Axiare Buys Building In Madrid From Telefónica For €33M

14 October 2015 – Expansión

The Socimi Axiare Patrimonio has completed the purchase of a new office building. The Socimi has acquired the property located at number 84 on Calle Don Ramón de la Cruz, in the central business district of Madrid, from Telefónica.

The building, which has a surface area of 9,271 m2, is currently vacant, having housed various divisions of the Spanish telecommunications operator in recent years. As such, Axiare will have to look for a new tenant.

Axiare has paid €32.75 million for the property, which it will add to its growing portfolio of investments, amounting to more than €800 million since it first went public in July 2014.

The company invested the €360 million it raised from investors through its debut on the stock exchange in less than one year. And in June 2015, it closed a capital increase amounting to €395 million to finance the continuation of its purchases. Currently, its portfolio comprises 28 properties, with a combined surface area of more than 550,000 m2, of which the vast majority (73%) are office buildings, although it also owns logistics platforms and commercial assets.

Axiare, which made profits of €31.3 million during H1 2015, closed trading yesterday up 2.01%, taking its share price to €12.20. The company’s market capitalisation amounts to €876.9 million, having increased by 17.48% in one year.

The sale of the building by Telefónica forms part of the property divestment process that the operator is conducting for its non-strategic assets. Recent sales include two completed this summer involving properties in Madrid – one in the same street – Calle Don Ramón de la Cruz and the other in Plaza Santo Domingo, for €42 million.

In September, Telefónica also auctioned off five other buildings located in Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla and Valencia. The group will continue to occupy all of the properties sold recently, with the exception of the latest one.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BNP: RE Investment To Exceed €10,000M In 2015

30 September 2015 – Cinco Días

Real estate investment in Spain is reaching historical highs in 2015, exceeding even the levels recorded during the boom in the sector, which ended in 2007 and gave rise to the subsequent crisis. Those are the conclusions of a report about the market presented yesterday by BNP Paribas Real Estate, the real estate division of the French bank. It says that the total figure for the purchase of assets such as offices, shopping centres, hotels, residential properties (excluding those sold privately to individuals) and logistics assets will come close to €10,000 million this year, and will even reach €12,500 million if corporate operations, such as the purchase of Testa by the Socimi Merlin Properties, are included.

And it is precisely this “hyperactivity” by the Socimis, the new players in the market, who first appeared in 2014, that is proving key to this huge increase (in investment) from the minimum levels recorded in 2012, when total investment amounted to just €1,785 million. Investment this year is expected to exceed even the level recorded in 2007, the year before the crisis when €9,200 million was invested. “The Socimis are spending a lot. I do not think that they will be able to invest as much in 2016”, said Jesús Pérez, President of BNP Paribas.

The Socimis, which emerged in 2014 – including Merlin Properties, Axiare, Hispania and Lar España – have raised capital quickly, earning the trust of many large international investors, and they have used this capital to acquire assets. “The Socimis are a key driver behind this peak in investment as they have (successfully) channelled capital from overseas”, confirmed Ramiro Rodríguez, Head of Research at BNP Paribas Real Estate.

This year, the entity expects that these listed company will invest around €4,200 million between them (they spent €1,900 million in 2014). Large funds have backed the resurgence of the Spanish real estate market by investing in these companies, which are managed by specialist managers in the sector who have teams with lots of experience.

According to BNP’s calculations, during the year to August, total investment in our country amounted to €7,560 million. However, the entity expects that only €8,000 million will be invested in total in 2016, partly because the Socimis will be forced to rein in their spending.

The other major reason as to why funds and investors are interested in this sector is because there are still opportunities to be found. “Prices have decreased by 40% since 2008”, says Pérez, who highlights that the residential and land markets are also on the rise, partly driven by property developers “who are rising up from the ashes”.

The reactivation of the sector stems from economic recovery and employment, and so investors expect that the improvement will increase occupancy rates in offices, footfall in shopping centres and drive up logistical activity…and that that will, in turn, lead to increased income and higher rents for tenants. In fact, BNP Paribas thinks that the volume of office rental transactions will increase by 100,000 m2 in Madrid and by a further 84,000 m2 in Barcelona.

Nevertheless, the office availability rate is decreasing slowly, partly due to the long duration of the companies’ existing contracts, which prevent them from moving, according to these experts. However, the shortage of space is being seen above all in prime areas, i.e. in the best business areas of these two cities. This deficit – and the pressure from potential buyers – explains why prices have risen in these areas this year by 17% in Madrid and 15% in Barcelona.

Pérez is certain that the independence process has not deterred investors from investing in the market in the Catalan capital. “Investments have only been delayed in two or three specific cases”, he said.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Segro Plc Acquires Its First Assets In Spain For €10.4M

30 September 2015 – Company Press Release

Segro Plc has completed its first acquisition in Spain, with the purchase of 5.6 hectares of industrial land near Barcelona for €10.4 million. It purchased the plot, which has scope for the development of logistics platforms and warehouses measuring up to 36,800 m2, through its company Asociación Logística Europea SEGRO from Domar, SL.

The plot is located in the industrial area of Martorelles, approximately 20 km northeast of Barcelona, near the A7 and AP7 highways, which lead to France and the national highway network. The site is currently home to a disused industrial building, which will be demolished to make way for a new development that will be equipped to the latest-generation, highest quality facilities.

David Alcázar, Director of SEGRO in Spain, said:

“Securing a significant development opportunity in a privileged location is a great first step for the expansion of our logistics operations in Spain. We are going to continue our search for opportunities to grow our presence in the main markets of Barcelona and Madrid, focusing on development, since our aim is to provide high quality storage space in these markets”.

Martorelles is a magnificent setting, as it provides a strategic link between Spain and the rest of the continent. It is currently used by companies such as Coca Cola for manufacturing and distribution, as well as by Mango, which is constructing a 460,000 m2 distribution centre 8km away.

SEGRO was advised by Estrada & Partners, the company appointed to market the logistics platform.

About SEGRO and SEGRO Asociación Logística Europea (“SELP”):

SEGRO UK Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a market leader in the development and management of logistics platforms, storage facilities and data processing centres.

It owns and manages 5.7 million m2, with assets worth €6,000 million (as at 31 December 2014), serving 1,200 clients across a wide range of industrial sectors. Its properties are located on the outskirts of major conurbations and in key transport hubs in eight European countries, primarily France, Germany, Poland and UK.

SEGRO Asociación Logística Europea (“SELP”) is a JV company in which SEGRO owns a 50% stake. It was created in October 2013 and has €1,700 million in assets under management (as at 31 December 2014) in seven continental European countries. (…).

Estrada & Partners is a national real estate consultancy firm, specialising in the industrial and logistics sectors, as well as real estate investment. It renders the following services: brokerage, property management, asset valuations, consultancy and land development. It is currently marketing logistics parks comprising more than 200,000 m2 in Spain and it has three offices, in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.

Original story: Company Press Release

Translation: Carmel Drake

Investment In Property Returns To Pre-Crisis Levels

11 January 2015 – Expansión

According to the consultancy BNP Paribas Real Estate, investment in real estate assets amounted to €6,950 million in 2014, the second highest annual figure ever in Spain’s history.

The purchase of offices, hotels, commercial assets, warehouses and homes increased by 85% last year, building on the rise of 110% recorded in 2013. The figure recorded in 2014 has only been surpassed once, in 2007, when €9,000 million was invested.

By asset type, shops and above all, shopping centres, led the purchases closed in 2014 with transactions amounting to €2,367 million, i.e. 46% more than in 2013. Investment in offices exceeded €2,230 million and increased by 247%, compared with an increase of 89% in hotel acquisitions.

The types of property that best represent the reactivation of the Spanish market are warehouses and logistics platforms; investment in those assets grew by more than 406% during the year, according to BNP Paribas.

According to the consultancy, these very positive figures are set to continue in 2015. “This year will witness the closing of new transactions in the office and logistics segments. Transactions involving shopping centres will be more scarce than in 2014”, explains the consultancy.

By buyer type, the experts at BNP Paribas believe that, now that the Socimis have invested around €2,000 million in the real estate sector, this year acquisitions will be made by investors looking for “more consolidated assets, at higher prices, with a view to holding the properties for five years or more, that have no intention of selling them in the short term”, explains Francisco Machón, Investment Director at BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinver Joins Forces With Colony To Buy 16 Logistics Centres

29 January 2015 – Expansión

The Spanish real estate company Neinver, which specialises in the development and management of outlet centres in Europe, has signed an agreement with Colony Capital to buy 16 logistics platforms mainly located in Spain plus two in Portugal.

The purchase will form part of a joint venture created by both companies to invest a budget of €200 million in the Spanish and Portuguese real estate sectors. According to market sources, Neinver and Colony will have invested around €50 million on their first purchase.

The transaction was performed as a sale & leaseback arrangement, whereby the existing owner transfers ownership and remains as the tenant. These platforms are mainly located in Madrid, Zaragoza, Sevilla, Valencia and Lisbon.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake