3 May 2017 – El Economista
Orion Capital has raised €1,500 million for its fifth real estate fund, which is dedicated to purchasing assets across Europe. According to sources in the sector, the Dutch fund has placed its focus on Spain, where it plans to spend some of that money. “It has not set itself a fixed objective, but Spain is a country that is very attractive”, confirm the sources.
The fund used to own a significant portfolio of assets in Spain, nevertheless, between 2014 and 2015, it completed the divestment of the last properties that it owned and maintained only its stake in Sotogrande, which it owns jointly with Cerberus.
Now, Orion wants to restore its presence in the country and to that end, it is looking for high value-added operations, including renovations and new developments. According to the sources, the fund, founded by Aref H. Lahham, Van J. Stults and Bruce C. Bossom, also wants to increase its exposure to Spanish real estate in an indirect way by acquiring stakes in companies in the sector and by purchasing debt.
Orion’s interests span almost every segment of the market. In the case of offices, the fund will concentrate its efforts in Madrid and Barcelona, looking at both refurbishments and new developments. To acquire shopping centres, it will expand its geographical range and will analyse operations in smaller cities as well. In that case, the fund will only participate in a project under development if it is in an advanced stage, where no planning is required. “Everything should be ready to build”, explain the sources, given that the manager has a team of just three people in Spain. The hotel segment is also on its radar, as well as logistics, in which “it will probably operate by constructing new spaces”.
During its previous phase of intense activity in Spain, Orion starred in several major transactions, such as the purchase of the Plenilunio shopping centre (Madrid) in 2009 for €235 million, which it then sold in 2015 for €375 million. Similarly, it completed a high-profile divestment when it exited Puerto Venecia, in Zaragoza, by selling the largest shopping centre in Spain to Intu for €451 million. Orion hopes to start buying assets in Spain once again before the end of the year.
Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)
Translation: Carmel Drake