MVGM Acquires JLL’s European Operations

3 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

The Dutch real estate management group MVGM is acquiring the European property management operations of the American real estate services firm JLL. The deal will make the combined company one of the five largest European companies in the sector, with a presence in 10 countries.

After the deal, MVGM will have a presence in eight additional markets (Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia), while increasing its footprint in the Netherlands and Germany.

Original Story: Expansion


RE Broker Aguirre Newman Goes Up For Sale

20 February 2017 – El Confidencial

Spain is experiencing a real estate boom once again and brokers want to take advantage of the situation to make money.

Whilst last year, the private equity fund Cinven acquired Tinsa, the largest appraisal company in the country, and in 2015, Apax Partners took control of Idealista, this year, Santiago Aguirre Gil de Biedma, the brother of Esperanza Aguirre, has decided to put Aguirre Newman, the largest real estate broker in the sector, up for sale.

According to financial sources, Santiago Aguirre has engaged Atlas Capital to sell his majority stake in the consultancy firm. The firm will target both individual and institutional investors, as well as public and private corporations. Aguirre Newman caters for all real estate investment-related matters and offers a complete set of services including valuations, feasibility studies, appraisals, attending compensation boards, leases, property management and technical architectural services.

The company generates annual revenue of around €80 million, with an operating profit of EBITDA of almost €12 million. As such, the financial sources consulted consider that Aguirre Newman could be sold for between €80 million and €100 million. Other sources consider that some of the parties that may be interested in purchasing this real estate broker include the private equity funds Cinven and Apax Partners, which could enlarge the businesses of Tinsa and Idealista, respectively, with this acquisition.

However, the same sources also consider that this could be a good opportunity for some of the main domestic competitors, which would result in a certain degree of concentration in what is a very fragmented sector. In addition to Aguirre Newman, the other large consultancy firms include CBRE, Knight Frank, JLL, BNP Paribas Real Estate, Cushman & Wakefield and Savills. These seven firms account for 90% of the sector’s revenues in Spain and employ 2,200 professionals in total. Almost 400 people work for Santiago Aguirre and his minority shareholder partners.

Low interest rates, the collapse in prices following the crash, the enormous volume of liquidity and the recovery of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Spain have created a cocktail that has led to investment figures not seen since the era of the bubble. According to a report from JLL, non-residential real estate investment (offices, retail, logistics and hotels) amounted to €8,707 million in 2016. That figure represents a decrease of 8% compared to 2015, when operations worth €9,407 million were closed. Nevertheless, the figure recorded in 2016 was still higher than the maximum recorded in 2006 (€7,800 million).

Golden years

Last year, the most active market in terms of investment volume was the retail premises and shopping centre segment (retail), with €2,977 million, down by 3% compared to 2015. (…). Moreover, Aguirre Newman highlights that this figure exceeded the €2,000 million threshold for the third year in a row, which is clear proof of the boom in the real estate sector, especially in retail, which accounts for 35% of all tertiary investment.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Agustín Marco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Arcano Launches Its First RE Investment Fund

29 July 2015 – El Economista

Arcano, one of the most active players in the asset management sector (with private equity funds of funds and funds with loans for companies, with €3,000 million of managed or advised assets) has decided to launch a third business line: investment in all kinds of real estate assets.

According to José Luis del Río (pictured above), CEO of Arcano Real Estate, the first fund will have a budget of €200 million. “We hope that, a year from now, once we have completed the fund raising process, we will have more overseas investors than domestic. For our first partial close in July, we have secured commitments amounting to €50 million, of which three quarters have been pledged by Spanish players. We wanted to start by inviting local investors as we have been working with them for many years”.

Arcano has created an integrated team, comprising seven property management professionals, to evaluate its investments. They are looking to benefit from opportunities in a sector that is currently undergoing a strong recovery after eight years of falling prices.


“We want to differentiate ourselves from the large international funds that focus on securing the lowest possible prices, and from the socimis, which are paying over the odds in some cases as they seek to secure rental income to pay their shareholders. We want to add value and through that, build the return for the fund. We will not act in an opportunistic way”.

Between 50% and 70% of our investment will be focused on the residential market. From the development of land in good locations, in cities or on the coast, in conjunction with real estate developers, to the renovation of buildings. “Local developers will be our partners, not our competition”, explains Del Río, who has 25 years of experience in the sector, first as Head of Real Estate at AB Asesores, then at Morgan Stanley (which acquired AB) and subsequently at N+1, where he was the Director of Real Estate until 2011.

We will differentiate ourselves by entering operations that require investment and specialist management, such as the transformation of buildings to change their use, for example from a hotel to an office. “Provided these changes of use are already approved, we will not have to assume any urban planning risk”, says the Director.

In terms of regions, the team will focus primarily on Madrid and then on the coast, Bilbao and Sevilla for residential assets. For offices, it will look only at Madrid and maybe Barcelona; and for hotels and shopping centres, it will consider the whole country. Finally, for logistics assets, it will analyse Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Valencia. “We will be a very small and very RE-focused fund. And we will work quickly. We will close the first transactions before the end of the year, possibly in Madrid”. The average ticket will be between €5 million and €25 million.

Original story: El Economista (by Carlos Pizá)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Joe Lewis Acquires 3% Of Colonial

30 January 2015 – El Economista

Lewis teamed up with George Soros in 1992 to speculate on the pound sterling

The English businessman Joseph Charles Lewis has invested in the share capital of the real estate company Colonial, acquiring a 3% stake worth around €58.3 million, based on current market prices.

The business tycoon, who lives in the Bahamas, thus becomes a shareholder of the property management company, whose primary shareholder is the Grupo Villar Mir.

96 million shares

According to records of the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Joe Lewis has acquired a pack of 96 million shares in Colonial, which represents 3.02% of the company’s share capital.

Lewis’s investment comes almost a year after the real estate company, led by Juan José Bruguera, concluded a three-pronged restructuring, recapitalisation and debt refinancing process.

Soros’s partner

Joseph Charles Lewis began currency trading in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1992, he teamed up with George Soros to bet against the pound. Together, they forced the devaluation of the British currency, flooding the markets through the sale of more than 10,000 million pounds. The movement, for which they (reportedly) pocketed 1,000 million dollars, rendered the Bank of England powerless at the time.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake