Merlin Earned €1.1bn in 2017 & Will Pay A Complementary Dividend

28 February 2018 – Expansión

The Socimi in which Santander and BBVA hold stakes doubled its earnings last year to €1.1 billion, compared with €582.6 million the previous year.

The Socimi Merlin Properties closed 2017 with revenues of €484.3 million, up by 34% compared to the previous year. Of that figure, €469.4 million stemmed from gross rental income.

Operating profits grew by 49% to €1.215 billion, whilst recurring EBITDA reached €396.6 million, up by 29% compared to 2016.

At the end of the year, the company owned a portfolio worth €11.254 billion, up by 15% compared to the previous year and 10% larger in terms of comparable surface area. Of that figure, €5.219 billion corresponds to its office portfolio, the value of which grew by 4.1% like for like.

At the end of the year, Merlin had gross financial debt amounting to €5.413 billion, placing its level of indebtedness (LTV) at 43.6%, compared with 45.5% a year ago. The CEO of Merlin, Ismael Clemente, said that he was satisfied with that reduction and assured that his firm would continue working to reduce the liability (…).

For this year, the company has set itself the objective of repositioning its assets, such as the case of Torre Gloriès (Barcelona), whose marketing is forecast to begin during the first half of the year. In the case of new acquisitions, the directors of Merlin indicated that they are going to be “very selective” in their purchases, with the focus placed primarily on Portugal and logistics assets.

Complementary dividend

The real estate investment company has announced an increase in its complementary dividend, payable in May, of 26 cents per share, which will be added to the 20 cents already allocated to the account. In total, shareholder remuneration for this year is going to grow by 15% to reach 46 cents, compared with the 40 cents disbursed in the previous year.

Merlin revealed that for the year ahead, corresponding to the accounts for 2018, it is going to distribute a minimum of €235 million amongst its shareholders, a disbursement that it will pay in full in cash, which will correspond to more than €0.50 per share. This remuneration will be distributed partly as a dividend and partly as a refund of the share premium.

Executive salaries

The real estate company in which Santander and BBVA hold stakes also published the salaries of its main executives. In this way, it was revealed that the CEO, Ismael Clemente, was paid €2.557 million last year, compared to €2.155 million in 2016. Of that figure, €1 million corresponds to his salary, whilst €1.55 million corresponds to his bonus.

Meanwhile, Miguel Ollero, also CEO of Merlin Properties, was paid €2.5 million in 2017, compared to €2.1 million the previous year; meanwhile, the directors Rodrigo Echenique, Francisco Javier García-Carranza and Agustín Vidal did not receive any remuneration whatsoever for their roles on the Socimi’s Board of Directors.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Socimi Vitruvio Signs €19M Loan With Abanca

5 December 2017 – Eje Prime

The Socimi Vitruvio has paid off an outstanding debt with a new loan. The company has subscribed a financing contract amounting to €19 million with Abanca. According to explanations provided by the group, the funds will be used to repay the debt resulting from the merger by absorption of Consulnor.

The debt assumed following the merger with the real estate company Consulnor amounting to €12.7 million will be paid off thanks to this new loan. The Socimi will also proceed to cancel the line of credit granted by Banco Santander amounting to €4.6 million.

The new loan with Abanca has a two-year grace period (until 30 November 2019) and a monthly repayment schedule of 14 consecutive instalments. The interest rate that Vitruvio will pay will be fixed at 1% during the first year, before rising to 1% plus 1-year Euribor from November 2018 onwards. The loan is due to mature in December 2031.

At the end of 2016, Vitruvio and Consulnor Patrimonio Inmobiliario (CPI) signed a merger agreement whereby CPI, a real estate investment vehicle created by Consulnor (the manager in which Banca March holds a 48% stake), transferred its assets to the Socimi in exchange for shares.

After closing the operations involving CPI and Madrid Rio, Vitruvio plans to undertake new investments amounting to more than €30 million this year.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Corum Convictions Sells Retail Outlet In Tarragona For €9.43M

31 May 2016 – Mis Locales

The real estate consultancy BNP Paribas Real Estate has advised Corum Convictions, the real estate investment company owned by Corum Am, regarding the sale of a retail outlet in Tarragona worth €9.43 million.

The asset, located in the Les Gavarres shopping area in Tarragona is leased to Media Markt, the European leader in the sale of domestic appliances and high quality IT equipment.

The property has been acquired by Actipierre Europe, the real estate company owned by Ciloger, which, in turn has been advised by Invesco Real Estate to carry out the transaction. Corum Convictions applies an open and opportunistic strategy to its investments with a high rate of distribution, and to this end, it invests in all types of assets (offices, shops, healthcare, hospitality, business, car parks…) both in France as well as across the Eurozone.

Vincent Dominique, Director of Corum Am, has said that “With this sale, we continue to drive our opportunistic acquisition and arbitrage strategy, which benefits from the effects of economic cycles. In fact, based on what we expected in 2013, the year in which the most recent economic cycle in Spain bottomed out, both in terms of the macroeconomic environment and the real estate investment sector, the decrease in rates has allowed an increase in asset values, which has resulted in high and secure rental income and first-rate tenants”.

Original story: Mis Locales

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander Concludes Transformation Of ‘Banif Properties’ Fund

23 January 2015 – Expansión

Santander has just submitted the prospectus for its new real estate investment company, Luri 6 SII (the entity resulting from the transformation of its ‘Banif Properties’ fund), to the CNMV.

The company announced its intention to convert the fund into a company, at the end of November, and with the publication of this prospectus, which contains the investment policy and company by-laws, this process has now been completed.

The goal of the company is to liquidate the assets that it already holds in its portfolio, estimated to amount to more than €1,500 million.

The entity has closed a number of large transactions in recent months, most notably, the sale of Edificio España to the Chinese group Dalian Wanda for €265 million in June last year. Santander had purchased the landmark building from Metrovacesa in mid-2005.

Sources at the entity say that Santander has no intention of selling this vehicle, which it currently owns outright, and that there are no plans to convert it into a Socimi or list it on any exchange, as various sectors had speculated.

Decline

Banif Properties was the largest fund of its kind, until the financial crisis and the illiquidity of its real estate investments led to its decline.

In 2008, an avalanche of redemptions forced Santander to freeze capital withdrawals from the fund for almost two years, whereby trapping thousands of stakeholders. In 2011, the entity gave them the option of redeeming their stakes, but at a significant loss. Most left the fund. Those investors who did not accept the offer at the time, did so in December and January 2013, when Santander offered to transfer their shares to a newly created monetary fund or redeem them without charging any commission.

Original story: Expansión (by A. Antón)

Translation: Carmel Drake