Operación Calderón: Azora Set to Buy 2 of Atlético’s Plots for Rental Homes

23 May 2019 – El Confidencial

Azora, one of the largest rental home managers in the country, has made a surprise appearance in the home stretch of the process to sell the plots of land owned by Atlético de Madrid.

The company owned by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio has submitted a binding offer to the football club to buy two of the three plots that form part of Operación Calderón and, according to sources in the know, the bid fulfils all of the requirements of the team. As such, Azora looks set to take over the bulk of the land that the reds and whites are selling by the river.

The rental home specialist has declined to comment on the reports, but all indications are that it plans to build rental homes on the two plots, to boost the growing rental market in the Spanish capital. It would thereby follow in the footsteps on the fund Ares, which has just signed an agreement with Stoneweg to build a block of rental homes on a plot on Paseo de la Dirección, in the north of Madrid.

Indeed, the Spanish-Swiss firm is one of the favourites to acquire the third plot of land in Operación Calderón, which Azora did not bid for. The cooperative manager Concovi is also in the running for that site.

Atlético de Madrid expects to raise around €180 million from the sale of the three plots and 11% of the residential space will be dedicated to social housing properties.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

The Junta de Andalucía Sells 15 Industrial Plots for c. €1M

March 2019 – Onda Cero

The Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation in Andalucía (AVRA) has sold 15 industrial plots of land in the province of Jaén for around €1 million. The buyers expect new companies to open facilities on the plots and existing companies to expand.

Together, the plots span a total surface area of 11,967 m2, and the interested parties have paid €904,508 in total. Six of the plots are located on the Llanos del Mazuelo industrial estate, in Alcalá la Real; three are situated in Torredelcampo, two in Arjona, two more in Torredonjimeno, one in Villacarrillo and one in Huelma.

Original story: Onda Cero 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Grupo Iffe Acquires Promorent & Implements a Change in Strategy

25 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Promorent, the second Socimi to enter the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), is changing hands. The company has been acquired by the Institute of Financial and Business Training (“el Instituto de Formación Financiera y Empresarial” or Grupo Iffe), which has purchased a majority stake through a capital increase amounting to €33.7 million, according to confirmation provided by David Carro Meana, CEO of Iffe, speaking to Eje Prime.

Following the operation, the company will cease trading as a Socimi and it has already filed a request with the MAB to enter the segment of expanding businesses under the name Iffe Futura. The group has also approved an increase in its share capital, at an extraordinary shareholders meeting, to take the leap into the field of property development.

Until now, Promorent was a Socimi with a real estate disposition. Now, with the entry of Grupo Iffe, it will also be a property developer. Moreover, the company’s new statutes provide for the possibility of acquiring and administering shares in other companies, even if they are not Socimis.

The new Board of Directors of Iffe Futura will be led by David Carro Meana. The President of Grupo Iffe will become the President and CEO of the company (…).

With this operation, Grupo Iffe is taking control of a listed company and consolidating its business as a property developer. The company, which is headquartered in Oleiros, A Coruña, already operates three other main lines of business: a business school, a financial consultancy and a business incubator.

Promorent, constituted in November 2011, has been a real estate company until now. It was promoted by the Pavón Olid family group and it was the second Socimi to make its debut on the MAB in December 2013. The company has a diversified portfolio comprising 18 assets: 11 homes in the centre of Madrid, 4 commercial premises and 3 plots (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Roger Arnau)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona Reserves 8 Plots on which to Build 512 Social Housing Units

17 January 2019 – La Vanguardia

Barcelona is going to reserve eight plots on which to build around 512 social housing units for young people, the elderly and other groups with social needs, together with public facilities, through a Modification of the General Metropolitan Plan (MPGM).

The Town Hall of Barcelona’s Commission for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility approved the revised MPGM to incorporate those 8 plots into the social housing system yesterday, with votes in favour from the municipal government, the Demòcrata, ERC and CUP groups, and the unassigned councillors Gerard Ardanuy and Joanjo Puigcorbé. There were abstentions from Cs, PSC and PP.

According to a statement from the town hall, the plots are located in Gràcia (2), Ciutat Vella (2), Eixample (2), Sants-Montjuïc (1) and Horta-Guinardó (1).

Four of the plots are owned in their entirety by the municipality, whilst the town hall will acquire the two that are completely private as well as the private plot of another site of which it is only part owner.

The eighth plot is on Via Laietana, 8-10, and currently houses the headquarters of the National Institute of Statistics and the Electoral Census Office, which is owned by the Town Hall of Barcelona and several other public administrations.

Specifically, this new plan proposes incorporating the plots into the housing system, which also includes plans for facilities on the ground floors.

The procedure is based on the fact that the law allows a maximum of 5% of land classified as local public facilities to be dedicated to social housing.

On the basis of the land that this MPGM is activating, the actions carried out and/or forecast in the current plan represent approximately 2.81% of the plots only, according to reports from the Town Hall.

This MPGM now enters a period of public consultation for one month and so its provisional approval in the Plenary of the Municipal Council and definitive approval by the Sub-Committee for Urban Planning in Barcelona, a body of La Generalitat, could be completed before the end of the mandate of the mayor Ada Colau.

This is the second MPGM that the municipal government has carried out in the current mandate to activate plots to build social housing.

In December 2016, the Town Hall approved a first plan that reserved six plots for the development of 519 homes. Specifically, two of those were located in Gràcia, two in Sant Martí, one in Sants-Montjuïc and another in Horta-Guinardó.

Original story: La Vanguardia 

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Grifols Family Joins Forces with Corp Promotor to Create the Largest Rental Home Group

8 January 2019 – El Confidencial

After two small ventures in the sector, the Grifols family is entering the real estate sector in a big way. And it is doing so to create the largest rental home developer in Spain. Through the company Scranton, which is controlled by the Grifols family and a group of former directors from the pharmaceutical company, they are joining forces with the Catalan property developer Corp Promotors to constitute a group that is going to build 2,500 rental homes in the Barcelona area over three years, according to sources in the real estate sector familiar with the group’s plans, which are expected to involve an investment of €230 million in total.

This corporate alliance is being carried out by the company Scranton and does not involve the Grifols as a company, which has been left out of the operation. But the success of Grifols has been impacting its shareholders for a long time now. The Dutch firm Scranton, owner of 8.67% of Grifols, is mobilising investments in other sectors using the profits obtained by the company that bears the family name.

Spokespeople from Corp declined to comment on the matter. But other financial sources familiar with the project explain that Scranton and Corp are going to create a joint venture company, in which Scranton will hold 66% and Corp will own 34%. Corp will provide land, including assets such as plots on Rambla Guipúzcoa, Bonaplata and Can Batlló II, next to Gran Vía, all in the Catalan capital. And the Grifols will provide the funds to build on that land. Sources in the real estate sector indicate that half of those 2,500 homes will be constructed in the city of Barcelona and the remainder will be built in nearby cities such as on the Torreblanca plots in Sant Just Desvern and in towns such as L’Hospitalet, Badalona and Terrassa, for example.

Corp Promotors was created by two partners who left a nightclub business in Mataró to enter the real estate sector a decade ago, at the height of the real estate crisis, when almost all of the property developers in Barcelona had abandoned their activity after running out of bank credit. Those two partners are Pedro Molina Porras and Pau Castro Sáez. According to the consolidated accounts of the group deposited at the Mercantile Registry, Corp Promotors recorded revenues of €99.8 million in 2017 and profits of more than €7 million. The book value of the group’s plots are worth €209 million but not all of them will be involved in the operation with the Grifols.

The Grifols and its partners have detected a housing emergency in Barcelona, with an alarming lack of developments and they have entered the market in search of profitability at a time when investors have surplus funds, but there are insufficient assets (…).

New player

Through its alliance with Corp, the Grifols are aspiring to become one of the major players in the Spanish real estate sector. According to the business plan prepared by the partners, once the new company is operating at full capacity, in three years time, it could be worth €1 billion and with rental assets that will convert it into a kind of high yield bond for investors.

That will be possible because Corp is one of the largest owners of land at the moment in the Barcelona area. But with so many projects underway, the group is very indebted. Its accounts reflected debts of €142 million at the end of 2017, twice the figure of a year earlier. Corp’s shareholders have been trying to sell the property developer, in whole or in part, for a year, according to sources in the real estate sector. Now, with the new partner, they can forget those plans and enter another phase of their corporate life (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Marcos Lamelas)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Launches Large Sale of Buildable Land After Acquiring Aliseda

6 September 2018 – El Confidencial

It was just a matter of time. Aliseda, the servicer of Banco Popular, now controlled by Blackstone (51%) and Santander (49%), is starting the school year by looking for buyers for 270 residential plots and work in progress developments, with a total buildability of more than 2 million m2, distributed throughout Spain.

It is the most important land sale currently underway in Spain and, unlike what is happening in other areas of the market, it will not involve a block sale of assets, but rather possible interested parties may acquire each plot individually, which will allow for the entry of local property developers into a market that has been dominated until now by large property developers and investment funds.

The assets are located in 43 Spanish provinces. They consist of 231 plots in total, mainly buildable plots or plots under development, and 39 projects in progress. Many of the sites are located in Galicia, Levante, Costa del Sol and the Canary Islands; the latter market has been especially active in recent months.

“Unlike other sales processes, the operation that Aliseda is now putting on the market allows investors the possibility of submitting an offer for any of the plots independently, which means that they can structure the perimeter that best suits their needs and investment criteria. In this way, both local property developers, as well as institutional investors will have the opportunity to participate under equal conditions”, says Adolfo Blázquez, Director of Land at Aliseda.

Local developers and national developers looking to grow in volume and build large developments may bid for the plots, as may institutional investors looking to buy large blocks of buildable land – a scarce and very sought-after asset, especially in the hottest markets of Madrid, Barcelona and the islands.

Meanwhile, Samuel Población, National Director of residential and land at CBRE, the exclusive consultancy firm selected to launch the sales process, says that “the shortage of buildable land in the Spanish market has become one of the great barriers for property developers. Thus, the activation of residential land sale processes, such as this operation by Aliseda, places prime raw material on the market, which will gradually start to satisfy the high demand that currently exists”.

The process began on 7 September, with access being granted to information about the assets, and will go on until December with the closure of selected bids.

In March, the US fund and Banco Santander created Proyecto Quasar Investments, the holding company that groups together the real estate portfolio of Banco Popular and the marketing platform Aliseda. Blackstone controls the majority of the capital in the new company and also takes care of its management, led by Eduard Mendiluce, the CEO of the company. Mendiluce is also the most senior executive of Anticipa, the other large real estate firm that the fund owns in Spain and the former head of Catalunya Caixa Inmobiliaria.

Original story: El Confidencial

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aldi to Invest €97M in 32 New Store Openings Across Spain in 2018

1 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Following in the footsteps of one of its main competitors, Aldi is looking for new plots of land and commercial establishments across Spain. Whilst last November, it was Lidl that was explaining that it has already invested more than €2.6 billion in the Spanish real estate sector, now it is Aldi that wants to follow in that firm’s footsteps, with the activation of the search for plots of land measuring up to 8,000 m2 and new commercial premises in which to open supermarkets under its brand.

“We want to continue growing so that increasingly more people will be able to try our products”, explained the group in an interview with El Español. For this reason, it is looking for plots and commercial premises in different places across Spain.

Specifically, plots measuring between 4,000 m2 and 8,000 m2 or even larger sites in the main towns of the country as well as commercial premises in the large cities with a minimum useful surface area of 1,600 m2.

Moreover, on Aldi’s wish list is the fact that the stores should preferably be distributed over one floor and have around eighty parking spaces, as well as have the infrastructure necessary for unloading lorries.

Aldi is going to invest more than €97 million in 32 new openings in Spain in 2018, of which seven will be located in the Community of Madrid. For the time being, Aldi has around 270 stores in Spain, less than half as many as the other German firm Lidl, which has almost 550 establishments.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor Expands Overseas & Finalises Purchase of 3 Plots in Lisbon

26 December 2017 – El Confidencial

The dream of making the leap overseas is increasingly closer to becoming a reality for Neinor. The property developer led by Juan Velayos is holding advanced talks to acquire three plots of land in Lisbon, according to sources familiar with the deal. Provided nothing goes awry, the deal is expected to close between the end of January and the beginning of February.

With this move, the company will fulfil its objective of entering the Portuguese market, where it first placed its focus several months ago in order to take advantage of the recovery happening in the country. The evolution there is expected to be similar to the recovery that Spain has been enjoying in recent times.

Neinor’s objective is to acquire sufficient plots of land to enable it to build 300 homes per year, a volume that would justify the opening of a dedicated office in Lisbon.

The acquisitions that the property developer currently has on the table would justify its debut in the neighbouring country, although the same sources also indicate that, currently, Neinor is in the “due diligence” phase and that all three plots must pass the test for it to go ahead with the agreement.

Although the entry into the Portuguese capital would represent Neinor’s international debut, the property developer regards the move in the context of the entire Iberian Peninsula representing a single market, albeit taking account of the Portuguese cultural, legal and regulatory rules.

In light of this commitment to urban housing, Neinor and its main shareholder, Lone Star, have taken the decision to not transfer to the property developer the plots of land that the fund acquired two years ago in the Algarve from Catalunya Banc.

The plots in question house the Vilamoura tourist complex, which spans a surface area of almost 2,000 hectares and a buildable area of 700,000 m2. More than 5,000 apartments and homes are going to be constructed there and the US fund engaged CBRE last autumn to start selling them.

During the first nine months of 2017, Neinor invested €275 million in buildable land, which means that it now has land for the immediate development of around 12,000 homes. It also generated revenues of €169.4 million, with a gross margin of €40.7 million.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Quabit Revises Upwards Its Business Plan: 7,880 Homes By 2022

20 November 2017 – Eje Prime

The property developer Quabit is optimistic about its future. The company has reviewed upwards its business plan for 2017-2021, in such a way that it has almost doubled the objective for the number of new homes that it plans to construct during the period. It now plans to build 7,880 units, up from 4,100 estimated initially, according to a statement filed with Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The company, which is controlled and chaired by Félix Abánades, has increased its forecasts after securing new lines of financing and buying land for lower prices than initially forecast, and in light of the predictions for the continuous improvement and recovery of the real estate sector in Spain.

So far this year, Quabit has purchased land amounting to almost €150 million, and as such, the firm currently owns a land portfolio spanning almost 1 million m2, which, it says, already guarantees the construction of 6,720 new homes.

The latest plots have been acquired through a mixed payment system, which includes resources raised from an investment fund and shares in the company. To this end, its Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting has just approved a series of capital increases.

For the time being, the property developer currently has 18 developments under construction and/or for sale, comprising around 1,655 homes.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aelca Makes Its Debut In Valencia With 192 Homes

21 September 2017 – Levante EMV

The property developer Aelca has arrived in Valencia with the launch of two developments containing 192 homes in Patraix and Nou Campanar. The development in Patraix is owned by the property developer itself, whilst the one in Nou Camapanar is owned by Sareb.

Aelca is one of four large Spanish property developers linked to a US investment fund (known in the sector as the “big four”) that has backed Valencia heavily in the face of the shortage of new-build homes and the rise in the price of land in Madrid and Barcelona. The other three large property developers are Neinor Homes (which is going to build 450 homes in Malilla), Vía Célere (which is working on a development in La Petxina) and Aedas Homes (which is going to build homes in Cuatre Carreres).

Aelca was founded in Madrid in 2012 and in the middle of 2016, the US fund Värde Partners acquired a stake in the firm. The investment fund headquartered in Minneapolis is one of the players that has most heavily backed the recovery of the sector in Spain, as demonstrated by the fact that it has also invested in Vía Célere. With the financial muscle that it enjoys from having Värde Partners as a shareholder, Aelca plans to continue buying land.

Aelca’s own development in Valencia is called Residencial Llum, a complex containing 120 homes with 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms, in a private urbanisation between Avenida Tres Cruces and Calle Campos Crespo in Patraix. The prices of the homes there start at €125,000 including a parking space and storeroom.

Aelca’s second project in Valencia is called Residencial Sonet, a building with 72 homes that is being promoted by Sareb and marketed by Solvia. The urbanisation has a communal outdoor swimming pool, the homes have between two and four bedrooms and the development is located on Avenida Pío Baroja. The homes there are on the market for prices starting at €190,000.

Aelca recorded turnover of €103 million in 2016 having sold more than 600 homes. The company expects its revenues to increase by 49% this year (to reach €154 million) and for it to sell around 1,000 homes. The property developer currently has more than 2,220 homes under construction across Spain.

In addition to the four large property developers linked to US investment funds, there is another player in the market, Metrovacesa. That entity owns land for the construction of 5,550 homes in the Community of Valencia after it received plots from Santander, Popular and BBVA.

Original story: Levante EMV (by Ramón Ferrando)

Translation: Carmel Drake