JD Sports to Open Spanish Flagship Store in Thor Equities’ Puerta del Sol Property

27 November 2017 – Eje Prime

JD Sports is going to open its Spanish flagship store between Puerta del Sol and Calle Preciados. The British sports equipment retailer has reached an agreement with the US fund Thor Equities to lease the building at number 11 on the Madrilenian square, which has a surface area of 1,129 m2. Two years ago, Thor acquired the property from El Corte Inglés for €65 million.

The formal agreement is expected to be signed within the next few weeks so that JD Sports can move into the new store as soon as possible, according to El Confidencial. This operation represents an accolade for Puerta del Sol,  the kilometre zero of Spain’s streets, which has aspirations to become the retail hub of the domestic market. In recent times, the square has undergone some radical changes with the arrival of powerful retail franchises; they are investing in an area that is becoming more expensive by the day.

The British group will occupy its new space under a long-term lease contract, after beating off several important rivals in the negotiation phases, including the multinational sports equipment firm Nike.

Until 2015, the building housed the bookshop of El Corte Inglés. Spread over three floors, it is one of the most sought-after buildings in Puerta del Sol due to its location.

With this operation, Thor will see its asset value rise ahead of a future sale, such as the deal it is already negotiating for number 9 in the same square, where it hopes to build a large shopping centre. In recent years, the commercial value of the centre of Madrid has risen, as shown by the arrival of Primark in Gran Vía and the conversion of the former El Corte Inglés toyshop on Calle Preciados into a Pull&Bear store.

Rents for premises in the area have increased since 2015, now amounting to €300/m2/month in the central core, making it one of the most expensive places to lease a store in Madrid.

Moreover, Thor Equities is the owner of number 5 Puerta del Sol, for which it paid almost €50 million in February, as EjePrime revealed. The New York-based fund owns a portfolio of assets worth more than €9,000 million, spanning more than 20 million m2, in the United States (it owns several assets on New York’s Fifth Avenue), as well as in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, in France and the United Kingdom.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Amancio Ortega’s RE Jewels In The Heart Of Madrid & BCN

26 March 2015 – Expansión

The largest shareholder of Inditex has an extensive real estate portfolio that includes properties and retail stores on the two most desirable streets in both cities.

They are the most sought-after streets in Spain for any real estate investor. On the one hand, Paseo de Gracia, in Barcelona, the star shopping street in the Catalan capital. On the other hand, the Paseo de la Castellana, in Madrid, an object of desire for any investor and a prime office location. As such, both have piqued the interest of Amancio Ortega, who owns more than ten buildings on the two thoroughfares.

Through Pontegadea, the company that the founder and majority shareholder of Inditex channels his investments through after closing his Sicavs, Ortega has purchased six buildings on the Catalan avenue and another five on the Madrid street.

In the case of the Paseo de Gracia, the most recent acquisition was made last year when Ortega purchased an office building located at number 1 on the street, on the corner with the famous Plaza Cataluña, for €44 million. This space, which has been leased to Banesto until now, will be converted into an Iberostar Hotel. A few months earlier, he acquired the commercial premises in the same building for €80 million, which are leased to Apple (see picture above). That US multinational is not Ortega’s only illustrious tenant; others include Fnac, Baker & Mackenzie, Burberry and Google.

In March 2012, Pontegadea acquired another building also on the Paseo de Gracia. In that case, Ortega’s company paid Sacyr €53.5 million for the building located at number 56. Measuring more than 9,000 square metres, it is leased to the British textile manufacturer Burberry. The Inditex owner is also the landlord of the building at number 93.


The purchases made in the last decade have made Amancio Ortega one of the largest property owners on Madrid’s main thoroughfare: the Paseo de la Castellana. The owner of Zara joined the select club of property owners in that area in 2004, when he acquired number 92 (that same year he made a joint purchase with Metrópolis of an office building on the Paseo de Gracia, 16, which was converted into luxury housing). On the Castellana, Ortega also owns number 35, which he acquired in 2005; and number 79, the former headquarters of Axa, which he renovated to create a new office building with a shopping area, now leased to Fnac and Habitat.

But, undoubtedly, the jewel in Ortega’s crown in Madrid was acquired at the end of 2011, when he signed an agreement with FCC to purchase the Torre Picasso. He paid €400 million for the skyscraper that sits in the heart of the city’s financial district, just a few metres from the Paseo de la Castellana – a record figure for a single building, second only to the €815 million that the then Caja Madrid invested in the Torre Foster.

Nevertheless, it was not the first time that Pontegadea had paid so much in a real estate transaction. At the end of 2007, Amancio Ortega paid €458 million to Santander for the acquisition of ten buildings located in several Spanish cities, which included Castellana, 24 and Paseo de Gracia, 5.

These two great Spanish streets are just an example of Ortega’s extensive property holdings, which also include buildings leased to Inditex companies, such as for example Serrano, 23, in Madrid, which is leased to Zara. In the last full financial year (2013), Pontegadea’s assets were valued at €4,519.5 million and they generated a profit of €93.3 million, compared with €70.5 million a year earlier.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Celio Plans To Open 10 New Stores In Spain In 2015

20 February 2015 – Modaes

The French menswear company Celio is looking for new opportunities in the Spanish market with a clear message from the group’s head office: generate profitability. The company, which closed 2014 with sixty stores in Spain, has set an overall goal of generating profits in all of the countries in which it has a presence. In the context of the chain’s development in Spain, Celio will open ten new stores this year, mainly using the franchise formula; it is also looking for new opportunities in Madrid and Barcelona, where it wants to open two flagship stores before the end of 2015.

Celio was created in France in 1982 by the siblings Marc and Lauren Grossmen; the pair also own the womenswear chain Jennyfer. The company, which currently has a distribution network of more than 1,200 stores across 65 countries, opened its first outlets in Spain in 1985, although it was not until the year 2000 when the company created a subsidiary in the country, led by Abel Núñez, from Adolfo Domínguez.

The Spanish branch of Celio, which has a distribution network comprising 60 stores in Spain, closed 2014 (on 31 January 2015) with sales of €42.7 million, an increase of 4.2% on the previous year.

“The message from head office is that the mantra for the global business is: generate profitability in all of its stores”, explains Antonio Pirruccio, Head of Expansion at Celio in Spain. “To achieve this, we have hired a new Head of Stores for the Spanish subsidiary, who will be in charge of budgets, analysis and sales forecasts by product family for Celio’s stores in Spain”.

Celio, which recently appointed Guillaume Motte, from Jennyfer, as the new Chairman of the group, says that Spain is its third largest market in terms of turnover. “This year we have increased our contribution to total revenues, so we can see that the chain is working well in this market” adds Pirruccio.

Last year, the company launched a new strategy for the Spanish market, focused on the opening of flagship stores on the country’s main (high) streets. The chain opened a store on Gran Vía in Bilbao last June, in premises that previously housed the womenswear chain Blanco and has a retail surface area of 300 square metres.

Celio has also launched a process to search for premises to open flagship stores on Gran Vía, in Madrid, on Paseo de Gracia or in Portal de l’Angel in Barcelona, and in the south of Spain, where Celio is considering opening stores in Malaga and Sevilla.

“Another goal at the group level is the reorganisation of Celio’s portfolio of stores in all of its countries (of operation), which is why we are currently renegotiating rents and relocating shops that are not profitable”, explains Pirruccio. Celio plans to open ten stores in Spain, of which at least eight will be franchises.

Original story: Modaes

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ahorro Corporación Puts Its Azca Headquarters Up For Sale

13 February 2015 – Cinco Días

The sought after area of Azca in Madrid is preparing itself for the largest real estate transaction since 2011, when FCC sold Torre Picasso to the real estate company owned by Amancio Ortega.

The protagonist of this new activity is Ahorro Corporación, which has decided to put its headquarters, at number 89 Paseo de la Castellana, up for sale, which is located just fifty metres away from the Picasso building.

“Rising prices in the sector in recent months makes selling the building a more attractive prospect now”, said Enrique Sánchez del Villar in a press release. Sánchez recently joined Ahorro Corporación as CEO.

The building measures 20,000 square metres in total; 12 of its floors are let out as offices, another floor houses retail stores and there are also 530 parking spaces.

“Currently the building has an optimal occupancy level and high grade tenants, with Sareb, Deloitte and Alain Afflelou in the offices and Lateral, Maki, New York Burger, Via Birra and Dionisos in the retail and restaurant area”, said Ahorro Corporación.

The company acquired the building from Barclays in 2003 and plans to retain its corporate headquarters in the building once the sale has been completed. The real estate consultancy Aguirre Newman has been appointed as the sole advisor for the transaction.

“Castellana 89 represents an outstanding opportunity to invest in a prime real estate asset, with the potential to create significant value over the medium and long term given the building’s rental yields”, said Alejandro Campoy, Investment Director at Aguirre Newman.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake