Sareb Renews its Management Contract with Haya for its Rental Assets

9 January 2020 – La Vanguardia

Haya Real Estate has succeeded in renewing its contract for the management of Sareb’s rental assets for another two years. The bad bank’s rental portfolio contains 3,300 assets in total, of which 1,800 are homes. The remainder are parking spaces, commercial premises and storage rooms.

This announcement follows Haya’s successful renewal in October 2019 of its contract with Sareb to manage a share of the bad bank’s real estate assets, worth €8.4 billion in total.

In both cases, the renewals include changes to the distribution of tasks as a result of Sareb’s new business strategy. The latest revised agreement means that Haya will continue to market and manage the bad bank’s rental assets, which are located all over the country.

Original story: La Vanguardia 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sareb Offers the Contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat & Solvia to its Rivals

17 June 2019 – El Confidencial

Sareb is on a mission to change its course. According to market sources, the bad bank chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured below) has decided to put its contracts with Altamira (owned by doBank), Servihabitat (Lone Star) and Solvia (Intrum) out to tender two years before their scheduled renewal.

Even though the contracts are not due to expire until the end of 2021, Sareb is putting them out to tender alongside that of Haya Real Estate, which is due to expire at the end of 2019. This represents a boost for Cerberus’s servicer, given that its competitors will now also have to focus on retaining their own contracts rather than just bidding for Haya’s.

In the event that Sareb awards the contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia to other entities, it will have to compensate the servicers since their contracts clearly establish early termination clauses.

Altogether, Sareb is looking at putting out to tender the management of €34 billion in loans and properties that it still has left in its portfolio. The four will have to submit their bids in the next few months, specifying which assets they want to manage and what commissions they will charge.

The largest mandate is that of Haya, which manages assets proceeding from Bankia, which accounted for 37% of the bad bank’s original assets. It is followed by Altamira, which manages the assets proceeding from Catalunya Banc, BMN and Caja 3 (29% of the total); Servihabitat, which manages the assets from NCG Banco, Liberbank and Banco de Valencia (19%); and Solvia,  which manages assets from Bankia (foreclosed), Banco Gallego and Ceiss (15%). Clearly, there is a lot at stake for these servicers.

Original story: El Confidencial (by J. Zuloaga & R. Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Arha Hoteles Takes over the Management of Hotel Piñamar in Santander

12 March 2019 – Press Release

International hotel property adviser, Christie & Co, has advised on the leasehold sale of Hotel Piñamar, located in Santander. The 3-star establishment has 34 rooms and is located next to the train station, in the fishing district of the Cantabrian city.

The hotel, which has been leased since it was opened to date by the Piña Coterón family, will now be managed by Arha Hoteles, a Cantabrian hotel chain that currently manages four other hotels: Hotel & Arha Spa (in Potes), Hotel Arha Albatros (located in Suances), Hotel Arha Reserva del Saja (in the Natural Park), and Hotel La Casona de Carmona (in the Cabuérniga Valley).

Original story: Press Release

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Hyatt to Operate 2 of Hesperia’s Hotels in Madrid & Barcelona

7 March 2019 – Expansión

After breaking off its alliance with NH last year, following that firm’s takeover by the Thai Group Minor, Hesperia is now joining forces with Hyatt. The US hotel giant is going to take over the operation of the two jewels in Hesperia’s crown: the Hesperia Madrid and the Hesperia Barcelona Tower. Hyatt will operate the two 5-star properties on a franchise basis under its Hyatt Regency brand from Q4 2019.

This deal forms part of a broader strategic approach by Hesperia, which has also teamed up with Apple Leisure Group for the management of four of its holiday hotels.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Corestate Teams up with Medici Living to Invest €200M in Co-Living Homes

17 December 2018 – Eje Prime

Corestate Capital is launching itself in the residential co-living market in conjunction with Medici Living. The Luxembourg-based fund manager has joined forces with the German provider of spaces to invest €200 million in the development of shared residences across Spain, according to explanations provided by sources close to the operation speaking to Eje Prime.

The plans of the two groups in Spain form part of an expansion target at the European level. In fact, over the next three to five years, Corestate and Medici Living are planning to invest €1 billion in the development and purchase of around thirty co-living properties, containing 6,000 rooms in total, located in Austria, Poland, Switzerland and Spain.

Barcelona, Madrid and Sevilla are the cities that the joint venture has chosen for its debut in the Spanish market. In those regions, they forecast investment of between €20 million and €60 million. For the time being, the intention of the companies involves acquiring seven buildings in Spain, with 1,190 rooms in total.

Corestate is responsible for the investment, project development, financing and management of its assets. Meanwhile, Medici Living takes care of the design and operation of the properties, according to reports by the company, which already has a portfolio of 1,800 rooms and a presence in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

It is the largest operation undertaken to date in the European co-living market. In fact, it is a sector with a great deal of potential on the Old Continent, aimed at people looking for professional environments and collaborative lives, where they can share ideas and experiences. Currently, most of these assets are located in Anglo-Saxon countries and they are expected to become one of the alternatives for affordable living in large cities.

“The arrival of investment to the shared accommodation sector represents a great step forward for the European residential market”, said Gunther Schmidt, CEO at Medici Living, who stresses in a statement that, as a company, they have set themselves the objective of becoming the WeWork of co-living.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Corestate Capital, Michael Bütter, confirmed that “demand for shared residential spaces is increasingly motivated by the desire of young people to work and live in different cities and to do so in a community”. Moreover, according to the executive, “they are low-risk operations that generate great returns”.

In addition, with this agreement, the Luxembourg fund manager is diversifying its commitment in Spain after announcing its investment plan for student halls of residence next year. Corestate is planning to allocate €100 million to the construction of those types of assets and is currently searching for land in Valencia, Sevilla and Bilbao, as revealed by Christopher Hütwohl, the head of the company in the country, speaking to Eje Prime.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Berta Seijo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Pierre & Vacances to Increase Revenues in Spain by 50% in 3 Years

28 November 2018 – Expansión

Pierre & Vacances, the vacation apartment, hotel and resort chain, wants to strengthen its presence in Spain with a growth plan over three years, which will allow it to achieve 80 establishments in Spain and Portugal and increase is turnover in the region by more than 50% to around €100 million by the end of 2021, compared to its forecast revenues of €65 million for 2018 and €85 million for 2019.

The French company, which has added six new establishments to its portfolio this year, will add another three properties next year, taking the total to 59 complexes and 5,000 apartments by the end of 2019.

Its plans for 2021 include having 80 tourist complexes in Spain and Portugal, containing between 6,000 and 6,500 units, according to Ghislain d’Auvigny, Director General of Pierre & Vacances in Spain, talking to Expansión.

One of the most recent openings includes Madrid, where the company has just incorporated apartments in the Eurobuilding 2, a building with 123 apartments at number 69 Calle Orense. This represents Pierre & Vacances’s debut in the Spanish capital and it joins other urban complexes that the company already has in Sevilla and Barcelona.

Pierre & Vacances, which arrived in Spain in 2005, employs around 1,200 workers in the country during the high season. “We will continue to take advantage of opportunities and to reach agreements with owners for the management, rental and marketing of complexes”, said D’Auvigny.

In parallel, the company is going to take advantage of purchase opportunities if it finds the appropriate assets, although it will subsequently sell them to third parties, be they funds or individuals, to maintain its policy of not owning any assets itself.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander Awards the Management of Popular’s €5bn Portfolio to Blackstone

12 November 2018 – Expansión

Santander and Blackstone have reached an agreement whereby the US fund, through the real estate servicer Aliseda, has taken on the management of a portfolio of assets from Popular amounting to €5 billion, which Santander is retaining on its balance sheet. The portfolio includes real estate assets and loans linked to the retail segment and Santander is retaining ownership of 100% of the assets. They were left out of the transfer of Popular’s assets to Quasar, the joint venture that the bank and Blackstone launched last year.

Santander transferred the bulk of Popular’s damaged portfolio to Quasar (€30 billion gross, linked primarily to property developers), along with 100% of the share capital of Aliseda. Blackstone controls the management of Quasar and 51% of the shares and Santander the remaining 49%. The bank has this stake valued at €1.7 billion on its balance sheet.

“The assets under management have been classified into two different groups, to reflect their owner: the Santander Group portfolio, owned by Popular (and now absorbed by Santander) and the Popular portfolio, owned by Project Quasar 2017”, according to the annual accounts of Aliseda. Specific teams have been configured within the servicer to manage Santander’s assets.

As at June, the latest available disaggregated figures, the entity chaired by Ana Botín still had a portfolio of foreclosed assets amounting to €10.5 billion gross. They have been cleaned with €5.2 billion in provisions (48.9%), which brings their net value to €5.4 billion. Nevertheless, in September, it sold a portfolio of properties worth €1.5 billion to Cerberus. In addition, Santander has loans to property developers amounting to €5.7 billion. Of the total, €1.8 billion are doubtful balances, with a default rate of 32%.

Santander currently has agreements with three servicers (Altamira, Aliseda and Casaktua). It paid those three companies almost €460 million in management commissions last year.

Meanwhile, Aliseda, which is now controlled by Blackstone and Santander, has rescinded the syndicated loan that it signed in 2015. At the time, the funds Värde Partners and Kennedy Wilson owned 51% of the real estate manager’s share capital and Popular owned the remaining 49%.

Following the acquisition of Popular by Santander, the entity chaired by Ana Botón repurchased the 51% stake held by Värde Partners and Kennedy Wilson, as a step prior to the transfer of 100% of Aliseda to Quasar.

“According to the syndicated financing contract subscribed on 27 November 2015, the cancellation of the loan has been formalised, following the repayment of the principal and outstanding interest, and of the cancellation penalty for the overall amount of €266.03 million”, said Aliseda’s report.

The bank with the greatest share of the loan was Popular itself (33.33%), with an outstanding balance of €87.86 million at the end of 2017. Bankia, Santander, Sabadell and Bankinter, with shares of 10%, had outstanding balances of around €25 million each. ING (€24.3 million), Crédit Agricole (€23.3 million) and BBVA (€17.5 million) completed the group of banks in the syndicate.

The interest rate on the loan, conditioned on the debt ratio and the gross result of the company, was six-month Euribor plus a spread of between 2.75% and 3.50%.

Following the change of ownership of Aliseda and its senior management team, the servicer paid compensation for redundancies of €1.4 million last year. It also paid €5.64 million for a remuneration plan that granted certain executives the right to receive remuneration in the event of a change of control of the company.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Martínez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

IBA’s Socimi Zambal to Complete €80M Capital Increase

30 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Just over a year after expanding its share capital by more than €91 million, Zambal is preparing to undertake a new operation. The Socimi managed by IBA Capital has convened its shareholders for a General Meeting in September to carry out a new capital increase, in this case, amounting to €80 million.

According to a statement filed by the company with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), the capital increase will be undertaken through the issue of 80 million shares with a nominal value of €1 and an issue premium of €0.25, which “will be subscribed and fully paid up through the offsetting of loans”.

Without resorting to bank financing, Zambal has built a portfolio worth more than €730 million. The company’s main assets include, for example, the property at number 77 Avenida San Luis (which houses the headquarters of Gas Natural in Madrid); the Vodafone Building on Avenida de América, and number 18 Avenida de Burgos, which is leased in its entirety to BMW.

The Socimi, which started life in 2013, is an investment vehicle managed externally by IBA Capital Partners. The company specialises in the investment and subsequent management of assets in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona in the office and retail segments, although the company is also looking at other assets such as nursing homes, hospitals, retail parks and logistics platforms.

One of the most recent operations undertaken by Zambal was the purchase of two office buildings on Calle Albarracín in Madrid, which is leased to the French multi-national Atos. That operation involved an investment of €38 million.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vbare Acquires 14 Homes in Málaga for €1.35M

28 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Vbare is branching out of the Spanish capital. The Socimi has made the leap to Málaga with the acquisition of a block of residential assets for €1.35 million. This operation forms part of the company’s growth plans after it carried out a €3.2 million capital increase in June.

According to a statement filed by Vbare with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), this week, the company has signed the acquisition of a batch of fourteen homes on Calle Eugenio Gross in Málaga. The operation, which has been financed using the company’s available cash, was initiated in May when the company signed the deposit agreement.

Twelve of the homes acquired are leased and the remainder are vacant, “but in optimal conditions for their immediate rental”, according to the company. Vbare estimates a return of approximately 5.1% once the building has been fully let at market rents.

So far this year, Vbare has carried out five operations in the residential and commercial sectors. The Socimi ended the first quarter of the year with 210 assets under management and has set itself the objective of expanding its portfolio to include up to 261 residential units under management.

VBare is a real estate investment vehicle specialising in the acquisition and management of residential assets for their rental. The company was constituted in March 2015, is chaired by Fernando Acuña and led by Fabrizio Agrimi (pictured above) as the Director General.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

La Caixa’s Subsidiary Inmo Criteria Negotiates Purchase of Tertiary Plot in 22@

6 June 2018 – Eje Prime

More and more operations are being negotiated in the 22@ district of Barcelona. The latest to join the party is La Caixa, which, through its real estate subsidiary Inmo Criteria, is negotiating the purchase of a plot in 22@ on which it plans to build two office buildings with an above ground surface area of 27,000 m2, according to sources close to the operation speaking to Eje Prime. Although no more details have been disclosed at this stage, the price of the operation could amount to €34 million and will have also caught the attention of another group, namely Glenwell Group, which specialises in opportunities in the Spanish real estate sector, according to the same sources.

Nevertheless, Inmo Criteria is the best-positioned player to acquire this plot. If the operation goes ahead, then the real estate arm of La Caixa will acquire a plot of land located on the block of Calle Ávila y Badajoz, where two buildings are planned, spanning 14,500 m2 and 12,500 m2, respectively. The plots are owned by several owners, including the Miette Group, which declined to comment on the negotiation process.

According to sources close to the operation, the price being considered for the purchase of this land is, approximately, €1,250/m2, which would mean that for 27,000 m2, the buyer could end up spending between €33 million and €34 million. If Inmo Criteria does acquire the plot, it will carry out the promotion and marketing of the offices and will entrust the construction work to a third party, like a large number of groups in the sector do, such as Colonial for example.

Inmo Criteria is the owner of a portfolio of properties with a net value of €2.8 billion, of which €505 million are classified as available-for-sale, €605 million as rental properties, €1,146 million as land and €557 million dedicated to affordable housing programs. The portfolio of properties is managed by InmoCaixa, a company that belongs 100% to CriteriaCaixa (…).

Land in 22@ is highly sought-after

Land in 22@ has attracted attention from a large number of operators, who have invested in the district to promote new residential and office buildings. One example is La Llave de Oro, which signed the purchase of a plot measuring 3,330 m2 in the 22@ district of Barcelona in April for €22 million. On that plot, which had been owned by Metrovacesa, the group plans to build 17,400 m2 of offices (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake