Grupo Lar & Centerbridge Join Forces to Build Logistics Assets

10 March 2019 – Expansión

The Spanish real estate firm Grupo Lar has joined forces with the US private equity company Centerbridge to promote a portfolio of latest generation logistics warehouses.

The assets in the portfolio will primarily be located in Madrid and Barcelona, but opportunities will also be sought in Valencia, Málaga, Sevilla and the Pais Vasco.

The joint venture between the two firms will compete with another partnership launched in 2017 to invest in the logistics sector between the fund manager CBRE Global Investors and Montepino.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

El Corte Inglés Puts a RE Portfolio Worth Between €1.5bn & €2bn Up For Sale

21 December 2018 – Expansión

El Corte Inglés is preparing to shatter the real estate market. The distribution giant has engaged PwC to sell a mega-portfolio containing 130 properties with a valuation of between €1.5 billion and €2 billion, which would represent the largest divestment undertaken by the company to date.

The operation includes a large variety of assets, all of which are non-strategic, and includes shopping centres (not large department stores), logistics warehouses, supermarkets, offices and land. Once the period for receiving offers has closed and depending on the offers themselves, El Corte Inglés will reserve the right to reduce the size of the portfolio. According to market sources, the firm’s intention is not to find a single buyer but rather to slice up the assets into packages.

Real estate portfolio

The company chaired by Jesús Nuño de la Rosa is whereby accelerating the divestment plan launched to reduce debt with a view to obtaining an investment grade rating from the ratings agencies over the medium term.

El Corte Inglés is one of the main owners of real estate assets in Spain, with a portfolio worth more than €17 billion, larger even than those owned by the large Spanish Socimis, Merlin and Colonial, whose asset portfolios were worth €12.2 billion and €11.2 billion, respectively, as at June, and those of the large real estate companies such as Amancio Ortega’s Pontegadea, whose assets were worth €8.8 billion at the end of 2017.

With this large exposure to property, El Corte Inglés is taking advantage of the investor appetite in the market for real estate assets to clean up its balance sheet. Last year, real estate investment reached a new record with transactions worth €18.7 billion, including corporate operations, which represented an increase of 46%. Excluding purchases by companies, the investment figure also reached a historical maximum of €10.8 billion, according to data from CBRE.

In the framework of this plan, this summer, the company sold its centres in Parquesur and La Vaguada, both in Madrid to Unibail Rodamco, the largest operator of shopping centres in Europe. Those assets have a surface area of 20,000 m2 each and were sold for €160 million.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo & V. Osorio)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Valliance Puts Asset Portfolio On Madrid’s Gran Vía Up For Sale

17 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Valliance, the real estate services company specialising in investment operations, is reactivating the real estate sector on Gran Vía. The company has been selected to coordinate the sales process of a real estate portfolio comprising residential and commercial properties in one of the most iconic buildings on Gran Vía, Madrid.

Located between Plaza de Callao and Plaza de España, a Madrilenian family office has engaged Valliance to sell three residential units and five commercial assets.

All of them are located in one of Gran Vía’s most well-known buildings, which was constructed in 1923 and which has a comprehensive listing. “The scarcity of assets of this kind for sale on Gran Vía means that this portfolio represents a great investment opportunity”, explains Belén Díaz, Director General at Valliance in Spain.

Valliance is a real estate services company that specialises in real estate investment, divestment and value-enhancing operations. It advises on the buy- and sell-side of all kinds of real estate assets, including offices, shopping centres, retail premises, logistics warehouses and hotels.

The firm works in the Spanish market, as well as in the United Kingdom through a partnership with Lambert Smith Hampton. It also collaborates with partners in Lisbon and other European capitals to render its services. The company is also the capital markets arm of Gesvalt.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Casanova Buys Land In Cataluña To Build 2 Logistics Warehouses

5 September 2017 – Eje Prime

Grupo Baraka is still shopping. The company, led by the Murcian businessman Trinitario Casanova (pictured above) has just closed two real estate transactions in Cataluña. The group has acquired two plots of land with a combined surface area of 72,000 m2, where it plans to build two logistics warehouses of up to 19,000 m2 each.

One of the plots is located in Sant Esteve de Sesrovires and the other is in Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, both in the province of Barcelona, according to El Economista. The company has not made any statement regarding the price it has paid for the plots.

These transactions follow the purchase of a plot measuring 600,000 m2 in Montcada i Reixac (also in the province of Barcelona) in July, for which the group paid around €300 million. On that plot, the group plans to construct a health care complex comprising at least one hospital, as well as care-in-the-home properties and garden areas.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

GreenOak Prepares New €900M Spanish Residential Fund

16 February 2017 – Cinco Días

The firm GreenOak Real Estate is preparing its second dedicated real estate fund in Spain, which is expected to have an investment capacity of around €900 million. On this occasion, the new vehicle will place a greater focus on the residential construction segment in Madrid and Barcelona above all.

Housing is attracting international funds. The enormous commitments pledged by Värde Partners, Lone Star and Castlelake have been known for several months and now, the US fund GreenOak is joining the party. (…). The recovery in the residential sector is attracting lots of overseas investors given that it offers higher returns than other real estate segments such as retail, offices and industrial warehouses.

And so GreenOak has now opened its second fund in Spain, from its British office, which is led by John Carrafiel. Its investment capacity is expected to amount to almost €900 million, both in terms of capital secured as well as additional bank financing, according to market sources. Some of those resources will be allocated to housing, both the renovation of existing stock and new builds. The fund will also develop buildable land in established residential areas, where active demand exists due to the lack of development during the years of the crisis.

The search for opportunities will focus on Madrid and Barcelona, markets where almost all new builds are being sold, according to sources in the sector, due to the demand that has built up in recent years. In order to construct its projects, rather than creating its own real estate company like other funds have done, GreenOak will establish partnerships with local developers that specialise in different markets.

GreenOak was created in 2010 by three partners from Morgan Stanley’s real estate business. Its main headquarters are located in New York, London and Tokyo; and Spain has been a strategic investment location since the beginning.

In 2015, the firm announced that it had raised its first fund amounting to €700 million, with a view to investing in property in our country. That vehicle has now completed around 15 operations in Spain, primarily in the logistics sector.

The first fund entered the housing sector for the first time with the renovation of a building on c/Fuencarral 77 in Madrid, close to the Tribunal metro stop. (…). The firm also has experience in residential construction in other countries, such as in the USA.

Last year, GreenOak also acquired four office buildings from Santander in the Avalon business park, on the Julián Camarillo industrial estate in Madrid.

It completed its major purchase in a single operation last year when it acquired the Las Mercedes business megacomplex, at kilometre 11 on the A-2, next to Barajas airport. That park contains nine office buildings with a surface area of 78,000 m2. According to sources in the sector, it acquired it for around €140 million from Standard Life.

Moreover, the first fund has been particularly active in the logistics segment, closing more than a dozen operations. In fact, the firm has considered putting up a portfolio of some of its industrial assets up for sale, just a year after acquiring them.

In addition, the firm debuted its own Socimi, called Gore Spain Holdings, on the Alternative Investment Market, on 19 January 2017, with an initial value of €144 million. That company owns 20 assets in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Valencia, Bilbao, Murcia and Sevilla, including logistics warehouses and the Avalon business park in Madrid.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axiare Acquires Capgemini’s HQ In Madrid For €43.5M

1 February 2017 – Press Release

Axiare Patrimonio has closed two operations to further strengthen its business plan. On the one hand, it has completed the purchase of an office building and on the other hand, it has signed a financing agreement amounting to more than €34 million with Santander. It will reinvest the new funds into assets.

The Socimi led by Luis López de Herrera-Oria has formalised the acquisition of the Cedro Building in Madrid for €43.5 million. The property is a prime office block, with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 17,032m2 and 381 parking spaces and it is leased almost in its entirety to the consultancy firm Capgemini.

The operation will result in immediate revenues for Axiare Patrimonio, given that the asset has an occupancy rate of almost 90%. The property, constructed in the year 2000, is located on Calle Anabel Segura, in the Arroyo de la Vega area of the capital, where lots of large companies – such as ING, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, Indra, BP and Mercedes Benz – have their headquarters and next to an exclusive residential area. Moreover, this asset has direct access to the A-1 motorway and is well connected to the airport, the CBD and the main ring-roads in Madrid.

Luis López de Herrera-Oria, CEO at Axiare Patrimonio said (…) “The Cedro Building is a very institutional product thanks to its location, its main tenant and the quality of its construction. This operation involves the purchase of a strategic asset, which has great potential for capital appreciation”.

The valuation of Axiare Patrimonio’s asset portfolio currently stands at around €1,350 million. 74% of the Socimi’s assets are offices, of which almost half are strategically located in the CBDs of Madrid and Barcelona; 16% are logistics warehouses, located in key hubs for the distribution of goods throughout Spain; and the remaining 10% are retail parks, which receive large numbers of visitors.

For this acquisition, Axiare Patrimonio has been advised by EY on the legal, technical and commercial side. Meanwhile, the vendor has been advised by Garrigues on the legal side and by Aguirre Newman and JLL on the commercial side.

Moreover, the banks continue to maintain complete faith in Axiare Patrimonio. The new financing agreement that the Socimi has just signed with Santander is another example of this. Specifically, Axiare has signed two financing agreements with the financial institution, taking the total balance of funds that it has received from the banks since its debut on the stock market to €572 million.

The new loans with Santander have been signed with some very flexible conditions and at a very competitive interest rate, in line with the company’s financial strategy. The loans will result in a €34.2 million cash inflow for the company, which it will use to continue expanding and improving its existing portfolio.

Axiare Patrimonio’s CEO said: “The company’s financing structure is one of the most stable and competitive in the market” (…) “Since our debut on the stock market two and a half years ago, we have signed agreements with several banking institutions. Santander, ING and CaixaBank have been our largest lenders, which is proof of the confidence that they have in our portfolio and in our ability to manage the company.

For this operation, Axiare Patrimonio has received legal advice from Gómez-Acebo y Pombo, whilst Santander has been advised by Watson Farley & Williams.

Original story: Press Release

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deutsche Bank’s Socimi To Buy Alcalá Magna Shopping Centre

23 January 2017 – Cinco Días

The Socimi Trajano, managed by Deutsche Bank, is finalising what will be its largest purchase since its creation in 2015. It is planning to acquire the Alcalá Magna shopping centre (Alcalá de Henares, Madrid) for €100 million.

Deutsche Bank is investing in Spain again and in a shopping centre once more. Whilst last year, it broke records through its vehicle Deutsche Asset Management’s purchase of  Diagonal Mar in Barcelona for €493 million, now it is planning to close its Spanish Socimi Trajano’s largest operation to date, by acquiring Alcalá Magna for around €100 million.

This shopping centre in Alcalá de Henares is currently owned by the Spanish fund Incus Capital, whose shareholders include Estanislao Carvajal, Álvaro Rivera and Alejandro Moya. The investment vehicle has assets amounting to €600 million in its portfolio and it spent €200 million on a dozen operations in 2016. In turn, Incus acquired Alcalá Magna from CBRE Global Investors two years ago.

Alcalá Magna was inaugurated in 2007, has a gross leasable area of 34,165m2 and employs around 500 people. It has 1,265 parking spaces and 94 stores, including H&M, Zara, C&A, Sfera, Cortefiel and a Mercadona supermarket. Moreover, almost 25% of its space is used for leisure and restaurant purposes.

For Trajano, the Socimi managed by Deutsche Bank, this will be its largest acquisition. Last October, the company successfully completed a €47 million capital increase “to be able to undertake additional investments amounting to between €95 million and €100 million”, according to reports by the company in a statement.

The company’s investment strategy focuses on: offices located in peripheral areas of Madrid and Barcelona and in prime areas of other cities; shopping centres that are in leadership positions and that generate recurrent cash flow; as well as logistics parks, primarily in Madrid, Barcelona, País Vasco and Valencia.

Trajano already manages €181 million in four assets, with a total managed surface area of 117,000 m2. It closed its last transaction at the end of last year, with the purchase of four logistics warehouses in Zaragoza for €42.9 million.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz and Pablo Martín Simón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axiare Buys Cuatrecasas’ HQ In Madrid For €124M

13 December 2016 – Expansión

After a record third quarter in terms of real estate investment, the Socimis and funds in Spain are facing a frenetic pace of work as we head into the last few weeks of the year.

That is the case of Axiare Patrimonio. Yesterday, the real estate company controlled by Luis López de Herrera Oria closed its largest acquisition so far in 2016. The Socimi has invested €124 million to acquire the headquarters of the law firm Cuatrecasas in Madrid.

The property is a modern office building, which was completely refurbished in 2012. It has a gross leasable area of 15,094 m2 and 201 parking spaces. Constructed in 1982, the building used to house the headquarters of Mutua Madrileña until 2006 when it was sold for €120 million to Reig Capital, the holding company owned by the Andorran Reig family, the former owners of Banca Reig and the tobacco firm Puritos Reig.

The complete refurbishment was performed especially for Cuatrecasas, which, following the change of owner, will not change the terms of its 18-year rental contact, say sources at the law firm.

As a result of this operation, Axiare has increased the value of its asset portfolio to €1,230 million, having invested €275 million this year. 71% of the assets in its portfolio are offices, whilst commercial assets account for 11% and logistics assets for 18%.

“This is our third operation in just three weeks and is 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 Luis López de Herrera Oria, CEO at the Socimi. Prior to this purchase of Cuatrecasas’ offices, Axiare’s most recent operation involved the acquisition of two logistics warehouses for €14 million on 2 December. Moreover, in the office segment, the Socimi bought McKinsey’s headquarters on 23 November for €42 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Trajano Iberia Buys 4 Logistics Warehouses For €42.9M

5 December 2016 – Heraldo

The Socimi Trajano Iberia, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) and which is managed by the real estate investment division of Deutsche Asset Management, has purchased four logistics warehouses in Zaragoza for €42.9 million, according to reports from sources at the company on Friday.

The assets are located in the Campus Plaza 3.84 industrial estate in Zaragoza, the city’s main logistics centre. The location is “strategic” given that it is at the centre of Spain’s main logistics thoroughfares (between Madrid-Barcelona and Euskadi-Valencia), according to the sources.

The assets, which are leased in their entirety to 6 tenants, have a combined surface area of 72,484 m2 and 68 loading bays.

The average life of the contracts (until the first maturity date) exceeds 6.5 years. The longest lease is not due to expire for more than 10 years.

After completing this purchase, Trajano Iberia has now invested €181 million in total. It has a combined managed surface area of 117,000 m2 and an average purchase yield of 6.7%.

The company’s current product mix comprises: offices (31%), shopping centres (34%), logistics assets (22%) and high street stores (13%).

In October, the company completed a €47 million capital increase in order to undertake additional investments amounting to between €95 million and €100 million.

The Trajano Iberia Socimi was created in June 2015, with the aim of investing in a mixed portfolio of diverse properties in Spain and Portugal, primarily for rental.

Since its constitution, the company has raised funds amounting to €142 million and has carried out the procedures necessary to enable it to be listed on the MAB, which is a necessary requirement for it to be allowed to operate as a Socimi, say the sources.

Original story: Heraldo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axiare Buys 2 Logistics Warehouses For €14M

5 December 2015 – Valencia Plaza

Axiare has purchased two logistics warehouses, located in Madrid and Guadalajara, which have a combined surface area of 30,000 m2, for €14.2 million, according to a statement made by the Socimi, in which Colonial holds a stake.

Following this operation, logistics assets now account for 20% of the company’s total asset portfolio, which has a total surface area of 400,000 m2.

The warehouses are leased out and are located in the so-called Corredor de Henares, which is one of the key areas in the Spanish logistics market. One of them is located in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) and the other one is located in Azuqueca de Henares (Guadalajara).

Original story: Valencia Plaza

Translation: Carmel Drake