Intu Properties in Talks to Sell Two Shopping Centres to ECE and Generali

21 September 2019 – The British company Intu Properties is in the final stages of negotiations to sell two shopping centres, Intu Principado and Puerto Venecia, for more than 400 million euros. The firm, which is in talks with ECE and Generali, put the assets up for sale at the beginning of the year to drive down its debt.

Intu Properties owns the two Spanish shopping centres, Puerto Venecia, in Zaragoza, and Intu Asturias, outside of Oviedo, together with the Canadian pension fund, CPPIB.

The British group is also seeking a buyer for its stake in Intu Xanadú, located in the outskirts of Madrid, in the town of Arroyomolinos.

Original Story: Expansión – Rocío Ruiz

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Generali’s Axis Retail Partners Seeks to Acquire Two of Intu’s Shopping Centres in Spain

29 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Last March, Generali Real Estate, the real estate arm of the Italian insurer, announced the launch of Axis Retail Partners, a new subsidiary specialising in shopping centres. Axis received a 500-million euro infusion from the insurer.

This week, Axis is closing in on a potential acquisition of two of the most important assets currently on sale in Europe: the Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and Intu Asturias (Oviedo), two giant Spanish shopping centres listed for sale by the UK’s Intu Properties.

In a process led by UBS and CBRE, Germany’s ECE and Axis Retail Partners have appeared as two of the likeliest buyers, with Axis out front. Intu values its 50% stakes in Puerto Venecia and Asturias at around €425 million. Canada’s CPPIB, which shares ownership, declined to exercise its option to purchase the assets.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Ruth Ugalde

British Real Estate Firms May be Forced to Sell their Shopping Centres in Spain

16 June 2019 – Expansión

Two of the largest British real estate companies with interests in Spain are considering selling off some or all of their assets on the Iberian peninsula in light of the challenging climate in the retail sector at home.

The bankruptcy and restructuring of several high-street stores – including the department store group Debenhams and the owner of Top Shop, Arcadia – are leaving many premises in the UK empty. As such, questions are being asked about the debt on the balance sheets of the landlords of those properties, causing a rethink in their overseas strategies.

In this context, Intu Properties and Hammerson have both launched asset sales plans in an attempt to raise GBP 600 million and €500 million, respectively. In Spain, Intu owns 50% of Xanadú (Madrid), Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and Parque Principado (Asturias), and is also building a new complex in Málaga. It would likely sell its stakes to its existing partners – TH Real Estate in the case of Xanadú and CPPIB in the case of Puerto Venecia and Parque Principado – although it is also holding conversations with third parties in order to maximise the price of any potential sales.

Meanwhile, Hammerson, which specialises in outlet stores, is considering selling some of its shares in the Las Rozas Village (Madrid) and La Roca Village (Barcelona). It owns direct stakes in both of those complexes, as well as a 25% in Value Retail, a company that holds stakes in 9 outlets across Europe, including Las Rozas and La Roca. In total, Hammerson owns 41% of La Roca and 38% of Las Rozas.

Nevertheless, in parallel, Hammerson is looking to increase its stake in Vía Outlets from 47% to 50%. Vía Outlets is another outlet group, worth GBP 400 million, which owns 11 centres across Europe with 2 in Spain, specifically, in Mallorca and Sevilla.

Original story: Expansión (by Roberto Casado)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

CPPIB Wants to Acquire 100% of Puerto Venecia & Parque Principado

19 March 2019 – Expansión

Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has emerged as the favourite to acquire the stakes owned by Intu Properties in the Spanish shopping centres Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and Parque Principado (Asturias) after the British group announced its plans to sell up in the country.

Intu is contemplating the sale of its 50% stakes in the two complexes, in a deal that could be worth €450 million, with the British group valuing its investments in Puerto Venecia and Parque Principado at €268 million and €161 million, respectively.

CPPIB owns the remaining 50% in both shopping centres and has the right of first refusal if Intu does decide to divest. Preliminary discussions are already underway between the two parties.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, Nuveen could be interested in taking control of the Xanadú shopping centre, which it owns jointly with Intu (50% each).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Casado)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Intu Considers Selling its 4 Shopping Centres in Spain to Pay Off Debt

6 March 2019 – Expansión

The British retail giant, Intu Properties, is considering putting up for sale its real estate assets in Spain in order to pay off some of its debt. The company’s stock market value has plummeted to €2 billion in recent months, and its debt amounts to more than €5 billion, following two unsuccessful takeover bids for the company last year.

The firm has reportedly received expressions of interest for its Spanish portfolio, which is worth €1 billion in total, from several large international investors. The assets in question are Xanadú (Madrid), Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza), Parque Principado (Asturias) and a mega-project currently under construction in Málaga.

No formal sales process has been initiated yet but a number of unsolicited offers have been received. Nevertheless, legal sources state that the firm would have to offer the right of first refusal to its shareholder partners in each case, namely CPPIB in the case of Puerto Venecia and Parque Principado, and Nuveen (previously TH Real Estate) in the case of Xanadú, before opening any sales process to the wider market.

Other potential suitors include Castellana Properties (the firm backed by the South African investor Vukile) and the Slovenian group J&T.

Original story: Expansión (by Roberto Casado & Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Eurofund Finalises the Entry of a Partner into its Project in Lleida & Starts Marketing

25 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Eurofund is taking another step towards making the Torres Salses retail park a reality. The company is finalising the incorporation of a partner into its project in Lleida, which will result in a global investment of between €80 million and €100 million. In parallel, Eurofund has now started to market the retail park.

According to explanations provided by sources in the sector speaking to EjePrime, the group is finalising the signing of an agreement with a capitalist partner to handle the investment that the complex will entail. It is a typical move within Eurofund’s strategy, which typically turns to partners to finance investments whilst the fund manager itself takes care of the management.

In parallel, Eurofund has now started the marketing phase of the retail park in Lleida, which will have a surface area of 56,000 m2. The company has started making contact with operators in the leisure (cinema), restaurant, DIY, furniture, gym and food sectors, typical firms in these types of developments.

The Torres Salses project, whose construction will begin in the autumn (2019), is located between the Magraneres and La Bordeta neighbourhoods of Lleida. The complex will become one of the few commercial and leisure spaces in the area.

Last October, Eurofund received the green light from the plenary of the Town Hall of Lleida to undertake the project. In December, Eurofund Parc Lleida signed an urban management agreement with the Town Hall to execute the widening and lengthening of the Víctor Torres road and the modification of the urban planning order for the Sur 42 sector of Torre Salses.

Subsequently, in the middle of December, Eurofund made effective the purchase from Sareb of 140,000 m2 of land in Torre Salses (Lleida). The purchase, carried out through Eurofund Parc Lleida, was completed after Eurofund successfully navigated Sareb’s processes, in particular, those relating to overseas investments.

Following those processes, Eurofund is now just waiting for the commercial licence to be granted for the retail park.

Grupo Eurofund currently owns retail assets amounting to more than €3.5 billion, including centres that it has constructed, as well as those still under construction. The fund manager was founded in 1994 and its first major development was Parc Vallès, in Terrassa (Barcelona).

The company is the owner of complexes such as Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza, and has an alliance with the British operator Intu to develop new shopping centres in Málaga, Valencia and Vigo. Over the last eighteen months, Eurofund Capital Partners has converted almost €350 million into real estate operations in Spain.

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Real Estate in Sevilla Attracts Funding from Overseas Investors

15 December 2018 – ABC

The city of Sevilla and its metropolitan area are now on the international real estate map and proof of that is that the major overseas funds are putting up a lot of the capital being absorbed by the new commercial, hotel and logistics projects in the city, “whereby taking over from the real estate firms of yesteryear”. That is one of the conclusions of a report compiled by the consultancy firm CBRE, which highlights that the return on investment has been felt most intensely in the shopping centre sector.

“With almost 300,000 m2 of future supply planned, Sevilla is the province in Spain that will grow by almost the most over the next few years in terms of gross leasable area – exceeded only by Madrid”, it said. “This will be a key sector this year and next for the Sevillan real estate market”, said Rosa Madrid, Director of CBRE in Andalucía. The first newsworthy event was the entry into operation of Torre Sevilla, “an open and mixed shopping centre, with a hotel and offices, which we have not seen here before and which is regenerating the area”, she highlighted. The office market “has absorbed without great problems” the 18,000 m2 that Torre Sevilla brought to the market “whereby disproving those who predicted a new crisis in this segment”, she said.

Offices

In the office segment, the highest rents are achieved in the most modern buildings of Nervión (a district in Sevilla), with rents of around €12-13/m2/month. In this area, some exclusive office buildings that were left vacant following the departure of the Junta de Andalucía to Santa Justa were occupied within 18 months. In La Cartuja, office rents are somewhat lower, around €9-11/m2/month, according to the report.

But, “the turning point” in the shopping centre sector is going to be seen Sevilla with Project Lagoh, promoted by the Socimi Lar España in the Palmas Altas area, to the south of the capital, and currently under construction. “Finally, the new era of shopping centres is going to arrive in Sevilla. Until now, we have only had shopping centres from the 1990s and none from the 21st century, like Xanadú in Madrid or Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza”, said Rosa Madrid.

Hotel investment

The hotel market has been also reactivated as demonstrated by the major operations closed in recent years. “In addition to the modern Eurostars Torre Sevilla, since 2015, the flow of properties acquired to transform them into accommodation has been continuous”, she highlighted. The most noteworthy operations include the purchase by the French real estate company Bouygues of the former headquarters of Abengoa, to renovate it and transform it into a 5-star hotel, the purchase of Hotel Macarena and the acquisition of the Generali building in Plaza Nueva by the British fund Shaftesbury.

Logistics market

Demand for logistics warehouses has also been increasing, at the same time as the major e-commerce operators have increased their logistics network in the south of the peninsula, such as the case of Amazon and Inditex, which have opened platforms in Sevilla. “That sector is here to stay. And operators are not only looking for large spaces far away from the cities measuring between 30,000 m2 and 100,000 m2, they are also looking for small spaces inside the SE30 to serve the last-mile market and demand for immediate distribution”, explained the regional director of CBRE.

Student halls

Investors specialising in alternative sectors, such as student halls of residence, are also placing their focus on Sevilla, a city that is home to 16% of all of Spain’s university students (…).

Original story: ABC (by E. Freire)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Eurofund Gets Green Light for its Retail Macro-Project in Lleida

8 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Eurofund Group has been given the green light for its macro-project in Lleida. Last Friday, the plenary of the Town Hall of Lleida capital approved the commercial development of the Torre Salses project, a retail park complex with a surface area of 56,000 m2. The construction work is expected to begin in the autumn of 2019, according to comments from sources close to the operation speaking to Eje Prime.

The plots on which Torres Salses is going to be built are located between the Magraners and La Bordeta neighbourhoods and “will involve their integration with the city centre”, explained the spokeswoman for the municipal government, Montse Mínguez, recently.

After passing the Town Hall’s filter, Eurofund is now only awaiting the commercial licence to be able to start work on the development of the land. On 21 September, the Informative Committee for Management and Development Policies in the City and Sustainability for the Town Hall of Lleida reported favourably regarding the urban planning process for Torre Salses. It also endorsed both the execution of the widening and extension of the Víctor Torres road and the modification of the urban development order for SUR 42.

The Town Hall approved those files on the understanding that, amongst other aspects, the construction of the complex would strengthen interest in the area for the development of large areas of amenities in the neighbourhoods of La Bordeta and Magraners. Moreover, Eurofund will bear some of the costs of the work to build the roads to access the future retail park complex.

Similarly, the Town Hall trusts that the commercial macro-project will facilitate the development of residential projects, in particular, those dedicated to social housing units. According to the Town Hall of Lleida, Torre Salses will have an economic impact of €362 million on the city.

Owner of Puerto Venecia and Dolce Vita 

Eurofund currently owns more than €3.5 billion in commercial assets, including developed centres and those under construction. The fund manager was founded in 1994 and its first major development was Parc Vallès in Terrassa (Barcelona).

With the new upward economic cycle, the company led by Ian Sandford (pictured above) reactivated its investment in the commercial real estate market with Puerto Venecia, a mega shopping centre spanning 206,000 m2 inaugurated in Zaragoza in 2012.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Iquierdo & P. Riaño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hermes Acquires 3,345 m2 in Puerto Venecia & Prepares its Third Fund

10 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Hermes Properties is adding a new asset to its portfolio. The investment vehicle, which specialises in commercial projects, has purchased 3,345 m2 of the Puerto Venecia shopping centre, owned by Intu, which it will lease to the hamburger chain Carl’s Jr and to the service station chain Gasexpress.

With this purchase, Hermes has completed a €14 million investment across three operations, in the El Puente shopping centre in Rojales (Alicante); in commercial plots in Isla Azul, in Madrid; and this latest deal in Puerto Venecia, in Zaragoza.

The manager’s purchase in Madrid, of plots spanning a surface area of 4,000 m2, which used to be owned by Sareb, involved the disbursement of €4 million. The operations have been undertaken through Hermes’ second investment vehicle, Hermes II. The manager, owned by Delta Asesores and the consultancy firm InmoKing Real Estate, is now preparing a new program of investments to generate the vehicle Hermes III.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Intu Moves into New HQ in Madrid on Paseo de la Castellana

19 April 2018 – El Economista

The British giant Intu, owner of several shopping centres in Spain, including Xanadú in Madrid and Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza, is continuing to grow in our country with a new headquarters in the capital. The company, which until now had its offices in the Chamberí neighbourhood, has moved to a small palace on Paseo de la Castellana.

With this operation, which has been advised by the real estate consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman, the firm is expanding its office space and positioning itself in a strategic enclave in the city. Specifically, Intu is going to move to number 64 Paseo de la Castellana, into the iconic Palacete Moreno Benítez, which spans 1,350 m2, spread over five floors.

The building, constructed in 1904 by the architect Joaquín Saldaña, was inhabited for many years by the aristocracy of the time and is one of the few small palaces that has managed to survive of the 70 that used to dominate this major Madrilenian thoroughfare.

Its current owner, which will become Intu’s landlord in Madrid by virtue of this contract, is the real estate company Caboel, in which the Carbó, Bonet and Elías families hold stakes, all former owners of the Caprabo distribution group.

Caboel acquired the property in 2015 by making the best offer – €13.5 million – in a public auction organised by the State Company for the Management of Real Estate Assets (Segipsa). Until then, the building had been owned by the General State Administration, which acquired it in 1982.

The company has carried out a project to refurbish the building to subsequently obtain returns by leasing it out.

Caboel owns 30,000 m2 of office space in Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon and Porto, according to information provided on its website. The company’s portfolio comprises 150 assets, diversified across different sectors such as commercial, with retail premises and out-of-town shopping parks, as well as hotels and logistics assets.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake