OHL Negotiates the Sale of Canalejas for €200M to Raise Liquidity

15 April 2019 – Expansión

The construction group OHL is considering selling its 50% stake in the Canalejas complex in order to raise cash. The other half was acquired by the PokerStars founder, Mark Scheinberg, in February 2017.

Canalejas, which is located in the centre of Madrid, just a stone’s throw from Puerta del Sol, and which is going to house Spain’s first Four Seasons hotel, with 200 rooms and a 15,000 m2 high-end shopping arcade, is one of the jewel’s in OHL’s crown. Nevertheless, the construction company chaired by Juan Villar-Mir de Fuentes, needs funding to undertake new projects and return to growth, and so it is considering selling its 50% stake in the complex.

Although no formal competitive process has been opened, sources report that preliminary conversations are being held with interested investors, including one international fund.

Canalejas spans a surface area of 50,000 m2 and its development has involved the investment of €525 million. The complex is due to open in the final quarter of this year.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo & C. Morán)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Seeks 40 Luxury Brands For ‘Galería de Canalejas’

19 July 2017 – Eje Prime

More than nine million people visited Madrid in 2016. Of those, 4.6 million were foreigners. The museums, Royal Palace, Retiro Park and Santiago Bernabéu were some of the most popular attractions, although the centre of the capital took the biscuit, receiving the most visitors overall. This area is also home to the most luxurious hotels in Madrid and several more are currently being built there. Nevertheless, there is no shopping area to cater for these high-end visitors and hotel guests. And that is precisely the gap that the Canalejas complex wants to fill. And if it does so, the shopping arcade could revolutionise Madrid’s high street.

After more than ten years of abandon, the group of seven buildings located at the intersection of Calles Alcalá, Sevilla and San Jerónimo promises to become a wake-up-car for retail, especially fashion, in the centre of the capital. Promoted by OHL Desarrollos and Grupo Villar Mir, Madrid’s Canalejas Centre welcomed a new shareholder in February, with the arrival of the company Mohari Limited, in which the co-founder of Poker Stars, Mark Scheinberg owns a stake. His company purchased 50% of the complex for €225 million.

A Four Seasons hotel with 200 rooms, 22 private residences associated with the hotel, a 400-space car park and the shopping arcade will comprise the complex’s four main areas. The shopping arcade, which will link Calles Alcalá and Canalejas, will be the heart of the centre and has plans to welcome more than 2 million clients every year (of the 147 million people who move in the vicinity of the centre each year).

With a select client profile, the Galería de Canalejas will comprise a commercial space with a surface area of 15,000 m2, which will be home to more than 40 fashion, cosmetic/perfume and jewellery/watch brands (on the ground and first floors) as well as a restaurant area covering more than 3,000 m2 (on the lower ground floor).

Canalejas has already started to market the space and is getting ready to sign the first agreements with some of the high-end operators, which will take receipt of their stores in November 2018 ready to open their doors in 2019, at the same time as the rest of the complex.

There are no plans for any of the large retailers (such as Zara and Uniqlo) to open stores in the complex, given that the positioning of the centre and the space requirements of such players do not tally. According to the managers of the centre, the average asking prices for the stores are below the average for the area, given that the whole zone is conditioned by Preciados, the most expensive street in Madrid for opening retail premises.

With the aim of securing around forty brands to occupy the premises, which will measure between 40 m2 and 400 m2 each, Canalejas is looking for high-end, premium firms in the fashion, jewellery and cosmetics segments (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

50% Of Lagasca 99’s Luxury Homes Have Been Pre-Reserved

27 March 2017 – Expansión

A “unique” project, destined to become a “European and international architectural icon”. That is the ambitious challenge that the Socimi Lar España and the largest fund manager Pimco have set themselves in an unusual project for both partners, namely: the luxury residential building, Lagasca 99. Lar España and its largest shareholder purchased the company Juan Bravo 3 at the end of 2014. At the time, the company owned the plot of land at the address of its name, in the exclusive neighbourhood of Madrid.

The company had been created in December 2006 by the real estate company Eurosazor, controlled by the businessman Rafael Ortiz. Ortiz had wanted to construct the most exclusive development in the capital, inspired by the One Hyde skyscraper in London. Nevertheless, financial difficulties left Eurosazor and Juan Bravo 3 filing for bankruptcy and the project never got off the ground. Then, Lar and Pimco invested €120 million to acquire the plot of land (along with the loans linked to the company that owned that land) and, ten years later, and also with the support of the renowned architect Rafael de la Hoz, the development has now resumed with a novel concept.

The future property, which will have a constructed surface area of 26,203 m2, will contain 44 homes, compared with the 60 units that Eurosazor had planned, and the 55 that were initially proposed by the new owners. These homes, spread over nine floors plus penthouses, will be located at different heights, including duplexes with ceilings measuring more than five metres high and duplex penthouses measuring up to 700 m2, including terraces and private swimming pools.

The building, which will offer five different types of homes, will incorporate elements such as bevelled corners and shark fins on the windows, which will allow natural light to enter the homes whilst at the same time ensuring the privacy of residents. Each home will have a minimum surface area of 330 m2 and will be sold for around €12,00/m2, and up to €14,000/m2 for the most exclusive units, say sources in the sector. In addition, each property will include two or three parking spaces – Colliers International will be responsible for marketing the properties.

The buyers of these exclusive homes (pre-reservations already exist for 50%) will have access to a gym and indoor swimming pool, as well as a wellness centre and a rooftop garden with an outdoor pool and landscaped roof. The development is expected to be ready by the beginning of 2018.

Lagasca 99 will compete against homes in the Canalejas complex to become the most luxurious development in Madrid. Located next to Puerta del Sol, the project run by Villar Mir (which Mark Scheinberg has just acquired a stake in) will build around twenty luxury apartments. Their residents will have access to the services of the five-star hotel in the same building, which will be operated by the Four Seasons chain.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Sells 50% Of Canalejas To PokerStars Founder

13 February 2017 – Expansión

Mark Scheinberg, the co-founder of the website PokerStars, has fought off other candidates, such as the Middle Eastern fund Adia, the real estate fund TH Real Estate and the banker Jaime Gilinski in the bid for the 50% stake in the company Centro Canalejas de Madrid that Villar Mir put up for sale last year.

The Israelí businessman and Isle of Man resident will pay €225 million for half of the development company behind the complex, and OHL will receive €78.85 million of that amount, after it sold the 17.5% stake that it owned in the company through its subsidiary OHL Desarrollos, confirmed the company last Thursday in a statement to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

Following the operation, OHL Desarrollos and Grupo Villar Mir, which will continue as shareholders of the company with stakes of 17.5% and 32.5%, respectively, will retain control over the management of the project until it opens. The sale will generate a profit of approximately €29 million for OHL.

Scheinberg, who is 43 years old and who has a fortune worth $4,100 million according to Forbes, thanks to the success of his online gaming portal, has whereby become the new partner in the project that Villar Mir is undertaking in the centre of Madrid. It involves the renovation of seven former Santander office buildings into a luxury complex containing a Four Seasons hotel, c. 20 high-end homes and a shopping arcade covering 9,000 m2. (…).

For this development, Villar Mir created a company in which its subsidiary Inmobiliaria Espacio owned a 75% stake, with the remaining 25% owned by OHL, which also assumed the roles of promoter, developer and construction company. The budget for the development was set at €500 million, an amount that the group was intending to fund in its entirety.

Nevertheless, problems with the group’s builder caused Villar Mir to propose the sale of a minority stake in the complex, amongst other divestments (…).

To accelerate this sale, Grupo Villar Mir engaged the real estate consultancy firm Colliers last September. A multitude of investors, from all sorts of backgrounds, were interested in the asset. In the end, the vendor opted for Scheinberg as a partner in its Madrilenian project. (…).

Project

The Canalejas Complex will open at the beginning of 2019, three and a half years later than planned, after work at the site was temporarily suspended due to differences in opinion regarding the conservation of the protected elements of the properties. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz and Carlos Morán)

Translation: Carmel Drake