AliExpress Intent on Acquiring Land to Build a Logistics Platform in Seville

5 December 2019 – AliExpress, the international subsidiary of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is looking to enter the fray in Europe by acquiring land for a major logistics centre in Spain. Just a year ago, the firm partnered with El Corte Inglés to open its first brick-and-mortar store on the continent, in Madrid. Now AliExpress, whose second-largest overseas market is Spain, is looking to develop a new logistics centre in the metropolitan area of ​​Seville.

The firm is following in the footsteps of its principal competitor, the US behemoth Amazon. AliExpress is now looking to build a 120,000-m2 logistics platform in the Megapark Business Estate, where its rival has a 200,000-m2 facility.

AliExpress’s immediate needs include an approximately 60,000-m2 warehouse, with the possibility of further expansion. Megapark benefits from easy access to rail, road and maritime transport links.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Carlos Pizá de Silva

Photo: Reuters

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Lar España Invests €2M on Renovation of As Termas Shopping Centre in Lugo

31 August 2018 – Eje Prime

Lar España is revaluing one of its assets. The Socimi specialising in retail is going to invest €2 million in the renovation of its As Termas shopping centre, located in the city of Lugo.

The building work will begin in September and is expected to be finished by the end of the year. The company has set itself the objective of improving the restaurant areas and the overall comfort of the centre to “allow greater convenience for both customers and tenants”.

The company is also going to launch other renovation projects soon, including the refurbishment of the following shopping centres: Megapark in Vizcaya; Ànec Blau in Barcelona; and Portal de la Marina in Alicante. As at 30 June 2018, the market value of Lar España’s asset portfolio amounted to €1.58 billion.

During the first half of 2018, Lar España invested €41.3 million, with the largest amount being allocated to the development of the Palmas Altas shopping centre in Sevilla, followed by the Lagasca 99 residential development in Madrid and the VidaNova Parc retail park in Valencia.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

4 Socimis Have Accumulated Assets Worth €10,250M In 2 Years

26 September 2016 – Expansión

Merlin, Hispania, Axiare and Lar España, which all debuted on the stock market in 2014, have closed June with assets worth €10,253 million. From zero to €10,000 million in just two years. That is the giddy journey that the largest four Spanish Socimis have just embarked on. (…).

Merlin Properties

Founded by Ismael Clemente and his team at the management firm Magic Real, Merlin is now the eighth largest real estate company in Europe and the largest in Spain. (…).

Merlin debuted on the stock market with an initial share capital of €1,250 million and in less than three months it managed to invest €1,000 million. As at June 2016, its real estate portfolio was worth €6,527 million, with office buildings (with an estimated value of around €2,338 million), high street premises (worth €2,040 million) and shopping centres (€709 million) representing the Socimi’s main investment categories.

During the first half of 2016, Merlin bought two office buildings in Portugal; four logistics assets under development in Pinto (Madrid), Azuqueca (Guadalajara), Meco (Madrid) and Cabanillas (Guadalajara); a retail outlet in the Larios shopping centre and another property in Porto Pi. The Socimi spent €149.3 million in total on these purchases.

The shareholders of Merlin and Metrovacesa recently approved the merger of the two companies, which means that the Socimi will soon own assets worth €9,400 million.

Lar España

It was the first Socimi to debut on the sotck market (in March 2014), it is managed by the team from the real estate company Lar and it had an initial share capital of €400 million. Lar España closed the first half of 2016 with a portfolio worth €1,050 million.

The main operations of the company include several recent acquisitions, including the Vistahermosa retail park in Alicante; large establishments such as Megapark; and the luxury residential project Juan Bravo 3, which it is developing along with one of its shareholders, the US management firm Pimco.

Others, such as the Gran Vía de Vigo shopping centre, purchased for €141 million, will be accounted for in the third quarter of this year, as the Socimi strengthens its commitment to the shopping centre market in Spain.

Hispania

Another real estate company, Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios, also debuted on the stock market in March 2014. The company, created by the managers of Azora, Fernando Gumuzio and Concha Osácar, raised €550 million to purchase various assets.

After acquiring several complexes of homes, hotels along the coast and offices in Madrid and Barcelona, Hispania launched a takeover bid for the real estate company Realia to create a giant in the sector. That transaction was foiled in the end, after the Mexican businessman Carlos Slim made a better offer, and so Hispania opted for another operation: an alliance with the chain Barceló to create Bay, a Socimi specialising in hotels.

Currently, Hispania owns a portfolio of assets worth €1,627 million, which represents a two-fold valuation increase compared to the same period in 2015. Its hotel portfolio alone is worth €970.3 million. As at 31 December, the Socimi owned properties worth €1,425 million, but following its purchase of assets such as the San Miguel company (owner of three hotels in Ibiza) and a residential complex in Madrid (Hispanidad), that value increased.

Moreover, Hispania has managed to revalue its hotel portfolio by €67 million, its offices by €28 million and its residential portfolio by €22 million.

Axiare

Axiare was the last of the great Socimis to list on the stock market, in July 2014, when it had €360 million to invest.

As at 30 June, Axiare’s portfolio of assets was worth €1,049 million, which represents an increase of 25.3% over the acquisition prices of those assets.

Moreover, the Socimi is in “advanced” negotiations regarding investments worth €400 million. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deloitte: Inv’t In Shopping Centres Exceeded €1,500M In 2015

26 January 2016 – Expansión

Shopping centres are once again the most desirable assets for real estate investors, together with offices. The decrease in the price of all assets in general and the outlook for the recovery in consumption have placed shopping centres at the top of the list for funds and Socimis once again.

Although the final operations from last year have not been formalised yet, Deloitte calculates that investment in shopping centres amounted to €1,500 million in 2015, a figure than may increase by a further €100 million as a result of the transactions currently being closed, according to a study by its Financial Advisory team.

“29 operations were closed in 2015 and two or three more deals may be added to the list, once the final numbers have been formalised, which would increase total investment by around €130 million”, says Javier García-Mateo, Partner in the Financial Advisory team at Deloitte.

During the 10 months to October, investment in shopping centres in Spain amounted to €1,196 million, which fell below the figure recorded during the same period in 2014 (€2,247 million), but was higher than the amount spent in 2013 (in €867 million). Over the last three years, purchases of shopping centres accounted for around 25% of total investment volumes.

Highlights in this segment in 2015 include: the acquisition of the Plenilunio shopping centre in Madrid, for which the French group Klépierre paid the fund Orion €375 million. Lar España’s purchase of the Megapark in Bilbao, which also came in above the €100 million mark – the Socimi paid €170 million for that shopping centre. “The types of investor are very varied. Socimis and private equity funds are dominating the stage, but private investors are also making sizeable acquisitions in light of the ever lower yields being offered in the market for high street premises”, says García-Mateo.

Revaluations

The progressive increase in the interest for shopping centres has resulted in a decrease in the yield on these operations, which has fallen by 100 points in the last year, to reach 4.75%. As such it is now in line with the yields seen in other large European real estate markets such as Belgium (4.75%) and the UK (4.5%).

Another consequence has been the revaluation of this type of property. In less than two years, some shopping centres have experienced revaluations of more than 20%, says Deloitte.

Another key is the return of bank financing for the purchase of these assets. “The Spanish banks are positioning themselves strongly as financing sources against the funds of debt that have been financing shopping centre purchases until now”, added García-Mateo.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

German Bad Bank Finalises Sale Of Spanish Assets To Oaktree

8 May 2015 – Cinco Días

Over the next few weeks the German bad bank is expected to sell the assets that it owns in Spain. FMS Wertmanagement expects to sell the so-called Gaudí portfolio, which contains properties in Spain and Portugal, in a single transaction to Oaktree.

“Now is the time to sell the whole portfolio”, said José Holgado yesterday, Commercial Director of FMW Wetmanagement, at the Spanish real estate market’s second investment forum, which was held yesterday as part of SIMA (Salón Inmobiliario Internacional de Madrid or Madrid International Real Estate Fair). Holgado estimated that the value of the portfolio amounts to almost €900 million, although that is the nominal value, which will be reduced during the final negotiations.

The German entity, created in 2010 with assets from the nationalised Hypo Real Estate bank, operates in the same way as Sareb, the Spanish bad bank. Although the nominal value (of the portfolio) is almost €900 million, it is understood that these non-performing loans and assets have lost value since the start of the housing crisis, therefore they will be sold at below market prices, in the same way as (the assets sold by) the Spanish Sareb. Moreover, since (the portfolio is being) sold on a wholesale basis, the cost will also decrease.

Although several funds have valued FMS Wertmanagement’s portfolio, in the end it will be the Californian fund Oaktree, owner of Panrico, which takes over the Gaudí portfolio, subject to the negotiation of the final details. One of the most significant assets in the portfolio is the luxury Hotel Arts de Barcelona, a five star property managed by Ritz-Carlton. This complex was acquired by several buyers in 2006, including one company that was linked to the Singapore fund GIC. The German bank Hypo Real Estate was one of the entities that granted loans (to it). Once HRE was nationalised, part of the unpaid, syndicated debt was transferred to FMW Wertmanagement.

Other funds

According to the specialist publication CoStar, in addition to Oaktree, the portfolio also sparked interest from other funds including Cerberus Capital Management, Orion Capital Managers and Colony Capital. That publication estimates that the final price of the transaction will amount to approximately €500 million.

The sale of the Gaudí portfolio, which is being managed by Cushman & Wakefield, comprises 16 loans in Spain and two in Portugal. According to sources close to the transaction, Oaktree would immediately acquire another five star hotel in Cascais (Portugal), five shopping centres, four office blocks, 17 industrial storerooms, as well as several other residential and industrial assets.

The shopping centres include the MegaPark in Barakaldo (Vizcaya), Heron City de Las Rozas and Plaza Éboli, both in Madrid.

According to Holgado, FMW Wertmanagement commenced operation holding debt from assets worth €175,000 million, of which €100,000 million have now been sold. The director of the German bad bank said that now is the right time to sell given the significant liquidity in the market.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake