Greystar to Manage Bilbao’s New 351-Bed Student Hall Atop the Bus Station

31 August 2018 – El Correo

The future Termibus building in Bilbao will mark a before and after in the neighbourhood of Basurto. It will turn the area on its head, in conjunction with the other major urban planning operations being undertaken in the provincial capital. And not only because it will put an end to the problems that the buses have caused the neighbourhood for decades (…). But also because its placement underground will enable the construction of a 9,000 m2 square and a sophisticated 11-storey building, containing a hotel, a hall of residence for students and a shopping centre.

And it is getting increasingly closer because the terminus project, which must be finished within less than a year, is progressing at full speed. (…). After digging the hole, now it is time to build the four below-ground floors, one by one. The two lower floors will house a rotating parking lot with 528 spaces and the upper two floors will contain the aforementioned intermodal station. At the same time, the names of the tenants that are going to manage the property’s services are starting to be announced.

The first to be made public is Greystar. The global leader in the management of student residences and rental properties in Spain has just acquired the educational accommodation complex from the business group Amenabar, chosen by the Town Hall of Bilbao to build the project as a whole. And it has done so after fighting off competition from top-level international firms such as Global Student Accommodation (GSA), Corestate, AMIRA and The Students Hotel (TSH).

The Basque property developer and construction firm will take care of everything. According to sources at the company, “we are going to construct the building, in an L-shape, and we will allocate the right-hand wing to a student residence”. Having completed it in its entirety “down to the last detail in terms of decoration”, it will hand over the facilities with all of the licences so that the manager (through Resa, its subsidiary in Spain) may open its doors in August 2020.

Shopping centre on the lower floors

The agreement reached seeks to make the most of the available space on the eleven floors of the establishment to provide 306 rooms. Most will be individual rooms, although there will also be some doubles, so that the total number of beds will be 351. “All of them will have a bathroom and an equipped kitchen, and 10 will be adapted for users with reduced mobility”, say the sources (…).

The retail space, which will span two floors and will occupy 7,500 m2 in a privileged area of the city, next to the new Garellano skyscraper, has also been put on the market. Amenabar is already receiving offers from a variety of interested parties, from supermarkets to gyms, to shops selling sportswear, textiles, household items, technology, lottery and hospitality “because a large cafeteria is planned to overlook the square”. The business group is interested in enhancing the diversification of the shops “because this area is going to be strategic in nature with more than 10 million people passing through it each year, including Termibus travellers and metro users, who will have a direct connection to the intermodal station”.

The hotel is the other pillar that will complete the comprehensive offering of the Termibus project. The left-hand wing of the building will be dedicated in its entirety to that activity. And, although the deadline for the tender that the Amenabar group has opened to chose the best candidate does not close until the end of October, the avalanche of proposals received is exceeding all forecasts. Sources at the company acknowledge that its privileged location, in the centre of Bilbao, right next to the San Mamés football stadium and with “unbeatable” transport connections, has sparked interest amongst operators from all over Spain and, above all, those that have great international appeal (…).

Original story: El Correo (by José Domínguez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meliá Finalises Sale & Leaseback of Palacio de Congresos Hotel in Valencia

20 July 2018 – Las Provincias

The tallest skyscraper in Valencia is on the verge of changing hands. The sale of Meliá’s Palacio de Congresos Hotel, located on Avenida de las Cortes Valencianas, number 52, is being finalised for €50 million, according to sources speaking to Las Provincias. The operation is expected to be signed in September and several investors have expressed their interest in acquiring the former Hilton Hotel.

The owner of the iconic property, the fund Colony Capital, took just two months to put it on the market after acquiring it in February when it purchased the fund Continental Property Investments (CPI), the former owner of the hotel. According to the same sources, the candidates to acquire the building now include Socimis, institutional investors and family offices, such as the Valencian Zriser group, the firm owned by Pablo Serratosa. Another interested player is AXA Real Estate, the company that acquired the Hilton Hotel Diagonal Mar in Barcelona last year.

Despite the change of owner, the management of the hotel will continue to be entrusted to Meliá, which signed an extendable 10-year operating contract in 2011. It is a strategic asset for the hotel group, given its location next to the Palacio de Congresos, which makes it the best-positioned accommodation on the market for business people and guests of events organised in the Valencian enclave.

A yield of 5%

According to sources familiar with the operation, the asking price for the hotel was €45 million, which was the “minimum to make an offer”. Nevertheless, the market was pricing it at around 10% more, approximately €50 million and some even think that it will be sold more than that. “Socimis and institutional investors look for yields of 5% per year”, they reveal.

In addition, the sale price per room will range between €165,000 and €175,000. In terms of the price per overnight stay, hotels of this kind with an occupancy rate of 80% typically range between €90 and €95 per room. The expectation is that the former Hilton will cost around €100 per night in five years time.

The former Hilton is a 5-star hotel that opened its doors to the public in May 2007. It stands 117 m tall and has 29 storeys, with 269 rooms, 33 suites and two presidential suites. Moreover, it has a convention room and 18 meeting rooms. The building was constructed between 2002 and 2006 at a cost of €110 million, double the price at which the owners want to sell it for now. It was in 2010 when the owner company, the firm Hotel Palacio de Congresos SL, sold the property to CPI to avoid its definitive closure after that company filed for voluntary creditor bankruptcy.

Original story: Las Provincias (by Elísabeth Rodríguez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meliá Sells 3 Hotels to Socimi Atom for €73.4M

13 July 2018 – Expansión

Meliá Hotels has announced an agreement with the Socimi Atom Hoteles, in which Bankinter holds a stake, for the sale of three hotels in Sevilla, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Fuerteventura for €73.4 million.

The transaction, which will generate a net accounting profit of €6.6 million, includes the hotels Meliá Sevilla, Sol La Palma (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and Sol Jandía Mar (Fuerteventura), respectively.

The establishments will continue to be operated by Meliá by means of variable rental contracts (25% of the total revenues) for periods of 5 years, with a maximum of 4 extensions at the discretion of Meliá and up to a maximum of 25 years.

The operation values each room at €66,000 and represents an EBITDA (result before depreciation and amortisation) multiple of 13.9 times.

As part of the agreement, Atom undertakes to invest €20.2 million in the three hotels, whereby allowing their “repositioning”. Thus, the price per room after the investment will amount to €83,000.

The hotel chain has said that this sale forms part of its “strategy to adapt the attributes of the brands of all of the establishments operated by the company”.

Original story: Expansión (by D. B.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Apple’s Landlord to Build a 20,000 m2 Hotel in Central Madrid

27 June 2018 – El Economista

The Mexican Díaz Estrada family, owner of the Apple store in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, has decided to launch a new hotel project in the heart of the Spanish capital. It will be a large complex, spanning almost 20,000 m2, which is going to be built on Calle Montera, in two adjacent buildings, one of which used to house the former Acteón cinemas for many years.

According to several sources in the sector, speaking to El Economista, the Latin American group has decided to re-launch this development now, although it has been working on it for several years. In this way, the family acquired numbers 25-27 Calle Montera in 2013 through its company Exacorp One. That building had been owned by the public company Madrid Espacios y Congresos, which purchased it in 2007 for €55.4 million during the reign of Alberto Ruíz Gallardón. The intention of the Administration was to renovate the property and give it a new lease of life as a hotel, but that operation was thwarted by the arrival of the crisis and the plummeting prices. In the end, it sold it for €34 million to Exacorp One, which, in 2015, also acquired the adjacent building (Montera 29-31) where the Acteón cinemas used to be located.

Now the group is going to convert both buildings into a 173-room hotel complex, according to the project plans to which this newspaper has had access. Thus, the company obtained the permits to carry out this project last summer and according to the same sources, may have already reached an agreement with a chain to operate the hotel. According to the experts, this project has sparked interest amongst all operators, especially those who still don’t have a presence in Spain. “It is a very iconic project in the heart of Madrid, where there are few developments of this size underway. Moreover, Calle Montera has undergone a very significant transformation in recent times, to improve its retail and restaurant offer”.

The construction of the new hotel will involve the complete demolition of the building at number 29-31 (the Acteón cinemas) in order to build a new building connected to the adjoining one. The 12-storey establishment will have one of the best terraces in the centre, spanning 654 m2 – housing a restaurant – with a swimming pool (…). The initial plans also include the installation of a gym, a bar, meeting and banquet rooms, as well as a function room for the hotel. In addition, the building will house five commercial premises.

This is not the first hotel project from the Díaz Estrada family, which is also the owner of the new Hyatt Centric, at number 31 Gran Vía. With that opening, the chain returned to Madrid in December 2017 after leaving the management of the Villa Magna nine years ago. The Hyatt name is precisely one that is being suggested as a possible contender to operate the hotel on Calle Montera, under one of the chain’s other brands, given that it could do so by reaching a double agreement with the owners.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Healthcare Activos Prepares to Debut on the MAB in 2020

19 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Healthcare Activos is preparing to make the leap onto the stock market in the next few years. The investment arm owned by the former CEO of the former company Sarquavitae, nowadays the DomusVi Group, in Spain, and Oaktree Capital are confident that the entity will make its debut on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) within an estimated period of two years.

According to explanations provided by Jorge Guarnar, the CEO of Healthcare Activos, “first, we will tackle the technical debut on the MAB and then we will look to other markets”. But to list on the stock market, the investment vehicle specialising in the medical and hospital business plans to first accumulate a property investment portfolio in Spain amounting to around €500 million.

The group’s first investment took place in December 2016, when Guarnar’s firm purchased four buildings, which are now leased to the nursing home operator Amavir.

Since that purchase, to date, the group has invested €108 million, of which €62 million was disbursed in 2017 and the remaining €46 million has been invested since 1 January 2018.

The aim of Healthcare Activos is to invest €150 million every year over the next three years, which means that to fulfil its objective for 2018 it needs to invest around €40 million.

For the time being, the company owns eleven assets in total, located all over Spain. The most recent purchase by Healthcare Activos came in February when the company purchased three nursing homes for €40 million.

On that occasion, the investment vehicle teamed up with La Saleta Care, which is responsible for the management of the centres, to execute the operation. The nursing homes are located in Gijón, Burgos and Valladolid, and belonged to the Baugestión group, which is now under the umbrella of La Saleta Care. The three properties contain 525 beds and 112 day centre places and span a combined surface area of 22,000 m2.

Healthcare Activos, which is headquartered in Barcelona, is chaired by Guarnar, who previously served as the CEO of Sarquavitae, the leading Spanish company in the nursing home sector, for twelve years. The representatives of Oaktree Capital include its Director General, Karim Khairallah, and the restructuring expert, Carlos Gila.

In addition to Guarner, the company comprises five other people. Ramón Gallofré holds the position of Project Director; Olga Alonso is the Operations Director; Enric Palar, the former Finance Director of Goldcar and eDream, heads up the Finance team; Thierry Ignoin is the firm’s lawyer; and the former Deloitte employee Miki Domenech is the Director of Investments.

Currently, the top five companies in the nursing home sector have a combined market share of 15%. According to Guarnar, this fragmented scenario is ripe for the leading companies to continue growing to form large groups.

Original story: Eje Prime (by A. Escobar)

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

French Group Primonial Buys 6 Nursing Homes in Spain for €35M

5 March 2018 – Eje Prime

Primonial is buying more assets in Spain. The French fund manager has signed an agreement with the nursing home management group La Saleta Care (owned by the Belgian group Armonea) to purchase six of its nursing homes in the Community of Valencia for €35 million, according to explanations provided by the group in a statement.

The fund has acquired six La Saleta nursing homes, containing 800 beds and day places in total, in the Community of Valencia, with a combined surface area of almost 21,500 m2. The six centres are going to continue to be leased to the operator La Saleta Care, through a new commercial lease with a fixed duration of 25 years.

This is the second operation that the group has signed in Spain. The company, which owns a portfolio containing more than €10.7 billion of assets under management, purchased the Sant Antoni Clinic, located in La Marina del Port, in Barcelona, last September, for €20 million.

Both operations form part of the trend by international funds to acquire alternative assets in Spain. In each case, the real estate consultancy JLL has brokered the operations.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lidl Boosts its Real Estate Business with €300M Investment

27 December 2017 – El Economista

Lidl is strengthening its commitment to the real estate sector. The German supermarket chain is planning to invest around €300 million next year (2018) buying up land and stores on/in which to open new supermarkets. Contrary to what most of the distribution sector is doing (the majority of retailers are selling their properties and leasing stores instead so as to focus on their core retail businesses), the German giant is standing firm in its commitment to the real estate recovery in Spain and so will continue investing.

With a current network of 540 stores, the idea is to own the largest possible number of stores. The average sales area amounts to around 1,500 m2, and so Lidl is looking for spaces measuring between 4,000 m2 and 9,000 m2, to allow space for warehouses and parking.

“Although we haven’t set an exact figure yet, the idea is to maintain the same rate of store openings as this year (2017), which means that we would open between 30 and 40 establishments in 2018”, explain sources at the company. Lidl arrived in Spain in 1994 and closed 2016 with a turnover of more than €3.335 billion, which represented an increase of 9.5% compared to the previous year. The company has also consolidated its position as the fifth largest operator in the sector with a market share of 4.3%, behind only Mercadona, Dia, Carrefour and Eroski, according to the latest market research published by the consultancy firm Kantar Worldpanel.

Presence at real estate fairs

Loyal to its real estate strategy, Lidl has already attended the recent exhibitions of the Barcelona Meeting Point fair to search for business opportunities. Moreover, it has decided to diversify its store opening strategy and enter, for example, traditional food markets (‘mercados de abastos’) and shopping centres.

In the case of the first, the German company has committed to opening stores in Barcelona, in the Sant Antoni and Vall d’Hebrón markets, and in Madrid, in the Tetuán market, in a strategy similar to the one being carried out by Mercadona. In the case of shopping centres, it has already opened its first store in this type of space in Islazul, in Madrid. Moreover, as well as new stores, Lidl is also making very significant investments in improving and modernising its existing stores.

Original story: El Economista (by Javier Romera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankinter Prepares to Debut its Hotel Socimi in Q1 2018

26 December 2017 – El Confidencial

Bankinter has started to offer its private banking clients the option of acquiring a stake in a listed real estate investment company (Socimi) that owns a portfolio of 4- and 5-star hotels located across Spain, which it plans to debut on the stock market during the first quarter of 2018.

This Socimi will be created with a share capital of almost €200 million invested in a selection of hotels: 65% holiday establishments and the remainder urban, including several properties operated by high-profile chains such as Marriott and Meliá, according to reports made today by sources close to the project.

In recent weeks, Bankinter has been in charge of choosing the hotels, all of which are operating, in order to offer an annual dividend of approximately 5% to all of the shareholders of the Socimi, which will make its debut on the MAB, the stock market segment designed for SMEs.

The main shareholders will be Bankinter’s private banking clients, who have already pledged to contribute around €120 million to the project on 18 January. The minimum investment per client will be €200,000 and the maximum will be 15% of each individual’s financial wealth.

In addition, other investors, including Bankinter itself, the manager of the Socimi and institutional investors, will invest at least €60 million more.

The idea is that the bank led by María Dolores Dancausa will invest €18 million and the manager of the Socimi, GMA, €9 million, which would mean that both will hold a minority stake in the company, but one that is sufficient to entitle representation on the Board of Directors.

Unlike other Socimis, the investment vehicle designed by Bankinter has a divestment period of 7 years, although the bank reserves the right to extend its life.

This Socimi is not the first to be launched by the financial institution, given that in February, it placed Ores on the market, together with the company Sonae Sierra. Ores invests in commercial assets such as shops and large retail spaces in Spain and Portugal.

Original story: El Confidencial 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sevilla’s Chamber of Commerce Completes Sale of 2 Plots to Helena Rivero

2 November 2017 – ABC de Sevilla

This week, according to sources consulted by ABC, Sevilla’s Chamber of Commerce has sold two plots of land next to the Antares Club and on the Eusa campus to the family of the Jerez businessman Joaquín Rivero, who died in September 2016. The operation was agreed in November 2016 but was subject to the obtaining of municipal licences for the various projects. On the Eusa land, Helena Rivero’s investor group plans to build a university hall of residence for 400 students. Next to Antares, Helena Rivero is still deciding what to do with the 1,700 m2 plot, which has permission for the construction of a hotel given that it has been allocated for tertiary use.

In this way, the Chamber of Commerce, chaired by Francisco Herrero, will obtain a sizeable liquidity injection thanks to an operation that was closed for around €7.5 million. The negotiations for the sale of these plots were initiated by Joaquín Rivero Valcarce, the real estate businessman who chaired Bami. Following the death of the businessman in 2016, his only daughter, Helena, decided to push ahead with the operation.

Nevertheless, the sale of the two plots in question was subject to the Town Hall of Sevilla granting the necessary authorisations to build on the Eusa and Antares plots. Once municipal authorisation had been obtained to build a university hall of residence on Eusa’s plot, which has been allocated for social/educational use, the sale of the land was closed this week, according to the same sources. The sale had previously received the green light from the plenary of the Chamber of Commerce and the Junta de Andalucía, which oversees the region’s chambers of commerce.

A multi-national firm will operate the hall of residence

In terms of the university residence planned for Eusa, the plot sold to Helena Rivero’s investor group has a surface area of 2,200 m2 and permission to build up to 11,000 m2. According to sources consulted by ABC, a leading European multi-national in the hall of residence sector, which is listed on the stock market, will take over the operation of the building.

The other plot, measuring 1,700 m2 has been allocated for tertiary use – it is currently home to the exhibition hall, auditorium and parking lot of the Antares sports centre. On that plot, the company managed by the Rivero family may be able to build a hotel with a maximum buildable area of 6,000 m2, equivalent to around 100 rooms.

The hotel was promoted initially by Antares and it was precisely that project that led the company to file for creditors’ bankruptcy when the real estate bubble burst and it was unable to refinance a mortgage loan that it had requested from La Caixa in 2008 to build a four-star establishment in El Porvenir. Antares Andalucía had managed to reclassify the 1,740m2 plot, and so it was valued at €10.2 million in 2007.

In the end, the mercantile judge authorised the sale of the assets of the Antares Club, with their charges and levies, as well as of the brands “Antares Andalucía” and “Encuentros 2000”, to the Chamber of Commerce – through Eusa. The Chamber spent €4 million on the operation, including taking on a €3.2 million mortgage with CaixaBank.

With this sale of the two plots, the Chamber of Commerce will now have sufficient revenues to undertake projects in its two business units: Eusa and the Antares Club. The Chamber of Commerce plans to completely renovate the Antares Club, given that it is more than 30 years ago, and move its training activities to the SGAE building in La Cartuja. That building has a surface area of 35,000 m2, including an auditorium measuring 22,000 m2.

Original story: ABC de Sevilla (by M. J. Pereira)

Translation: Carmel Drake