Berkeley Assets Arrives in Spain by Opening its First Office in Marbella

10 April 2019 – Eje Prime

Berkeley Assets has just opened its first office in Spain, in Puerto Banús (Marbella). The investment fund, backed by capital in Dubai and London, also plans to open offices in Madrid and Barcelona by the end of the year.

The company will start by focusing its activity on Madrid, Barcelona and Málaga. It plans to raise funds and make substantial investments in the Spanish market, in its first venture outside of the UK and the USA.

Berkeley’s assets raised USD 112.8 million in 2018. The group’s portfolio includes properties in London, New York and Miami.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Mazabi Sells Fever’s New HQ in Central Madrid for €6M

14 January 2019 – Expansión

The Spanish family office Mazabi has decided to sell an office building that it owns along the Prado-Recoletos thoroughfare in Madrid, next to the Congress of Representatives.

The property, which has a surface area of 1,400 m2, spread over the basement and six upper floors, is located on Calle Santa Catalina, 4. Mazabi acquired the property three years ago as a value-added investment, and during this period, it has renovated it and found a new tenant to now sell it for a profit.

Specifically, the property is soon going to be home to the headquarters of the US social platform Fever in Spain. The company, which has headquarters in New York, London and Madrid, has decided to relocate to these new offices in light of its major growth plans. Fever’s employees are expected to move in once the renovation and design work for the new offices has been completed, in a period of approximately nine months.

The operation, which has been brokered by the real estate consultancy Catella, has been closed for €6 million. The buyer is a Spanish family office (…).

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Alantra Finalises Acquisition of KPMG’s Financial Advisory Business

14 August 2018

Alantra Partners has finalised its purchase of KPMG’s division specialising in advising on loan portfolios and non-strategic bank assets, based in the United Kingdom.

The acquisition involved an investment of 2.8 million euros (2.26 million plus another 565,000 euros for ongoing KPMG operations) plus the assumption of €7.3 million by Alantra to finance the project.

With this purchase, Alantra will take on 35 professionals operating in diverse European markets that will strengthen its current workforce of more than 40 people who are already focused on credit portfolio and banking asset advisory.

The transaction, which was announced on July 11, was conditioned on compliance with certain requirements established in British legislation that have already been fulfilled, Alantra added in a statement sent to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

Original Story: Expansión

Photo: Rafael Marchante – Reuters

Translation: Richard Turner

 

Alantra Creates Leading European Advisor for Sale of Toxic Asset Portfolios

12 July 2018 – Expansión

Alantra has just signed a document that is going to make it the leading advisor to banks in Europe for the sale of toxic asset portfolios. The deal was signed yesterday in London and involves the purchase of KPMG’s international business specialising in those kinds of bank cleanups. The team comprises more than 35 professionals, mainly seniors, who will move across to form part of Alantra and who will take with them the sales mandates, worth €16 billion, that they are working on at the moment, according to sources at the firm.

After almost a year of negotiations with KPMG, the division is finally going to join forces with the investment banking team led by Santiago Eguidazu (pictured above) to create a new company with more than 75 professionals. The new company will be a subsidiary of Alantra and will be dedicated to advising banks regarding the best exits options for their portfolios of non-performing assets.

To date, Alantra has advised 80 operations in this business across five countries since 2014, for a total nominal value of more than €65 billion. Meanwhile, KPMG’s team has advised on more than 100 transactions worth €180 billion during the same period. The resulting company has averaged 45 transactions per year for the last four years and has advised an operation volume of more than €61 billion. The transaction will involve a cash disbursement for the Spanish firm of €2.83 million.

Banks and funds

The new division will be particularly active in the medium-sized transaction market generated by both banks and funds. The focus will be primarily on Europe, but also other countries around the world where the firm has a presence. In its activity, Alantra will compete above all with PwC, the other major player in the European portfolio business alongside KPMG, and with the US giants Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs for the largest contracts.

KPMG’s international team is headquartered in London, with local offices in Milan, Athens, Dublin and Lisbon. Alantra adds Madrid to that list, from where it has organised its global coverage of the portfolio business to date, which has seen it advise operations not only in Spain but also in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Eastern Europe.

The team at Alantra has been responsible for the sale of portfolios by almost all of the Spanish banks, ranging from Sabadell (with which it is working at the moment) to Santander, and including BBVA, CaixaBank, Bankia, Liberbank, Ibercaja and the domestic subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.

The current Head of Alantra’s Portfolio Business, Joel Grau, will lead the new subsidiary, together with Andrew Jenke and Nick Colman, from KPMG.

Global advice

Between the three of them, they will pursue the objective of replicating on a European scale the model that Alantra has been adopting in Spain, and which is based on providing global advise to banks from three perspectives: corporate operations, real estate (large properties and loans from financial entities, as well as those relating to shopping centres and hotels) and portfolios of toxic assets, according to sources at Alantra.

They will operate from two main centres: Madrid and London, where many of the funds that buy the banks’ portfolios are located and thanks to which the business is expected to soar, by reselling financial assets acquired or securitising them to put them on the market.

Original story: Expansión (by Inés Abril)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BNP Paribas: RE Inv’t in Europe Reached Record High of €259bn in 2017

2 April 2018 – Expansión

Madrid is placed in third position in the ranking behind Paris and London.

Real estate investment in Europe reached a record figure of €259 billion in 2017, which represents an increase of 11% with respect to the previous year, according to a report compiled by BNP Paribas Real Estate, which has attributed this growth to the improvement in the global economy.

Madrid (-14%) was placed in third position in the ranking of real estate investment in Europe behind Paris (-18%) and London (+26%).

Almost half of the investment volume in 2017 involved “mega-deals” worth more than €100 million a piece.

The research also reveals that offices continue to be the most sought-after asset for European investors, given that they account for 43% of the total investment figure.

Moreover, the logistics sector grew by 56% last year, boosted by major corporate agreements, according to the report.

On the other hand, yields continued their downward trend to reach historical lows by the end of the year. Prime or exclusive yields in the office market in Madrid amounted to 3.25%.

Original story: Expansión 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grosvenor Buys 3 More Residential Properties In Madrid

26 October 2017 – Eje Prime

The youngest multi-millionaire in the world has set his sights on Spain. The young Duke of Westminster, 26, has acquired three properties in Madrid, where he is going to build luxury homes. The latest project involves the transformation of a property that used to house the Philatelic Forum for many years. The plan is to build twelve properties there for wealthy tenants, according to Cinco Días.

The Spanish subsidiary of Grosvenor has also purchased a plot of land on Calle Jorge Juan, where it plans to construct seven apartments and a property on Santa Engracia, which will contain 18 homes once the building has been renovated.

To carry out this series of investments, the British company has joined forces with the holding company Amcorp, which is headquartered in Malaysia and which has funds amounting to €70 million.

In addition to the residential market, Grosvenor is looking to purchase offices for their rental, according to the company. In Spain, the firm is a partner of the Sonae Sierra joint venture, one of the main players in the shopping centre sector.

Grosvenor, led by Mark Preston, currently owns properties with a value of around €7,300 million, most of which are located in the United Kingdom, where, it is also the main landowner in London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods. These assets generated revenues of €298 million in 2016 and profits of almost €90 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrid Is The 3rd Most Attractive City For Hotel Inv’t

19 May 2017 – Iberian Property

Madrid is the third city to attract the most hotel investment in Europe, appearing on the recently published top 10 from Savills.

This list is based on factors such as the overnight visitor market, GDP and employment growth forecasts, stock levels relative to demand and indicative prime yields as of Q1 2017. Dublin and Milan head the list, in 1st and 2nd positions respectively.

After Madrid, London is in 4th place, followed by Barcelona in 5th, Amsterdam, Budapest, Rome, Paris and Berlin, the final city in the top 10.

According to this report, the top 10 cities have strong perspectives relative to income security alongside capital preservation and capital growth.

Tim Stoyle, head of hotels valuation at Savills, comments, “The analysis highlighted there are still a number of cities in Europe that offer good ‘value’ prospects in light of the outlook for operational performance going forward.” He went on to give Dublin as an example: “Dublin for example has been one of the best performing European cities in terms of RevPAR (revenue per available room) growth over recent years, which looks set to continue as new development remains constrained,” quotes Europe Real Estate.

Rob Stapleton, Director of the Hotels team at Savills, adds that, “Across Europe, we are seeing increasing interest from investors looking for both the income and capital value growth provided by hotels. Dublin has experienced a recent rise in institutional investment whereas markets like Milan and Madrid are being driven by private equity investors and owner-occupiers looking for hotels with both development and income growth potential.”

Original story: Iberian Property

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Patron Capital Acquires Los Alcores Shopping Centre

30 April 2017 – ABC

A constant and silent trickle of investments has seen a significant number of the shopping centres in Andalucía change hands. The latest operation was closed in March, when the investment fund Patron Capital – which is headquartered in London and which has a portfolio worth more than €5,000 million – acquired Los Alcores, the most well-known establishment in Alcalá de Guadaíra (with a leasable area of 124,000 m2). Its tenants include H&M, Lefties, Bershka, Stradivarius and Cinesur.

The shopping centre, located at the foot of the A-92 motorway, has belonged to Incus Capital since 2013, just like El Mirador (in Cuenca) and Alzamora (in Alcoy). Now, these three properties have been acquired by Patron Capital, which has joined forces with the firm Eurofund to invest more than €13 million modernising the properties.

According to the experts, the operation makes sense, “Los Alcores is located in an area that will be served by the metro in the near future and which has large residential projects underway nearby, such as Hacienda Rosario being constructed by Aedas Homes; it is highly visible from the motorway and its tenants include many household names”, said Rosa Madrid, Director of CBRE in Andalucía, the firm that advised the operation.

A report by this consultancy highlights that the shopping centre business has “been recovering for several years and recorded a successful year in 2016”. Behind this rise is “the increase in consumption and, therefore, the good indicators in terms of visitor numbers and sales, which improved by 3.1% and 1.6%, respectively (taking the portfolio of shopping centres managed by CBRE in Spain as a sample)”.

From there, the significant interest from the major commercial brands in growing again, “which has allowed shopping centre occupancy rates to increase at a good pace”. In the CBRE portfolio, “the average occupancy rate rose from 89.6% to 93.9% between 2014 and 2016, figures that illustrate the improvement in the sector”.

If we look at what has happened over the last twelve months, it is clear that this sector “is on a roll”. At the end of 2016, the Via Outlet group – in which the London-based giant Hammerson owns a stake – purchased The Style Outlet in the town of San José de la Rinconada (better known as “The Airport Factory”). Until now, that establishment has belonged to a fund promoted by the Spanish real estate company Neinver (controlled by the Losantos family). Its major rival, the Outlet de Dos Hermanas, had already been acquired by Green Oak, just a few months earlier.

Major sales

These operations joined a long list, which also includes Grupo Lar, which sold the Airesur de Castilleja de la Cuesta shopping centre to CBRE Global Investors. And an Andalucían company has also made money in this wave, specifically, the case of Bogaris, which sold six retail parks in Andalucía and Extremadura to Redevco Iberian Ventures in the middle of last year for €95 million (including Kinepolis Pulianas, las Marismas del Polvorín and the Motril retail park).

And the activity does not end there: Axiare Patrimonio purchased the Viaparck shopping centre in Almería for €20 million; Alpha Pyrenees Trust bought the Connecta shopping centre in Córdoba….and just a few weeks ago, New Winds Group (the owner of the Windsor building in Madrid) purchased Málaga Plaza shopping centre. Just another sign of the good health of a business that is taking off again.

Original story: ABC (by Luis Montoto)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Pontegadea: Global Political Uncertainty May Impact RE

30 January 2017 – Expansión

Speaking last Thursday (26 January), Roberto Cibeira, CEO at PontegadeaAmancio Ortega’s investment vehicle – highlighted the “significant uncertainty” that exists in the real estate sector regarding the UK’s exit from the European Union. “Depending on what Brexit looks like, the economy will evolve, along with the demand for space. Companies are being very cautious”, said the Director, who was participating in the Third Real Estate Meeting, organized by the IESE.

The UK is one of the top five most important countries for Pontegadea on the basis of turnover; it accounts for a significant proportion of the firm’s business. “London is London, it is always going to be there. We are hopeful and are waiting for opportunities to invest”, said Cibeira, who indicated that the company will continue to focus on the countries in which it already has a presence (Spain, USA, Canada, Mexico, France, UK, Italy, Portugal and South Korea), although growing in Asia “is also a possibility”.

Moreover, the Director said that Pontegadea’s debut on the stock market “goes without saying”, although he did not want to comment further and said that the real estate market in Spain is characterised by three features: “A shortage of supply, a lot of overseas investors and a great deal of competition”.

The Trump Administration

Pontegadea’s CEO was guarded in his comments regarding Donald Trump’s arrival at the White House. “If the country’s economy performs well, then it will be good for everyone. People are still waiting to find out about Trump’s economic policies. The decrease in taxes is good for companies operating in the US and is regarded as a good thing in the short term”, he said.

Regarding the real estate market in the country, the Director said that “it is beginning to explode. But that there has to be a limit to these rent hikes”. The words of Cibeira relate specifically to the rents for stores on Fifth Avenue in New York, where rental prices have risen to $5 million/year per 100 m2.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Office Rents In Madrid & Barcelona Are Still Very Competitive

19 September 2016 – Expansión

London: €116.25/sqm – and up to €198/sqm in the West End -. Dublín: €64/sqm. Frankfurt: €45/sqm. Madrid: €34.5/sqm. Barcelona: €28.5/sqm.

Spain’s two largest cities still have the lowest office rental costs in Europe. But, how are these costs calculated and why are Madrid and Barcelona still the most attractive cities in this sense?

A study prepared by the real estate consultancy Knight Frank compares average rents for prime offices, along with occupancy costs, which include amongst other items, taxes, services and establishment costs that companies deciding to open offices in these cities must incur.

For Raúl Vicente, Director of the Office Agency at Knight Frank, “if we compare our markets with those of our European counterparts, then the office markets in both Madrid and Barcelona are still more attractive in terms of costs”.

Moreover, the available supply is also greater and we are currently at a low point in terms of the rental cycle”. The Madrilenian market is proving to be particularly active and the sector may still generate lots of good news between now and the end of the year. Madrid leads the ranking of cities with the greatest potential for rental growth, followed by Amsterdam, Barcelona, Budapest, Lisbon, Milán, Paris and Stockholm.

Average rents have increased in some of these cities, including Madrid, but the price level is still a long way below that of other capitals such as London, where costs soar. The occupancy rate has grown in the Spanish capital by just 1% during the first half of the year and it is noteworthy that no major operations have been signed – i.e. those involving leases for more than 10,000 sqm of space – during the first six months of the year.

Despite everything, the real estate consultants are optimistic and they expect the Madrilenian office market to experience a better second half of the year. Madrid’s capacity to attract businesses is one of the variables that will help this improvement.

Original story: Expansión (by E. Viaña)

Translation: Carmel Drake