CPPIB Wants to Acquire 100% of Puerto Venecia & Parque Principado

19 March 2019 – Expansión

Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has emerged as the favourite to acquire the stakes owned by Intu Properties in the Spanish shopping centres Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and Parque Principado (Asturias) after the British group announced its plans to sell up in the country.

Intu is contemplating the sale of its 50% stakes in the two complexes, in a deal that could be worth €450 million, with the British group valuing its investments in Puerto Venecia and Parque Principado at €268 million and €161 million, respectively.

CPPIB owns the remaining 50% in both shopping centres and has the right of first refusal if Intu does decide to divest. Preliminary discussions are already underway between the two parties.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, Nuveen could be interested in taking control of the Xanadú shopping centre, which it owns jointly with Intu (50% each).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Casado)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Intu Considers Selling its 4 Shopping Centres in Spain to Pay Off Debt

6 March 2019 – Expansión

The British retail giant, Intu Properties, is considering putting up for sale its real estate assets in Spain in order to pay off some of its debt. The company’s stock market value has plummeted to €2 billion in recent months, and its debt amounts to more than €5 billion, following two unsuccessful takeover bids for the company last year.

The firm has reportedly received expressions of interest for its Spanish portfolio, which is worth €1 billion in total, from several large international investors. The assets in question are Xanadú (Madrid), Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza), Parque Principado (Asturias) and a mega-project currently under construction in Málaga.

No formal sales process has been initiated yet but a number of unsolicited offers have been received. Nevertheless, legal sources state that the firm would have to offer the right of first refusal to its shareholder partners in each case, namely CPPIB in the case of Puerto Venecia and Parque Principado, and Nuveen (previously TH Real Estate) in the case of Xanadú, before opening any sales process to the wider market.

Other potential suitors include Castellana Properties (the firm backed by the South African investor Vukile) and the Slovenian group J&T.

Original story: Expansión (by Roberto Casado & Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hammerson Set to Buy Intu, Owner of Xanadú & Puerto Venecia

6 December 2017 – Expansión

The Boards of Directors of Hammerson and Intu Properties, two of Great Britain’s largest property developers, have reached an agreement regarding their merger, which will result in the creation of a group with assets worth GBP 21 billion (€23.7 billion, in euros), mostly comprising shopping centres in the United Kingdom, France and Spain. The operation will be instrumented through a public takeover bid (OPA) of Hammerson’s shares for Intu’s, valuing the share capital of that company at GBP 3.4 billion (€3.85 billion). Intu’s shareholders will receive 0.475 newly issued Hammerson shares for each current share they own.

If the deal goes ahead, it will have a significant effect on the Spanish market, as it would see a change in the owner of the country’s three largest shopping centres. Intu controls 50% of Xanadú (Madrid), Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and Parque Principado (Asturias). Funds from Canada and the USA are the company’s partners in those centres. Moreover, Intu has plans underway to develop other leisure and shopping complexes in Málaga, Valencia and Vigo, for a combined investment of more than €1 billion.

Hammerson, meanwhile, holds stakes in Value Retail and Via Outlets, which operate luxury brand outlet centres such as Las Rozas Village (Madrid), La Roca (Barcelona), Mallorca Fashion and Sevilla Fashion.

According to a statement from Hammerson issued today when it announced the purchase “the incorporation of Intu’s portfolio in Spain fits with our strategy of placing our focus on consumer growth markets as it involves adding three of the country’s largest shopping centres. It will also allow our commercial partners to have exposure to a new European market”.

This British company is committed to developing Intu’s projects in Spain. It says that the group resulting from the merger “will be in the best position” to undertake those investments. Following the integration, the group plans to sell some of its centres in the United Kingdom for around GBP 2 billion, which will give it “the financial flexibility it needs to invest in more profitable opportunities in Spain and Ireland, as well as in the outlet centre segment”. The combined debt of the new Hammerson group will amount to GBP 8.2 billion.

The property developer hopes to generate annual savings of GBP 25 million as a result of joining forces with Intu.

Intu’s share price on the London Stock Exchange rose by 20% (after the deal was announced), taking the company’s market capitalisation to GBP 3.2 billion, whilst Hammerson’s share price fell by 2%, taking its market capitalisation to GBP 4.15 billion.

Analysts are interpreting the operation as a defensive move by the two companies to protect themselves from the possible impact of Brexit, which is slowing down consumption in the United Kingdom and which may harm the value of their shopping centres. “The merger represents a coalition of two weak businesses, which will result in an amalgam of assets without any great possibilities for generating incremental profits”, argues Mike Prew, from Jefferies. “The interesting areas of growth are Intu’s Spanish business and Hammerson’s outlet centres”.

The merger still needs to be approved by the shareholders of the two companies and by the British competition authorities, which means that it could take a year to complete. Peel Holding, the investment company owned by John Whittaker, which is Intu’s largest shareholder, has already agreed to approve the takeover. Following the operation, it will hold a 15% stake in the resulting group.

The banks Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Lazard have advised Hammerson. Meanwhile, Intu’s managers have engaged the services of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Rothschild and UBS.

Original story: Expansión (by Roberto Casado)

Translation: Carmel Drake

British Fund Intu Finalises Purchase Of Xanadú For c. €520M

10 March 2017 – Expansión

The British private equity fund Intu is finalising the completion of a record deal in the Spanish real estate market with the purchase of the Xanadú shopping centre (in Arroyomolinos, Madrid) from Ivanhoé Cambridge for around €520 million, according to market sources.

The purchase – which the fund has been negotiating in exclusivity since January – will represent the largest operation involving a shopping centre in the history of the Spanish market, whereby exceeding the €495 million that Deutsche Bank paid for Diagonal Mar (Barcelona) last August, the €451 million that Intu paid for Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and the €375 million that Klépierre paid for Plenilunio (Madrid).

CBRE and the law firm Clifford Chance have advised Intu during the operation, whilst Eastdil has advised Ivanhoé, which bought Xanadú from the Mills Corporation in 2006, along with two other shopping centres, one in Canada – Vaughan Mills (Ontario) and one in Scotland – Saint Enoch (Glasgow) – for a combined value of around €770 million.

The operation will be financed by Santander, Crédit Agricole, CaixaBank and BBVA with a loan to value (percentage value of the asset that is covered by the loan) of 40%.

In parallel, Intu is looking for a partner to whom to transfer 50% of the share capital in Madrid Xanadú 2003, the company that owns the shopping centre. Market sources point to the Canadian fund CPPIB as a possible ally. Both firms are already partners in two other Spanish shopping centres owned by Intu: Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and Parque Principado (Asturias).

One of the other candidates interested in acquiring the asset was TH Real Estate, but it was pipped at the post a few months ago by Intu, as revealed by Expansión on 31 January.

With this operation, Intu, which has plans to develop new shopping centres in Málaga, Valencia, Mallorca and Vigo, is strengthening its position in Spain and picking up one of the trophy shopping centres in Madrid to boot.

The shopping centre, constructed in 2003, has a total surface area of 153,695 m2 spread over two levels and 220 stores. Its tenants include Inditex, El Corte Inglés, Hipercor, Bricor, Decathlon, Primark and Apple.

Xanadú Madrid receives almost 13 million visitors per year and generates sales of around €230 million.

The shopping centre houses an indoor ski area – the only one in Spain and the largest in Europe – covering around 18,000 m2, as well as 15 cinema screens, a mini-golf course, a mini theme park, themed restaurants and a bowling alley.

In addition, Ivanhoé signed an agreement with Parques Reunidos last summer to construct an aquarium in Madrid Xanadú. Both companies reached an agreement with Viacom International Media Networks, a division of Viacom, to construct a theme park based on Nickelodeon characters in Xanadú.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo and R. Casado)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Brussels Authorises CPPIB’s Investment In Puerto Venecia

10 August 2015 – Expansión

Brussels has authorised the transaction on the basis that it will not have a negative impact on Europe’s economic environment.

The European Commission has authorised the joint acquisition of the largest shopping centre in Spain, Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza, by the Canadian pension fund CPPIB and the current owner, the Luxembourg holding company Intu, on the basis that the transaction will not have a negative impact on Europe’s economic environment.

The company created by CPPIB and Intu already controls the Parque Principado shopping centre in Oviedo, but the European Commission considers that the new operation does not threaten competition in the EU, because it will have a “limited impact” on the structure of the market.

The case, which was referred to Brussels on 10 July, has been examined in accordance with the simplified procedures that apply to less problematic deals.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

CPPIB Buys 50% Of Puerto Venecia From Intu For €225.4M

3 June 2015 – Expansión

The Canadian fund has paid €225.4 million to the British real estate company Intu Properties for half of Puerto Venecia, the largest shopping centre in Spain.

Intu Properties and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) have strengthened their partnership in Spain, through the creation of a joint venture to manage Puerto Venecia, the largest shopping centre in the country, located in Zaragoza, which has a constructed surface area of 200,000 m2.

According to a statement issued yesterday, CPPIB is going to pay €225.4 million to Intu for 50% of Puerto Venecia, although – “the operation is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approval”.

The valuation of the shop and restaurant complex, located in Zaragoza, is the same as the one used by Intu in January when it purchased 100% of the property from the fund Orion Capital for €451 million. Then, the British real estate company announced that it was going to look for a partner, and several analysts identified CPPIB as a possible ally. PwC has advised the Canadian pension fund in its purchase.

Intu and CPPIB already share the ownership (50% each) of the Asturian shopping centre Parque Principado, which they acquired in 2013 for €162 million from CBRE and Sonae Sierra. Therefore, the Puerto Venecia operation “extends this alliance to include two of the ten largest shopping centres in Spain” said Intu Properties.

The British bank HSBC has financed the acquisitions of Puerto Venecia and Parque Principado with two mortgage loans amounting to €320 million in total.

Andrea Orlandi, CPPIB’s Director of RE Investments in Europe, sais that “the joint venture with Intu represents an opportunity to increase the fund’s presence in Spain’s commercial real estate market. Puerto Venecia complements our European portfolio”.

According to David Fischel, CEO at Intu, the revenues from this transaction will allow his company to develop other projects in Spain. The real estate firm has acquired a plot of land in Malaga for the construction of a shopping centre measuring 175,000 m2 and it is also evaluating options to develop other projects in Vigo, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca.

Intu intends to involve partners in these new projects as well, and may even create a holding company for its Spanish properties in the future, and list it on the stock exchange.

Intu’s share price fell by 2% during trading in London yesterday. Its market capitalisation amounts to GBP 4,380 million (€6,050 million).

Original story: Expansión (by Roberto Casado and Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Objects Of Desire: 16 Shopping Centres Up For Sale

14 May 2015 – Expansión

Between January to March (2015), funds and Socimis have invested €988 million in the purchase of large shopping establishments; and that figure that could reach €2,500 million for 2015 as a whole.

The 682 shopping centres in operation in Spain have become objects of desire for all investors interested in the Spanish real estate market. Thus, between January and March, these investors spent €988 million on the purchase of all kinds of shopping centres. “In January 2014, institutional investors did not want to purchase in Spain and now we have a very wide range of buyers: from institutions, which do not mind paying more for a good property, to opportunistic funds”, explains Vitor Pacheca, Senior Consultant of Retail Capital Markets at JLL España.

Last year, the Spanish market was the fourth favourite in Europe for investors interested in shopping centres and retail parks, with transactions as significant as Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza, which the British group Intu purchased for €451 million, having purchased Parque Principado in Asturias in 2013. Those are not the only real estate projects being pursued by the British real estate firm in Spain; it is currently developing two (shopping) centres, one in Malaga and the other in Valencia.

The most high profile case in 2015 has been Plenilunio. The Madrilenian property was acquired by the French operator Klépierre for €375 million on 17 March. The As Termas shopping centre in Lugo also changed hands; it was purchased by the Socimi Lar España. And AireSur in Sevilla was acquired by the fund CBRE Global Investors. “Last year, 28 (shopping) centres were bought and sold, representing a total investment volume of €3,200 million. In 2015, we expect that more centres will be sold but for a smaller total amount, around €2,500 million”, says Pacheco.

Although the flurry of transactions is not expected until the final quarter of the year, several shopping centres are scheduled to change owner shortly. “There are around 16 shopping centres for sale in Spain at the moment. We estimate that as many as 30 such assets may change hands between now and the end of the year”, say sources at JLL.

Doughty’s centres

That is the case of El Rosal in León and Plaza Éboli (pictured above) in Pinto (Madrid). The private equity firm Doughty Hanson is finalising the sale of those two properties, whose ownership will be transferred over the next few weeks.

The Plaza Éboli shopping centre, which was opened in 2005 and measures 62,000 m2, will be acquired by the US investor HIG for €30 million. In the case of El Rosal, which measures 151,000 m2, the new owner will be the Socimi Lar España, which has already purchased other shopping centres such as L’Anec Blau in Castelldefels (Barcelona) and Albacenter in Albacete. The Socimi will pay €90 million for El Rosal.

Another one of the 16 shopping centres up for sale is Moraleja Green in Alcobendas (Madrid). The property is on the market again after it was sold to ING by CBRE Global Investors last year. Now, the real estate division of the Dutch bank is putting it up for sale, after paying €68 million.

The Heron City shopping centre in Barcelona is also up for sale; it opened in 2011 and occupies a surface area of 101,000 m2, of which 36,358 m2 is dedicated to retail space.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE To Invest €600M In The Spanish Market In 2015

16 March 2015 – Expansión

Real estate assets / The former subsidiary of ING is looking to improve its portfolio through refurbishments and asset purchases.

After more than two decades in the market, the fund manager CBRE Global Investors has become a major player in the Spanish real estate sector thanks to its intense asset rotation policy.

The company, which manages property in this market (primarily shopping centres) worth €2,000 million, closed the sale of various assets last year: Urbil, in Guipúzcoa, which it sold to Axa Reim for €60 million; Alcalá Magna, in Madrid, which it sold to Incus Capital for €85 million; Gran Vía de Vigo, which it sold to the US fund Oaktree for €100 million and Modoo, in Asturias, which it sold for €45 million.

In 2013, CBRE Global Investors was involved in the first major sale of a shopping centre following the outbreak of the crisis, when it sold Parque Principado in Asturias for €141.5 million to the British real estate company Intu Properties. “Between 2008 and 2014, we rotated the portfolio we had created during the previous two decades. Thus, we sold Parque Principado, which was a mature asset, but we purchased other assets. In total, we bought and sold assets worth €1,000 million last year”, explains José Antonio Martin-Borregón, CEO at CBRE Global Investors in Spain and Portugal.

The (property) management company made its first investments in Spain between 1992 and 1993 and three years later, it opened its first offices. Through its five funds, it currently manages 19 shopping centres, including Bilbondo in Bilbao; Vallereal in Maliaño (Cantabria) and Parc Central, in Tarragona. “We started out as the investment vehicle for National Nederlanden, which wanted to invest in properties outside of Holland that were not for its own use. We have maintained this philosophy for 20 years. Our traditional clients are institutional investors”. The latest addition to the portfolio was La Zenia in Alicante, which was acquired using money from the Alaska pension fund.


The goal of the Head of CBRE Global Investors is to repeat the transaction volume (recorded last year) during 2015 but with a greater focus on purchases. “We would like to close transactions amounting to €1,000 million this year with a 60:40 split in terms of purchases and sales”, he says. “We have a portfolio of mature assets and therefore we are interested in buying properties that we can add value to”.

In total, the (property) manager expects to invest €930 million in Spain and Portugal. “Demand exceeds supply, which means that prices have increased and new rules are in play. It is not going to be as easy (as it once was) to target successful investments”.

Nevertheless, the Head of CBRE GI does not fear competition from the multitude of investors and institutional funds that have arrived in the Spanish market attracted by the decrease in real estate prices and the expected economic recovery. “As a (property) manager, we try to maximise the opportunities that the market offers, leveraging on our competitive advantage, which is our local knowledge”, says Martín-Borregón. “As a (property) manager, we have more access to capital, which allows us to move (more) quickly to close transactions”, he adds.

The (property) manager is also considering investments in premises (shops/stores) on the street and in strengthening its logistics platforms (it already owns 15). “We will buy logistics assets in new areas and we will sell old warehouses”, he explains.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Shareholders Expected To Approve Intu’s Purchase Of Land In Malaga

6 March 2015 – Expansión

The British property developer has called a shareholders’ meeting to approve (its construction of) one of the largest shopping and leisure complexes in Spain.

The company that owns Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza (pictured above) and Parque Principado in Asturias is going to construct its third shopping centre in Spain, if its shareholders approve the plans at their meeting on 15 April.

In a statement issued yesterday (Thursday) to the London Stock Exchange, Intu Properties announced its decision to exercise a call option to purchase 30 hectares of land close to Torremolinos (Málaga) for €37.5 million. The company has already invested €4.2 million preparing for the project and it may also buy another adjacent site for €4.8 million.

The vendor of the land in Málaga is the Peel Group, a company that holds a stake in Intu, and so the other shareholders should authorise the transaction at their meeting. Moreover, Peel has committed to investing the money it receives from the sale of the site in Málaga into shares in the company, which is listed in London.

If the agreement is approved, Intu will invest €450 million in the development of a new shopping centre between 2015 and 2018. Its objective is to obtain an annual return of 7% on this investment from the rental of shops and restaurants in the complex. Intu plans to look for partners to buy shares in the development company that will build the centre.

In addition to its shopping centres in Zaragoza and Asturias, and its project in Málaga, the Intu group is planning other developments in Valencia, Vigo and Palma de Mallorca. Intu’s share price rose by 1.1% in trading on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Casado)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Intu Will Invest €425m In Its Shopping Centre In Málaga

2 March 2015 – Expansión

The British company Intu Properties confirmed yesterday that it plans to invest €425 million in the construction of a new shopping centre in Málaga, as part of its plan to create a large network of leisure and retail complexes in Spain.

In March, as a preliminary step, the group is going to ask its shareholders to approve the purchase of land close to Torremolinos for €42.1 million, where it will build the centre, which will have a gross leasable area of 175,000 square metres. The shopping centre is expected to open in 2018.

Since 2013, Intu has acquired two operational shopping centres in Spain: Parque Principado (in which the Canadian fund CPPIB holds a 50% stake) in Asturias, for €162 million and Puerto Venecia, in Zaragoza, for €451 million.

As well as the project in Málaga, the company is also considering developing centres in Valencia, Vigo and Palma de Mallorca. It expects to make its largest investment in the Oceania de Valencia complex, which could amount to €750 million.

In its results for 2014, Intu increased the valuation of its 50% stake in Parque Principiado from €81 million to €106 million. The firm is now looking for a financial partner for Puerto Venecia.

Original story: Expansión (by Roberto Casado)

Translation: Carmel Drake