GMP Puts Huawei’s Offices in Castellana Norte Up For Sale

28 May 2019 – Eje Prime

The real estate group GMP has put the headquarters of the Chinese company Huawei in Madrid up for sale. The technology giant has occupied the offices, which span 21,000 m2, since Q1 2017. The premises are located in the Castellana Norte Business Park in Las Tablas, close to the headquarters of other groups such as Mediaset and Nokia.

The Castellana Norte Business Park has become one of the most important urban renovations projects in the Spanish capital. It offers office space measuring more than 1 million m2, with capacity for over 200,000 people.

GMP, which is owned by the Montoro family and the Singapore sovereign fund, specialises in the management of offices and retail parks. It owns 18 work centres in Madrid and generated revenues of €106.7 million in 2018, up by 8% YoY.

The office market in the Spanish capital is one of the most attractive for international operators thanks to the combination of low prices (€33/m2/month) and availability (10.5%).

GMP’s decision to sell the property was taken before the US named the Chinese company as a threat to national security and vetoed it from all business with US companies.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Marta Casado Pla & Marc Vidal Ordeig)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Azora Acquires HQ of the Former Cortefiel Group for €28.3M

24 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Another operation has been closed in the office market in Madrid. The Socimi GMP, controlled by the Montoro family and the sovereign fund of Singapore, has sold the building located at number 51 Calle Llano Castellano to Azora. The price of the operation amounted to €28.3 million.

The property now controlled by Azora, the real estate manager founded by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio, is occupied in its entirety by Tendam, previously known as the Cortefiel Group and owner of the fashion chains Cortefiel, Women’secret, Springfield and Pedro del Hierro.

The rental contract for the building, which has a gross leasable area of 23,108 m2 and 145 parking spaces, is due to expire in 2023.

The building was constructed in 1990 and had been controlled 100% by GMP since 2015. Until then, the property was in the hands of the real estate division of General Electric through the company Renta Gestión Fuencarral.

Its new owner, Azora, specialises in the investment and management of real estate assets for third parties and has a portfolio comprising more than €4.5 billion in assets. The company was the promoter of Hispania, the first Socimi to be constituted, which made its debut on the stock market in Spain in 2014.

Azora was considering its own stock market debut, but in the end, it suspended that process last year. Azora and Hispania ended their agreement last year, after Blackstone’s successful takeover of the Socimi.

Since then, the company has focused on the residential rental market through the creation of a joint venture with CBRE Global Investment and Madison to reach a portfolio of 10,000 homes over the coming years.

Azora manages the real estate portfolios of funds and wealthy investors, such as George Soros, CBRE Global Investors, Goldman Sachs, Axa Investment Management and Bank of Montreal, amongst others (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño and I. P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

GMP Signs Spain’s First “Green” Loan with BBVA: €68M for Castellana 77

9 December 2018 – Eje Prime

The Spanish real estate sector has obtained its first green loan. Specifically, the Socimi GMP, controlled by the Montoro family, has signed a loan of that type with BBVA to finance the project to renovate Castellana 77, an office building in the Azca area. In total, the real estate company has received €68 million.

Specifically, the Socimi acquired the building from BBVA in 2015. GMP has recently completed work to renovate the property. The company’s commitment to obtain the loan has been established around the fact that the money will be used to promote sustainability, according to Expansión.

GMP, which has the Singapore sovereign fund (GIC) amongst its reference shareholders, has been working for a while to create a portfolio of sustainable buildings. 80% of its assets have the Leed stamp and, last June, one of the jewels in its crown, the former Torre BBVA, obtained the Well Oro certificate, becoming the first property in Spain to merit that distinction.

During the first half of 2018, the Socimi saw its profits soar by 81% to exceed €110 million. The company recorded revenues of €49.5 million between January and June, down by 0.8% compared to the same period in 2017.

Currently, GMP has a portfolio of sixteen assets, which sum a total of twenty-seven buildings and a gross leasable area (GLA) of 360,000 m2. All of them are located in Madrid, along with the 65,105 m2 of buildable space that the group owns, concentrated in the urban developments of Valdebebas and Las Tablas. The company’s portfolio of projects also includes a residential tourist development in Alicante, which is called Las Colinas Golf&Country Club.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

GMP Invests €24M to Construct New Office Building in Madrid

19 February 2018 – Eje Prime

GMP is marking a turning point in the office sector. The group, owned by the Montoro family and the sovereign fund of Singapore, has invested €24 million in the construction of what-is-going-to-be one of the most prime offices in Madrid. One of the many features of this property, which is going to have a surface area of 14,300 m2, is the sports area that it will have on its roof, which will include two padel courts, an athletics space and an area for doing outdoor exercises.

This innovation in services reinforces the new energy with which office buildings are being planned – the segment is currently booming in the Spanish real estate sector. The land was already owned by GMP, which has started to market the property, which will open in June this year. The rental price for the asset, located in Madrid’s financial district, will amount to around €18/m2/month.

The building, called Oxxeo, will have sustainability certifications and is expected to generate great interest amongst large companies, which are the typical tenants of offices in the area. Designed by the architect Rafael de la Hoz, the property has five stories, with 2,945 m2 per floor, and a 2-storey underground parking lot with capacity for 450 vehicles, according to El Economista.

In addition, the GMP building is committed to renewable energy with the placement of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity; and it will be the first office building in Spain to have its own dynamic lighting system adapted to the circadian cycle (biological clock), which will allow the colour of the light to change independently during the course of the day.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia To Sell 50% of Torre Iberdrola (in Valencia) to Atitlán

5 December 2017 – Intereconomía

Bankia has let its arm be twisted in the largest real estate operation in Valencia. The legal battle for Torre Iberdrola has been resolved through an out-of-court agreement.

Bankia is going to sell 50% of Torre Iberdrola to Atitlán and withdraw its claims against the sale of the property to the family. The financial institution chaired by José Ignacio Gorigolzarri is thereby allowing Iberdrola to do business with the Valencian Montoro family after divesting the 10% stake that it still held in Oceanic Center.

At the beginning of May, Iberdola completed the sale of the 50% stake that it held in the retail, hotel and office complex Aqua Multiespacio. The operation was closed for a much lower price than initially estimated: €61.5 million compared to €90 million.

The tower is owned by the company Oceanic Center and is home to the Aqua shopping centre and the Valencian headquarters of Iberdrola. The Montoro family has now purchased that 50% stake and has whereby acquired a majority share of the complex since it holds a majority stake in the remaining 50%. Bankia’s stake was a minority and it had been opposed to it. The sale of the 50% stake generated €17 million for Iberdrola.

The Montoro family closed the purchase through the companies Invesmon3 Ziel, Azzofinanz and Blanal Inversores. The operation has been settled for an amount that was 31.66% lower than initially expected. This operation directly affects Bankia and the Ferrando family, which formed part of the 50% that has not been sold. Both opposed the direct purchase by the Montoro family and announced actions to prevent the purchase from materialising. Nevertheless, the Montoro family imposed its majority stake in the company and gave the go-ahead for the operation to be closed.

This war is not new, in fact, it goes a long way back. The trio formed Navisa, a company that owns 50% of the shopping and hotel centre, where the majority of the capital was owned by the Montoro family, which now owns the majority of the complex, leaving the financial institution with a minority stake and without the right to veto new decisions. Bankia’s strategy was that the Montoro family would have a majority stake, but Bankia would increase its weight together with the Ferrando family. Nevertheless, Bankia has definitively disposed of its stake (almost 10% of Navisa), which has passed into the hands of Juan Roig’s son-in-law and his partners in NAU, the Ferrando and Quesada families, according to El Confidencial.

In this way, an out-of-court agreement has been reached with the Montoro family and the legal case has been terminated. It is not the only battle in the courts between Iberdola and Bankia. The power company chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán brought a lawsuit against Bankia for its debut on the stock market. There is €70 million at stake, although a judge has already dismissed Iberdrola’s claim; they are now waiting for the appeal ruling.

Original story: Intereconomía

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Acquires 15% Of NAU, Which Holds Stakes In 2 Shopping Centres In Valencia

7 September 2017 – Valencia Plaza

Gesfesa, the firm owned by the Ferrando and Quesada families, has transferred the shares that it held in the real estate investment company Nuevas Actividades Urbanas (NAU) to Banco Sabadell. NAU owns significant stakes in the Aqua and Arena shopping centres in the city of Valencia.

That is according to the most recent annual accounts filed by the company Gesfesa Valencia SL, which reflect the operation within the caption “Variation in Group companies and associates”. “During the year, 51,862,209 shares in the company Nuevas Actividades Urbanas were transferred to Banco Sabadell by way of payment for a debt that we held with the entity”, reveals the company in its annual report.

The shares, which represent just over 15% of NAU’s total share capital, convert the financial institution into the new partner of Atitlan, which has controlled an 84.5% majority stake in the company since last March, through the entity Demeter Áurea.

When asked about the deal, sources at Banco Sabadell refused to confirm any of the details of the operation, but according to sources in the real estate sector, Gesfesa has now paid off all of its debt with the financial institution. The same sources add that Sabadell would have valued the stake it received at around €30 million, which means that the value of NAU amounts to around €200 million in total (…).

NAU’s assets

NAU, in which Sabadell now holds a stake, owns an attractive portfolio of assets, although it has suffered in recent years from a high level of debt and a complex relationship with the Montoro family. The Montoros are NAU’s partner in the ownership of its most sought-after assets – the aforementioned Aqua and Arena Multiespacio shopping centres.

Oceanic Center, the company that owns the Aqua Multiespacio retail, hotel and leisure complex, is one of the companies that NAU and the Montoros own jointly through the firm Navisa, however, the recent purchase of the 50% stake that used to be owned by Iberdrola left the family in control of most of the shares.

Meanwhile, the ownership of Valencia Natura Park, which owns the Arena Multiespacio shopping centre, is shared equally between the parties, with 50% in the hands of NAU and the remaining 50% held by the Montoros. The same applies in the case of Osito Park, which owns land next to the El Osito de la Eliana shopping centre. Another important asset is the Vega Cullera SL company, the property developer of the so-called Manhatten de Cullera – which is 100% owned by Navisa, in which the Montoros holds a majority stake.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Montoro Family Prepares For Monthisa RE’s IPO

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

Catalan Socimi Quonia: CNMV Authorises Market Debut

28 June 2016 – Valencia Plaza

The Catalan Socimi Quonia now has an ISIN code, required to list on any organised market, such as the stock exchange, according to sources. Specifically, it was issued the passport by the National Agency for Securities Codification (ANCV), which forms part of Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV) on 7 June.

This code is essential for listing and it represents an international reference number that may be used on capital markets around the world. In the case of Quonia, the plan is for it to list on Spain’s Alternative Investment Market (the MAB), where a sizeable number of Socimis are already listed.

And others, such as GMP, the powerful Madrilenian Socimi, which sold the Mercado de Campanar in Valencia just four months ago, will not take long to join it, as its also now has the “permit” required to list on the stock market.

Purchase of Hotel Internacional

In theory, the debut of that group (GMP), founded by the Montoro family – in which the sovereign fund Singapur GIC owns a 30% stake – was scheduled for the summer, according to sources consulted by Valencia Plaza. However, in light of the current instability following the triumph of Brexit, we will have to wait and see what the heads of GMP, the owners of Madrid’s iconic BBVA Tower, end up deciding.

Quonia must be thinking the same. The company specialises in the rental of real estate asset and was founded in Barcelona at the end of July 2010. It is led by Divo Milan Haddad, a businessman whose investments are focused on the real estate sector, both in Europe and Latin America, primarily in Mexico.

Quonia acquired Hotel Internacional de la Rambla from Husa last April, after the vendor filed for bankruptcy last autumn, after receiving authorisation from the Catalan court for just over €11 million.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Luis A. Torralba)

Translation: Carmel Drake

GMP Socimi Finalises Its Debut On The Stock Exchange

17 May 2016 – El Confidencial

One of Spain’s largest real estate groups is about to list on the stock exchange. GMP Socimi, the company jointly owned by the Montoro family (70%) and the Government of Singapore (30%), now has all the pieces in place for its stock market debut.

To this end, the company has engaged the entity Renta 4 as registered advisor and has commissioned CBRE to value its assets, according to sources familiar with the company.

The debut on the stock market is a mandatory requirement for GMP, which was constituted as a Socimi in October 2014. The rules for this type of company grants a maximum period of two years to become a listed company. In fact, this rule has been behind all of the recent debuts of such companies on the MAB.

In parallel with its stock market listing, the real estate company has been negotiating with its creditor entities to secure the refinancing of its financial commitments, which exceed €750 million, according to its accounts for 2014, the most recent year for which figures are available, and the majority of its debt is due to mature in 2017.

Although the gross value of the company’s assets amount to €1,300 million, the company was valued at just over €600 million two years ago, when the Singapore sovereign fund, GIC, acquired its 30% stake for €200 million.

Nevertheless, it was precisely the involvement of the Asian giant that allowed the Montoro family to adjust its financial situation and secure the necessary financing to sign operations such as the purchase of Castellana 77. All of this, combined with the recovery of the real estate market means that the group’s next valuation is expected to be much higher than the amount assigned by GIC at the time of its investment.

The Montoro family’s Socimi has been one of the great survivors of the crisis and its buildings include the iconic Torre BBVA on Paseo de la Castellana, as well as the property on Calle Génova, 27.

Since GIC became a shareholder, the company has handled operations such as the aforementioned purchase of Castellana 77 for €90 million; the former headquarters of Altadis, on the Madrilenian Calle Eloy Gonzalo, for €30 million; the office building located on Condesa de Venadito 1; the headquarters of Cortefiel and SGS in Madrid; and the development of a corporate building in Las Tablas.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

GMP Will Debut On Stock Exchange Before Oct 2016

10 November 2015 – Cinco Días

One of the real estate companies that owns some of the best office buildings in Madrid will debut on the stock exchange before October 2016. GMP Property, which was constituted as a Socimi in September last year, has up to two years to list on the stock market, and it seems like the company’s managers are going to maximise that period – by all accounts, they are in no hurry to take the step, but they are already working to prepare the company to that end.

GMP Property is controlled by the Montoro family, which founded the company in 1979, as a pure real estate company, in other words, a company dedicated to the generation of income, primarily from office rentals. The GIC Real Estate International division of the Singapore sovereign fund acquired a stake in the company as part of GMP’s strategy to become a Socimi in September last year. It purchased 30% of the real estate company for €200 million, which meant that the company’s market value then stood at around €670 million.

That is an indication of the potential value of the real estate company on the stock exchange, although the company says that its market capitalisation is greater now than when GIC acquired its stake, given the better climate for economic activity in Spain and thanks to the new properties that the company has incorporated into its portfolio. “GMP is undoubtedly worth more now than a year ago”, said Xavier Barrondo, the CEO of GMP.

In this way, it will become one of the largest Socimis in Spain, alongside Merlin, Axiare, Hispania and Lar España. Zambal is the Socimi that is expected to debut on the stock market next. It is owned by the French fund IBA Capital and holds properties such as the ABC Serrano shopping centre in Madrid and Zara’s flagship store on Calle Preciados. The Socimis have the advantage that they do not pay corporation tax, but they are obliged to pay dividends to their shareholders. Moreover, they have a maximum period of two years to debut on the stock exchange.

Shareholder stability

Once listed, the managers of GMP intend to maintain the union of current shareholders, which includes the Montoro family and GIC. “It is a long-term strategic alliance”, says Barrondo. For this reason, the Socimi will only list the minimum number of shares known as free float on the stock exchange, for a small value, estimated at €2 million.

The Singapore fund holds its stake in GMP through another Socimi, known as Euro Cervantes. That company also holds other investments in Spain, primarily in shopping centres, such as La Maquinista (Barcelona) and Habaneras (Torrevieja, Alicante). The latest data available for GMP, from its annual report for 2014, indicates that the gross value of the company’s assets amounted to €1,282 million as at December 2014. (…).

Some of the most iconic buildings in its portfolio include the BBVA Tower on the Castellana, the historical headquarters of Banco Bilbao, on Calle Alcalá 16 and Garrigues’ corporate headquarters on Calle Hermosilla, all in Madrid. (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake