Quabit’s Revenues Soared in 2018, but its Profits Fell by 53%

28 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Quabit’s revenues soared but its profits decreased. The real estate company closed 2018 with a net profit of €6.7 million, down by 53% compared to the previous year, when it reached €14.3 million. The company attributes that reduction to the “activation of tax credits in 2017, amounting to €26 million”, according to reports in a relevant fact submitted to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The firm’s EBITDA also deteriorated, with losses of €25.3 million, a figure that quadruples the loss recorded a year earlier when it amounted to €7.3 million. “The negative impact in terms of EBITDA is due to the extraordinary effect of the valuation corrections on the land and the lower discounts on the debt”, said the company in a statement about its results.

In terms of revenues, they soared last year to reach €39.6 million, whereby multiplying the figure from the previous year (€5.7 million) eight-fold. At the end of the year, the gross value of its assets amounted to €506 million, 27% higher than at the end of the previous year. That growth was attributable to the company’s new investments and the revaluation of its portfolio.

In terms of its portfolio, Quabit handed over 190 homes in 2018 and also invested in its land bank, increasing it by around €180 million since 2017. It currently has around 4,000 homes in different phases of development and is working on the launch of new projects included in its business plan for 2018-2022.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Quabit Creates a Corporate Network to ‘Attack’ the Rental Market

24 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Quabit is looking to the future and is organising its business to respond to the new trends in the residential market. The company, chaired by Félix Abánades, has started to create a new corporate network under the activity of freehold properties, a business concept that is used for asset management with ownership rights. The constitution of these companies comes in response to “the evolution of the market and the importance of businesses such as the rental market”, according to explanations provided by Quabit to Eje Prime.

Specifically, the property developer has recently created four companies: Quabit Freehold Properties, Quabit Freehold Properties Levante, Quabit Freehold Properties Centro and Quabit Freehold Properties Sur, whereby covering a large proportion of the Spanish peninsula. All of the companies have their registered addresses at number 1 Calle Capitán Haya in Madrid, which is also home to Quabit’s headquarters.

In this way, the company is getting its business ready to meet the needs of new generations, who see renting as a more feasible option. These types of companies may also be the seed of a future Quabit Socimi, although sources at the company say that this option has been “parked” for the time being (…).

Quabit, recent steps

Last year and the beginning of 2018 have been very positive for Quabit. The property developer bid farewell to 2017 with a net profit of €14.4 million, which represented an increase of 80% compared to the €8 million it earned in 2016.

Moreover, the company recorded turnover of €535.7 million in 2017, although its sales fell by 83% due to a reduction in stock during 2016 and because new developments will start to be handed over this year, according to the real estate company. The market value of Quabit’s assets (GAV) as at 31 December 2017 amounted to €399.3 million.

Moreover, the group’s plans involve continuing to fatten up its portfolio with the purchase of new land to continue growing. In April, the company signed a line of credit for up to €50 million with the aim of financing the acquisition of buildable land focused on the construction of residential real estate assets.

The real estate company signed that loan with several funds advised by Taconic Capital Advisors UK and Grupo Royal Metropolitan España. Specifically, according to the agreement, the line will be used to finance 70% of the amount corresponding to the acquisition of land and taxes, whilst the remaining 30% will be financed by Quabit.

The signing of that line of credit formed part of the new investment financing scheme set out by Quabit in its Business Plan for 2017-2022 (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Unibail-Rodamco Puts 4 Shopping Centres Up For Sale

14 March 2018 – Eje Prime

Unibail-Rodamco is getting rid of a package of assets that are non-strategic for the group. The French giant has put the following complexes up for sale: Los Arcos, in Sevilla; Bahía Sur, in Cádiz; Vallsur, in Valladolid, and El Faro, in Badajoz, on the basis that they do not fulfil the group’s needs in the Spanish market, according to sources close to the company speaking to Eje Prime.

According to the same sources, “the assets that the group wants to divest are profitable, but due to their location, size and strategy, the firm has decided to get rid of them”. Unibail-Rodamco has entrusted the sale of these four assets to the real estate consultancy firm Cushman&Wakefield.

Sector sources say that, initially, the Equinocio shopping centre in Madrid was also going to be put on the market alongside the other four assets, however, Unibail-Rodamco must have changed its mind at the last moment. The price that Unibail-Rodamco has set for each asset is unknown.

The sale of these four assets forms part of the operation that the firm carried out last year with Barnasud, the complex acquired by Meridia Capital, a Catalan fund owned by the businessman Javier Faus, which paid Unibail-Rodamco €35 million for the asset.

In recent years, the French group has spent a significant amount on the renovation of some of its shopping centres in Spain. The most ambitious project was the Glòries shopping centre, where the company invested €150 million on its complete transformation. In total, the transformation added 12,500 m2 of public space, spread over 8,500 m2 of new streets, 2,500 m2 of urbanisation and pavements around the site and 1,500 m2 of new green space in the 22@ neighbourhood.

Whilst Unibail-Rodamco waits to receive the green light for the expansion of one of its main shopping centres in Spain, La Maquinista, the group’s portfolio in Spain comprises 12 shopping centres, with Barcelona and Madrid as the cities that are home to the most complexes. Whilst in the Catalan capital, the company operates La Maquinista, Glòries and Splau, in Madrid it manages La Vaguada, Equinoccio and Parquesur shopping centres.

In the rest of the country, Unibail-Rodamco has one complex in Valencia, Bonaire; one in Cádiz, Bahía Sur; one in Sevilla, Los Arcos; Vallsur, in Valladolid; El Faro, in Badajoz, and one in San Sebastián, which operates under the name Garbera.

Currently, the group led by Christophe Cuvillier has a portfolio in Spain worth €3.6 billion, which receives 126.2 million visitors per year. These assets represent 10% of the firm’s global portfolio.

Double-digit growth in Spain

The company ended last year in the Spanish market with a net profit of €161 million, up by 10.3% compared to 2016, when the group earned €146 million.

In this way, Spain has become one of the highest growth countries for Unibail-Rodamco. In all of the markets in which it operates, the French company recorded a net profit of €1.35 billion in 2017, up by 5.8% compared to the previous year, when its earnings amounted to €1.27 billion (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

APG to Inject €250M of Additional Funding into its Socimi with Renta

1 March 2018 – Expansión

Vivenio, the Socimi managed by Renta Corporación, is planning to carry out a second round of fundraising whereby the fund APG will inject €250 million; with leverage, that will result in an investment of €400 million in real estate assets in total. This represents the second capital injection for the Socimi that was created in April last year with a share capital of €130 million and an investment budget of €250 million.

The CEO of Renta Corporación, David Vila, said that the operation must first be approved by the General Shareholders’ Meeting and that the budget will be spent in its entirety in the residential segment. Of the budget for last year, €100 million has already been invested and around €115 million more has already been committed in operations pending completion.


Last year, Renta Corporación generated a net profit of €12.5 million, up by 210% compared to the previous year. During 2017, Renta’s share price rose by 59%. Yesterday, it rose by 3%, to €3.70 per share.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

NH Rejects Barceló’s Offer But is Willing to Consider Other Proposals

11 January 2018 – Expansión

Yesterday, the Board of Directors of the NH Hotel Group revealed its position regarding the proposal made by Barceló to merge the two businesses. And, although it expressed its “unanimous” rejection of the offer, it did say it was willing to consider future “strategic opportunities” within the framework of “the consolidation trends that are prevailing in the sector”.

“The Board has carefully considered the fact that the proposed structure – a merger – would not allow for the creation of value for our shareholders over and above that already forecast for NH operating independently”. In its analysis, the Board does not consider appropriate “either the intrinsic value assigned to NH by the Barceló Group’s offer, or its scope or the exchange ratio offered”, according to the explanation presented to the CNMV.

The Co-President of Barceló, Simón Pedro Barceló, sent a letter addressed to NH’s Board of Directors in November, proposing the integration of the two groups to create a “national champion” with more than 600 hotels and 110,000 rooms around the world, as Expansión revealed on 20 November.

The Mallorcan group proposed taking control of 60% of the resultant (merged) company and for the remaining 40% to end up in the hands of the shareholders of the NH Hotel Group. It also set the price of the latter at €7.08 per share, which meant valuing the company at €2.48 billion.

Exchange ratio

For NH’s most senior governing body, which met yesterday for the second time to analyse the proposal made by its competitor, the exchange ratio proposed by Barceló does not reflect the relative valuation of the two companies, nor does it incorporate a control premium over NH’s share value or take into account the potential appreciation in the firm’s share price operating independently. Moreover, NH’s directors emphasised that the offer does not open a window of liquidity for its shareholders. The offer – which is non-binding and conditional upon a due diligence (detailed analysis) – proposes an integration with NH Hotel in exchange for shares issued by the latter, with the resultant company being listed. This operation, therefore, would effectively allow Barceló – which is owned by the third generation of the family of the same name – to debut on the stock market.

“The Board has valued very negatively the fact that the offer from Grupo Barceló lacks liquidity for NH’s shareholders”, reiterated the Board of the listed company.

NH’s Board of Directors includes Alfredo Fernández Agras, representative of Oceanwood (with 12% of NH’s share capital); José Antonio Castro and Jordi Ferrer Graupera, both representatives of Hesperia, with a 9.1% stake; and Ramón Aragonés, CEO of NH. By contrast, HNA does not have a presence on the Board, despite being the majority shareholder, with a 29.5% stake. The Chinese giant was expelled (from the Board) in June 2016 due to a conflict of interest after it signed a purchase agreement with Carlson Rezidor, which competes with the Spanish firm in certain European countries.

Sources at Barceló expressed their respect regarding NH’s decision, although they acknowledged that the position adopted by their rival left them with “a bitter taste since they had not been able to convince the Board of the good intentions behind the operation”. And they added: “We think that the offer was good for the Spanish hotel industry, the shareholders of NH and Barceló and the economy of the country as a whole, which would have benefitted from having a national champion to go out and compete seriously overseas”.

In response to NH’s rejection, Barceló “said the discussion was over”. According to sources at the company, “no other proposals are possible”.

The decision of NH’s Board of Directors was made public at the end of trading. NH’s shares finished trading yesterday at a price of €6.115 per share, after rising by 1.83%. Since Barceló expressed its interest in NH, the share price of the latter has increased by 22% (…).

NH closed 2016 with sales of €1.475 billion, an EBITDA of €181 million and a net profit of €30.8 million. The group’s strategic plan for the next three years forecasts a recurring profit of €100 million and an EBITDA of up to €290 million in 2019.

Meanwhile, Barceló closed 2016 with turnover of €2.855 billion, net sales of €1.98 billion, an EBITDA of €339 million and a net profit of €125 million.

At the operating level, NH has 380 hotels and 59,000 rooms in more than thirty countries, whilst Barceló owns more than 230 hotels in 22 countries and almost 52,000 rooms.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ECI Sells Building On Plaza Magdalena In Sevilla To Stoneweg

26 October 2017 – Modaes.es

El Corte Inglés is pushing ahead with the divestment of its real estate. The department store group has sold a building on Plaza Magdalena in Sevilla to the fund Stoneweg for €10 million, according to reports by Eje Prime.

The asset, which used to house one of the group’s department stores, until 2012, was constructed in the 1950s. Stoneweg plans to completely renovate the building and turn it into a hotel, as part of its diversification strategy, whereby adding that activity along with logistics to its residential business.

Comprising five floors, the building was inaugurated in October 1959, as the first headquarters of Galerías Preciados and at the time, it was a pioneer in the new techniques of department store selling in Sevilla. A decade later, it closed its doors for a refit to become a furniture store under the same company, which opened a second building in San Pablo around the same time.

El Corte Inglés purchased both buildings in 1995 as part of the operation to acquire the assets of Galerías Preciados in Spain and it maintained it as a centre for the sale of household products and furniture, until five years ago. The Madrilenian group currently operates from another centre in the same square.

In 2016, El Corte Inglés launched a project to sell some of its properties located in various Spanish cities, with a combined valuation of more than €400 million.

One of the most recent operations carried out by the company in this regard was the sale in September of 40% of the company Iberiafon, owner of Torre Serrano in Madrid, for €50 million.

The group closed 2016 with revenues up by 1.9%, to €15,505 million and a net result of €161.86 million, up by 2.4% compared to the previous year.

Original story: Modaes.es (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Top 5 Socimis Have A Combined Market Cap’n Of €12,160M

2 August 2017 – El Confidencial

The Socimis are still proving fashionable. Spain’s listed real estate investment companies are continuing to capture the attention of large investors. And they are not disappointing them. The companies’ results for the first half of this year show that their average profits have risen by 50% YoY.

Colonial (Ibex 35), Axiare, Lar and Hispania are four of the five Socimis listed on the main stock market (another 30 are listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB)) that have published their accounts for the first half of 2017. Meanwhile, Merlin, the largest Socimi in Spain, which is also listed on the main stock market, will wait until after the summer to publish its half year accounts (on 22 September).

Since their debut on the stock market, these Socimis have not stopped growing. (…). Hispania has appreciated in value by 66%, followed by Axiare (64%), Merlin (43%) and Lar (6%). “The case of Colonial is not comparable with the others because it already existed as a company. Moreover, it is worth noting that Merlin comes off worse than Hispania in terms of pure value appreciation, but it has distributed the most dividends”, explain sources at Bankinter.

On Monday, Colonial reported that it increased its net profit by 90% compared to the same period last year. Moreover, it is the first Socimi to publish results having been transformed under the new tax regime. The entity chaired by Juan José Bruguera has seen its real estate asset portfolio increase in value by 7%. The portfolio contains office buildings located in the centre of Madrid, Barcelona and Paris (…). The company’s share price rose by 1.4% off the back of the good results, to reach €7.8 per share (…).

Meanwhile, Axiare Patrimonio increased its profits by 36% to €114 million. The asset portfolio of that firm has appreciated to €1,709 million, according to the valuation certificate issued by CBRE Valuation Advisory (…). Currently, Axiare Patrimonio is working to refurbish four of its office buildings in Madrid and Barcelona (with a combined surface area of 49,202 m2) and two logistics projects (for 76,816 m2 in total). (…).

Meanwhile, Lar España has increased its net profits by 50%. (…). The company chaired by José Luis del Valle generated profits amounting to €65 million. (…). Between January and June 2017, Lar acquired the Parque Abadía retail complex in Toledo and 22 retail premises in different locations across Spain.

In the case of Hispania, the Socimi in which the US magnate George Soros holds a stake, the entity reported net profits of €185 million, which represents an increase of 35% with respect to the same period in 2016. (…). The company chaired by Rafael Mirando explained that its half-year results continued to benefit from the positive effect of tourism so far this year.

In terms of the Socimis in the Ibex, analysts at Bankinter are still backing Merlin Properties as their main investment plan, with a “buy” recommendation and a target price of €12.6 per share, representing a potential appreciation of 9.6%. (…).

For Colonial, the analysts maintain their “neutral” recommendation with a target price of €8.1 per share, representing a potential appreciation of 4.8%. (…).

New requirements to debut on the MAB

In July, six new Socimis debuted on the MAB. The reason is that new requirements entered into force on 1 August affecting all companies wanting to debut from this month onwards and in particular, the Socimis (…).

Meanwhile, all eyes are fixed on the Socimi that is being promoted by Sareb (…). It is expected to make its stock market debut before the end of the year, once it has completed all of the procedures required by the MAB.

Sareb has announced that it has already taken the first steps to constitute the new company. It has also engaged several advisors to accompany it through the process, such as Renta 4 (…) and Clifford Chance (…). Although the so-called ‘bad bank’ has not provided details about the assets that will form part of its Socimi, it is understood that a quarter of the 4,600 homes and 820 tertiary assets that it currently rents out could be transferred to this new vehicle, which would represent almost 1,500 properties in total.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Carmen Alba)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania’s Profits Rose By 35% In H1 2017 To €185M

28 July 2017 – Expansión

Hispania, the Socimi in which George Soros owns a stake, recorded net profits of €185 million during the first half of 2017, which represents an increase of 35%. It invested €100 million during that period.

At the end of the first half of the year, the company’s portfolio was worth €2,339 million, which represents an increase of 10%. The company owns 39 hotels, with a total of 11,200 rooms and is consolidating its position as the largest owner of hotels in Spain.

In addition, the Socimi owns 25 office buildings with a combined surface area of more than 153,000 m2 and a plot of land where two additional buildings measuring more than 33,000 m2 are going to be constructed. It also owns five residential buildings, which contain almost 730 homes.


Hispania is planning its liquidation in 2020 and has already started to implement its divestment policy. Specifically, during the first half of the year, Hispania sold the Aurelio Menéndez office building for €37.5 million and continued to sell off its homes.

Specifically, during the first six months of the year, it sold 25 homes in Isla del Cielo and Sanchinarro (Madrid), generating a net profit of 35% compared with the original investment.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cilsa Buys 52,000 m2 Of Logistics Warehouses In Port Of Barcelona

12 July 2017 – Eje Prime

A logistics operation has been closed in the port of Barcelona. Cilsa, the management company of the ZAL zone at the Port of Barcelona and in which the Socimi Merlin Properties owns a stake, has agreed with the Socimi Luri 6 (formerly Santander Banif) to acquire 51,988 m2 of warehouses located in the port area for €16.4 million.

The warehouses acquired by Cilsa have an occupancy rate of 77%, in such a way that the company currently has 11,767 m2 of available space to lease. The operation will be formalised with a loan issued by the Port of Barcelona.

With these new assets, Cilsa will have 451,032 m2 of warehouses at the ZAL Port, which it leases out, as well as a Service Center office building measuring 11,250 m2.

In addition, Cilsa has granted surface area rights to clients who have constructed another 232,000 m2. Last year, the company recorded a gross operating profit of €20 million and a net profit of €5.2 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vbare Invests €100M To Expand Rental Home Portfolio

17 May 2017 – Expansión

The Socimi Vbare is currently analysing the possible purchase of new rental homes worth €100 million. In addition to expanding its business portfolio, the firm wants to expand the geographical reach of its activity, currently centred on Madrid, to include other cities.

The firm plans to close these operations in the short term provided it manages to raise the necessary funds. It is currently working to secure financing from domestic and overseas institutional investors, according to a statement issued by the company, whose shares are traded on the MAB.

Vbare believes that the Spanish residential market “will continue to attract the attention of large investors in the market and will consolidate itself as one of the priority investment focuses of 2017”.

To this end, the Socimi ratified its intention to raise funds in order to “take advantage of the investment opportunities that will arise in the Spanish market over the next three to five years”.

Vbare has just published its results for the first quarter of the year, which saw it record a net profit of €1.19 million, down by 8.8% compared to a year earlier. The rental income from its housing portfolio increased six-fold to €260,000.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake