El Corte Inglés Puts 2 Shopping Centres Up for Sale for €100M

3 August 2018 – Voz Pópuli

A new operation for El Corte Inglés. The distribution group has put up for sale two of its smaller department stores. The properties, located in Madrid and Bilbao, are considered non-strategic by the retailer although it will continue to occupy them as the tenant, according to sources close to the operation.

The Expansión newspaper reports that El Corte Inglés is finalising the sale of two establishments to Inbest, the investment vehicle owned by the manager Corpfin Capital Real Estate for around €100 million.

The department store group will continue to use the two buildings – located on Calle Princesa in Madrid and Gran Vía de Don Diego López de Haro in Bilbao – through a long-term lease contract.

This operation forms part of El Corte Inglés’s debt reduction plan. According to Expansión, it is the first divestment that the group will make following the appointment of Jesús Nuño de la Rosa as President in June.

Original story: Voz Pópuli

Translation: Carmel Drake

Telefónica To Lease Out 1 Building At Its Las Tablas HQ In Madrid

30 April 2017 – El Confidencial

A year after taking over the Presidency at Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete (pictured above) now has the telecoms operator’s first major real estate operation on his desk: the rental of one of the 13 buildings at the entity’s Madrid headquarters, specifically, the complex known as District C.

The company has launched a tender process with the country’s main real estate consultancy firms, with the aim of selecting one of them to find a new tenant for the North 3 Building. All interested parties should submit their bids within the next few days, given that the operator has asked for them to submit their projects after Easter. (…).

With this tender, Telefónica confirmed the rumours that have been circling for a while, which were further fuelled when the operator’s employees vacated the North 2 and 3 Buildings. The properties are located in one of the corners of the main face of the complex. Almost 10,000 people work at the headquarters on a daily basis.

In the end, after considering various options – ranging from organising a kind of small Silicon Valley for startups to selling the building – the team led by Álvarez-Pallete has opted to rent out at least one of its properties. And this option promises to receive interest in the market, given that in the past, commentators have speculated about the possibility of companies such as L’Oreal and Huawei being interested in moving their headquarters there, and which moves the group away from the possibility of selling the entire complex.

The option of Telefónica selling District C has been on the cards for several years – the idea was that it would remain as the tenant with a long-term contract, in order to obtain a sizeable cheque with which to reduce its significant debt balance. In fact, many funds have called at its door, but with offers that have always fallen well below the company’s €3,000 million asking price.

In addition, the new accounting legislation that, from 1 January 2019 onwards, will oblige firms to account for rental commitments as debt, means that any kind of “sale & leaseback” operations that the firm may have been considering under the prism of reducing its financial commitments would be significantly less attractive.

Located in the Madrilenian neighbourhood of Las Tablas, District C opened its doors a decade ago, after Telefónica took the decision to bring together all of its employees in Madrid in a single headquarters. Previously, they had been distributed across around thirty buildings.

Although the option of building a skyscraper was initially proposed, in the end, a horizontal design was chosen by the architect Rafael de la Hoz, with independent, but perfectly connected buildings within a single district. From there emerged what is popularly known as District C – the Communications District – although its official name has been the Telefónica District for over six years.

The complex has a total constructed surface area of 370,000 m2 and more than half, 180,000 m2, corresponds to the 13 existing office buildings: four of those, located at the corners have ten storeys each; another four have four storeys; four more have three storeys, whilst the main building, in the centre, has a surface area of 16,480 m2.

In addition, District C has 20,000 m2 of space dedicated to all types of auxiliary services, from a children’s nursery to shops; 130,000 m2 of space comprising open areas and gardens; and 5,000 parking spaces.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin’s Profits Soar By 1,000% After Metrovacesa Merger

2 March 2017 – Expansión

In 2016, the listed real estate investment company (Socimi) Merlin Properties managed to turn itself into one of the largest real estate companies in Europe. It also made the leap onto the selective Ibex 35, which had not featured a single company from the property sector since 2008.

And, it achieved these milestones thanks to the completion of the largest corporate transaction between real estate companies since the burst of the real estate bubble – the integration of the historical firm Metrovacesa, and that had a significant impact on its income statement for the year.

In this way, in 2016, Merlin saw its net profit soar by 1,087% to €582.6 million, thanks in large part to the contribution of Metrovacesa’s assets, which increased the value of its portfolio to €9,824 million.

In the case of revenues, the Socimi generated 362.8 million, the majority of which (€351 million) came from rental income. Last year, the contribution of rental income rose by 64% compared to 2015.

The firm’s operating profit or EBITDA amounted to €303.6 million, whilst its net debt, at the end of the year, stood at €4,471 million.


The company, which has just appointed Francisco Javier García-Carranza Benjumea, the Deputy General Manager at Banco de Santander, as its new President, to replace Rodrigo Echenique, has announced the distribution of an extra dividend, amounting to 20 cents, which will take the remuneration per shareholder in 2016 to €0.40 per share.

Likewise, the Socimi, which owns a 16.1% stake in Testa Residencial, has said that it will increase the distribution of profits amongst its shareholders by 10% in 2017 (as a Socimi, it is obliged to distribute 80% of its profits) to 44 cents, which will involve the distribution of more than €207 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Alquiler Seguro Prepares Its Socimi’s Debut On The MAB

10 June 2016 – Expansión

The first Socimi specialising in the residential rental market in Spain is finalising its debut on the stock market and hopes to be ready to list on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) before the end of the year. Quid Pro Quo – the name of Alquiler Seguro’s real estate investment company – wants to raise €50 million initially, which it will use to purchase properties for their subsequent rental.

The CEO of Alquiler Seguro, Antonio Carroza (pictured above), explained that the company wants to begin by incorporating 500 homes into its portfolio during the first phase. To that end, it has identified around 6,000 homes, from the total pool of homes that it manages, which fulfil the requirements set in terms of rotation, tenant retention and which are also likely to be acquired from their owners at market prices. The company has already signed purchase options with owners worth €12 million in total.

“Within 5 years, the aim is that the Socimi will own around 6,000 homes and achieve an investment volume of €500 million, through several capital increases”, explained the CEO.

Carroza said that, with that volume of assets, the group would then be able to consider moving onto the main stock exchange. Quid Pro Quo’s assets will be mainly located in Madrid, although it will also have a portfolio of homes in Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla and, to a lesser extent, in Alicante, Vitoria and Bilbao. “We have worked hard to make the intermediation business profitable and to encourage both supply and demand; now, we want to close the circle by professionalising the supply”, said Carroza.

For the CEO, the future of the Socimis will involve specialisation. “The few (Socimis) that have been working in the residential sector until now are getting rid of that part of their businesses”, he said.

In terms of Quid Pro Quo’s shareholders, Alquiler Seguro will acquire up to 5% of the Socimi’s share capital, whilst the remainder will be offered up to domestic and international investors.

In terms of the Board of Directors, the Socimi’s highest executive body will comprise five members: the President of Alquier Seguro, Gustavo Rossi; the CEO, Antonio Carroza; and three independent directors, one of whom will come from a multinational entity and will have a financial background, to lead the Audit and Internal Control Committee. The other two independent directors will be Salvador Garriga – who has served as an MEP for the PP for twenty years – and José Luis Bartolomé, a real estate consultant and advisor.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Baldomero Falcones Acquires 5% Stake In Renta Corporación

23 December 2015 – Efe

According to a statement made by Renta Corporación, the businessman Baldomero Falcones has acquired a 5% stake in the company. Until now that stake was owned by Sareb, the entity also known as the “bad bank”.

The CEO of Renta Corporación, David Vila, has indicated that the incorporation of Baldomero Falcones will allow the company to face the future challenges set out in its strategic plan “with a significantly reinforced capital structure”.

Falcones used to be the President of the construction company FCC, until January 2013. In addition, he has also served as the President of MasterCard Internacional and the Director General of Banco Santander, as well as a member of the board of that entity for 15 years.

Falcones has also chaired Banco Urquijo Limited in the United Kingdom; Hispano Americano Sociedade do Inestimento in Portugal; Banco Hispano Americano Benelux, Banco Urquijo Chile, Fiat Finance and Santander Seguros.

He is the founder of the private equity firm Magnum Industrial Partners and a member of the Board of Directors of Unión Fenosa, CESCE, Generali España, Seguros La Estrella, Europay International and Banif.

He served as the President and CEO of FCC for five years and received compensation amounting to €7.5 million when he left the construction group, due to the early termination of his contract.

Renta Corporación has prepared a strategic plan for the period 2016-2020, whose objectives include doubling its annual net profit to €20 million, amongst others.

Original story: Efe

Translation: Carmel Drake

Quabit Completes €45M Capital Increase

10 December 2015 – El Economista

Quabit Inmobiliaria has successfully completed its capital increase amounting to €45 million, according to a statement by the company.

The company’s share capital increase was over subscribed, which means that it will need to adjust the offers received during the third round, discretionary allocation period, which concluded on Wednesday.

The President of the company, Félix Abánades (pictured above), committed €4,403,157.08 (97,847,935 newly issued ordinary shares) to the capital increase.

Following the operation, the President holds a 21.2% stake in the company, 3.37% directly and 17.83% indirectly through companies that are wholly owned by his companies Grupo Rayet (17.30%) and Restablo Inversiones (0.53%). In total, the President has subscribed 9.78% of the total capital increase amount.

During the period for preferential subscription and request for additional shares (the first round), €11,540,394.27 (256,453,201 newly issued ordinary shares) were subscribed and during the period for the allocation of additional shares (the second round), a further €13,759,835.04 (305,744,112 shares) were subscribed.

Through this increase, Quabit is strengthening its equity structure and will have the funds available to undertake the investments forecast in its business plan for 2015-2020. As a first step, the company is planning to allocate €35.6 million to repay its debt with Sareb before the end of the year, which will allow it to free up assets with significant potential for development in the short and medium term.

The capital increase marks the beginning of a new strategic cycle focused on the creation of value and a return to growth, according to the company.

The starting point for the business plan focuses on the promotion and development of its own portfolio of assets, as well as undertaking new investments. The combination of all of these lines over the next five years will result in the strengthening of net equity (increasing own funds by almost 800%) and a significant reduction in bank debt, according to the company.

“The confidence of the markets in the Spanish economy and the launch of the real estate sector have also reflected well on the completion of the operation”, explained Abánades, for whom “the excellent result demonstrates investors’ confidence in Quabit and a strong boost to the company’s strategy”.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake