Primark to Open a Megastore in Barcelona’s Plaza Cataluña

12 July 2018 – Idealista

Primark is finally entering the centre of Barcelona. The low-cost fashion company is going to open a flagship store at number 23 Plaza Cataluña, in a building owned by the fund manager IBA Capital, according to confirmation from real estate sources speaking to Idealista News. Until now, the property has been occupied by the El Corte Inglés department store group, but now the Irish chain is going to take over the 7,393 m2 property.

IBA Capital acquired the building in 2013 for €100 million and, over the last six months, since it has been on the market, the asset has attracted attention from the main fashion groups in Europe, including H&M, Primark, Inditex and the Japanese firm Uniqlo.

The building has a gross leasable area of 7,393 m2 and is located at the junction of Plaza Cataluña and Las Ramblas, one of the new commercial thoroughfares in Barcelona following the opening of establishments by the Galician giant Inditex there, as well as by operators such as Mango, Apple and Urban Outfitters.

The building was leased in its entirety to El Corte Inglés until a few months ago, which operated it through a multi-brand concept with firms such as Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Diesel, Maje, Sandro, Stefanel and Desigual.

The property was renovated in 1998 and used to house the former headquarters of Banco Central and one of the only stores that the British firm Marks&Spencer used to have in Spain. Following the purchase by IBA Capital, El Corte Inglés and the fund signed a sale and leaseback contract, which expired in 2018.

IBA Capital in the Spanish market

Founded in 2013, IBA is led by Thierry Julienne and Jesús Valderrama, the founders of the investment vehicle. The fund manager has the capacity to manage all classes of real estate assets and its portfolio is currently worth €1 billion.

The portfolio comprises more than a dozen assets situated in first-rate locations in Madrid and Barcelona. Its properties include number 18 Gran Vía, number 9 Preciados and the ABC Serrano shopping centre, which have been acquired for subsequent renovation.

The other assets are office buildings including the property at number 96 Calle Santiago de Compostela, in Madrid and the Tripark Business Park, in las Rozas. Moreover, the fund owns the Vodafone Building, located at number 115 Avenida de América, and the Manoteras Leisure Park, also in the Spanish capital.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

JLL: Inv’t In Retail Sector Falls By 27% In H1 To €1,278M

20 September 2016 – La Vanguardia

Real estate investment in the retail sector – which includes shopping centres, retail parks and other premises – decreased by 27% during the first half of the year to €1,279 million, as a result of the shortage of products in the market, according to data published yesterday by the real estate consultancy JLL.

Despite the decrease in investment during the first half of the year, the firm expects the full year to close roughly in line with 2015, when investment exceeded €3,000 million. Moreover, it does not detect any negative impact as a result of the political instability in Spain at the moment.

Spain accounted for 7% of all retail investment in Europe during the first half of 2016, to stand in fourth place in the overall ranking.

High street stores and shopping centres accounted for 25% and 23% of total investment in H1 2016, respectively, well below the 48% that each one of those segments represented a year ago.

Despite the decrease in investment, JLL is convinced that the fall is not indicative of a deceleration in the market. The number of operations completed during the first half of the year amounted to 38, exceeding the 23 signed a year earlier.

Nevertheless, the average size of those transactions decreased by half to €40 million. Most, 18, corresponded to high street stores, amounting to €310 million in total, compared with 14 operations amounting to €860 million in 2015.

Socimis accounted for 16% of the total investment with €106 million.

In terms of rents, Paseo de Gracia recorded an increase of 11.6% to €240/sqm/month, although Portal del Ángel in Barcelona was crowned the most expensive street in Spain after rents there increased by 8.3% to €260/sqm/month.

In Madrid, Preciados is the most expensive street, with rents of €255/sqm/month, following an increase of 6.25%. It is followed by Serrano (€240/sqm/month and an increase of 6.7%) and Gran Vía (€230/sqm/month, up by 4.5%).

The forecasts indicate that rents in Madrid will increase by 2.4% p.a. during the period 2016-2018 and by 1.7% p.a. in Barcelona.

In the case of shopping centres, rental prices reached €88/sqm/month and forecasts show that they will increase at an average annual rate of 2.2% between 2016 and 2018.

During this period, new shopping centre openings are expected to double after hitting a minimum of 343,000 sqm between 2013 and 2015.

Project highlights this year include: Parque Nevada (Granada), Sambil Outlet Madrid and Fan Mallorca Shopping. Between now and 2018, the following centres are also expected to open: Plaza Río; Open Sky Center; Viladecans The Style Outlets; Torre Village; Palmas Altas and Torrecárdenas.

According to the Director of the Retail Department at JLL, Sergio Fernandes, there are increasingly more players interested in developing new centres from scratch, as well as significant interest in both the sale and purchase of new centres.

JLL also highlighted the growing trend in terms of the opening of flagship stores, as well as the shortage of quality space, which is forcing retailers to convert other spaces from residential, office and leisure use into commercial properties.

One of the most noteworthy operations of this kind is the opening of a 5,000 sqm Zara store on Castellana 79 (in the building that previously housed Fnac), which is due to open at the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.

JLL expects returns to continue to be compressed over the next few months and that the average value of the shopping centre market will grow by 5.6% p.a.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Inv’t In Commercial Assets Doubles To €920M In 2015

11 December 2015 – Expansión

From €32 million to €920 million in just five years. Those are the figures from the market for investment in commercial premises in Spain. According to the consultancy firm JLL, so far this year, investors and family offices, for the most part, have invested €920 million purchasing commercial premises, almost double the figure recorded in 2014, when they spent €452 million on these types of assets and 29 times the figure recorded in 2010, when investment in this segment amounted to just €32 million.

The almost €1,000 million invested this year has involved the purchase of around 400 properties, including the acquisition of the commercial building Gran Vía 32, which now houses the Irish textile group, Primark’s, largest store in Spain. For this building, Pontegadea, the investment arm of Amancio Ortega, paid €400 million. Another key purchase featured Sfera’s premises on Calle Preciados, 4 (Madrid), for which the fund IVG Inmobilien AG paid €70 million.

The purchase of high street premises has accounted for 23% of all real estate investment in commercial assets (including shopping centres) say the experts at JLL. “If 2014 was characterised by the recovery of the commercial investment market, then 2015 has really consolidated that trend, with total investment of €2,669 million during the first nine months of the year, up by 46% compared with the previous year. We expect that 2015 will finish with a figure of almost €3,000 million”, explain the experts at JLL in their report. By nationality, Spaniards account for 40% of commercial investments (including the purchase of shopping centres), due to the significant investments made by the Socimis.

The intense competition for the purchase of commercial premises has forced many investors to start analysing operations beyond the main shopping streets in Madrid and Barcelona, according to the experts at the consultancy firm. “Although Madrid and Barcelona continue to be the main point of entry for international firms, the low yields (which now amount to around 4%), have caused many investors to show interest in other locations, where investment returns are higher”, they explain. One example of this, is the German fund Patrizia’s first foray into Spain, which acquired a commercial establishment in Málaga leased to H&M.

Rental prices

In the case of rental prices, the market for commercial premises is also showing strong results. Portal de L’Àngel in Barcelona is still the most expensive shopping street in Spain, with an average rent of €250/m2/month, followed by Preciados in Madrid, where rents have increased by more than 6% with respect to the same quarter in 2014, to reach €245/m2/month. “Moreover, the current availability rate is very low in areas such as the Puerta del Sol and Preciados, which are now at full occupancy again”, says JLL.

Following the grand opening of Primark in 2015, we can expect to see the inauguration of Adidas, Tous and Parfois on Madrid’s Gran Vía next year, as well as Céline and Massimo Dutti on the Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona. Moreover, the Japanese fashion house Uniqlo is going to open its first store in Spain, also on the Paseo de Gracia, at number 11, in premises measuring almost 5,000 m2.

Original story: Expansión (by R. R.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Iba Capital’s Socimi, Zambal, Will List This Year

17 September 2015 – Expansión

The Socimi Zambal, created by the fund manager Iba Capital, is finalising its debut on the stock exchange before the end of the year. Its main assets include the headquarters of BMW, Enagás and Día in Madrid and the ABC Serrano shopping centre, also in the capital.

A new mega Socimi is preparing to debut on the stock market in 2015. The company in question is Zambal Spain, the listed real estate investment company created by the fund manager Iba Capital. With assets worth €500 million, the company will list on the MAB stock exchange before the end of the year. “We are not in any rush, but our aim is to go public before the end of the year”, explains Thierry Julienne, the President of IBA and of Zambal.

Since closing its first acquisition in 2013, the fund manager has created one of the most desirable portfolios in the market and plans to invest a further €1,000 million in new acquisitions. “We aim to invest a further €500 million in assets with a core profile in Madrid and Barcelona, through Zambal Spain, plus an additional €500 million with a value-added profile (those that require active management) in Spain’s main regional capital cities, through other vehicles”, explained Julienne in a statement.

The Socimi closed its first operation in Spain in the summer of 2013, when it purchased a building in Plaza Cataluña, Barcelona, from El Corte Inglés for €100 million. At the end of that year, it bought the ABC Serrano shopping centre and an office complex, located on Avenida de San Luis, 25, both in Madrid, from the real estate company Reyal Urbis, which had filed for bankruptcy in the February of that year. The office houses the headquarters of the communication group Unidad Editorial (which edits Expansión, El Mundo and Marca, amongst others).

Over the last two years, Zambal has added the headquarters of other famous brands to its portfolio. In December 2013, Iba purchased Torres Ágora from the real estate company Colonial; the property is leased in its entirety to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Socimi spent €73 million on its purchase of that office complex.

In 2014, the fund manager acquired Enagás’ headquarters in Madrid for €35 million and then Día’s headquarters for €30 million.

At the beginning of this year, Iba purchased BMW’s head offices in Spain, located in the north west of the capital. It paid €41 million to the French real estate company Gecina for the property, which measures 11,680 m2.

In addition to its extensive portfolio of offices, the Socimi also owns a retail building on Calle Preciados, 9, which it acquired from El Corte Inglés in 2013 for €50 million. Once the renovation of the property has been completed, it will house a major international fashion company.

Both the Socimi and the fund manager are led by Thierry Julienne, the former director of the consultancy Exa in Spain. Its investors include major European and American investors.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake