Apollo Submits an Offer for El Corte Inglés’s Entire Real Estate Portfolio

23 May 2019 – Eje Prime

According to financial sources, in April, the fund Apollo Global Management submitted a bid for the whole real estate portfolio that El Corte Inglés has had on the market since the beginning of the year. However, the offer did not convince the management team of the department stores.

Since then, the ECI group has opened up the possibility of allowing interested parties to bid for part of the portfolio so as to maximise the value of the properties. However, the risk with that option is that some properties will end up being left unsold.

With the deadline for bids closing today, nothing is being ruled out. In fact, Apollo could still win if it was willing to increase its offer.

The portfolio contains 95 assets and includes shopping centres, offices and other types of assets such as parking lots, land and homes.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

ADU Purchases the Mestalla Plots from Valencia FC for c. €115M

17 April 2019 – Idealista

The manager ADU Mediterráneo and CONCOVI (the Confederation of Housing Cooperatives in Spain) has reached an agreement with Valencia CF to purchase the plots on the site of the current Mestalla stadium.

It is the largest land transaction to be signed for a decade in Valencia, with a surface area of 97,225 m2, of which 55,769 m2 will be dedicated to residential use and 41,456 m2 for tertiary purposes.

According to the newspaper Las Provincias, the consideration for the deal could amount to more than €115 million. Valencia FC will move to its new stadium during the 2022-2023 season. CBRE will exclusively manage the sale of the tertiary and residential properties.

Original story: Idealista 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Valenciaport Sells a Plot in Parc Sagunt to Inditex for €31M

4 February 2018 – Eje Prime

Valenciaport has made the sale of a plot of land in Parc Sagunt to Inditex official. The President of the Port Authority of Valencia (APV), Aurelio Martínez, signed the sale of this plot by ‘Valencia Plataforma Intermodal y Logística’ to Tempe, a footwear company that forms part of the Inditex group, before a notary on Monday. The plot measures almost 280,000 m2 and its price amounted to €31 million.

The APV is planning to allocate the resources obtained from the sale of the plot to promoting, activating and streamlining Parc Sagunt II, purchasing new areas to attract business investment of port interest, according to reports from Europa Press.

Tempe was the only company that submitted an offer in the tender process that was convened. As part of the sale’s terms, the company agrees not to sell or divest the plot for at least three years. Moreover, the group commits to undertake business activities within a maximum period of four years.

In January, Tempe emerged as the buyer of this asset after it was the only company to submit a bid in the tender. The company already has central offices and two logistics centres in the Elche Business Park in Alicante.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Inditex to Build a Logistics Centre Next to Mercadona’s in Parc Sagunt

14 December 2018 – Valencia Plaza

The company behind the offer received by the Valencia Port Authority (APV) to purchase a plot of land measuring 280,000 m2 in Parc Sagunt is Tempe. That firm, a subsidiary of the textile group Inditex that has its headquarters in Elche, is planning to build one of its centres on the plot that is located right next to the 350,000 m2 plot on which Mercadona has already started work to build its largest logistics block in Spain.

The APV announced this week that it had received, through its subsidiary Valencia Plataforma Intermodal (VPI), a purchase proposal for that plot, although it did not reveal the amount of the bid or the identity of the candidate. The Board of Directors of VPI considered the bid to be “in the port’s interest” because the project presented fulfils the requirements in terms of the movement of goods through the Port of Sagunto, which VPI included in the public tender convened previously for the sale of this plot.

The company has opened a period of 30 calendar days to give other applicants the option to submit alternative offers, and so if that does not happen before 11 January, them the land will be awarded to the footwear subsidiary of the textile group founded by Amancio Ortega (…).

The 280,000 m2 plot, which VPI was awarded at the time for €30 million is currently worth €25 million, but the entity has already recognised a provision in its accounts for the adjustment in the value of the land. In the tender documents, the company established a minimum price of €30.7 million plus €300,000 for notary fees, payable in cash (…).

Tempe is the Inditex subsidiary that specialises in footwear and accessories for the eight chains that belong to the group: Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe. It is responsible for the design, sale and distribution of those products. Its headquarters are in Elche, one of the main manufacturing nuclei in Spain, and occupy 200,000 m2. From there, it distributes 100 million units around the world each year.

In 2017, Tempe broke sales records once again by registering a turnover of €1.246 billion, according to its accounts for the year. The company is owned by Inditex (50%) and the businessman Vicente García Torres. Its profit amounted to €81 million and Inditex received €21 million in dividends from the company.

Logistics is one of the fundamental areas of Inditex’s business. In total, 8,565 workers are dedicated to it, equivalent to 5% of its employees. The distribution of clothes, footwear, accessories and household goods of all of its chains is carried out from fourteen logistics centres located across Spain (…).

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Xavi Moret)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander Offers €3bn for its own Ciudad Financiera

19 September 2018 – Eje Prime

Banco Santander could end up buying back its Ciudad Financiera. The Spanish bank has submitted an offer for around €3 billion for the complex in the framework of the auction organised by Commercial Court number 9 in Madrid to liquidate the assets of Marme Inversiones, the owner of the asset, according to Expansión.

Besides Santander, two other entities have submitted bids. They are the Kuwaiti fund headquartered in the British capital, AGC Capital Markets, and the British-Irani investor Robert Tchenguiz.

According to the most recent information, Blackstone was going to participate in the bid. Specifically, the US fund was going to offer more than €3 billion for the Spanish bank’s central offices.

In the end, both Blackstone and Centerbridge have ruled out participating in the auction, the resolution of which will be revealed within the next few days: the bankruptcy administrator could award the asset, or open another phase for the receipt of better offers.

Banco Santander’s Ciudad Financiera has been owned by Marme Inversiones (controlled by the investors Glenn Maud and Derek Quinlan) since 2008. The company filed for bankruptcy after it was unable to keep up the repayments on the loans it took out to sign the operation.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Funds Bidding for Sabadell’s RE Have Until 27 June to Submit Their Offers

24 June 2018 – La Vanguardia

The deadline for the finalist funds to submit their bids to be awarded Banco Sabadell’s four portfolios comprising problem assets, whose combined value amounts to almost €11 billion, will close definitively on Wednesday, 27 June, the date on which the entity will have to choose the winners, according to sources close to funds consulted by Europa Press.

The entity chaired by Josep Oliu is looking to divest its Challenger and Coliseum portfolios, which amount to around €7.5 billion and comprise foreclosed assets (REO) and Makalu and Galerna, worth €2.5 billion and €900 million, respectively, comprising non-performing loans (NPLs).

Nevertheless, according to explanations provided by market sources, Sabadell is only going to be able to deconsolidate the largest portfolio from its balance sheet this year, the so-called Challenger portfolio (worth around €5 billion). The others will have to wait as they need to receive the green light from the Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGD) since the properties that constitute them proceed from the former CAM – Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo – a process that could take months (…).

The main international funds specialising in distressed debt and assets in risk of default are bidding for these portfolios. They are proposing significant discounts to their nominal values and their recoveries depends on the guarantee or collateral.

The strong investor appetite for Sabadell’s toxic property comes in a context in which political uncertainty is continuing to rage on the Old Continent. Cerberus, Blackstone, Lone Star and Oaktree are some of the finalist funds to be awarded the first two portfolios, whilst Deutsche Bank, Bain Capital, Oaktree and CPPIB are going to compete for the assets in the other two, according to sources at the funds and banks, speaking to ‘El Confidencial’ and ‘Vozpópuli’.

Significant reduction in real estate exposure

With the deconsolidation of its largest portfolio alone, Sabadell’s real estate exposure would fall below the €10 billion threshold, whilst the sale of all four portfolios would reduce its balance to around €4 billion, according to the accounts published by the bank for the first quarter of 2018. Thus, once the transactions have been completed, Sabadell’s accounts will have a much healthier balance sheet.

As at 31 March 2018, the entity had €14.9 billion in problem assets, which represented a decrease of 17.6% compared to the end of the same period a year earlier, when the figure amounted to €18.1 billion. The coverage ratio of the problem assets amounted to 55.2%, after applying IFRS 9, with a doubtful coverage ratio of 56.6% and a foreclosed asset coverage ratio of 53.7%. Similarly, the ratio of net problem assets over total assets stood at 3.1% (…).

A source of liquidity for the banks

In this way, Banco Sabadell is following in the footsteps of other entities such as Santander, BBVA and CaixaBank in the reduction of its heavy backpack of toxic assets, which the financial crisis left on their balance sheets (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Formalises its “Hostile” Takeover Bid for Hispania

23 April 2018 – Valencia Plaza

Blackstone has submitted to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV) its request for authorisation for the takeover bid that it has launched over the Socimi Hispania, an operation worth €1.905 billion, which would see the US fund become the largest hotel owner in the country. The supervisor must now analyse whether the bid is admissible and, in the event that it deems that it is, assess the documentation for its approval. Only then will the period be opened for acceptance of the deal by the shareholders.

In this way, Blackstone has formalised its takeover bid for the hotel Socimi that it announced on 5 April, after it purchased 16.5% of the share capital from the investor George Soros and whereby became the company’s largest shareholder. The bid is effectively directed at the 83.5% of Hispania’s share capital that the fund does not yet control, by offering €17.45 per share, which brings the operation value to around €1.59 billion.

In the documentation submitted to the supervisor on Monday, Blackstone did not include any bank guarantee to secure that amount, although it did state that it would present such a guarantee within a period of seven working days that it has for that purpose. The consideration being offered by the fund represents a discount of 5.6% with respect to the share price of €18.50 at which Hispania was trading before the operation was announced publicly.

Blackstone is formalising the takeover bid after Hispania announced that it regarded the approach as hostile and that it will look for “alternatives” to the operation that improve the price proposed and, therefore, “maximise” value. The Socimi chaired by Rafael Miranda is pushing ahead with its intention to look for other options to the bid, given that prior to its formulation, and before it announced its intention to liquidate its assets by 2020, the firm had received expressions of interest from around half a dozen overseas investors.

For its part, Blackstone is looking to create a hotel asset ‘giant’, given that this deal would see it become the largest owner of this type of establishment in the country. The fund would add the 46 hotels that comprise the Socimi’s portfolio, most of which are located on the islands and in the main tourist areas of the country, to the fourteen establishments that it purchased last year from one of Banco Sabadell’s companies (HI Partners). Currently, and following the departure of Soros, Hispania’s main reference shareholders are overseas funds, including Fidelity, which owns a 7% stake, Conepa with 6%, and Bank of Montreal and BlackRock, with 3% each.

Original story: Valencia Plaza

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cerberus Puts 2 of Bankia’s Prime Branches Up For Sale

12 March 2018 – El Confidencial

Cerberus wants to take advantage of the appetite that exists for retail premises on Spain’s main high streets at the moment and to this end, has opened a process to sell two of Bankia’s star branches, located on Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona and at number 1 Calle Alcalá in Madrid, according to sources familiar with proceedings.

The operation has been instrumented through Haya Real Estate, the real estate servicer of Cerberus, which is in charge of managing the assets thanks to the contract signed with the entity, and has been organised as a closed process, rather than through the website, like it does with other assets when it puts them on the market.

In both cases, the bank chaired by José Ignacio Goirrigolzarri is planning to vacate the premises, so that the buyers can let them to a new tenant and whereby obtain more attractive offers.

The establishment located on Alcalá 1, a historical building dating back to the 19th century, has a surface area of 900 m2 spread over the ground floor and basement. The process, which was launched last month, has received interest from several parties looking to acquire the empty space.

On the plus side, it is located right next to the entrance of the well-known Puerta del Sol, and it is very close to Calle Preciados, the most expensive shopping street in Madrid, with an average rent of €3,180/m2, according to Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). On the downside, its shop window overlooking Calle Alcalá is very reduced.

Meanwhile, in Plaza de Cataluna, the 1,000 m2 branch that Bankia owns is homes to its headquarters in the Catalan capital. Haya already identified it at the end of last year as a serious candidate for sale, a decision that it took in the end boosted by the record retail investment figures.

According to figures from Savills-Aguirre Newman, investor interest in the commercial segment in 2017 allowed it to break records, reaching €3.5 billion, levels that the real estate consultancy expects will be maintained this year thanks to the strong outlook that still exists for tourism, amongst other factors.

Plaza de Catalunya is also one of the most commercial areas in Spain, with rents exceeding €1,200/m2, and with the added bonus that it is a genuine magnet for large fashion firms.

In fact, Uniqlo was on the verge of acquiring the 3,000 m2 that Fundación Montemadrid used to own next door to Bankia’s branch, a property that ended up being sold to Desigual to house its new flagship store. El Corte Inglés, Apple, Zara and Fnac are just some of the distinguished neighbours on this sought-after square.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

British Fund Signal Capital Partners Offers €30M+ for Duro Felguera’s HQ

7 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The sale of the headquarters of Duro Felguera in Madrid could be on the verge of being signed. The Asturian company has received an offer for more than €30 million from the British investment fund Signal Capital Partners. And the company has already requested a due diligence, according to El Economista.

Before Signal, the Duro Felguera building, located at number 7 Calle Vía de los Poblados in the Spanish capital, had been courted by two other interested parties: Banco Sabadell and Sandra Ortega, one of the daughters of the Inditex founder.

Two months ago, the Spanish bank offered €33 million for the building, but it seems that neither its bid nor the €38 million that Sandra Ortega (…) placed on the table convinced the Asturian group. In the case of Ortega, the economic proposal was accompanied by one condition: the rental of the asset for ten years, at a price of €2 million per year and a seven-year deposit, according to Vozpopuli.

Duro Felguera, which is on the brink of filing for creditors’ bankruptcy, has until 15 April to reach an agreement with the banks to restructure its debt, which exceeds €900 million. For that reason, the company is particularly keen to complete the sale of this asset.

If the fund reaches an agreement, it would represent Signal Capital Partners’ second operation in Spain. In 2017, it took part in the purchase and remodelling of Aparthotel Orquidea, an establishment located in Ibiza, with a surface area of 12,000 m2 and 198 rooms.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Owner of Santander’s HQ is Set to Emerge from Bankruptcy

26 January 2018 – Voz Pópuli

There is light at the end of the tunnel in the creditor bankruptcy of Marme Inversiones 2007, the company that owns Banco Santander’s Ciudad Financiera (in Madrid). This week, a key meeting was held to unblock the bankruptcy proceedings, with deliberation over several appeals, something that the courts will come to a decision about over the coming weeks.

The parties potentially interested in this process have started to take positions regarding the possible sale of the Ciudad Financiera, which could happen in the middle of this year. The best-positioned player is the fund AGC Equity Partners, with a proposal that values that bank’s headquarters at between €2.7 billion and €2.8 billion, as this newspaper revealed.

But two competitors have emerged: a consortium formed by Madison Capital, Glenn Maud and GCA; and a proposal from the Iranian-born financier, Robert Tchenguiz, according to financial sources consulted by Vozpópuli.

The offer that most concerns AGC is the one presented by the US funds (Madison and GCA) and the British property magnate Glenn Maud, who was one of the original buyers in 2008. The price that they may put on the table is close to the figure being offered by the Arab fund, around €2.7 billion.

Months of advantage

Nevertheless, AGC is the favourite in the race because it has been negotiating the operation with Santander for several months. Santander is not only the tenant in this case, it also holds a small part of the debt and a right of first refusal. Having said that, the Commercial Court number 9 of Madrid has denied that preferential right until now. Be that as it may, an agreement with Santander would facilitate everything.

Meanwhile, in addition to these two offers, further competition has emerged in the form of Tchenguiz, owner of the company Edgeworth Capital. The Iranian national has been trying to harness his investment in subordinated debt for years. By holding one of the riskiest tranches, he has to make sure that the liquidation plan protects him, otherwise, he will be exposed to discounts. That negative scenario would become a reality with AGC’s liquidation plan.

For this reason, Tchenguiz is offering an insolvency exit plan in which he would become the owner of the Ciudad Financiera by purchasing the stake owned by Glenn Maud.

To complete the picture, we should take into account that beyond the bankruptcy of Marme Inversiones, two other companies in Spain are involved in this insolvency: its two parent companies, Delma and Ramblas. And that those creditors and investors are awaiting trials in the UK and The Netherlands. This complex legal battle is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake