Real Madrid to Invest €525M in the Modernisation of the Bernabéu Stadium

2 April 2019 – Eje Prime

On Tuesday, Real Madrid and the Town Hall of the Spanish capital announced the launch of a project to modernise the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, which will see a total investment of €525 million. The work will begin at the end of May and is due to be completed at the end of 2023, with no planned disruption to the fixture schedule during that period.

According to the club’s President, Florentino Pérez (pictured above, right), Real Madrid has already spent €500 million upgrading its facilities since 2000. Specifically, it has invested €256 million in several updates to the stadium and another €231 million in the construction of the Ciudad Real Madrid training ground in Valdebebas.

The latest project, designed by GMP Arquitectos/L-35/Ribas will involve a new step in the transformation of the stadium, although few details have been revealed at this stage. During the first phase, the La Esquina del Bernabéu shopping centre will be demolished to create a large square and another square will be built next to Paseo de la Castellana.

In total, 23,000 m2 of space will be freed up and distributed between stores and restaurants to complement the museum, which will also be expanded. The capacity of the stadium will also be expanded by 1,000, which will be dedicated in their entirety to people with reduced mobility or some kind of disability.

It is not yet known who will carry out the work or how the project will be financed, but a tender process for the execution of the work is scheduled to open in April. Four companies are predicted to participate: Acciona, FCC, Ferrovial and San José.

Original story: Eje Prime (by M. Menchén)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Negotiates Purchase of Grupo Alua’s Hotels

18 December 2017 – Expansión

The US investment fund Blackstone wants to strengthen its position in the hotel segment in Spain. After acquiring Sabadell’s hotel portfolio in October for €630 million, Blackstone is now analysing the acquisition of the hotel portfolio owned by Alua Hotels & Resorts to strengthen its presence in the market.

Sources in the sector explain to Expansión that the US fund has been negotiating with the owners of Alua for several months regarding the operation and, although it is not the only player bidding for its portfolio, it is one of the best positioned to close the deal. The portfolio owned by Alua Hotels & Resorts currently includes seven hotels with more than 1,700 rooms located in different parts of the Balearic and Canary Islands.

Specifically, Alua owns four establishments in Palma de Mallorca: the AlauSoul Palma, with 120 rooms; the AluaSoul Mallorca Resort, with 371 rooms; the AluaSoul Alcudia Bay, with 171 rooms; and the AluaSun Torrenova, with 256 rooms.

Management agreement

In addition, it owns the AluaSoul (in Ibiza), with 290 rooms; the Hotel Parque San Antonio (in Tenerife), with 252 rooms; and the Hotel Ambar Beach, (in Fuerteventura) with 244 rooms.

Alua Hotels & Resorts –previously known as Feel Hotels Group– was created in 2015, inspired by the European private equity firm Alchemy Special Opportunities and by Javier Águila, former Director of Orizonia, following the purchase of six hotels, with more than 1,200 rooms, in Mallorca and Ibiza. The portfolio used to be owned by Marina Hotels (…).

Moreover, Alua Hotels & Resorts manages five Intertur Hotels acquired in May 2017 by KKR and Dunas Capital. Those establishments, which comprise 1,120 rooms in Mallorca and Ibiza, were worth just over €120 million.

The agreement reached between KKR, Dunas Capital and Alua Hotels & Resorts considered the repositioning and modernisation of the five establishments and the management of the hotels by Alua following the entry into force of the agreement and their marketing under its brand in 2018.

Alua Hotels & Resorts, which last year recorded turnover of €28 million, has more than 1,200 employees.

Record investment

The tourism boom in Spain, the appetite for real estate and the liquidity in the market are continuing to encourage hotel investment, which may reach €3 billion by the end of the year; that would represent a new record for this segment (…).

Moreover, if these negotiations prove successful, the operation would allow Blackstone to shore up its position in Spain. The US fund has become one of the stars of the real estate sector this year, having closed some of the most high-profile transactions in recent months (…).

Of the (14) hotels that Blackstone purchased from Sabadell, six are located in the Canary Islands (two in Tenerife and four in Gran Canaria) and the rest are located in Cataluña (in Sitges and Roses), the Community of Valencia (in Benidorm and Valencia), Málaga (two) and another two in Mallorca and Madrid (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

KKR & Neinver Finalise Sale Of Nassica Shopping Centre

8 August 2016 – Expansión

The US investment firm KKR and the real estate company Neinver are finalising the sale of the Nassica shopping centre, located in the Madrilenian town of Getafe, to TIAA Henderson Real Estate.

The price of the transaction, advised by the real estate consultancy Knight Frank, is expected to exceed €100 million.

The transaction is expected to be completed soon, after the due diligence process has been completed. TIAA Henderson also currently owns another Madrilenian shopping centre, Isla Azul.

Nassica, which receives more than 12 million visitors per year, has a gross leasable area (GLA) of 50,200 sqm and 4,000 parking spaces.

The centre includes a 10,700 sqm Carrefour hypermarket. The retail offering is completed by brands such as Conforama, Décimas, Merkal, Toys ‘R’ Us, Worten and Kiwoko. In addition, the site has a The Style Outlets centre with a surface area of almost 21,000 sqm.

In addition, Nassica has a 20-screen cinema, with more than 5,000 seats, as well as an area dedicated to leisure with more than 25 restaurants.

KKR, which created a joint venture with the real estate company Neinver in 2014 to acquire Nassica, will sell the property just two years after it bought it. At the time, the investment fund and the Spanish operator bought the Nassica and Vista Alegre shopping centres, both from the Pillar Retail European Fund, whose majority shareholder is British Land, for around €90 million.

Constructed by Neinver in 2002, the Nassica shopping and leisure centre underwent a makeover in 2015 to renovate and modernise its facilities. The renovation included both the decor of the property as well as changes to the shopping centre’s common areas. In this way, for example, the paving and façade were refurbished and new recreation areas and green spaces were created, and the terraces were made more accessible.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Rental Prices Will Rise On La Castellana After The Summer

6 July 2016 – Expansión

Madrid’s financial district is refreshing its image and prices are set to rise in the area after the summer. The Spanish capital’s La Castellana thoroughfare is aiming to attract tenants who are willing to prioritise the quality of space over rental costs.

Whilst investors remain attentive to the course of events unfolding in the City (London), following Brexit’s victory in the EU referendum held on 23 June, and the formation of a new Government in Spain after the election on 26 June, business is continuing as usual and the capital’s financial district is getting ready to open its doors to some new tenants. Some of the countries in the Eurozone may, over time, attract some of the activity that has been performed in the United Kingdom until now, and if this becomes a reality, Madrid’s financial district could represent a good option for companies currently headquartered in London.

Torre Europa is preparing itself to this end. Grupo Infinorsa has launched a process to renovate the property following KPMG’s departure and will allocate €20 million to the modernisation of its facilities. In the same way, GMP is in the middle of renovating the Castellana 77 skyscraper, known as Torre Ederra – the former headquarters of Saint Gobain – as well as Castellana 81 – Torre BBVA – to adapt them both to the new demands of the market. Another building that is looking for new tenants is Torre Picasso following EY’s move to Torre Titania. (…).

Sources at Cushman & Wakefield explain that demand is not growing in Madrid at the moment. “GDP levels are similar to during the years before the crisis, and so around 200,000 sqm of space is being leased out per year. The main explanation is uncertainty”. Moreover, it seems like the slowdown is more acute in the financial district, due to the quality of available stock and the cost. (…).

José Miguel Setién, Director of the Office Business at JLL, explains that renting in Madrid has been cheap until now and the price ratio is still very attractive when compared with other major European cities; this means that there is still a lot of potential in the Spanish capital. “Provided there are no political or structural macroeconomic problems, the figure trend is that the market will continue to rise”, he added.

The CEO of Aguirre Newman, Jaime Pascual-Sanchiz de la Serna, explained that offices in prime areas, as well as in the market in general, have been very static in terms of renovations and new projects. Pascual-Sanchiz says that several projects launched within the last 12 months will come onto the market within the next year. In his opinion, they will be a good indicator for measuring the evolution of offices. “The owners of those properties, including Pontegadea, Mutua Madrileña and the Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros do not have financial problems, and are not desperate to lease their properties at any price”. For the expert, although we are seeing small and medium-sized operations in the area, the large moves, which are more dependent on the domestic and international political situation, will have to be unblocked after the summer.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BlueBay Prepares To Launch Hotel Socimi

2 February 2016 – Expansión

Plan / The chain is creating a listed vehicle with hotels in the Balearic Islands and Costa del Sol with a value of between €150 million and €250 million.

BlueBay is following in Barceló’s footsteps as it prepares to create a Socimi with several hotels from its portfolio. The chain controlled by Jamal Satli Iglesisas is planning to create a listed vehicle containing four hotels in the Balearic Islands and one property on the Costa del Sol, with a value of between €150 million and €250 million. BlueBay’s Socimi could debut on the stock exchange during the first half of this year.

In February 2015, Barceló announced its partnership with the Socimi Hispania to create Bay, a listed vehicle containing 16 resort hotels and 6,000 rooms, along with two shopping centres. Hispania spent €458.6 million to buy its 76% stake in the new company; meanwhile, Barceló acquired the remaining stake and signed lease contracts to continue operating all of the properties for 15 years. The intention of Bay’s partners is to double its size by incorporating more hotels run by other chains.

Besides Hispania, which has acquired more hotels by itself, other Socimis such as Merlin – following its acquisition of Testa from Sacyr -, Axiare and Obsido have invested in hotels and so the Socimis have become the most active investors in the hotel investment market. In 2015, a record year, assets amounting to €2,614 million were sold and Socimis accounted for 40% of those purchases.

Occidental

This panorama has encouraged BlueBay to design its own vehicle, which will allow it to free up resources to finance growth and continue to manage its hotels under lease agreements.

The chain, whose name comes from the former hotel brand used by Viajes Marsans, which filed for bankruptcy in 2010, jumped to the forefront last year, after taking over the management of Hotel Miguel Ángel in Madrid.

Owned by Nadhmi Auchi, the iconic five-star property had been without an operator since January 2014, when Occidental – now part of Barceló – left the management in the hands of the owner after 25 years at the helm. The Iraqui-born British investor and BlueBay agreed to co-finance the €35 million renovation to modernise the hotel and, since then, have strengthened their ties even further.

Two weeks ago, during the Feria de Turismo (Fitur), BlueBay announced that it will bring together the 10 hotels from Le Royal brand, which is owned by Auchi. Following this operation, the chain will have 60 properties and 50,000 beds in Europe, America, North Africa and the Persian Gulf. BlueBay, which focuses on the holiday segment, will incorporate 17 hotels into its portfolio. Over the medium term, it will look towards China and South-East Asia, the new growth centre of the tourism sector, along with Cuba, now that its relations with the United States of America have thawed somewhat.

Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake