Telefonica Earns €65 Mn On 2014 Property Sales

12/01/2015 – Expansion

In its five 2014 sale & leaseback deals, Spanish broadband and telecommunications provider Telefonica earned €65 million in total.

The five properties, both of residential and dotational use, are located in various cities of Spain. They were parts of a nine-building portfolio which was put up for sale at the end of 2013. Rapid sales were due to their excellent locations and attractive, 7-year lease contracts offered by Telefonica.

Specifically, two of the buildings stand in the neighbourhood of Salamanca, Madrid, and the other three in the centers of the cities of San Sebastian, Bilbao and Valencia. Consulting firm Aguirre Newman advised on the sales of the Madrid, Valencia and San Sebastian properties, while CBRE assisted at the transfer of the Bilbao unit.

Staying as a tenant in the buildings, Telefonica pledged to pay €550.000 annually for the Madrid offices and €750.000 for the Valencia asset, to give some examples.

The five properties were acquired by private investors, both Spanish and foreign. The latter concentrate some real estate purchases valued at between one million and ten million euros. In general, this type of buyers streamline their acqusitions through family offices and strike buildings, retail premises and residential assets, well-located in the centers of large cities and let to solvent lessees.

In the following weeks the remaining four properties for sale are set to find new owners. They are situated in Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastian.

Telefonica’s new strategy rests on better exploitation of its former headquarters and reinforcement of its bet on the fibre-optic communication. The last will result in closing many central offices linked to the traditional copper-pair networks and therefore leaving multiple buildings, spacious and downtown, unused.


Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz & I. Del Castillo)

Translation: AURA REE

Cerberus, Oaktree, Orion Strike Barcelona’s Hotel Arts’s Debt

9/01/2015 – El Economista

Funds Cerberus, Oaktree and Orion represent three out of four bidding finalists who are one step closer to lucrative Project Gaudi. This €740 million portfolio includes 18 loans with tempting collateral properties, among which the Hotel Arts, situated on Barcelona’s coast, immediately catches eyes of investors.

The credit package was up for sale in October by German bad bank FMS Wertmanagement.

The best bids oscillate around €450 million, meaning that the bidders assume a risk of default which suggests a 40% discount on the loans’ face value.

Apart from the Hotel Arts (pictured on the left), the deal includes such gems as the high-end Penha Longa Hotel & Resort in Cascais (Portugal), owned by a fund of Deutsche Bank.

Moreover, the portfolio consists of five shopping and leisure centers and four business parks in Madrid and Barcelona. Likewise, debt of Bluespace’s 17 storage spaces in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia is at stake. In 2007, the German entity approved €125 milion in loans for their development.

Of the 18 credits making the Project Gaudi, there are 6 performing, 6 sub-performing and 6 totally non-performing loans.

This is not the first time a German entity decided to shed Spain-related real estate exposure. Last year, Commerzbank transferred huge Project Octopus worth €4.5 billion granted by its Spanish branch to U.S. fund Lone Star allied with JPMorgan.

In turn, Sareb has also sealed several NPL portfolio sales, like Project Pamela (€200 million worth) or Agatha (€260 million).

“Altogether, receivable and defaulting loan transactions amounted to €16 billion in 2014”, assured Patricio Palomar, Alternative Investment head at CBRE.

The Volume to Boost More

“We expect that this year will bring greater figures as many debt refinancing operations and sales are scheduled throughout”, Mr Palomar said.

“Such types of packages will be poached by foreign funds and insurance companies which are already forging vehicles to invest in assets through debt or by financing property developent and rehabilitation projects”, the executive added. To give a few of examples, such is the strategy of Prudential, Alliance and AXA. The last has established a fund called CRES with over €5 billion to spend on real estate across Europe.


Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: AURA REE

Axa, Deka, GIC Offer €400 Mn For 32 Gran Via Building

18/12/2014 – Expansion

The sale of the property situated at 32 Gran Via street in Madrid is nearing the end. It was put up for sale by Spanish manager Drago Capital back in October.

Among the bidders one may find German fund Deka Inmobilien, the real estate arm of Axa Seguros and the Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund GIC. According to sources with knowledge of the process, the three bids are binding.

The property will house the first Primark store located on a street in a city center, once the renovation works are completed at the end of 2015. The biggest low-cost flagship unit in Spain  will occupy 12.000 sqm of the total of 36.376 square meters. The opening adds one more world-wide known clothing brand to the high street of Madrid, which already has huge shops of Zara, H&M, with Mango preparing to open its mega-store inside the old Palacio de la Musica.

The rest of the space offered by 32 Gran Via building is occupied by media group Prisa, having its headquarters in there since long.

Drago Capital aims at closing the sale before the year ends. However, legal problems of the firm’s managers, Oleguer Pujol and Luis Iglesias, could impede the process. Apart from the property housing Prisa, Drago Capital owns, together with Canadian fund PSP, the Castellana 200 complex.


Axa, Deka and GIC are not the only investors craving for the beautiful 32 Gran Via (upper facade pictured). Also Pontegadea, the investment arm of Amancio Ortega , submitted its bid.

While recently the firm has been focused on purchases out of Spain, for this building Pontegadea could change its mind. However, supposedly, Primark would not be particularly happy to rent from one of its main rivals, Inditex.

Drago Capital is set to obtain considerable capital gains from the sale, as the fund bought it together with two other properties, one located in Madrid and the other in Barcelona, for 315 million euros in total. That is, almost 100 million of difference.

The asking amount, 400 million euros, and even more the number of investors ready to pay it, demonstrates huge interest in retail properties in large cities. For instance, the building leased to Adolfo Domínguez on the Serrano or the retail unit bought by Mango on the Orense street, both in Madrid.

In fact, Axa has just acquired another nearby propety at 37 Gran Via, let to H&M, for a record 20.000 euros per square meter.

Of the year-to-date total investment in CRE (over €2 billion), 27% was spent on shops, Deloitte Real Estate reported. Family offices usually buy units up to 10 million and funds from the line up.


Original article: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: AURA REE

Unibail, Klépierre, TH Vie For Plenilunio Retail Park

17/12/2014 – Expansion

The sale of the Plenilunio shopping mall in Madrid has entered in the final stretch. After a month of considering bids, U.S. fund Orion gave priority to three offers.

The establishment invoked vivid interest among large funds looking to buy a piece of the Spanish real estate for themselves. Finally, the winner will be chosen from among three finalists: fund manager Tiaa Henderson (TH), French-Dutch giant Unibail Rodamco and the Klépierre group. The last one closed jointly 127 retail units in Spain, France and Italy at the end of 2013.

Each of the bids is said to oscillate around 330 million euros.

The three-storey shopping center has a 220.000 square meter area, including a 70.000 sqm gross lettable space (GLA). Moreover, the deal includes more than 2.500 parking spaces, of which 2.000 are found underground. According to sources from the industry, 200 shops inside the establishment are 98% occupied.

The sale of the Plenilunio will be the deal of the year, beating the current top 3 transactions: 260 million euros paid for the Marineda mall in La Coruña by Merlin Properties, the 232 million amount which TH put for the Islazul retail park in Madrid and the volume of 153 million transferred for the Boulevard, Vitoria, by ING.

Orion’s goal is to close the operation before the year ends but the chances are the process will be prolonged until the end of the first quarter of 2015.

Currently, the U.S. fund manages the unit through Orion Columba, prepared to become listed as a Socimi (Spanish counterpart of a REIT vehicle).

As Deloitte Real Estate reported, in the eleven months from January to November, almost 30 shopping centers have changed hands, involving a total amount of nearly 1.63 billion euros.

Opened in 2006, the Plenilunio was developed by Riofisa (later on bought out by Colonial). In September 2005, it was purchased by Banco Santander for 275 million euros. In 2009, the bank sold the property to Orion for 235 million euros.

In spite of the disposal of the Plenilunio, Orion still owns the Puerto Venecia, Zaragoza, Spain’s biggest shopping mall. Originally shared fifty-fifty with British Land, the fund bought its partner’s share in October 2013 for 144.5 million euros.


Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: AURA REE

GMP, Infinorsa, GreenOak Make It to the Final Bidding For Saint Gobain Skyscraper

9/12/2014 – El Confidencial

Next great battle is taking place in the Azca complex. One of its real estate jewels, known as Torre Saint Gobain and situated at 77 Castellana street (pictured second from the left), will soon get to know the name of its new owner.

Few days back, an alluring plot in this area was acquired by El Corte Inglés for 136 million euros.

The property up for grabs belongs to BBVA. Of the juicy bids it had received, the bank has picked three finalists: GMP, Infinorsa and GreenOak. Their offers are said to oscillate around €90 million, an upper-level in the 70-to-100 million euro range established by the property’s underwriters, the entity and CBRE Spain.

In the meantime, such industry tycoons as Colonial or Pontegadea were left out of the tender process.

GMP is the owner of the Torre BBVA black tower (first on the left), located just in front of the building for sale. In turn, Infinorsa holds Torre Europa, next eye-catching skyscraper of the office area. However, the most prominent building belongs to aforementioned PontegadeaTorre Picasso.

Sources from the market assure that submitted prices indicate rents of some 35 euros a square meter, in order to obtain good return rates. To compare, today’s prices in the complex vary from 20 to 25 euros per square meter.

The building is nearly 70 meters tall, has 18 stories above the ground level and a 16.000 square meter area. Apart from that, it disposes of six underground stories destined for parking lots, storage rooms, facilities and services.

In 2003, the property was bought by a real estate fund of BBVA for 87.5 million euros. However, more than ten years later, the unit is in need of a comprehensive refurbishment, a cost to be borne by the buyer.

The Ederra building, as it is called inside Azca, once housed the Saint Gobain Cristalería glassware group‘s Spanish headquarters. Last year, the firm’s rental agreement expired and the French tenant moved to its new premises at 132 Principe de Vergara street.


Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde & E. Sanz)

Translation: AURA REE

SEB Puts Bankia’s IT Center Up on the Market

3/12/2014 – Expansion

Scandinavian SEB Asset Management has decided to take an advantage of Spain being currently the hottest market in Europe. Four years ago, SEB InmoPortfolio Target Return Fund bought an office building in Las Rozas, Madrid, from Caja Madrid (now Bankia) for €108 million. Presently, the entity employs the space for its information technology center and will stay in there as a tenant for the next 26 years.

SEB is asking €110 million for the unit housing such a solid, long-term lessee.


Built in the 90s, the building won Spain’s Architecture Award. Noteworthy is the security system but the total area of 43.700 square meters, as well as 530 parking spaces are no small perks either.

The German branch of the Swedish group put the unit up for sale only few days ago and it has already called attention of such large funds eyeing the Spanish market as London & Regional, a fund which bought Vodafone’s Madrid headquarters from Banco Sabadell for €117 million back in March.

Bankia has got the right of first offer as a tenant but odds are low the entity will excecute it. Just yesterday, the bank announced conveyance of 38 properties including blocks of apartments, retail units and logistic warehouses to Goldman Sachs for €355 million.

The sale of the Las Rozas premises is just an example of deals sealed lately by vendors seeking high returns.

For instance, Orion is selling the Plenilunio shopping mall in Madrid for €400 million, while in 2009 it paid €235 million for the unit to Banif.

So is the case of the 32 Gran Vía (street) unit, bought in 2008 together with other office buildings by Spanish manager Drago Capital from Prisa. Not long ago, this single property was listed at €350 million. Deka’s offer outstands in the sale process.

Institutional funds currently lead in the real estate purchases in Spain, while the forerunners until the beginning of 2014 were the vulture funds. Thus, in 2013, they made 43 per cent of all investors, whereas this year a mere 10 per cent, Deloitte Real Estate reports.

Year-to-date, more than €5.3 billion were spent on non-residential assets, the same source informs. Of the figure, an amount of €2.1 billion was intended for office buildings. Madrid premises of IBM make a good example as the unit was sold to Mexican family office Finaccess which offered €130 million to the property’s owner, Morgan Stanley.


Original article: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: AURA REE

Eighty Spanish Shopping Malls Waiting For New Owners

28/11/2014 – Expansion

They reign in the real estate industry of Spain. Big or small, in the outskirts of large cities or in the centers of towns, shopping centers account for most of property deals in the country.

From January 1st to November 15th, almost 30 of them changed hands. According to Deloitte Real Estate, investment in the Spanish retail assets amounted to about €1.63 billion.

5% of Europe’s Total

In the first half of the year, €890 million were spent on shopping malls in the entire Europe. Investments in Spain represented 5% of the total, beaten only by the UK and France.

By transaction volume, over-€200 million amounts were destined for purchases of the Islazul retail park (Madrid) bought by fund Tiaa Henderson for €230 million and the Marineda (La Coruña) sold to Socimi (REIT) Merlin Properties for €260 million. Another Socimi, Lar España, has invested a little bit more than €160 million in five shopping centers.

All the Spanish Socimis, opportunistic funds and institutional investors contributed to the avalanche of deals on the national market.

‘Private equity investors, who accounted for majority of acquisitions last year, now are ceding the ground to more conservative buyers like the Socimis, German property and American pension funds’, explained Javier Garcia-Mateo, Real Estate head at Deloitte.

Among the steps taken by these new players on the Spanish ground, noteworthy are: the purchase of the Castellana 200 complex in Madrid, including a shopping mall and office space, by Canadian PSP, and the acquisition of 50% of the Zenia unit in Alicante, performed by the Alaska Permanent Fund. The two totally different properties prove interest in all kinds of retail assets.

Thus, year-to-date, a package of eight shopping parks was sold to a consortium of funds for €160 million, as well as the Boulevard in Vitoria for an amount of €153 million.

Aside from the January-November investment volume, further deals worth at least €600 million are expected to be sealed still before the end 2014. For instance, the Plenilunio shopping mall in Madrid (pictured), put up for sale by Orion at €400 million. The fund paid €262 million for it in 2009.

As Deloitte Real Estate assures, there are more than 80 more shopping centers in Spain currently up for sale. It is said they will be handed over to best bidders within the next six months and the total amount proceeding from their sales will reach €3.5 billion.

‘Large part of prime assets have depreciated by 30% on average in less than a year, and the secondary by 14%’, says Mr. Garcia-Mateo. ‘And this did not happen because rental prices had gone up but because of the yields’.

Presently, there are 547 shopping malls in Spain, with Madrid concentrating almost 100 of them. Their gross lettable area totals at 15.43 million square meters.


Original article: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: AURA REE

Bankia Slashes Prices by 50% & Lists 5.000 Foreclosed Homes at Less Than €80.000 Each

27/11/2014 – Expansion

Bankia has just put up for grabs a selection of 5.000 dwellings across Spain at prices slashed by 50% and asking for less than €80.000 per unit.

The new campaign, including 6.000 properties in total, will be valid until December 31st.

Called the ‘Year-End Apartherapy’ (‘Pisoterapia fin del año‘), the offer may be consulted in Bankia branches network, as well as on the web of Haya Real Estate (, Spain’s leader in property management services that also trades REO assets of Bankia.

The property package is 100% made up from resales, of diverse type and representing both urban and coastal units, and including all large regional capitals, bedroom towns and little villages.

By regions, the Valencian Community concentrates 1.906 properties, followed by Catalonia (1.400), Andalusia (793) and Madrid (598).

Among the listed REO supply, one may find such gems as a two-bed, two-bath dwelling on the Barraca street in Valencia city which asks €80.000, half of its original value (€160.000).

In the province of Valencia, noteworthy are the following: a four-bedroom unit at a price trimmed from €145.400 to €80.000 in Torrent, a three-bed apartment in Pobla de Vallbona which now stands at €72.000 from previous list price of €114.200, or the one in Gandia, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms available from €52.500 and not €85.500 like before.

Alicante as a province offers, for example, a two-bed apartment in Algorfa priced €41.000, and €55.900 prior to the cut.

Skimming through Bankia’s bargains in Catalonia, a single-bed, two-bath duplex in Canet de Mar (Barcelona) certainly calls one’s attention as its current, €74.000 price is much more affordable than the previous list of €119.900.

Further on, also a detached, two-bed home in Castellet i la Gornal (Barcelona) costs significantly less as its asking price has shrank from €100.000 to €69.000.

In sun-drenched Andalusia, a three-bedroom dwelling in the city of Estepona (Malaga) worth €92.000 is available for €50.000 until December 31st.

In Madrid-nearby Fuenlabrada one may acquire a three-bedroom apartment whose price was slashed from €106.000 down to €80.000.


Original article: Expansión 

Translation: AURA REE

Madrid Sells a Downtown Building to the Aguinagas For €4.5 Mn

26/11/2014 – El Confidencial

The Aguinagas, one of the most powerful Basque Country families, won an auction of a building put up for sale by the Community of Madrid at an asking price of €3.5 million at the beginning of the year. The family offered €4.46 million for it, meaning a bid by 26% better than the central region had expected.

Also other four family offices attended on-line tender of the property located at a minute walk from the Paseo de la Castellana, as well as firm Velapi, a Venezuelan fund and a Swedish investor.

The residential unit has a 1.196 square meter area distributed over six floors above the ground level and no basement level. However, as the advertisement on the states, it has a mixed-use ground floor: industrial – except for a workshop-, hotel, retail, office and recreational.

Thoroughly refurbished in 1987, the building disposes of a rental obligatory compliance agreeement with the Community of Madrid assuming 7 months of rents until 2016.

The Region’s Sales

Madrid’s Community gave an impulse to its property sales at the end of 2013, when the region sold two Gran Via buildings (numbers 3 and 18) for €26.6 million, 27% above the listing price.

However, next tender took seven months to be closed and at the end of July a unit at 8 Plaza Chamberí square was sold to Línea Directa for €40 million, by €2 million more than predicted. Few days later, the region transferred another building on the Gran Via street, nº 20, to Caja Rural de Almendralejo for €20 million. Also, it sold number 151 of the Embajadores street for nearly €18 million and a unit at 21 Vía Lusitana street for €16.7 million. For the property located at 4 Plaza de San Martín square, the Community earned €3.4 million, while for 19 Fernando VI building it received €3.6 million.

Altogether, the sales contributed to the wealth of the region with a €130 million amount. However, still some operations are pending closing, like the one concerning the 1 Alcala street standing at €14.1 million, as well as two other properties situated on the Los Madrazo (asking price: €9.4 million) and the Santa Catalina (€10.11 million) streets of the capital.


Original article: El Confidencial (by Elena Sanz)

Translation: AURA REE

El Corte Inglés Offers €136 Mn For Adif’s Nuevos Ministerios Plot

25/11/2014 – Expansion

El Corte Inglés is ready to come down to history of real estate investments carried out in Madrid. After spending €480 million on now non-existent Torre Windsor tower (replaced by the Torre Titania), the department store group has submitted a €136.48 million offer for a 10.700 square meter plot situated on the Paseo de la Castellana street in Madrid.

The piece of land, stretching adjacently to one of its stores (pictured), would allow the chain to build a new shopping mall in downtown Madrid, just next to the Nuevos Ministerios Cercanias (the light railway of the capital) station.

Except for El Corte Inglés, the tender of the plot was attended by five other bidders. The second-best offer came from Madrid-based property manager Monthisa (€77.04 million), followed by developer Pryconsa teamed up with one investor more (€62.57 million), Mario Losantos’s holding Allegra (€55.1 million) and Colonial (€52 million). Venezuelan Capriles bidded the lowest with €46 million.

Owned by Adif, the desirable piece of land currently offers 72 parking lots with 22.000 spaces. The public railway manager put the plot up for sale as a part of its non-core assets divestment plan including 16 activities, like awarding commercial spaces and renovation of some stations.

The terrain’s use is tertiary (meaning no dwellings allowed thereon) and it is suitable for constuction of a five-floor building. According to experts, the price may oscillate between €70 million and €100 million, or between €6.200 and €9.000 euros per square meter. El Corte Inglés’s bid reaches 12.775 €/m2.

If the clear bet accepted, the Spanish department store king would extend its 86-large store, 42-hipermarket and over 250-convenience shop (Opencor and Supercor Express) portfolio valued at €18 billion, as Tinsa estimates.


Original article: Expansión (by R. Ruiz & A. Polo)

Translation: AURA REE