Bankia Sold its Stake in NAU for Less Than €6M After Reducing its Value by €11.7M

25 June 2018 – Valencia Plaza

The sale of 48.62% of the Valencian real estate company Nuevas Actividades Urbanas (NAU) by Bankia Habitat was closed for a price of less than €6 million. That is according to the latest accounts deposited by Bankia Habitat – corresponding to 2016 – in which the company indicates that it sold a set of shares whose net book value amounted to €6.973 million.

In addition to the shares in NAU, the sold package included the 46% that Bankia held in the company Costa Bellver SA, which was acquired by the Calabuig family for €1 million, as well as other stakes in the firms Espai Comercial Vila-real SL and Viladecavalls Park Centro Industrial Logístico y Comercial SA. As a result, the price at which Bankia sold its stake in NAU must have amounted to less than €6 million.

It is also a lower value than the amount assigned to the company just a year ago. According to the accounts of Bankia Habitat, in 2015, the company recognised an impairment provision amounting to €11.7 million.

When asked about this, sources at Bankia explained to Valencia Plaza that “the stake in NAU was adjusted in 2015 to reflect the estimated market value of that stake, to get it ready, from an accounting point of view, for its possible sale”. “There was no more to it”, they underlined.

In terms of the exact sales price of NAU, Bankia explained that it is not authorised to divulge the figure “for reasons of confidentiality agreed between the parties when the transaction was signed”.

A firm that started life with a share capital of €503 million.

Atitlan and Gesfesa have controlled NAU since March 2017, when they acquired 79.66% of the company through the firm Demeter Aurea SL. The rest of the shares are held by Sabadell Real Estate Development SL (15.22%) and Multiactividades Reunidas SL (5.12%).

The company, created in 2009 with a share capital of €503 million, holds stakes in important buildings including the Aqua and Arena Multiespacio shopping centres, but it is weighed down by a heavy debt, amounting €200 million, according to its new owners.

At the end of 2017, following divestment operations such as the sale of three plots by the subsidiary MAI for €33 million and the stake in the Cirsa Valencia casino, that amount had been reduced to around €95 million, of which €35 million corresponded to the consolidation of subsidiaries.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Atitlán Sells 6 Hotels to Bankinter’s New Socimi Atom Hoteles

19 March 2018 – Valencia Plaza

Atitlán is continuing to shake up the real estate market with its operations, in this case focusing on the hotel sector. The investment firm owned by Roberto Centeno and Aritza Rodero has sold six hotels to a new Socimi in the sector that is being promoted by Bankinter. According to sources familiar with the operation, speaking to Valencia Plaza, the asset sale has included the Hotel Rey Don Jaime de Valencia, amongst others.

The transaction represents Atitlán’s departure from a market in which it has operated by stealth since 2013 when it began to acquire hotel assets in Spain. Its modus operandi involved buying up hotels in need of refurbishment in good locations. The company then invested in the renovations before putting the properties back on the market, in some cases affecting a change of operator to optimise the management.

The brand acquired the aforementioned portfolio, containing six hotels in total, located in the cities of Madrid, Sevilla, Palma de Mallorca, Santiago de Compostela and Valencia, in the case of the latter through the purchase of the Hotel Rey Don Jaime from Grupo Beatriz, whose management was entrusted to the operator Hotusa.

That acquisition was completed in 2015 when the hotel was in the midst of a redundancy program. According to reports at the time by the Valencian edition of El Mundo, the investment made by the new owner – Atitlán – was €5 million. The 14-storey building is one of the largest hotels in terms of capacity in Valencia.

When asked about the subject, sources at Atitlán confirmed to this newspaper that a portfolio of six hotels – comprising 900 rooms in total – was sold in February – including the Hotel Rey Don Jaime. The firm declined to confirm the location of the other properties or the total amount of the transaction.

The operation comes shortly after another high profile sale by the company owned by Roberto Centeno – the son-in-law of Juan Roig – and Aritza Rodero. Last month, the firm sold three plots that had been owned for years by a subsidiary of Nuevas Actividades Urbanas (NAU) for €33.6 million, after taking control of NAU just over a year ago for €8.7 million.

The buyer, in that case, was the US fund Harbert Management Corporation, which made its debut in Valencia through this operation hand in hand with the property developer Momentum Real Estate Investment Managers.

Atom Hoteles Socimi

Sources familiar with Atitlán’s hotel operation add that the company that has acquired the assets is Atom Hoteles Socimi SA, a firm promoted by Bankinter, which owns 19 hotel establishments in total spread all over Spain.

The bank has also been silent about the project, although the Mercantile Registry reveals that the new company, which was constituted in January, is chaired by Eduardo Ozaita Vega, the Director General of Bankinter.

At the end of last year, market sources revealed Bankinter’s intention to launch a Socimi focused on the hotel sector this year for its private banking clients, in which it will maintain a stake of around 10%.

The entity led by María Dolores Dancausa plans to launch this investment vehicle on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) with a share capital of around €200 million, for those clients whose wealth exceeds €1 million. The minimum investment to participate in the Socimi will be €200,000 per client, up to a maximum of 15% of total assets.

In this way, Bankinter is replicating the model of Olimpo Real Estate (Ores), a Socimi that it launched to invest in small and medium-sized retail assets in which the entity retains a 10% stake and which was designed to respond to clients who were demanding higher returns in the context of low interest rates.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

US Fund Harbert Buys 3 Plots in Valencia from NAU for €33M

1 March 2018 – Valencia Plaza

There’s a new player in the Valencia real estate sector. The US fund Harbert Management Corporation is disembarking in Cap i Casal together with the property developer Momentum Real Estate Investment Managers with the purchase of three residential plots from a subsidiary of the real estate company ‘Nuevas Actividades Urbanas’ (NAU), a firm that has been controlled by the investor group Atitlan for the last year.

According to sources in the real estate sector, the operation involves two plots located in the Campanar neighbourhood – close to Maestro Rodrigo – plus a third plot in the area near to Avenida Alfahuir. In all cases, the plots are located in established residential areas of the city where the demand for housing is significant.

The fund has invested €33 million in total to acquire this set of assets, which are estimated to have a (roof space) impact of 42,900 m2. The operation put an end to a long sales process led by Atitlan itself in which more than a dozen parties had expressed their interest.

This is the first major operation that NAU has undertaken following the entry of Atitlan as a shareholder. Atitlan is owned by Roberto Centeno (pictured above) – the son-in-law of Juan Roig – and Aritza Rodero. The company has a stake equivalent to 40% in NAU, which allows it to lead the real estate firm.

It does so through Demeter Áurea, which has controlled 84.51% of NAU’s shares since 2017 after it acquired the 48.62% that Bankia held and received the 35.89% that Gesfesa transferred to it. NAU’s best assets include its stakes in the Aqua Multiespacio and Arena Multiespacios shopping centres in Valencia.

When asked about this, sources at Atitlan confirmed to this newspaper that “one of NAU’s subsidiaries that has filed for liquidation has sold three residential plots”. Nevertheless, the company distances itself from the operation. “Atitlan does not hold a majority stake in NAU and NAU does not hold a majority in the subsidiary that has sold the plots”, they confirmed.

A new property developer in the city

In any case, the operation represents the entry into Valencia of a new operator, the property developer Momentum Real Estate, which is called to lead the development of plots that until now were owned by NAU’s subsidiary. According to details provided by the firm on its website, it specialises in the construction of primary residences.

“It only works with ‘finalist’ assets, those that do not have any urban planning procedures pending”, said the company, which has a large portfolio of developments in Spain – mostly in Madrid – but which lacked projects in the Community of Valencia until now.

With regards to the fund, Harbert does already have experience in the Community of Valencia. It was the owner of the El Manar de Massalfassar shopping centre, which it sold in 2017 for around €40 million.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)

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

Roig’s Son-In-Law Buys Formula 1 Valencia

8 August 2017

Atitlan, a firm headed by Roberto Centeno, son-in-law of the president of Mercadona, and a group of investors have bought the land at for next to nothing, which also received several ‘ghost’ offers. The plot of land was sold by a subsidiary of the failed bank Bankia, which paid €300 million for it a decade ago.


Most of the land belonging to what was once the urban circuit of Formula 1 Valencia just changed hands. The investment firm Atitlan, founded and directed by Roberto Centeno – the son of Mercadona’s president Juan Roig, and Aritza Rodero, have joined together with a group of investors to buy the land, which has been abandoned for years.

Just a decade ago, those same properties broke all records in the Valencia real estate market, when the land, with ​​103,000 square meters of surface area, sold for 300 million euros.

That figure was what Acinelav Inversiones paid at the end of 2006 to Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos (CLH) for its old warehouses close to the port of Valencia. The buyer’s primary shareholder was Bancaja, holding slightly more than 25%, together with several well-known real estate developers from Valencia: Lubasa, Valencia Valencia Constitución, Salvador Vila, and the Ferrando and Quesada families.

From jewel to toxic asset

That plot of land was considered one of the jewels of new Valencia, located halfway between the City of Arts and the new marina. In addition, an announcement was made shortly after the sale heralding the arrival of Formula 1. Rita Barbera, the mayor of Valencia at the time, had convened an international competition of ideas for that area, which finally gave birth to an ambitious urban program, PAI del Grao. The project was to include some 3,000 dwellings and create several water channels to recover part of the original course of the mouth of the Turia river. Like many large-scale projects that were drawn up before the crisis, it still exists only in virtual models and images. Today the area is a huge, very degraded and partially asphalted esplanade in which there are still fences and concrete blocks that belonged to the old circuit.

Given the lack of land development and income, Acinelav was declared bankrupt in 2014, drowned by €270 million in debt, as reported by EXPANSIÓN. In addition, the government was claiming part of the urban development fees due for the cost of the circuit layout.

The main creditor was a syndicate of several banks, in which BBVA is listed as an agent. In addition, Sareb was also affected, having assumed the more than 68 million in equity loans that Bankia, in turn, had inherited from Bancaja.

During the judicial proceedings, the designated bankruptcy administrator, the law firm Rossaud Costas, initiated a private auction of the company’s greatest asset, those same 103,000 square meters, according to El Confidencial.

It was during those proceedings that Atitlan and its partners managed to acquire the land, according to sources confirmed by the investment firm, without disclosing more details. However, the offer made by the investment group led by Centeno and Rodero was by no means the highest.

According to Valenciaplaza, the amount offered is less than 30 million euros. Two other offers were for 40 and 35 million euros. However, these proposals were led by intermediaries who, despite the supposed support of funds from Dubai and other countries, in turn sought to reposition the land among other investors. When it came time to deposit the funds required finalize the purchase, they were unable to even cover the required advance.

In the end, the guarantees that Atitlan offered the financial institutions, which had kept the toxic assets on their books for years, seem to have been decisive. And this is even though the price they accepted was 10 times lower than the bankrupt Acinelav paid for it.

Even if the commercial court that handles the bankruptcy of Acinelav were to approve of the sale, the the imminent development of the land is not seen as likely. The current municipal authority has determined that the PAI shall be reviewed and processed again. Considering the size of the property, the buyer had many parties interested in acting as the developer, but the City Council, currently chaired by Joan Ribó, prefers it to be the municipal company Aumsa.

New Real Estate Actor

This benchmark deal confirms the turnaround in Atitlan’s investment strategy and its commitment to real estate. The investment firm created in 2006, which initially specialized in companies that supply Mercadona, has closed several purchases and alliances in the Valencian real estate sector in the last year.

Thus, it supported the Ferrando family’s bid to acquire the percentage that Bankia had in NAU, one of the largest owners of tertiary assets and land in the city. The group has shopping malls, hotels and the Cirsa casino building.

The new purchase is a clear sign that Atitlan believes that the housing crisis in Valencia has already ended and is now in full recovery.

Original Story: Expansión / A.C.A. Valencia

Translation: Richard Turner

Axa Buys Abandoned Hospital Towers In Burjassot (Valencia)

22 September 2015 – Expansión

One of the concrete structures in Valencia, which has been abandoned for years, now has a new owner. The towers, located on the outskirts of Valencia, next to the Palacio de Congresos, were developed by Coresol and subsequently foreclosed by Bancaja and then Nau.

Now, Axa Real Estate has undertaken an investment on behalf of two of its clients: Medical Properties Trust, a US investor fund, which provides capital to healthcare operators, and Teacher Retirement System of Texas, a pension fund for teachers from the US state.

Axa Real Estate Investment Managers and IMED Hospitales have reached an agreement to develop the new ‘Hospital Privado IMED Valencia’, which will be located in Burjassot, Valencia near the V-35.

According to Nau’s own accounting records, an investment of €20 million will be required to complete the construction work; moreover, the 30-year finance lease contract is worth €28 million.

As a result of the agreement, Axa Real Estate Investment Managers will become the developer of the building and will undertake the necessary investment. Meanwhile, IMED Hospitales will take on the management of the health centre, which is expected to open within c. 20 months, announced the entity in a statement.

Axa Real Estate will embark on the development of the centre, transforming the current plot of land, which measures 4,300 m2 and contains the completed concrete structure, into a hospital with a surface area of 35,000 m2.

It is expected that the Hospital IMED Valencia will treat 150,000 patients per year…IMED and Axa Real Estate Investment intend to equip the complex with the most advanced technological resources to ensure the provision of a first class health service. (…).

Axa Real Estate holds the largest portfolio of real estate assets in Europe, with assets worth more than €60,000 million at the end of June 2015. It has more than 160 third party institutional clients all over the world, and also handles the management of the funds of 10 companies from Axa insurance. Axa Real Estate employs more than 500 professionals specialising in real estate across 23 countries.

Meanwhile, IMED Hospitales is a hospital group with 11 years of experience. It first opened its doors in Benidorm with the Hospital de Levante in 2004. Currently, the group operates four centres: two hospitals in Benidorm and Elche and two polyclinic centres in Teulada and Torrevieja. Since its inauguration, more than 350,000 patients have been treated in IMED, more than 55,000 surgical procedures have been performed and more than 2,500,000 clinical cases have been opened.

This acquisition was sourced and advised by Geskaria Real Estate Investments, a boutique advisory firm specialised in off-market investment opportunities in Spain, UK and Mexico.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake