28 April 2017 – El Confidencial
With the discretion that characterises family businesses, the Montoro family, which owns the real estate firm Monthisa, has been working for two years on one of the major milestones in its recent history. Known as Project Maura, the operation is aimed at creating a large portfolio of rental assets, with the firm’s debut on the stock market as the ultimate objective.
To deal with this firm, the company segregated its entire real estate business into the company Monthisa Real Estate, which was just another subsidiary until then, and sold one third of the capital to the US fund Proprium Capital, the same entity that has been a shareholder of Grupo Lar for almost a decade, which currently controls 16.5% of that company’s shares.
This asset manager is the heir of Morgan Stanley’s former special situations fund, which ended up being spun off from the parent company in the United States for regulatory reasons, although the management team continued, with Tim Morris at the helm.
Although Proprium – whose representative on the Board of Monthisa Real Estate is Philipp Westermann (…) – is a minority shareholder, the two partners signed a pact by virtue of which they established joint control over Monthisa Real Estate and committed to multiplying the assets in record time.
The result of this alliance has been the creation of a new real estate giant, whose first major purchase was the acquisition of the El Corte Inglés’ ground-floor retail premises on Paseo de la Castellana for almost €150 million, an operation that was closed in September last year; and most recently, the purchase of a building on the Madrilenian Calle Montera, which will be used for tertiary activities (offices and a hotel).
Following these operations, Monthisa Real Estate has a portfolio worth around €250 million, given that the company was constituted with commercial premises, offices and hotels that the Montoro family already controlled, worth more than €100 million.
Its assets include: the Correos Building, so called because the tenant is the public postal company; number 8 on Ribera del Loira, currently occupied by Dell; and the Hotel Radisson, on Calle Moratín 52, on the sought-after Prado Recoletos thoroughfare.
But the Montoro family and Proprium are also rotating their asset portfolio, as demonstrated by the sale of the office building that they used to own in Berlin – a 7,975 m2 property, leased in its entirety to MTV; and a unit in the Plaza Norte 2 shopping centre, occupied by Cinesa cinemas.
Survivor of the crisis
Monthisa is, together with Lar, GMP and Pryconsa, one of the few domestic real estate companies that managed to survive the crisis and, like the first two, it is committed to carving out its real estate business and teaming up with overseas funds to take advantage of the recovery in the sector.
Before reaching this point, the Montoro family’s property development arm regularised its situation with Sareb (…) and reached an agreement with the entity chaired by Jaime Echegoyen to develop properties jointly.
Following all these changes, the next major milestone involves turning Monthisa Real Estate into an iconic real estate company and, if the script is followed, providing an exit for Proprium, with the capital markets as the preferred option.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake