Hispania Puts its €603M Office Portfolio Back on the Market

27 February 2018 – Eje Prime

Hispania has resumed its plan and placed the “for sale” sign up again over its office buildings, worth €603 million. The Socimi, managed by Azora and in which George Soros holds a stake, owns 25 office buildings and one plot of land. The divestment operation was initiated in February 2017 but was suspended in October due to the socio-political situation in Cataluña at that time. Previously, in June, Hispania sold one office building in Madrid for €37.5 million.

The properties for sale span a gross leasable area (GLA) of 153,621 m2 and have an occupancy rate of 87%. The assets are mostly located in Madrid, and the rest are in Barcelona. Companies such as LaLiga, Aegon, Uría and Ilunion have their offices in Hispania’s buildings.

The company will subject the sales process of this portfolio for approval by the General Shareholders’ meeting, which has been convened for 4 April, according to a statement issued by the company to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

With this operation, which, when it closes, will result in the distribution of almost €2 in extraordinary dividends per share to each shareholder, the Socimi is going to strengthen its strategy of focusing its investments in the hotel segment, where it is the king of the Spanish real estate sector with 46 assets.

Similarly, Hispania is also starting to sell its portfolio of rental homes to individuals, a market that is currently in high demand in Spain.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Plans To Sell Its Offices For €520M+ Before Year End

29 May 2017 – Cinco Días

Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios has started the process to sell off its portfolio of offices, according to a statement made on Thursday by Cristina García-Peri (pictured above), the Socimi’s CEO, speaking at the real estate investment forum, which is being held in conjunction with the SIMA housing fair in Madrid.

“Although we have until 2020, we have accelerated the sale of our offices. Now is the right time”, said García-Peri, who plans to divest these assets before the end of the year. The idea is that the Socimi, which is managed by the Azora group and whose largest shareholder is a fund owned by George Soros, will sell the office portfolio as a whole, with the exception of a few individual transactions, such as Uría Menéndez’s new headquarters in Madrid.

Hispania’s CEO said that overseas investors are the main potential candidates, but she did not rule out Spanish Socimis. “There are lots of buyers. International investors are still interested in Spanish real estate”, she said in a statement. In terms of the sales price, the Socimi hopes to exceed the portfolio’s current valuation, which stands at €520 million, according to the company’s most recent presentation.

This Socimi is undergoing a complete transformation, given that it is now specialising in hotel ownership and by 2020, when it is planning its own liquidation, it hopes to have become a hotel-only vehicle, so that it may be sold to another company. “What we will be looking for primarily is a change in control of the company”, said García-Peri, to allow those shareholders who wish to exit the share capital to do so.

In addition, the company is immersed in a transaction involving its residential assets, which involves selling the properties individually in the retail market.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Puts 5 Offices In Barcelona Up For Sale For €120M

14 February 2017 – Expansión

The Socimi wants to sell of the office buildings that it has in Barcelona to focus on hotels.

Divest to keep growing. That is the objective that the Socimi Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios has set itself for the year ahead.

The road map will be presented at the real estate company’s next general shareholders’ meeting, scheduled to take place in April. It is expected that the Socimi, in which the investor George Soros holds a stake, will ask its shareholders to extend this vehicle’s investment period, to focus on the purchase of hotels, and whereby move away from its initial strategy, which covered all kinds of assets for rent.

The Socimi, created and managed by the firm Azora, was designed to have an investment period of three years, which is due to come to an end this year. Its directors will ask its shareholders – including Soros, with his 16.7% stake; BlackRock (3.3%); and John Paulson (2.8%) – to extend the life of this vehicle, which now specialises in hotels.

To this end, the Socimi, which owns 25 office buildings, with a combined surface area of more than 153,000 m2, has decided to explore the sale of its office portfolio in Barcelona.

Hispania owns five buildings in Barcelona with a leasable surface area of around 39,000 m2 and with an average occupancy rate of 93% as at 30 September 2016. The assets include Edificio Cristal, with a GLA of 11,088m2, leased to ACS and Xerox, as well as the Les Gloriès complex, which comprises three buildings, two of which are fully occupied and one, which has an occupancy rate of more than 90%.

Hispania paid €80.3 million for these properties, although their book value as at 30 September 2016 amounted to more than €91 million, following investments made by the company.

Four months later, the Socimi has requested a new valuation of this batch and its aim is to generate around €120 million from the sale, say sources in the sector.

In addition to these properties in Barcelona, the Socimi owns another 20 properties: 19 in Madrid and one in Málaga. Hispania plans to sell the first batch within the next few months and hold onto the rest for the duration of 2017.

Block sale

Hispania could receive proceeds of around €500 million from the sale of its office portfolio. Nevertheless, a block sale would considerably reduce the number of potential buyers, due to the heterogeneity of the portfolio, which includes some properties with an occupancy rate of less than 50%, as well as one building that is not located in either of the two major Spanish markets (Madrid and Barcelona), which would deter some of the more institutional investment funds. (…).

The company has said that it will focus its next investments on hotel assets. Currently, Hispania owns 37 establishments with 10,407 rooms, making it the largest non-operator hotel owner in Spain. The company’s aim is to continue investing in establishments on the coast to reposition them. One of its most recent operations forms part of this strategy: the purchase of four hotels in the Canary Islands for €92 million. (…).

After debuting on the stock market in May 2016, with share capital of €550 million and no assets on its balance sheet, this real estate company – which adopted the Socimi structure in May 2016 – has managed to create a portfolio worth €1,684 million, with a capitalisation of €1,250 million.

During the first nine months of 2016, Hispania generated revenues of €100 million and profits of €136.7 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axiare Acquires Office Building In Madrid For €13M

29 January 2016 – Misoficinas.es

Axiare Patrimonio has completed the purchase of a new office building in Madrid. As a result, its portfolio of assets under management in Madrid and Barcelona now contains 17 buildings with a total surface area of 558,000 m2. The company has invested €13 million on the purchase of the property, which has a leasable surface area of 5,640 m2.

This new asset is located in the M30/A2 business park in Madrid, which the company regards as a strategic location; it already owns five other office buildings there. Axiare Patrimonio expects to see a strong recovery in the area, which is where the new headquarters of Banco Popular is currently being constructed. Meanwhile, 190,000 m2 of Axiare’s office portfolio is located in very established areas, and 38% of those assets are situated in the CBDs and main business districts of Madrid and Barcelona.

The newly acquired property, located on Calle Josefa Valcárcel, number 24, houses the Spanish headquarters of a US multinational technology company; the building has a 90% occupancy rate. It is a stand-alone building, comprising seven floors, each with an average surface area of 700 m2 – the ground floor has a surface area of almost 1,500 m2 – and 90 parking spaces.

Barbori Real Estate has participated in the transaction as the coordinator of the sale. Meanwhile, Axiare Patrimonio has received technical advice from the consultancy firm Homu Project and legal counsel from the law firm Gómez-Acebo & Pombo.

“We have a very active investment policy, in line with our business strategy. We are strengthening our commitment to the office segment, in a district that we consider is strategic for the generation of greater value for our shareholders”, said Luis López de Herrera-Oria, the CEO of Axiare Patrimonio. According to Axiare Patrimonio’s business plan, its investment objectives include: building a portfolio of assets, with a special emphasis on the office segment in the CBDs and main business districts of Madrid and Barcelona; and maximising their value through active management, with the aim of positioning them as the best assets in their respective areas of influence.

Original story: Misoficinas.es

Translation: Carmel Drake