Lar España Sells 2 Out-of-Town Stores in Pamplona to AEW for €11.5M

3 August 2018 – Eje Prime

Lar España is continuing its selling spree. The Spanish Socimi has divested two out-of-town stores in the Parque Galaria Retail Park in Pamplona for €11.5 million. The buyer is the company Fructiregions Europe, owned by the fund AEW, which has acquired a gross leasable area (GLA) of 4,108 m2, according to a statement filed by Lar with Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

With this operation, the Socimi is strengthening its divestment and asset rotation plan, which it currently has underway and which has allowed it to raise up to €276.5 million to “focus its efforts on strategic commercial assets”, according to explanations from the company.

For the assets sold in Pamplona, Lar España has managed to obtain profits of 37% with respect to the €8.4 million that it paid for them in July 2015. In total, the two out-of-town stores occupy a gross leasable area (GLA) of 4,108 m2.

As well as divesting its non-strategic assets, Lar España has launched a three-year plan that includes the purchase of strategic commercial assets, such as the deal it carried out recently with the Rivas Futura Retail Park (Madrid), which it acquired for €62 million, and the Abadía Shopping Arcade (Toledo), which it purchased for €14 million.

In total, the Socimi has funding to invest €247 million in commercial developments. Examples include Palmas Altas in Sevilla, which will open its doors in 2019, and for whose construction the company has raised almost €100 million in bank financing; and Vidanova Parc, in Sagunto (Valencia), which recently debuted its first phase. Moreover, Lar España is going to spend €49 million on the renovation of retail assets that it holds in its portfolio.

After divesting its logistics portfolio a few weeks ago, for which the fund Blackstone paid €120 million, Lar España now has 18 real estate assets in its portfolio worth €1,401.5 million, of which €1,136.5 million correspond to shopping centres, equivalent to 81% of the total. 6% of the portfolio comprises office buildings, worth €85 million, and the remaining 13% belongs to the residential market, where the company has €180 million in developments under construction.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Flagship Stores Become The Bastion Of Large Retailers

19 October 2017 – Expansión

The unstoppable rise of e-commerce, the tsunami of digitalisation and the new buying habits of consumers have revolutionised the retail sector forcing operators to adapt to the new times to stay competitive.

The e-commerce sector is now turning over €24,000 million per annum in Spain, with a growth rate of 20% p.a. In this context, consumers are increasingly using the internet to manage their purchases, resolve queries and optimise their visits to stores. As such, they are visiting stores less frequently but they are spending more time there when they do go, according to a report from CBRE about the retail sector.

In this context, large international brands are backing the flagship store model as a gateway into Spain; and operators that have traditionally based themselves on the outskirts of cities are now moving into flagship stores in the centre. By way of example, the French firm Kiabi opened a store on Paseo de Gràcia a few months ago. In the same way, operators who have traditionally had stores in retail parks are now making space for themselves in the city centre, such as Media Markt, which opened two stores in the centre of Barcelona in 2016. Before the summer, the electronics firm also opened its new its flagship store in Plaza del Carmen, Madrid, just a stone’s throw from Gran Vía.

Ikea is joining this trend too, with a store on Calle Serrano; as is Leroy Merlin, which is planning to open a shop on Calle Fontanella, next to Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona

Interest in Spain

“Physical stores are still the favourite channel for consumers, but it is harder to get people out of the house. To attract them, retailers are opening large flagship stores focused on the shopping experience and expanding the range of services, supported by new technologies that allow marketing strategies to be customised”, explains Gonzalo Senra, National Director of Retail at CBRE España (…).

Given the interest from large brands in Spain and encouraged by the upwards cycle of the economy and the improvement in consumption, many overseas institutional investors have decided to back the Spanish market. For example, the US investor Hines has purchased four important prime premises in Madrid and Barcelona in the last year.

These types of investors are the main buyers of flagship stores in well-located premises, involving investment volumes of more than €20 million. Moreover, sources at the consultancy firm have noted a change in the trend in this market with the entry of several insurance companies bidding for large prime assets.

By contrast, the market for smaller acquisitions is dominated by Spanish private investors and family offices – they tend to be particularly interested in assets worth less than €10 million.

Overall, investment in high street premises amounted to €800 million in 2016. The rate of investment continued during the first half of this year, with an investment volume of €515 million, according to data from the consultancy firm (…).

The high level of demand has accentuated the typical shortage of well-positioned products and resulted in a reduction in returns. According to the report, the downward trend in yields continued in 2017 to reach 3.25% in some cases for the most prime products in Madrid and Barcelona (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankinter & Sonae Sierra’s Socimi Buys Its First Two Assets

27 March 2017 – Observatorio Inmobiliario

Ores, the Socimi created recently by Bankinter and Sonae Sierra, whose main activity is the acquisition and management of commercial assets in Spain and Portugal, has acquired two out-of-town stores in a deal that represents its first acquisition since its debut on the market.

The two commercial spaces, located in Artea, Bilbao and in the Galaria retail park, in Pamplona, have a combined surface area of approximately 8,400 m2 and are leased to Forum, a retailer specialising in sports, which has a long-term lease contract following a sale & leaseback operation signed in 2010.

Savills, the international real estate consultancy, has advised an investment fund with an extensive track record in Spain on the sale-side. On the legal side, Eversheds Nicea has advised the vendor and Cuatrecasas the buyer.

Luis Espadas, Director of Capital Markets at Savills, explains that “the out-of-town store market continues to form part of the focus of investors. It is a segment that still has significant potential for growth in terms of GLA volume and new operators entering the market and where we are seeing new interested investors, such as in this case”.

Original story: Observatorio Inmobiliario

Translation: Carmel Drake