Retailing Giant Opts to Sell Real Estate Assets Through El Corte Inglés Real Estate

8 October 2019 While the Spanish company El Corte Inglés is one of the biggest retailers in the world, it is also one of the large owners of real estate in Spain.  The firm has assets valued at more than €17 billion. The retailer has given up on a plan, called Operation Green, that the consultancy PwC had designed for the portfolio. Instead, it is now planning on channelling the assets through a new real estate subsidiary, El Corte Inglés Real Estate.  

Original Story: El Confidencial – Ruth Ugalde

Photo: EFE

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

El Corte Inglés Closes Los Arcos & Bahía Sur Shopping Centres and Sells Them to Castellana Properties

27 May 2019 – Cinco Días

El Corte Inglés has reached an agreement with Castellana Properties to sell two shopping centres in Andalucía, specifically Los Arcos (11,000 m2) in Sevilla and Bahía Sur (12,000 m2) in Cádiz, for €36.8 million.

The deal will become effective on 30 September, on which date both the El Corte Inglés store in Bahía Sur and the Hipercor in Los Arcos will be closed. The department store group will use the funds to reduce its debt, which amounted to €3.7 billion at the end of the first half of 2018.

The operation does not form part of Project Green, the portfolio containing 95 non-strategic real estate assets that ECI has entrusted to PwC, and whose sale is still on-going. According to market sources, the only bid received so far for the entire portfolio has come from the US fund Apollo.

Meanwhile, the Socimi Castellana Properties, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), is controlled by the South African group Vukile, and has 17 assets in its portfolio including shopping centres, retail parks and offices spanning a combined leasable surface area of 317,106 m2, worth €916 million.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz & Javier García Ropero)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Project Green: More Details about El Corte Inglés’s Property Divestment Plan

2 April 2019 – El Confidencial

More details have been revealed about the real estate portfolio that El Corte Inglés put up for sale last week. According to information presented in the blind teaser prepared by PwC, the portfolio known as Project Green includes 95 non-strategic assets and spans a constructed surface area of 998,000 m2 with another 228,000 m2 in available land.

The portfolio is split into three completely separate blocks. The first comprises 11 shopping centres. The second comprises three office buildings and 65 other assets, including 5 more shopping centres, located across six provinces. The third contains 16 plots of land, with the aforementioned combined surface area of 228,000 m2.

According to the teaser, 50% of the shopping centres, offices, parking lots and premises contained in the portfolio are concentrated in Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga and Sevilla.

Moreover, the department store giant has expressed its willingness to remain as the tenant in 11 of the 16 shopping centres for between three and five years, although that period is regarded as too short by experts given the incompatibility of the properties with other uses (they have no windows, and so, are unsuitable for use as hotels or hospitals).

ECI has also said it would be willing to continue in two of the office buildings. Another block is leased to a third party for a gross annual income of €1.6 million and there are eight other premises whose rental amounts to €1.8 million.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Agustín Marco)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake