Kronos & King Street Buy Land in Madrid from Sareb

27 December 2017 – El Confidencial

The scarcity of land that is starting to be seen in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, and the increase in property prices there, is forcing property developers to sign partnerships with international funds and expand their areas of operation outside of the large capitals, towards peripheral towns and dormitory cities.

One example of this growing trend is the recent deal signed by Kronos Homes, a high standing real estate company that has just joined forces with King Street to buy two important blocks of land from Sareb in the belt around Madrid. Specifically, they have acquired 128,000 m2 of land in Colmenar Viejo, a town located 30km to the north of the capital, where it plans to build 200 homes, according to a statement issued by the property developer.

Moreover, according to sources consulted by El Confidencial, it has also agreed to acquire 230,000 m2 of land in Torrejón, which is located 20km to the northeast of the capital. Both of these operations have been advised by Cuatrecasas and Almar Consulting.

Given their location, these acquisitions contrast with the steps that Kronos has taken in Madrid to date, where it has limited its activity to the centre of the capital. Moreover, they represent the first sales of land under management, for development over five or six years, that Sareb has made to a fund like King Street, according to the same sources.

A property developer born out of the recovery

Kronos Homes is a property developer created at the beginning of this real estate cycle to focus on exclusive homes, many of them accompanied by the stamp of famous architects such as Rafael de la Hoz and Joaquín Torres.

The latter has put his signature on the development of 82 homes that the property developer is currently building in the exclusive Madrilenian district of Puerta de Hierro, whose prices range between €488,000 and €1.4 million. Meanwhile, Kronos is working on a less elitist development in Cuatro Vientos, to the south of the capital, where it plans to build 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom homes.

With the acquisitions in Colmenar and Torrejón de Ardoz, Kronos is pushing ahead with its objective of acquiring a land portfolio for the construction of 4,500 homes over three years. Last March, the company said it already owned land worth €200 million, with capacity for the construction of 3,000 homes, and that it planned to invest another €100 million acquiring more plots.

Since it started operations in 2014, the company has closed several operations both with Sareb, as well as with financial institutions and has participated in the acquisition of non-performing loans backed by residential assets of interest.

Meanwhile, King Street is an international investment giant, which, in Spain, has been behind important debt operations, such as the one linked to Realia and the deal involving the radial highways. Currently, it is a shareholder of Neinor, in which it owns a 3.5% stake.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde & C. Hernanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Allegra & ACR Invest €130M To Construct 600+ Homes

27 September 2017 – Expansión

The construction and real estate group ACR and its partner Allegra Holding, the investment arm of the Losantos family (former owners of Riofisa) have expanded their alliance in the Spanish real estate sector, with three new operations.

The partners have recently acquired three new plots of land, one in Madrid and the other two in Pamplona, with a combined surface area of 45,000 m2. In the case of the first, the plot of land is located in Vallecas, measuring 10,000 m2, where they plan to build 100 private homes, with an estimated investment of around €19 million.

In the case of Pamplona, it represents the first operation outside of the Community of Madrid. Specifically, ACR and Allegra have acquired two plots of land in the El Ensanche area, where they plan to construct between 120 and 140 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom homes.

These latest operations follow others undertaken just a few months ago, when the joint venture between ACR and the firm led by Mario Losantos invested more than €29 million in land, also in Madrid, specifically, in the El Cañaveral district.

In total, both companies have invested €130 million to build more than 600 homes, under the brand Nature. “It is a successful alliance that is continuing to make progress and it demonstrates the strong performance of both companies in the market, which is allowing us to continue evaluating new investment alternatives in Madrid, but also in other locations such as Barcelona, Málaga and Levante”, explains David Botín, Director General of Real Estate Development at ACR Grupo.

After years focusing on international real estate markets such as London and New York, the family office led by Mario Losantos returned to Spain three years ago, to invest in plots of land for residential use and to build homes on them. In its first operation, in February 2014, and in partnership with ACR Grupo, they invested around €19 million in the construction of 96 homes on a plot in the north of Madrid. A year later, they started work on 42 exclusive homes in the Puerta de Hierro area.

Beyond the residential segment, Allegra has also invested in office buildings, logistics platforms, as well as commercial premises in Castellana.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ACR Collaborates In Residential Projects With Mario Losantos

14 May 2015 – Expansión

With a history spanning more than four decades, the Navarran company ACR doubled its turnover last year through the sale of high-end housing at reduced prices. The key to ACR’s (business) model is the purchase of land, namely foreclosed plots from banks, Sareb or public administrations, at affordable prices. “We look for a lot of land and we design the appropriate product. House prices have a limit at the moment, which varies by area and development, and therefore, the price we pay for land also has a limit”, explains Francisco Santiago, CEO of ACR.

The Navarran company is currently promoting 700 homes across developments in Madrid, Barcelona, País Vasco and Navarra.

They include two projects known as “Nature”, which ACR is undertaking together with Allegra Hólding, a company founded by Mario Losantos, following the sale of Colonial. “We have a very strong and frank collaboration with our partner. We are enjoying a lot of success with our developments in Plaza Castilla and Puerta de Hierro (both in Madrid) and there will soon be a third “Nature” development”, says Francisco Santiago.

ACR generated turnover of €91 million in 2014, compared with €77 million in the previous year. “We expect to increase (turnover) by 40% this year but that will depend on the delivery rate of our (housing) developments”, he says. “The first homes that we will hand over will be 176 apartments in Bilbao, during the final quarter. We also want to launch other new developments in 2016, whereby taking advantage of the opportunities that exist in the market”, says the CEO.

In order to achieve this objective, ACR will have to face the wrath that exists between large funds and managing agents for central plots of land in Madrid, which has resulted in an increase in land prices in many cases. “When there is fierce competition for a plot of land, we do not participate”.

In addition to its (property) promotion business, ACR is also active in the areas of construction and refurbishment. “The construction business accounts for 65% of our global turnover, including our projects in France and Colombia, and refurbishments represent 15%, but that is a sector that is growing significantly”.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake