Union Investment Sells Pórtico Building in Madrid to a French Fund

19 July 2018 – Eje Prime

International operation in the office market in Madrid. The German fund Union Investment has sold the Pórtico building to a leading French investment company. The price of the operation has not been revealed, but it exceeded the valuation.

The building, located at number 2 Calle Mahonia, in the Campo de las Naciones area, spans a surface area of 21,000 m2 spread over seven storeys. Moreover, the asset has 413 parking spaces. The operation has been advised by CBRE.

The tenants of the property, which used to be the headquarters of Marsans for several years, include the cruise company Pullmantur and the liquor company Beam Suntory. The building is almost completely occupied, according to details provided by the last owners, who were asking €130 million for the asset when they put it on the market in January.

Pórtico, designed by the architects SOM and Rafael de La-Hoz, was constructed in 2005 and has formed part of Union Investment’s real estate portfolio since 2008. The asset was included in the group’s Unilmo: Deutschland portfolio.

The operation represents the end of Unilmo: Deutschland’s investments in Spain. Nevertheless, Union Investment is continuing to analyse the commercial property market in Madrid for possible new purchases.

Not in vain, at the beginning of the year, the German fund acquired a commercial asset on central Calle Fuencarral in the Spanish capital. Union Investment also owns two offices buildings in Spain and a hotel in Barcelona, which together have a combined value of approximately €190 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Thor Equities Sells c/Fuencarral 16 to Union Investment

31 January 2018 – Eje Prime

The fund Thor Equities is closing its positions in Spain. The group has sold number 16 Calle Fuencarral to the institutional fund Union Investment. Just before the operation, Thor Equities signed a rental contract to lease the store to the Swedish giant H&M, the second largest fashion retailer in the world, which will open a branch of its Cos chain there.

The establishment has a surface area of 1,320 m2, according to explanations provided in a statement issued by Union Investment and Thor Equities. The five-storey property was constructed in 1900 and was completely renovated in 2017. The fund changed the use of the property in order to convert it into a mega-store, whereby following the trend in the market in the centre of Madrid, as well as the example set by other real estate investors.

The operation, whose amount has not been disclosed, represents the first purchase by Union Investment in the market for high-street stores in Spain, although assets in the retail sector already account for 30% of the portfolio that the fund manages in Europe.

Nevertheless, the group already owned assets in the Spanish market. What’s more, the fund has already started to cash in some of its properties in the country with the sale of the former headquarters of Marsans. The Pórtico Building, located in Campo de las Naciones in Madrid, is up for sale for €130 million, a higher amount than the €115 million that the German investment group paid in 2009 to the now extinct travel company.

Headquartered in Frankfurt, the German company currently has several high profile tenants leasing that property, including: Pepsico, Pullmantur, Nautalia and Beam España, amongst others. With a gross leasable area of 27,000 m2, the Pórtico Building was designed by the architecture studios SOM and Rafael de La-Hoz.

Union Investment’s decision to put this asset on the market comes at a time when there is a distinct shortage of space in the office segment, after the leasing of offices grew by 31% in Madrid in 2017, to 543,000 m2, according to the consultancy Cushman&Wakefield.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Union Investment Puts Marsans’ Former HQ up for Sale

16 January 2018 – Expansión

The fund Union Investment, which is headquartered in Frankfurt, has decided to cash in one of its most high profile real estate assets in Spain.

The firm has put the Edificio Pórtico in Madrid up for sale. Designed by the architecture studios SOM and Rafael de La-Hoz, this office building is leased in its entirety to several companies including Pullmantur, Redexis Gas, Nautalia, Beam España and Pepsico, amongst others. Nevertheless, it is well-known because it housed the headquarters of the tourist group Marsans for several years. The company created by Gerardo Díaz and Gonzalo Pascual purchased the property in 2009 from Hines and Monthisa for an amount that was never disclosed. Years later, Marsans reached an agreement with Union Investment to sell the building for €115 million through a sale & leaseback contract, whereby the tourist group remained as the tenant paying a monthly rent of more than €700,000.

A year later, Marsans received an eviction notice due to the non-payment of the rent, and it abandoned the property in 2011 once it had filed for liquidation. The departure of its main tenant did not represent a problem for Union Investment, which soon found replacements.

Currently, the building, which has a gross leaseable area (GLA) of 27,000 m2 spread over eight floors, is leased in its entirety. That, together with the quality of the property and the stamp of two recognised architecture studios, raises its appeal in the market.

For the sale, the German fund has engaged the real estate consultancy CBRE, which has already started to reach out to the usual investors in the office market in Madrid. The sales price amounts to around €130 million, say sources in the know, and the operation is expected to be closed during the first half of this year.

Investment in offices in Spain amounted to €2.21 billion in 2017, according to JLL, down by 20% compared to the previous year.

Lack of supply

That decrease was much more marked in Madrid, which although continued to lead the investment market in Spain, with investment of €1.374 billion, suffered a decrease of 38% in 2017 with respect to the previous year.

“Nevertheless, that reduction was not due to a decrease in investor interest, but rather a lack of supply, given that the two previous years saw record figures”, explains Borja Ortega, Director of Capital Markets at JLL (…).

Meanwhile, Union Investment is one of the largest investment fund managers in Germany. In Spain, its recent operations include the sale of the Área Sur shopping centre, located in the Cadiz town of Jerez, which it sold last year to a joint venture controlled by Axa IM-Real Assets and the Portuguese real estate company Sonae Sierra for €110 million. At the global level, the German firm manages assets worth more than €250 billion.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake