest real estate market in terms of investment in 2014, behind Sweden. Specifically, investment in real estate in Spain amounted to €10,200 million during the year, a record surpassed only in 2007, just before the start of the crsis.

CBRE explains that the transactions closed during the last quarter of the year boosted this strong result. Between September and December 2014 alone, real estate investment in Spain amounted to €3,396 million, i.e. 50% more than in the same period in 2013.

These figures are in line with the trend across Europe, where investment in real estate assets increased by 32% in 2014, to €218,000 million. In the last quarter alone, investment reached €78,000 million, the highest quarterly investment recorded since 2006.

Spain was ranked as the sixth country in terms of inwards investment during the last quarter, above countries such as Norway, Denmark and Italy.

What about in terms of debt?

In terms of real estate debt, the total stock across the European continent increased by almost €23,000 million in 2014, to €978,000 million, primary due to the entry of new credit. According to CBRE, the amount of new debt issued rose by 47% in 2014 with respect to 2013, although in absolute terms this figure was less than half of the volume of debt issued in 2007.

The consultancy explains that this increase in new debt was due to the growth in the size of the real estate investment market. And the total value of investment transactions in Europe increased by 32% last year, to reach €218,000 million.

Moreover, the number of investors with an appetite for risk increased, especially in Spain; these investors tend to make more use of leverage, both to increase their purchasing power and improve their returns.

Real estate loan portfolios

In terms of the sale of non-performing real estate loan portfolios, CBRE says that the transaction volume amounted to €49,200 million in Europe in 2014, more than twice the figure recorded in the previous year.

This growth was particularly significant in Spain, where a rise of 103% was recorded, up from €3,200 million in 2013 to €6,500 million in 2014.

Looking ahead to 2015, CBRE expects the sale of real estate loan portfolios to continue and to expand into new markets, although it does also expect the pace of sale of these portfolios to decline.

“This is because of the time that the market needs to overcome a number of structural obstacles that currently stand in the way of a liquid market for loan sales in Europe”, it adds.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake