Montebalito & Altosa Team Up to Build a Residential Complex in Madrid

1 August 2018 – El Mundo

The real estate firm Montebalito has joined forces with the property developer Altosa to undertake a residential project in Madrid whose investment is estimated to amount to €8.8 million. The project comprises 40 homes in total spread over a plot with a constructed surface area of more than 3,000 m2.

The purchase price of the land amounted to €4 million, which has been shared equally between the two companies, according to a statement filed by the real estate company with Spain’s National Securities and Markets Commission (CNMV).

Specifically, €2 million was paid at the time the purchase was signed and the remaining €2 million will be handed over in a maximum period of one year. Montebalito, which has acquired the plot using its own funds, expects to start work on the preparation of the site in October. The construction work is expected to take 18 months once the respective building permits have been obtained.

Original story: El Mundo 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Haya Reorganises Its Company Structure & Creates Haya Servicing

19 February 2018 – Eje Prime

Haya is reorganising its company structure. The real estate company, owned by the private equity fund Cerberus, has created a limited company, Haya Real Estate Servicing. This constitution forms part of the bond issue operation that the company carried out at the end of last year.

According to the Official Gazette of the Mercantile Registry, the corporate purpose of the new entity involves activities relating to the purchase, administration and sale of all kinds of real estate assets and securities.

Its share capital amounts to €60,000 and its headquarters are located on Calle Vía de los Poblados, the same registered address as the limited company Haya Real Estate, the group’s parent company. The sole administrator is Carlos Abad, the CEO of the real estate group and its legal representatives are Bárbara Zubíria Furest, the company’s Finance Director, and Ana Suárez Garnelo, Senior Legal Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Directors.

The move forms part of the bond issue that the group undertook in November last year. Then, the company debuted on the debt market by placing €475 million in guaranteed senior bonds.

For the debt issue, the group constituted a new limited company, Haya Finance, created solely to carry out that operation. Nevertheless, in the document sent to the Luxembourg stock exchange, where Haya asked for the bonds to be traded, the group revealed its intention to create a new limited company, arguing that this formula presented fewer restrictions.

“As at the date of issue, Haya is organised as a limited liability company”, said the group in the document. “In accordance with Spanish legislation, the capacity of a limited liability company to guarantee debt in the capital markets has not been tested in the Spanish courts” it continued. In this sense, Haya underlined that a limited liability company may only issue bonds worth up to twice its own resources, at most, unless the issue is guaranteed by a mortgage or joint guarantee from a credit institution, amongst others.

Nevertheless, the company also expressed that “the applicable Spanish statute does not expressly include any restrictions over the maximum amount that can be guaranteed by a limited liability company, and there is debate between the experts as to whether the aforementioned limited limitations should also apply to the guarantee interests provided by a limited liability company to guarantee debt on the capital market”.

Finally, Haya concluded that “in accordance with the trust agreement”, the principle guarantor “shall undertake to convert itself into a limited company that is not subject to the aforementioned restrictions”.

Last week, Cerberus engaged Rothschild to handle the IPO of Haya, currently worth €1.2 billion. The real estate company led by Carlos Abad currently manages a portfolio of assets worth almost €40 billion.

Founded in 2013, after Cerberus acquired the assets of Bankia Habitat, Haya has expanded its reach with the management of additional portfolios on behalf of other financial institutions such as Sareb, BBVA, Liberbank and Cajamar. During the 9 months to September, the servicer obtained revenues of €165.8 million and generated EBITDA of €89.8 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Basque Construction Firm Ondobide Buys 3.8% of Quabit for €8M

9 January 2018 – Eje Prime

The Basque construction firm Ondobide is taking positions in the Spanish property development sector. The company has acquired 3.82% of Quabit’s share capital for €8 million, by exchanging the shares for plots of land in its construction company Rayet, according to a statement made by the group to the National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The Basque firm has whereby become the third largest shareholder of the company, after its President, Félix Abánades, and the fund manager Francisco García Paramés, who also acquired 4.93% of the firm in the same capital increase. In the case of the President, by virtue of the capital increase, his stake was diluted to 24% from the 28.63% that he had increased his stake to on the occasion on another capital increase.

Ondobide and Paramés have acquired stakes in Quabit’s share capital as part of the most recent capital increase that the real estate company has undertaken. It issued new shares amounting to €29 million for the express purpose of opening up its equity to new shareholders.

The real estate company undertook this increase and admitted these new shareholders after also making way for minority shareholders through a series of non-monetary capital increases approved in November to close half a dozen operations that involved swapping land for shares.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Renta Corporación Buys Residential Building In Barcelona

10 November 2017 – Expansión

The real estate company Renta Corporación has purchased a building measuring 2,500 m2 on Calle Unió, 7 in Barcelona, in the city’s Gothic Quarter. It is going to build 22 new homes on the site with an investment of €12 million.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Martinsa Puts New Batch Of Assets Up For Sale For €57M

4 January 2017 – Expansión

Martinsa Fadesa’s bankruptcy administrators have put a batch of land, homes and work in progress developments up for sale for a combined price of €56.7 million.

The assets put on the market as part of the liquidation of the real estate company are located in: Murcia, Valencia, Fuerteventura, Madrid, Toledo, Huelva, Las Palmas and Málaga, according to official data.

The largest asset, which has been put up for sale for €32 million, corresponds to the Atalaya Dorada plot of land, located in the municipality of La Oliva, just a few kilometres away from the Dunas de Corralejo Natural Park, in the north of the island of Fuerteventura.

The plot may house homes, a golf course, and buildings for hotel and tertiary use.

The current administrators of the company have also put up for a sale another plot of land in the Canary Islands, located in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, for €21.4 million.

The property is located in Barrio de Guanarteme, around 100m from Playa de Las Canteras and next to its future extension.

Meanwhile, the company has put a property near the Guadalhorce reservoir in Antequera (Málaga) up for sale for €2.2 million.

The property, which may be used for recreational and agricultural activity, has a surface area of approximately 334 hectares and borders the Guadalhorce Reservoir and the Torcal de Antequera.

In addition, the bankruptcy administrators of the former real estate company have put two homes in Molina De Segura (Murcia)up for sale, as well as two homes under construction in La Pobla De Vallbona (Valencia), six bungalow type townhouses in the municipality of La Oliva (Fuerteventura), and a 168m2 home and parking space in Madrid.

A terraced home in Illescas (Toledo) has also been put on the market, along with a terraced house in Ayamonte (Huelva) and three plots of land in La Pobla De Vallbona (Valencia).

Interested investors are invited to submit their offers by 20 January.

On 11 March 2011, an agreement was approved for Martinsa to pay €7,200 million of debt over a 10-year period without any discounts. Nevertheless, the company’s breaches and lack of liquidity forced it to file for liquidation in 2015.

Martinsa Fadesa’s bankruptcy administration team comprises Antonia Magdaleno, Ángel Martín Torres, as representative of KPMG Auditores –appointed by the CNMV-, and Antonio Moreno Rodríguez, as representative of the creditor Bankinter.

The liquidation of Martinsa Fadesa may be completed in 2017 and once the creditors have been returned the “present value” of the assets that they financed, according to sources close to the process.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Banco Popular’s Complex RE Clean Up Continues

24 November 2016 – Expansión

Popular was the most profitable bank in Spain’s financial sector until it decided that it did not want to get left behind in the real estate development business. The problem is that it joined the party too late, when the real estate bubble had already begun to burst (….). The result is that, several years after the outbreak of the crisis…Popular is the bank with the highest proportion of toxic real estate assets on its balance sheet. It also has one of the lowest levels of coverage. The bank’s total real estate exposure amounted to €25,376 million in September, with a coverage ratio of 35%.

In this context, the essential axis of Popular’s clean up plan, designed by the heads of the bank and approved by the supervisory bodies, placed the emphasis on the €2,500 million capital increase that was carried out in June (to reduce the bank’s installed capacity by closing branches and reducing the staff), and, above all, on increasing the coverage for toxic assets to bring the entity in line with the rest of the sector, in such a way that it would make it easier for it to divest these assets.

That is what the entity is looking to carry out with its project to create a separate real estate company using some of its assets. Ownership of those assets will transfer from the bank directly into the hands of the financial institution’s shareholders.

But now, data provided by Popular, when it presented its results for the third quarter, has revealed that the net debt of the real estate and associated businesses amounted to €15,518 million in September and that the provisions amounted to €9,858 million. The total exposure therefore amounted to €25,376 million and the coverage afforded by those provisions stood at around 35%. The rest of the financial sector has provisions to cover up to 50% of their respective exposures.

The bank’s plan is to reduce its non-profitable assets by 45% by 2018 and for the coverage of its toxic assets to increase to 50%. In fact, sources at the bank say that the latter was fulfilled at the end of October (…).

The constitution of these new provisions should facilitate both retail sales, as well as the sale of portfolios of toxic real estate assets, because the entity will be able to sell at more competitive prices in the market without incurring fresh losses in its income statement. The new provisions should also allow the headline figures to be outlined for the real estate company that is pending approval by the financial supervisors and the CNMV. Undoubtedly, when authorisation is granted and the bank ceases to be the owner of real estate assets amounting to €6,000 million (book value), it will represent a huge relief for the bank’s future quarterly results.

However, the question is whether that will be sufficient, or not, for investors to consider that Popular is undertaking the clean up process at the right pace and will ever return to profitability.

Whilst decreasing the volume of toxic assets by €6,000 million involves significant effort, even once that hard work has been completed, the entity will still have a high volume of problem assets on its balance sheet, between €19,000 million and €20,000 million, according to its own accounts. The bank will have two years to reduce its exposure to the real estate and associated sectors by €5,400 million if it is to achieve the established objective of reducing this caption of its balance sheet by 45% with respect to its current level.

Original story: Expansión (by Salvador Arancibia)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deutsche Will Partially Finance Popular’s New RE Firm

21 November 2016 – Expansión

Popular has taken a new step in the constitution of its real estate company, a key project in its attempt to try to recover investors’ lost confidence, which it hopes to have ready by the first quarter of next year. According to financial sources, Deutsche Bank has reached a preliminary agreement to finance this company.

In total, up to six banks and funds have expressed interest, which does not mean that they will all end up participating. However, according to sources close to the process, “these players are being offered provisional agreements to invest between €200 million and €500 million”. The same sources state that they have also held talks with the giants Apollo and Cerberus, who declined to comment about the process.

Popular wants to transfer assets with a gross value of €6,000 million, primarily finished homes, to the new entity. Specifically, for this reason, executives at the entity feel uncomfortable that the project is being referred to as the bad bank in financial circles because it will also incorporate high quality assets.

On the liability side, the company will initially have share capital contributed by the bank, which will then be distributed amongst all of its shareholders in the same proportion as their existing shareholdings. In addition, the company will issue subordinated debt, which Popular will subscribe to, as well as senior debt.

It is expected that the banks and funds that want to participate in the financing will do so through this latter (senior debt) tranche.

According to a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch last Thursday, in which the firm reduced the target price from €1.30 to €0.75, the company’s liabilities will be constituted as follows: the share capital will amount to €975 million, whilst the senior debt will amount to €2,200 million and the subordinated debt will amount to €1,400 million. The US bank’s analysts predict that the players who finance the senior debt tranche will request an IRR of 10%.

Deutsche Bank, which together with EY, is acting as financial adviser to the project, as well as Apollo and Cerberus, have been active in the Spanish real estate market in recent years. The former acquired two portfolios from Bankia, between the end of 2015 and this summer, comprising loans, both real estate and property developer related, worth almost €1,000 million. Meanwhile, Apollo has acquired several portfolios (it recently bought a hotel portfolio from CaixaBank) and controls the former platform (servicer) of Santander, Altamira. And Cerberus, which hired the former CEO of BBVA, Manuel González Cid in 2014, owns the real estate arm of Bankia, now Haya Real Estate, and the Cajamar platform.

Assets on the balance sheet

Popular has damaged assets on its balance worth €33,000 million before provisions, which amount to another €15,000 million. According to Bank of America, this high volume (of assets and provisions) eliminates many potential interested parties from a merger. Besides constituting this company, Popular also wants to accelerate the sale of these assets through both its wholesale and retail channels.

The bank earned €94.3 million during the first nine months of 2016, 66.1% less than during the same period in 2015. Nevertheless, its banking activity (when separated out from its real estate business) generated profits of €817 million.

Original story: Expansión (by D. Badía)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Zaragoza’s New TorreVillage Outlet Will Create 1,000 Jobs

25 October 2016 – Expansión

The new TorreVillage outlet, which is being driven by the owners of Pikolin, will create 1,000 jobs over six years

TorreVillage, the outdoor shopping outlet that is due to be built in Zaragoza, has finally been given the green light after a year and a half of debate. The concerns of Zaragoza en Común (ZEC), the political party that now leads the Town Hall in the Aragonese capital, have been set at bay by an alternative proposal, which has been backed by votes from the opposition parties: PP, PSOE and Ciudadanos.

The project involves an investment of €60 million and the property developers expect to create more than 1,000 direct jobs during the first six years of activity. The initiative is being drive by Iberebro, the real estate company owned by the Solans family, which also owns Pikolin. The outlet will be constructed on a site that has, until now, housed the central headquarters of that company, which is moving to the Zaragoza Logistics Platform (Plaza).

The shopping outlet will comprise a fashion village, an international centre for business innovation, a restaurant and concert area, an area for large format retail stores and 2,000 free parking spaces. It will house approximately 90 stores from leading brands, offering discounts of between 30% and 70% and its goal is to complete with the villages already in operation in Madrid, Barcelona and Toulouse.

The goal is to attract visitors from Aragón, País Vasco, La Rioja, Navarra, Soria, Lérida and the south of France, as well as to capture some of the traffic travelling to the Pyrenees from Madrid and the Community of Valencia. In this way, it seeks to benefit from the geostrategic location of Zaragoza, by adopting a similar philosophy to the one followed by the developers of the Puerto Venecia shopping centre, also located in the Aragonese capital, which opened in 2012 and which is one of the largest shopping centres in Europe.

Original story: Expansión (by Marcos Español)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Colonial Acquires 15% Of Socimi Axiare For €136M

19 October 2016 – Expansión

Colonial is continuing with its investment policy. After spending €446 million on various purchases so far in 2016, it announced a new operation on Monday, this time with a financial component. The real estate company, chaired by Juan José Brugera (pictured above), has completed the acquisition of 15.1% of the share capital of the Socimi Axiare Patrimonio.

The operation has been closed at a price of €12.50 per share, above Axiare’s latest share price of €11.18 at the end of trading on Friday. Yesterday, the share price of the real estate company soared by more than 7% to close at €6.34 per share.

In total, Colonial has invested €135.58 million to acquire this 15.09% stake, which was previously held by the fund manager Perry Partners. That firm, which acquired its stake in Axiare in July 2014 when the Socimi debuted on the stock market, was the largest shareholder until now, with 19.9% of the share capital. Perry’s decision to sell forms part of its strategy to close its fund and has allowed it to generate juicy profits, given that it acquired its stake for €10/share.

Sources close to Axiare described the purchase as “very positive” and said that it reflects “confidence in the future of the company” given that the purchase price was higher than the average trading price.


As a result of this operation, Colonial has become the largest shareholder of a real estate company that has a very similar portfolio of assets to its own and at a time when the supply of prime offices in the market is scarce.

As at 30 June 2016, Axiare held assets worth €1,049 million, of which 68% related to offices, 19% to logistics assets and 13% to properties for commercial use. At a presentation to investors and analysts, Colonial explained the details of the operation, which it described as an “attractive option in the market” to acquire shares in a company “that specialises in offices” and whose asset value is mainly concentrated in Madrid and Barcelona (85%). (…).

During the first half of 2016, Axiare generated profits of €83.8 million, up by 168% compared to 2015, after it increased revenues by 27.6%.

During the same period, Colonial generated revenues of €137 million and profits of €230 million. Its portfolio was worth €7,556 million as at 30 June 2016.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Quabit Invests €14M In Housing Development In Guadalajara

7 September 2016 – Valencia Plaza

Quabit Inmobiliaria has launched a new housing development in Guadalajara, where it will construct 116 social housing flats, involving an investment of €14 million, according to the company.

The company led by Félix Abánades is launching the construction of this new residential project, which will be partly financed by CaixaBank, having already sold 70% of the homes.

With this complex in Guadalajara, Quabit has now launched five residential developments since last year, as it resumes its house development operations as part of its new strategic plan to return to growth after overcoming several years of clean ups.

The new ‘Aguas Vivas’ development in Guadalajara, located five minutes from the city, according to the company, will involve the construction of 116 social housing properties (VPO). The homes will have between two and four bedrooms and will be surrounded by green spaces, a swimming pool and a childrens’ playground. The homes are expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2018.

This residential project comes after Quabit’s launch of four others under the framework of its new strategy, which has seen it also purchase land in Boadilla del Monte (Madrid) and Guadalajara.

The other four developments where the real estate company is current constructing are: a complex of luxury family homes in Boadilla del Monte; another complex, of terraced houses, in Guadalajara; a housing project in Sant Feliú de Llobregat (Barcelona) and a complex on the ‘Casares Green’ golf course in Estepona (Málaga).

According to its strategic plan for 2020, Quabit plans to complete the construction of more than 3,000 new homes before the end of the decade, and expects to generate turnover of €950 million.

Original story: Valencia Plaza

Translation: Carmel Drake