Colonial, Merlin and Lar Rotating Assets Worth €2.5 Billion

20 August 2019

Spain’s largest socimis have all been taking advantage of the benign economic climate to implement a strategy of asset rotation, selling off non-strategic assets to raise funds for further investments. Colonial, Merlin and Lar España have completed more than 2.5 billion euros in divestments over the past two years.

Of the four, Colonial has been most active in this regard. The socimi has sold assets worth approximately €1.5 billion in the last two years, more than half stemming from its acquisition of Axiare. In October 2018, Colonial sold seven office buildings to Tristan Capital Partners and Real IS, as well as a development under construction in Madrid to Grupo Catalana Occidente, for 441 million euros. Of the seven properties sold, five originated with Axiare.

Colonial also recently sold a portfolio of 18 logistics assets, covering an area of 473,000 square meters, to Prologis for an estimated €425 million. What’s more, the socimi sold an office building in Paris for €450 million in mid-2017. The firm is investing the proceeds of some of its sales, allocating €468 million in twelve projects under development in Madrid, Barcelona and Paris, the three markets where the company operates.

Merlin, for its part, sold its 17% stake in Testa to Blackstone last September for €321 million. The firm also sold its portfolio of hotels to Foncière des Regions for €535 million. Lar has also sold €425 million of assets in the last 18 months. Of that, €120 million stemmed from the sale of a logistics portfolio to Blackstone, while another €190 million resulted from the sale of four office buildings in Madrid and Barcelona and some small retail assets.

Original Story: Expansión – Rebeca Arroyo

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Colonial Finalises Sale of €425MM Logistics Portfolio

7 August 2019

Colonial and Prologis have finalised the sale of a €425-million logistics portfolio that the socimi put up for sale four months ago. The portfolio includes 12 logistics platforms and warehouses and features a 131,000-m2 logistics complex in the San Fernando industrial estate.

Prologis beat out competing offers by Deutsche Bank and Blackstone. Colonial was advised by JLL and Knight Frank; while CBRE advised Prologis.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Ruth Ugalde

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Colonial Increases Occupancy as Logistics Sale Nears Conclusion

31 July 2019

Colonial, which is in the process of selling a €450-million portfolio of logistics asset, presented excellent results in the first semester of 2019.  The managed to get its occupancy rate from 85% to 90% in the first six months of the year, thereby increasing the attractiveness of the assets on sale.

The socimi’s logistics portfolio consists of a total of 574,462 square meters, located in Madrid, Barcelona and its surroundings, Guadalajara, Tarragona and Seville.

Prologis, Deutsche Bank and Blackstone are seen as the three final candidates for Colonial’s logistics portfolio. At first, Blackstone was the considered the likely winner of the auction, but recently Prologis, a US-based logistics operator, has pulled ahead.

The operation is part of Prologis’s bid to become one of the main actors in the Spanish logistics market. The American firm currently owns 850,000 square meters of high quality assets in prime areas. In total, the company manages 72 million square meters of logistics platforms in 19 countries.

Original Story: Merca2 – Carlos Lospitao

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Prologis Nears Acquisition of Colonial’s Logistics Portfolio

29 June 2019

Prologis is in the final stages of its attempt to acquire Colonial’s logistics assets. The socimi’s holdings include 12 logistics platforms and warehouses, with an estimated sales value of 450 million euros. The two firms expect to finalise the transaction during the coming month. Deutsche Asset Management and Blackstone had also been in the running to acquire the portfolio.

The principal asset in the portfolio is a 131,000-m2 logistics complex in the San Fernando industrial estate.

Original Story: Expansion

Colonial Leaning Towards Blackstone in Sale of Logistics Portfolio

26 June 2019

The US fund Blackstone is reportedly leading the field of potential buyers for Colonial’s portfolio of logistics assets. The portfolio, whose sale would be one of the year’s largest, is said to be worth approximately €400 million. Colonial, a Spanish socimi, expects to finalise the transaction by late August.

Colonial is apparently leaning towards a sale to Blackstone due to its experience in the logistics sector, the financial guarantees the Americans are providing and its capacity to absorb such a large portfolio. Prologis, an American REIT, and Deutsche Bank are also vying for the assets.

Original Story: Merca2.es – Carlos Lospitao

 

Prologis, Blackstone & Deutsche Bank Bid For Colonial’s Logistics Portfolio

20 June 2019 – Cinco Días

Inmobiliaria Colonial has chosen the three finalists who have submitted the highest bids for its logistics portfolio and they are: Prologis, the largest owner of warehouses in Europe; Blackstone, the US fund; and Deutsche Bank, through its manager DWS, according to market sources.

Colonial inherited a sizeable logistics portfolio from Axiare following its takeover of that firm last year, but since the Socimi focuses on offices in prime areas of Madrid, Barcelona and Paris, it put the logistics portfolio up for sale a few weeks ago.

The company has received around a dozen offers, from which it has selected three that exceed €400 million. It is planning to close the operation before the summer.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Merlin Enters the Top 10 Ranking of the Largest Logistics Owners in Europe

19 June 2019 – Cinco Días

Merlin Properties has been a major player in the European office and shopping centre markets for several years. But now, the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente has entered the Top 10 ranking of the largest logistics owners on the Continent, with its portfolio of 1.6 million m2 under management, according to a report about the logistics market compiled by Deloitte.

The Top 10 ranking is led by the listed US firm Prologis (17 million m2); Logicor, the firm controlled by China Investment Corporation and Blackstone, (13.5 million m2); and the fund manager CBRE GI (7.7 million m2). They are followed by the logistics specialists Segro, P3 Logistics Parks and Goodman.

Merlin owns 1.1 million m2 of logistics space outright and holds a 48% stake in a company that owns another 469,000 m2 of logistics space in the port of Barcelona. It also has 1.254 million m2 of surface area under development.

Investment in logistics assets is currently breaking records across Europe and in Spain, in particular, boosted by attractive returns and the boom in e-commerce. With the rising demand, the availability of high-quality warehouses is decreasing, hence the need to build more. According to Deloitte, investment in warehouse purchases amounted to €1.5 billion last year, the second best year ever after 2017, when the figure reached €1.6 billion.

Merlin is planning to invest €484 million in its Best II and Best III logistics funds between now and 2022. Most will be targeted in Madrid and its surrounding areas (Guadalajara and Toledo) and Cataluña, but investment will also be made in Lisbon, Zaragoza, Sevilla and Vitoria.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Funds, Socimis, El Corte Inglés & Seur Compete in the Urban Logistics Segment

9 March 2019 – Expansión

Investors and logistics operators alike are setting their sights on urban hubs to benefit from the boom in e-commerce. According to data from CBRE, investment in the logistics sector is thriving – it amounted to €2 billion in 2017, €1.5 billion in 2018 and is forecast to reach €1.2 billion in 2019. Active players in the sector include the Singapore sovereign fund through its Socimi P3, Blackstone, Prologis, Logicor, CBRE GI and Montepino, and Merlin, amongst others.

Urban hubs are gaining significant weight in the sector thanks to their ability to reduce transport costs, avoid the new traffic restrictions and resolve the problem of product returns.

According to the CNMC, Correos and Correos Express currently deliver 44% of all packages in Spain, followed by MRW and Seur (14% each) and DHL (4.5%).

In terms of retailers operating in this space, Amazon set the ball rolling by opening a logistics centre in the heart of the Eixample district of Barcelona and in the Méndez Álvaro area of Madrid. Other large retailers are following suit by opening distribution centres inside major cities, such as Decathlon, MediaMarkt, Ikea, Aki, Carrefour and Worten.

The investment firm Azora has also announced its intention to invest €250 million in logistics hubs in urban centres, which it will lease to delivery specialists such as Seur, DHL and MRW. Seur already has eleven urban logistics centres and plans to open another nine this year. Meanwhile, DHL already has ten such hubs and plans to open two more this year.

In the same vein, the department store giant El Corte Inglés has also launched an ambitious omnichannel logistics strategy, which will convert its 94 shopping centres into storage points for the management of online purchases.

Original story: Expansión (by I. de las Heras & R. Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Prologis Acquires 5 Logistics Assets Spanning 58,000m2 in Madrid & Barcelona

18 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Prologis is growing in Spain. The US company, which specialises in logistics, has announced the acquisition of five logistics assets spanning a combined surface area of 58,000 m2. The properties have been acquired from Kefren and are located in Madrid and Barcelona. The operation has been carried out through Prologis European Properties Fund.

The five acquired properties have a high occupancy rate, with stable rental contracts and a diverse base of tenants, according to the company. Those tenants include a combination of external logistics suppliers and end users in the automotive and engineering sectors, amongst others.

Until the end of 2018, Prologis had undertaken investments in properties and projects under development spanning 71 million m2 in total across nineteen countries.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Prologis Buys a 16,758m2 Warehouse from Merlin

6 February 2019 – Expansión

Prologis has purchased a warehouse measuring 16,578 m2 located in the La Granada del Penedès logistics park (Barcelona) from the Socimi Merlin. Following the operation, the company Prologis is now the sole owner of 100% of the logistics park.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake