Catella to Invest €200M in Offices and Parking Lots

22 April 2019 – Expansión

The Swedish manager, Catella Asset Management, wants to continue expanding its footprint in Spain, where it has invested €250 million over the last three years.

To this end, the investment firm, which has focused on the housing, student hall and retail sectors until now, is planning to invest €200 million in the purchase of office buildings and parking lots in Spain and Portugal over the next 2 years.

In addition to the major cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon, the company is also analysing operations in secondary cities such as Valencia, Málaga, Bilbao, Zaragoza and Porto.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Madrid Enters Top 3 Global Ranking of Best Destinations for Luxury Real Estate

21 March 2019 – Idealista

The city of Madrid has entered the Top 3 global ranking of best destinations for real estate investment, according to the Barnes City Index. The Spanish capital is ranked behind only Lisbon and Porto for high-end properties this year.

In fourth place is Montreal and in fifth place is Miami. Those cities are followed by London, Genoa, Athens, Monaco and Biarritz.

In 2018, Madrid was ranked in 10th place. The Index ranks the top 50 cities in the world that have the greatest appeal for real estate buyers and investors in the luxury segment on the basis of economic, political, cultural and other considerations.

Original story: Idealista 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Casual Hoteles to Open 5 New Hotels in 2019

7 March 2019 – Expansión

The Valencia-based hotel chain Casual Hoteles is planning to open four new establishments in Spain in 2019 (in San Sebastián, Cádiz, Valencia and Madrid) and one in Portugal (in Lisbon). The group currently operates 11 hotels and expects to increase revenues by 58% YoY in 2019 to €12 million and to €20 million in 2020.

The firm is also evaluating its expansion into Italy, France, the Netherlands and the UK by 2023 when it expects to have 30 hotels in its portfolio and to generate revenues of €50 million.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Finalises its First Major Property Sale & Negotiates with Apollo, Amongst Others

22 January 2019 – Voz Pópuli

Merlin Properties has been negotiating the sale of a portfolio of assets with Apollo for several months and it looks like the operation is beginning to take shape. Project Juno comprises assets in secondary locations, which the Socimi does not classify as core, according to financial sources consulted by this newspaper.

The portfolio includes assets such as Miniparc, in La Moraleja; Európolis, in Las Rozas; a building on Calle Josefa Valcárcel and another one on Ronda de Poniente. The portfolio has a market value well below €300 million, given that it comprises assets that are not located in the financial centre of Madrid.

In parallel, the Socimi has created Project Jupiter, a better quality portfolio than Juno, but “very dry”, worth around €300 million.

In that portfolio, Merlin has included the Trianon business park, on Vía de los Poblados; another business park in Las Tablas on Calle Federico Mompou; another building located in Campo de las Naciones; the Elipse building (Manoteras) and the Ulises building, in Arturo Soria.

Merlin Properties is also looking to create a third portfolio following the sale of those two portfolios and whereby unify it with the assets that it does not manage to sell. The Socimi has decided not to award a mandate for these portfolios in order to market them with the greatest discretion possible.

Merlin’s plan

Merlin Properties wants to increase the presence that it has in the office market in Lisbon and acquire other buildings to add to the six properties that it already owns in the Portuguese capital.

The commitment of the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente to the Portuguese market forms part of the slight rethink in the structure of the assets owned by the group.

Currently, office buildings account for 46% of the company’s assets, followed by commercial properties, which represent 40%, and logistics assets, which represent 14%. But given the pull of the logistics market right now (…), Merlin expects to increase the weight of its logistics division to 20%.

At the time of its IPO, four years ago, Merlin reported that logistics assets would account for 15% of its total portfolio.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by David Cabrera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Patrizia is On The Hunt for New Purchases in Bilbao, Sevilla & Valencia

10 December 2018 – Eje Prime

Patrizia Immobilien is confirming its interest in the Iberian real estate market. The German investment manager, which has been present in Spain and Portugal since 2015, has set itself the short-term objective of entering Bilbao, Sevilla, Valencia and Oporto, through the purchase of new assets, according to comments made by Borja Goday, the Director General of the company in the Iberian Peninsula, speaking to Eje Prime.

Until now, the company has invested €870 million in total in real estate in the Spanish and Portuguese markets. Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga and Lisbon are the cities in which Patrizia is already present, “with minimum investments of €15 million but where that figure could exceed €500 million if the operation is worth it”, explained the executive.

In fact, the manager participated in the process to acquire one of the office buildings that comprise the Cuatro Torres Business Area in Madrid. Moreover, the company not only invests in the office segment, it is also committed to other markets such as the residential, retail, hotel, logistics and alternative asset segments (including student halls, complexes for the elderly and parking spaces).

Currently, Patrizia’s asset portfolio in Spain includes Serrano 90, located on Madrid’s golden mile and Gran Vía 21, also in the Spanish capital, which houses a hotel and a retail premise. Nevertheless, the latest major operation by the manager on the peninsula was the purchase of an industrial plot spanning 66,424 m2 in Toledo for €37.5 million. The other three logistics platforms that the company owns in Spain are located in Madrid and Barcelona.

Patrizia and its great interest in Spanish property

With its headquarters in Madrid and a staff of eleven, Patrizia arrived in Spain just three years ago. “At the end of 2017, we purchased Triuva and Rockspring, two companies that already owned assets on the peninsula”, explained Goday, who added that “the rapid growth of the group in both the Spanish and Portuguese markets is due to those two acquisitions”.

“Spain is still an attractive market, we still have demand and that is why we are launching new operations on such a frequent basis”, said the director. Since the beginning of the year, the manager has been on the hunt for capital from Spanish institutional investors, although, as Goday explains, it is not an easy task, since “they do not invest from one day to the next”.

One of Patrizia’s other plans on the peninsula is to strengthen its presence in the rental market. “It is a segment that we like a lot and for that reason, if we find an appropriate residential or office building, then we would not rule out buying it”, explained the executive. Nor does the group rule out alliances with Socimis or the acquisition of a property developer to grow in the Spanish residential sector. In this sense, Goday says that “a good opportunity has not presented itself yet” and that “it would all depend on the quality and location of the land that they own”.

Patrizia is currently present in more than twenty European countries, including, besides Spain and Portugal, important markets such as Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg. The group’s main focus of activity is Germany, where it launched its activity 32 years ago and where it is a listed company (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by B. Seijo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Loom to Open 10 Co-Working Offices in 2019 including a Centre in Barcelona

5 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Loom is on a mission. The company specialising in shared work centres is planning to open a dozen new co-working spaces in 2019. The assets identified, all of which are owned by Merlin, are distributed between Madrid, Barcelona and other Spanish capitals, such as Málaga, Alicante and Valencia, according to Paula Almansa, co-founder and CEO of the company, speaking to Eje Prime.

Currently, the operator is finalising the details for the launch of its third co-working office in Spain. The space, located at number 38, Calle Don Ramón de la Cruz, in the Salamanca neighbourhood of Madrid, will open its doors between May and June next year, after the renovation work on the property has been completed.

Another of Loom’s objectives in the short term is to take its co-working concept to new parts of the country, in particular, to the Catalan capital. “One of the areas that we currently have in mind is the 22@ district”, said Almansa. In this sense, Merlin’s portfolio of assets plays in the company’s favour. In fact, the Socimi has a gross leasable area (GLA) of 31,337 m2, distributed over four office buildings in that district.

One year after it acquired 31% of Loom, the group led by Ismael Clemente has decided to merge it with Twisttt, the brand that it created to debut in the co-working market in 2017. “It is a decision that we have taken together; it did not make sense for us to promote two brands separately when, at the end of the day, we were both pursuing the same objective”, said the director of Loom.

Merlin is now consolidating its position as the main landlord of the company led by the siblings Paula and Jose Almansa, who are already starting to take advantage of the large number of assets that the real estate giant owns all over the Iberian Peninsula. Málaga, Valencia and Alicante are the next destinations in which Loom plans to launch between 2019 and 2020, hand in hand with local partners, followed by Lisbon, “a city that we do not rule out launching in in the future”, said the co-founder.

For now, the company has three co-working spaces in Madrid: one at number 5 Calle Princesa, another at number 11 Calle Huertas and the final centre at number 1 Calle Vandergoten, in the Real Fábrica de Tapices. Nevertheless, the company is not limiting itself when it comes to choosing new locations and it is open to backing areas that “are not considered prime nor are home to too much competition”.

Loom’s project is a long-term venture, although they are aware that the wind will not always blow in their favour. “The co-working industry still has a long way to go, but it is also true that recently, many spaces of this kind have been opened and very high rents are being paid”, explained Almansa, who also believes that it is important to take advantage of moments of crisis to attract more users.

Original story: Eje Prime (by B. Seijo & J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

MK Premium Buys its First Retail Premise in Barcelona for €1.7M

26 July 2018 – Eje Prime

MK Premium is diversifying its investments. Specialising in the residential market, the Catalan family office has purchased its first retail premise in Barcelona for €1.7 million. The asset is located very close to Las Ramblas in the Catalan capital.

Spanning a retail surface area of 440 m2, the premises are located at number 44 Calle Escudellers, next to Plaza Orwell. The property is going to be renovated to recover the original serigraphs on its façade.

The property acquired by the family office that is owned by the brothers Daniel and Sergio Leiva was constructed in the 16th century, although the upper floors, dedicated to residential use, were built in 1769. The building has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest by the Town Hall of Barcelona. MK Premium aspires to achieve an annual return of 5.5% from this property, located in one of the prime retail areas of the Catalan capital. The Leiva brothers will establish a monthly rent of €10,500 for the asset.

With this new purchase, the Catalan real estate company has finished the first half of the year with investments worth more than €9.3 million, spread between its offices in Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon and Porto.

MK Premium ventured into Portugal at the beginning of 2018, as reported by Eje Prime. Its commitment to the neighbouring country is in line with the real estate company’s roadmap, which details that it is willing to invest up to €25 million this year.

Specifically, the most recent purchase that the company has carried out in the residential sector was in Lisbon. The Catalan real estate firm invested €0.5 million a few weeks ago in its first residential building in the Portuguese capital, as revealed by Eje Prime.

The family office’s portfolio now contains almost fifty assets, although it still needs to buy many more buildings and premises to reach the target of having eighty properties in its portfolio by the end of this year.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin to Invest €250M Developing 565,000 m2 of Logistics Space

6 June 2018 – Expansión

The Socimi Merlin is going to invest €250 million developing 565,000 m2 of new logistics space in Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla, Málaga, Vitoria and Lisbon over the next two years.

According to explanations provided yesterday by the company’s CEO, Ismael Clemente, the next main complex that it is going to promote will be Cabanillas 2, in Madrid, measuring 210,000 m2.

The listed company will expand its logistics presence in Spain to 1.7 million m2. Merlin currently has more than 1.1 million m2, excluding the space it owns inside the Logistics Activity Zone (ZAL) in the Port of Barcelona.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vía Célere Launches in Girona with a 139-Home Development

29 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Vía Célere is expanding its homes across Spain. The residential property developer has started marketing Célere Domeny, its first project in Girona, comprising 139 homes. The urbanisation is going to be built in the capital of the province located in the north of Cataluña. In that autonomous region, the company is already working on projects in Barcelona.

Vía Célere’s new development comprises two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, which are going to be built on a plot of land that will also have common areas with a swimming pool, a padel court, a gym and even a study room, amongst other services.

The residential development is located in the northwest of the city of Girona, in Pla Baix de Domeny between Calles Roberto Bolaño Avalos, Damià Escuder i Lladó and Carrer Font de la Teula. The developer is going to open an experiential office on the site, a project unveiled recently by Vía Célere, which allows visitors to tour different spaces and experience emotions and sensations.

The province of Girona is the tenth in which the real estate company chaired by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado has a presence. The firm is controlled by the international investment fund Värde Partners. In addition, the company owns plots of land in neighbouring Portugal, in Lisbon and Porto, which it inherited from its merger with Dospuntos in 2017.

Currently, Vía Célere has a land bank spanning 1.4 million m2 of buildable space, equivalent to a production capacity of 12,200 homes. The property developer invested €227 million last year to expand and diversify its land portfolio, with operations in Madrid, Sevilla, Valladolid, Barcelona, La Coruña, Girona and the Balearic Islands, amongst other provinces. Since 2007, the company’s management team has delivered 2,300 homes.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

BMO Debuts its New RE Vehicle in Spain with €1bn to Invest

15 May 2018 – Eje Prime

BMO Real Estate Partners is backing Spain with its new real estate investment vehicle. The international fund has just launched Best Value Europe II (BVE II), which will specialise in the high-street retail market. One of the company’s first purchases has been a prime asset in Madrid, which it bought together with another commercial premise in Verona (Italy): for the two properties, BMO paid €39 million.

Nevertheless, BMO’s new vehicle has the financing to spend a lot more. The fund’s initial plan involves creating a portfolio of assets worth €500 million, a figure that it plans to double to €1 billion over the medium-term, according to Business Inmo.

After its initial purchases in Madrid and Verona, the fund has also just closed its third acquisition in Lisbon. BMO has paid €15.2 million for that asset, which is located on Avenida da Liberdade, the main commercial thoroughfare in the Portuguese capital. The property, which has been completely renovated, is designated for mixed use as offices and retail space, and has a total surface area of 2,104 m2.

The path that BVE II will follow will be similar to that of the first vehicle that BMO launched for this market and which focused on finding high street premises on the most prime streets of the main European capitals. The predecessor of this new company has now invested more than 90% of its funds; it owns a portfolio containing 12 assets worth more than €700 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake