Azora Launches a Vehicle to Invest €250M in Last Mile Logistics Hubs

9 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Azora is launching itself into the last mile logistics sector. The real estate manager has launched a vehicle to invest €250 million in premises located in the centre of cities with the aim of facilitating urban distribution and responding to the boom in e-commerce.

According to the company’s plans, the first investments will take place during the first quarter of this year. Azora will be responsible for the vehicle and will hold a minority stake in it. Meanwhile, the consultancy firm CBRE will be responsible for designing it and for supplying the real estate services, according to Expansión.

Until now, Azora and CBRE have identified almost thirty assets that fit their investment objectives until 2021. Currently, both companies are holding negotiations to purchase those properties, which include disused furniture stores, parking lots, dealerships, workshops and shopping centres inside the M-30 in Madrid and within Las Rondas in Barcelona. The properties must also have a surface area of more than 800 m2.

The assets will subsequently be leased to major logistics operators and to other transport companies, as well as to merchants and distribution companies under long-term lease contracts.

With more than €4.5 billion in assets under management, Azora is continuing to back the real estate sector after breaking its alliance with Hispania. Since then, the company has taken advantage of its experience in the sector to back the residential rental segment through the creation of a joint venture with CBRE Global Investment and Madison to achieve a portfolio of 10,000 homes within the next few years.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gorbea Puts FCC’s HQ on the Market for €150M

30 November 2017 – El Confidencial

The headquarters of FCC, located in the Madrilenian neighbourhood of Las Tablas is on the verging of changing hands. Its owner, Gorbea Arrendamientos, has decided to cash in its holding and, to this end, has engaged CBRE to launch an express sale process. The intention is to choose a winner before the end of the year. Sources at the consultancy firm declined to comment.

This operation is set to be the most important of the year in the office segment, since the vendor aims to close the sale for around €150 million, according to market sources. That amount has not been reached so far by any of the other office transactions closed in 2017.

Gorbea Arrendamientos is owned by the Hernández-Beitia family, which acquired the land where the headquarters of the company controlled by Carlos Slim is now located for €80 million from FCC seven years ago.

Then, the infrastructure group signed a 20-year lease contract, of which almost 13 years still remain. Specifically, this rental commitment is the main feature of the operation, given that it guarantees the future buyer a stable income in one of the fastest growing areas of Madrid.

When Gorbea acquired FCC’s headquarters, a return of 7% was estimated on the basis of the rental contract. However, the new buyer will see that yield decrease to around 3%-4%. That range that makes this purchase a classic operation for conservative investors, such as insurance companies and pension funds.

Cinematographic fortune

The Gorbeas, as the family behind this real estate group is popularly known, amassed their real estate portfolio as owners of important cinemas in Madrid, including Roxy B on c/Fuencarral, Lido on c/Bravo Murillo and Renoir on c/Narváez. From there, they leapt into the office segment, where they are known for naming many of the buildings they own after their parent company, Gorbea.

Despite the box office crisis that caused so many cinemas to close, this family group still owns several subsidiaries linked to the world of cinema, such as Cines Floridablanca, Cines Retiro and Cines Princesa, in the centre of Madrid, as well as several multiplex companies in Majadahonda, Zaragoza and Guadalajara.

Construction of FCC’s headquarters, which cost €48 million to build, was completed five years ago and, since then, the building has housed more than 1,000 employees from the infrastructure group.

The building has a surface area of 21,000 m2, spread over 3 inter-connected buildings, which occupy an entire block and form an H-shape. They have two basement floors and a ground floor, with capacity for 400 parking spaces, as well as six office floors and a rooftop.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

French Fund Corum Will Invest €450M-€500M In Europe In 2017

8 March 2017 – Expansión

The real estate fund manager Corum Asset Management has placed its focus on Spain. The firm, created in 2011 and with offices in Paris and Amsterdam, has closed 2016 with a record investment figure of €328 million.

In the case of Spain, the manager chose the market to carry out its first operation outside of France, acquiring its first asset in 2013: a retail property in Tarragona, which is leased to MediaMarkt.

Three years later, in May last year, Corum sold that asset to a fund managed by Ciloger for €9.43 million. “2016 was a record year in terms of transactions, with a deal volume amounting to €360 million, of which €328 million involved acquisitions. In addition, we made our first sale in an overseas market in 2016, in this case in Spain, where we achieved a significant return”, explained Philipp Cervesa, Head of Investments at Corum AM.

Besides that sale, the French manager closed three purchases amounting to €41.4 million in Spain, involving logistics assets, during the year. Specifically, in April, it acquired two platforms in Gerona and Guadalajara, with a combined surface area of 35,670 m2. Three months later, Corum AM paid more than €24.8 million for a logistics building leased to the company Trabis. “Our strategy is to bet on real estate cycles. We are investing in Spain because it offers good diversification and is a very dynamic market”, said Cervesi.

Both operations achieved a return of around 7.6%. “We invested heavily between 2013 and 2014, when the market fell, and thanks to that, we have undertaken some good deals, such as the sale of the property leased to MediaMarkt, which we sold last year for a hefty profit”. A high return that the manager forecasts it will maintain in 2017. “We are looking for assets with long-term lease contracts and high returns, of around 7%, he added.

This year, the manager, which invests directly through an Asset Management fund, has set itself the objective of increasing its portfolio to €500 million. “Our strategy for 2017 is to invest between €450 million and €500 million in the Eurozone. We have not set ourselves any country limits, which means that we could buy an unlimited amount in Spain”, explained the Head of the fund.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake