Socimi VBare Acquires a Building in Madrid for €5.3M

9 January 2019 – La Vanguardia

The Socimi VBare Iberian Properties Socimi has purchased a building comprising 27 homes and 2 commercial premises in Madrid for €5.3 million plus transaction costs.

In order to purchase the property, which is located on Calle Vallehermoso in Madrid, VBare has signed a mortgage loan with Banca Pueyo for €3.43 million, contributing the rest of the purchase price through available cash.

The property is mainly dedicated to residential use and the expected net approximate yield will amount to 4.3% once the refurbishment work has been completed.

The building has a surface area of approximately 1,500 m2 and is the second most significant acquisition carried out to date by VBare in terms of investment volume, after the operation it completed on Calle Luchana in Madrid in October 2018.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

VBare’s Revenues & EBIT Rise by 28% & 46%, Respectively, in the 9 Month to September

2 November 2018 – Eje Prime

VBare Iberian Properties saw its net result for the first nine months of the year decrease YoY. The Socimi recorded a profit of €1.84 million to September, down by 15.6% compared to the same period in 2017, according to a statement filed by the company with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

Similarly, the company recorded gross revenues from rental income of €1 million between January and September, exceeding the turnover obtained during the same period last year by 28%. Meanwhile, its EBIT was 46% higher at €611,000.

Currently, VBare’s portfolio has an appraisal value of €35.1 million. So far this year, the company has acquired 37 homes and two commercial premises in the towns of Móstoles, Málaga and Madrid for €3.7 million. The Socimi also undertook a capital increase in June amounting to €3.2 million.

At the beginning of October, the company also completed its largest investment to date in a single asset. That involved the purchase, for €10.5 million, of a residential property located in Madrid. The building purchase, which has a surface area of 3,285 m2, was financed by the company through a mortgage loan amounting to €5.25 million and own funds.

VBare is a real estate investment vehicle specialising in the acquisition and management of residential assets for their rental. The company was constituted in March 2015 with the aim of generating high returns for its shareholders through the implementation of a value-added strategy and benefitting from the existing opportunities in the Spanish residential market.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Única Purchases a Portfolio of 5 Assets from AM Locales for €4.6M

27 July 2018 – Idealista

The Socimis are trading assets. Única Real Estate is getting out its chequebook for the first time since it made its debut on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) to purchase a package of five commercial establishments from the Socimi AM Locales Property for €4.6 million. The assets are located on the main commercial thoroughfares of Madrid and Móstoles.

Única Real Estate is going to add to its portfolio a store at number 30 Calle Goya, another at number 31 Calle Augusto Figueroa and a third at number 310 Calle Alcalá, all in Madrid. In Móstoles, the assets are located at number 23 Avenida Dos de Mayo.

The total price of the premises described amounts to €4.6 million, and they span a combined constructed surface area of approximately 805 m2. “This purchase has been financed using own funds and with a mortgage loan from Bankinter for €2 million”, explain sources at the group.

Única Real Estate owns 35 retail premises in the Community of Madrid, with a combined value of €32.5 million, that generate annual rental income of more than €1.9 million. Currently, the Socimi’s capital is owned by 53 shareholders, including the company’s executives.

The Socimi, specialising in retail premises, has set itself the objective of investing at least €10 million each year on the purchase of new establishments in the Community of Madrid and other large Spanish cities. Única Real Estate, which made its stock market debut in June with a price of €25.25 per share, is also planning to undertake new capital increases over the coming months.

Meanwhile, AM Locales Property made its MAB debut last summer with a portfolio of 40 properties. The Socimi started its activity in 1990 and since then, has been undertaking a variety of real estate acquisitions in Spain. The company’s assets are, for the most part, commercial premises. Its properties are managed by Inversiones GB Balboa, which is controlled indirectly by the company (100%).

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Socimi Jaba acquires new Office Building in Santander For €5M

27 November 2017 – Eje Prime

The Socimi business is seducing investors from all over the world. Such is the case of Jaba, constituted with Jordanian capital, which is continuing to add assets to its portfolio. On this occasion, the company has purchased an office building in Santander, Cantabria, for €5 million, according to sources at the company, speaking to Eje Prime. Since the Socimi has been operating, its shareholders have invested €30 million in the purchase of assets.

Jaba formalised the purchase of this new asset on 8 November. Located in the ‘Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Cantabria’ (Cantabria’s Science and Technology Park), the building has required an investment of €4.95 million and has a surface area of 3,800 m2. The property also has 57 parking spaces.

According to the group, the asset is leased in its entirety to the international group Louis Berger, which specialises in the provision of global professional services and which is one of the leading engineering companies in the world. The financing has been obtained in the form of a mortgage loan with Banco Santander.

As part of the same act, the company also proceeded to refinance a mortgage loan on one of its buildings, located at number 37 on Calle María de Molina in Madrid, for €4.18 million. The new financing, which includes a mortgage guarantee over the building acquired in Santander and the aforementioned building in Madrid, where Jaba has its head offices, amounts to €7.1 million in total and is due to mature in November 2032.

The Socimi Jaba I Inversiones Inmobiliarias debuted on the MAB on 15 April 2016 with the aim of “raising own funds for the future growth of the company through the incorporation of new investors, and to place itself in a competitive position in the market to continue acquiring new assets”.

The company, which was constituted in 2014 to acquire unique real estate assets in the Spanish market, owns a real estate portfolio comprising properties in Madrid and Barcelona. Currently, the shareholders of the company are a family group from Jordan with extensive business experience in various countries in Europe and the Middle East.

Its assets include three office buildings located in the Spanish capital. The first is located at number 37 Calle María de Molina, which has a surface area of 1,753 m2 and which was acquired by the group in September 2013. It also owns another office building at number 125 Calle Arturo Soria, measuring 5,526 m2, and another one at number 27 Calle Sepúlveda in Alcobendas (Madrid), with a surface area of 9,950 m2.

In the Catalan capital, Jaba also operates an office building located in Cornellá de Llobregat (Barcelona), at number 147 Carretera Hospitalet, which has a surface area of 5,828 m2 (…).

In July, the Socimi proposed a capital increase to its shareholders to allow it to fatten up its asset portfolio. The majority of the real estate company’s shareholders voted in favour of the €13.4 million capital injection (…).

The Socimi Jaba’s next General Shareholders’ Meeting will take place on 1 December at the group’s corporate headquarters (…). At that meeting, the final decision will be taken as to whether the capital increase will be carried out in the end, as well as whether Tawfiq Shaker Khader will resign as the CEO of the company.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sevilla’s Chamber of Commerce Completes Sale of 2 Plots to Helena Rivero

2 November 2017 – ABC de Sevilla

This week, according to sources consulted by ABC, Sevilla’s Chamber of Commerce has sold two plots of land next to the Antares Club and on the Eusa campus to the family of the Jerez businessman Joaquín Rivero, who died in September 2016. The operation was agreed in November 2016 but was subject to the obtaining of municipal licences for the various projects. On the Eusa land, Helena Rivero’s investor group plans to build a university hall of residence for 400 students. Next to Antares, Helena Rivero is still deciding what to do with the 1,700 m2 plot, which has permission for the construction of a hotel given that it has been allocated for tertiary use.

In this way, the Chamber of Commerce, chaired by Francisco Herrero, will obtain a sizeable liquidity injection thanks to an operation that was closed for around €7.5 million. The negotiations for the sale of these plots were initiated by Joaquín Rivero Valcarce, the real estate businessman who chaired Bami. Following the death of the businessman in 2016, his only daughter, Helena, decided to push ahead with the operation.

Nevertheless, the sale of the two plots in question was subject to the Town Hall of Sevilla granting the necessary authorisations to build on the Eusa and Antares plots. Once municipal authorisation had been obtained to build a university hall of residence on Eusa’s plot, which has been allocated for social/educational use, the sale of the land was closed this week, according to the same sources. The sale had previously received the green light from the plenary of the Chamber of Commerce and the Junta de Andalucía, which oversees the region’s chambers of commerce.

A multi-national firm will operate the hall of residence

In terms of the university residence planned for Eusa, the plot sold to Helena Rivero’s investor group has a surface area of 2,200 m2 and permission to build up to 11,000 m2. According to sources consulted by ABC, a leading European multi-national in the hall of residence sector, which is listed on the stock market, will take over the operation of the building.

The other plot, measuring 1,700 m2 has been allocated for tertiary use – it is currently home to the exhibition hall, auditorium and parking lot of the Antares sports centre. On that plot, the company managed by the Rivero family may be able to build a hotel with a maximum buildable area of 6,000 m2, equivalent to around 100 rooms.

The hotel was promoted initially by Antares and it was precisely that project that led the company to file for creditors’ bankruptcy when the real estate bubble burst and it was unable to refinance a mortgage loan that it had requested from La Caixa in 2008 to build a four-star establishment in El Porvenir. Antares Andalucía had managed to reclassify the 1,740m2 plot, and so it was valued at €10.2 million in 2007.

In the end, the mercantile judge authorised the sale of the assets of the Antares Club, with their charges and levies, as well as of the brands “Antares Andalucía” and “Encuentros 2000”, to the Chamber of Commerce – through Eusa. The Chamber spent €4 million on the operation, including taking on a €3.2 million mortgage with CaixaBank.

With this sale of the two plots, the Chamber of Commerce will now have sufficient revenues to undertake projects in its two business units: Eusa and the Antares Club. The Chamber of Commerce plans to completely renovate the Antares Club, given that it is more than 30 years ago, and move its training activities to the SGAE building in La Cartuja. That building has a surface area of 35,000 m2, including an auditorium measuring 22,000 m2.

Original story: ABC de Sevilla (by M. J. Pereira)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ECJ Puts An End To The Eviction Of Family Guarantors

21 October 2016 – Cinco Días

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that mortgage guarantees from individuals to companies are protected by the European directive on unfair terms. In this way, the EU judges have opened the way for the cancelation of this kind of guarantee and its most draconian conditions, when the contracts favour financial institutions in an unfair way. The ruling also jeopardises the execution of guarantees between individuals, which are very common in the case of house purchases.

In less than a year, and thanks to one case in Italy and another in Romania, the European Court of Justice has revolutionised the treatment of mortgage guarantees, many of which will be protected by the European directive on unfair terms from now on. Until now, it was assumed that the guarantors of a company were responding to a professional relationship and therefore, they were not covered by the rules governing consumer protection.

However, that interpretation did not consider numerous guarantors whose relationship with the company was of a family or friendly nature, without any commercial interest whatsoever. And so, the European Court of Justice has put an end to the gap by classifying these types of guarantors as consumers.

In November 2015, the EU judges indicated and they have just reiterated (14 September 2016) that the European Directive 93/13 governing unfair terms should protect people who guarantee the credit of a company that they do not manage or hold majority shares in.

In such cases, the new European legislation considers that the guarantor is acting as a consumer and therefore, the national courts may cancel the guarantee if they consider that the contract did not inform them properly about the risks or if the contract grants an unfair advantage to the financial institution.

The lawyer Juan Ignacio Navas, Partner-Director of the law firm Navas & Cusí, classifies these types of guarantees, which do not generate any economic benefits for the guarantor, as “altruistic”. And he says that they are granted regularly, particularly in the case of small and medium-sized companies. (…).

Navas believes that the new legislation will not only affect guarantees for loans to companies but will also be extended to all types of individual guarantors. (…).

The lawyer said that many mortgage loans are signed with these altruistic guarantees: “Cousin, brothers, daughters, parents and friends, in other words, people linked by family or friendship ties, without any economic interest”.

Legal sources stress that in these types of contracts “the guarantor is risking something as important as his/her home without gaining anything in return and he/she does so because of the pressure exerted by financial institutions”. (…).

Nevertheless, other lawyers, such as the Partner of the law firm Jausas, Jordi Ruiz de Villa, warn that the rulings from the European Court only ensure that the conditions of these guarantees will be reviewed from the perspective of consumer protection and that even if a contract includes an unfair term, a judge may decide to just cancel that term or amend the commission charged without the need, for example, to cancel the entire guarantee.

As a result, some Spanish judges have already declared some mortgage guarantees to be null and void as they considers that they include unfair terms, which means that the rulings from the European Court may help halt the evictions of these kinds of family or friend guarantor.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Bernardo De Miguel and Juande Portillo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Benson Elliot Buys Hotel Silken In Barcelona For €80M

7 October 2016 – Expansión

A major operation and better gains for Bank of America Merril Lynch in Barcelona. The US entity is finalising the sale of Hotel Silken Diagonal for €80 million to a group of investors led by the British fund Benson Elliot. Bank of America will generate capital gains of €50 million from the property in just one year, given that it took over the hotel in 2015 when it foreclosed the debt relating to the property, amounting to €27 million.

According to sources close to the operation, the sale has not been signed yet, although the vendor has entered into an exclusivity period with the purchaser group.

Bank of America Merril Lynch ended up with the mortgage loan following the crisis of the Urvasco group, the parent company of the Silken hotel chain, after it filed for bankruptcy.

The property has 240 rooms and a four-star rating. It is located in the 22@ district of Barcelona, next to the Torre Agbar, and it has a management contract with Silken. The operation has been advised by JLL, which declined to comment on the operation yesterday.

The amount (€80 million) that Benson Elliot has paid together with another investor group, whose name has not been revealed, has been described as exorbitant by several sources in the real estate sector, who point out that the building is located away from the city centre in Barcelona, in an area that suffered a lot at the beginning of the crisis.

Nevertheless, the same sources also indicate that the hotel moratorium applied in Barcelona last year by the mayoress Ada Colau, together with the strong investor appetite for assets in the Catalan capital and the shortage of buildings on the market, have driven up the price of the few properties that have come onto the market. Bank of America put this asset on the market a few months ago and several international investors submitted bids for it.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CPPIB Buys 50% Of Puerto Venecia From Intu For €225.4M

3 June 2015 – Expansión

The Canadian fund has paid €225.4 million to the British real estate company Intu Properties for half of Puerto Venecia, the largest shopping centre in Spain.

Intu Properties and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) have strengthened their partnership in Spain, through the creation of a joint venture to manage Puerto Venecia, the largest shopping centre in the country, located in Zaragoza, which has a constructed surface area of 200,000 m2.

According to a statement issued yesterday, CPPIB is going to pay €225.4 million to Intu for 50% of Puerto Venecia, although – “the operation is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approval”.

The valuation of the shop and restaurant complex, located in Zaragoza, is the same as the one used by Intu in January when it purchased 100% of the property from the fund Orion Capital for €451 million. Then, the British real estate company announced that it was going to look for a partner, and several analysts identified CPPIB as a possible ally. PwC has advised the Canadian pension fund in its purchase.

Intu and CPPIB already share the ownership (50% each) of the Asturian shopping centre Parque Principado, which they acquired in 2013 for €162 million from CBRE and Sonae Sierra. Therefore, the Puerto Venecia operation “extends this alliance to include two of the ten largest shopping centres in Spain” said Intu Properties.

The British bank HSBC has financed the acquisitions of Puerto Venecia and Parque Principado with two mortgage loans amounting to €320 million in total.

Andrea Orlandi, CPPIB’s Director of RE Investments in Europe, sais that “the joint venture with Intu represents an opportunity to increase the fund’s presence in Spain’s commercial real estate market. Puerto Venecia complements our European portfolio”.

According to David Fischel, CEO at Intu, the revenues from this transaction will allow his company to develop other projects in Spain. The real estate firm has acquired a plot of land in Malaga for the construction of a shopping centre measuring 175,000 m2 and it is also evaluating options to develop other projects in Vigo, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca.

Intu intends to involve partners in these new projects as well, and may even create a holding company for its Spanish properties in the future, and list it on the stock exchange.

Intu’s share price fell by 2% during trading in London yesterday. Its market capitalisation amounts to GBP 4,380 million (€6,050 million).

Original story: Expansión (by Roberto Casado and Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake