Marathon Puts the Bahía Azul Shopping Centre in Málaga up for Sale for c. €30M

11 April 2019 – Idealista

The US fund Marathon has put the Bahía Azul shopping centre in Málaga up for sale for an asking price of between €25 million and €30 million.

Marathon has owned the centre since 2016, when it acquired it for €18.5 million, and has appointed Savills-Aguirre Newman to manage the sale, which will begin after Easter.

Bahía Azul, which was inaugurated in November 2008, has a surface area of 13,827 m2, divided into four retail spaces, plus a 9,445 m2 underground parking lot. It is located opposite Guadalmar in the same complex as Ikea, and is home to high-profile brands including Worten, Conforama, Schmidt, Prenatal, McDonald’s, Visionlab, Carrión and Maisons du Monde.

Marathon Asset Management has headquarters in New York, London and Singapore. It is one of the minority shareholders of the property developer Vía Célere, which is controlled (75%) by Värde.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Marathon Acquires 2 Office Buildings in Madrid from CaixaBank

14 February 2019 – El Confidencial

The US fund Marathon Asset Management, one of the first to back the recovery of the residential property development sector in Spain, has set its sights on the peripheral office market. According to sources speaking to this newspaper, the firm has purchased a complex measuring 17,557 m2 in Madrid from CaixaBank.

The complex comprises two office buildings and 300 parking spaces, as well as several commercial premises and is located at number 43 on Avenida Institución Libre de Enseñanza in the Julián Camarillo area, which is home to the offices of companies such as Atos, Indra and Prisa.

It is the second operation of its kind that Marathon has carried out in the past three months, given that in November, it acquired a mixed-used complex, also in this area from Credit Suisse. That complex comprised an office building and a hotel managed by Barceló.

Specialising in value-added operations, as demonstrated in the past, with its anticipation of the recovery of the residential property development market with its investments in Habitat and San José Desarrollos (now Vía Célere), the fund is convinced about the potential of the secondary office market in Spain, which it has placed at the centre of its investment target.

In fact, Marathon is interested in closing more acquisitions of this kind both in Madrid, where it plans to continue growing in the Julián Camarillo area, and in Barcelona, where it is looking at opportunities in areas such as 22@.

Last sale by CaixaBank

The fund, which has been advised in its purchase from CaixaBank by Cuatrecasas, Arcadis and Doble Dígito Brokerage, is planning to carry out a comprehensive repositioning of the asset, given that its current occupancy rate amounts to just 30%, according to market sources. They also indicate that the acquisition price will have amounted to around €15 million.

This complex was originally promoted by Grupo Veintidós in 2010, a company that ended up transferring ownership of the complex to CaixaBank, which lodged it in its real estate subsidiary Building Center.

Meanwhile, the bank reached an agreement with Lone Star last year to sell 80% of its real estate business, which means that this could be one of the last operations that the real estate subsidiary carries out under the control of the entity.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Marathon & Colliers Team Up to Finance €200M of Land Purchases in Spain

25 April 2018 – Expansión

MCAP, one of the funds managed by Marathon, is going to offer financing to property developers and cooperatives for the acquisition of finalist land amounting to €200 million.

The current objective of many international investment funds is to take advantage of the strong performance of the house buying market in Spain at the moment, either through the launch of their own property developers or by forming alliances with third parties.

The latest to join the bandwagon is the US manager Marathon Asset Management. The firm has announced that it is going to allocate €200 million to finance the purchase of finalist land in the Spanish market through its London-based subsidiary.

The resources, which come from funds managed by MCAP Global Finance UK, will be shared between property developers and cooperative managers in search of alternative financing and bridge loans for their projects.

The objective is to finance up to 75% of the land value (LTV) depending on the commercial viability of each project, explained sources at Colliers Internacional, Marathon’s partner in this plan. “We expect to close financing agreements amounting to more than €100 million over the next six months”, said Mikel Echavarren, CEO of Colliers International.

The team at Colliers plans to close the first agreements with cooperatives and property developers that are carrying out projects located in Madrid, Málaga, Valencia and Sevilla over the next few weeks. The minimum investment volumes will amount to between €2 million and €3 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Marathon Finalises Purchase Of 8 Shopping Centres In Spain & Italy

6 June 2017 – Expansión

The US fund Marathon Asset Management is negotiating the purchase of a new European portfolio to incorporate into its list of real estate investments. The company, one of the star shareholders of the Spanish property developer Vía Célere, together with Värde, is finalising the purchase of a portfolio, known as Bronze, comprising eight shopping centres located in several towns in Spain (2) and Italy (6).

These centres were acquired by the Pradera European Retail Fund between the end of 2006 and the middle of 2009 and their current market value amounts to €326 million. Six of the retail establishments are located in Italy. The largest, Domus Shopping Centre, has a gross leasable area (GLA) of 26,795 m2 and is located in Rome. Moreover, another is located in Formia, measuring 23,422 m2, called Itaca, and the Prato Sardo Shopping Centre, measuring 15,724 m2, is located in Nuoro, on the island of Sardinia. Three of these shopping centres are fully occupied, whilst the occupancy level of the property in Rome is 77%.


In the case of the Spanish component, Pradera is selling the La Marina shopping centre, located in Benidorm; and the Llobregat centre, located in Barcelona. La Marina covers a retail surface area of 35,599 m2 and its occupancy level stands at around 94%. Meanwhile, the Llobregat centre is smaller, with a GLA of 14,160 m2, and its occupancy rate amounts to around 66%.

The value of the Spanish establishments amounts to around €95 million. La Marina was one of the first properties to be purchased by Pradera’s retail fund, which spent €525 million on nine operations in Spain and Portugal in December 2006.

In fact, initially, Pradero included a Spanish third shopping centre in the sales process: the Travesía de Vigo centre. Acquired in 2007 for €40 million, this property, with a GLA of almost 10,000 m2, is currently worth €26 million. Although Pradera initially planned to sell, in the end, it has decided to exclude it from the batch for sale, explained sources close to the process.

Marathon already owns one shopping centre in Spain, given that at the beginning of last year, it acquired Bahía Azul in Málaga for €18.5 million.

Record investment

The operation by the US fund reflects the interest from real estate investors in shopping centres, after investment figures reached record levels in the last two years.

In 2016, investment in shopping centres amounted to €3,500 million, up by 59% compared to a year earlier. During the first three months of 2017, investment in commercial assets reached €1,365 million, which represented a significant proportion of the total investment in non-residential real estate (€2,326 million). Of that figure, several operations stand out, such as Intu Properties’ purchase of the Xanadú shopping centre, in Arroyomolinos (Madrid), for €530 million.

Recent purchases by international investors include the operation closed by the British management company Schroders, which spent €52.5 million on the acquisition of the Metromar shopping centre, in Sevilla.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake