30 April 2017 – ABC
A constant and silent trickle of investments has seen a significant number of the shopping centres in Andalucía change hands. The latest operation was closed in March, when the investment fund Patron Capital – which is headquartered in London and which has a portfolio worth more than €5,000 million – acquired Los Alcores, the most well-known establishment in Alcalá de Guadaíra (with a leasable area of 124,000 m2). Its tenants include H&M, Lefties, Bershka, Stradivarius and Cinesur.
The shopping centre, located at the foot of the A-92 motorway, has belonged to Incus Capital since 2013, just like El Mirador (in Cuenca) and Alzamora (in Alcoy). Now, these three properties have been acquired by Patron Capital, which has joined forces with the firm Eurofund to invest more than €13 million modernising the properties.
According to the experts, the operation makes sense, “Los Alcores is located in an area that will be served by the metro in the near future and which has large residential projects underway nearby, such as Hacienda Rosario being constructed by Aedas Homes; it is highly visible from the motorway and its tenants include many household names”, said Rosa Madrid, Director of CBRE in Andalucía, the firm that advised the operation.
A report by this consultancy highlights that the shopping centre business has “been recovering for several years and recorded a successful year in 2016”. Behind this rise is “the increase in consumption and, therefore, the good indicators in terms of visitor numbers and sales, which improved by 3.1% and 1.6%, respectively (taking the portfolio of shopping centres managed by CBRE in Spain as a sample)”.
From there, the significant interest from the major commercial brands in growing again, “which has allowed shopping centre occupancy rates to increase at a good pace”. In the CBRE portfolio, “the average occupancy rate rose from 89.6% to 93.9% between 2014 and 2016, figures that illustrate the improvement in the sector”.
If we look at what has happened over the last twelve months, it is clear that this sector “is on a roll”. At the end of 2016, the Via Outlet group – in which the London-based giant Hammerson owns a stake – purchased The Style Outlet in the town of San José de la Rinconada (better known as “The Airport Factory”). Until now, that establishment has belonged to a fund promoted by the Spanish real estate company Neinver (controlled by the Losantos family). Its major rival, the Outlet de Dos Hermanas, had already been acquired by Green Oak, just a few months earlier.
These operations joined a long list, which also includes Grupo Lar, which sold the Airesur de Castilleja de la Cuesta shopping centre to CBRE Global Investors. And an Andalucían company has also made money in this wave, specifically, the case of Bogaris, which sold six retail parks in Andalucía and Extremadura to Redevco Iberian Ventures in the middle of last year for €95 million (including Kinepolis Pulianas, las Marismas del Polvorín and the Motril retail park).
And the activity does not end there: Axiare Patrimonio purchased the Viaparck shopping centre in Almería for €20 million; Alpha Pyrenees Trust bought the Connecta shopping centre in Córdoba….and just a few weeks ago, New Winds Group (the owner of the Windsor building in Madrid) purchased Málaga Plaza shopping centre. Just another sign of the good health of a business that is taking off again.
Original story: ABC (by Luis Montoto)
Translation: Carmel Drake