The Hotel Ritz in Madrid Closes its Doors for a €99M Refurb

27 February 2018 – Invertia

Following the purchase of the Ritz hotel in 2015 for more than USD 148 million (€120.7 million), its current owners, Mandarin Oriental and the Saudi group Olayan, announced that they would subject the property to an extensive renovation to significantly improve its facilities and services.

The investment by Mandarin Oriental, which administers the hotel under a long-term management agreement, quantifies its stake in the renovation at USD 60.5 million (€49 million), which is going to be financed through an appropriate combination of capital and debt.

Whilst the hotel is closed, its staff will participate in training programs and/or will be sent on temporary assignments at other Mandarin Oriental establishments, in preparation for the grand reopening.

Following the remodelling, in which the Spanish architect Rafael de La Hoz is participating, along with the French designers Gilles & Boissier, the hotel will have 106 rooms and 47 suites and Mandarin Oriental will be added to its current name ‘the Ritz’.

The intention of the owners is to improve the facilities and services at the hotel but to conserve its essence, which is defined by the “Belle Epoque” style of the original building.

Sources at the Hotel Ritz have informed Efe that the construction work will involve the remodelling of the dome and the installation of a swimming pool, amongst other aspects.

The same sources have said that the furniture and objects of value at the hotel will be stored in warehouses in Madrid and that a decision will be taken in the future as to whether some of them will be sold directly or through auction.

The hotel, located in the so-called “Golden Art Triangle” of Madrid, has hosted members of royalty, politicians, magnates and celebrities since its inauguration in 1910.

Original story: Invertia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Carmena Approves Real Madrid’s €12.7M Investment in the Bernabéu Area

25 January 2018 – Eje Prime

The Town Hall of Madrid is starting to refloat some of the projects associated with the renovation of the Santiago Bernabéu. Today, the municipal government has approved plans to integrate the stadium into its urban environment, an action that affects a surface area of more than 54,000 m2. The corresponding investment amounts to around €12.7 million and will be borne in its entirety by Real Madrid.

The Executive of Manuela Carmena, which imposed these actions as a condition for the approval of the renovation, says that “this will double the public space available for local residents”. The project includes the elimination of architectural barriers and the introduction of access routes for all kinds of people, as well as improvements that give priority to residents when it comes to parking and which encourage sustainable mobility.

To this end, the club will have to place all of its logistics activity underground. According to Palco23, it will build a large city under the stadium where all of these activities will be concentrated. All of the actions follow the criteria established by the Special Plan for improving the urban environment and the detailed plans for the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, which the plenary approved in May 2017. The scope of intervention basically extends from the boundary of the stadium’s plot, which has not been modified, to the official border of the neighbouring buildings. “The intervention has been expanded to some bordering areas to provide maximum homogeneity and functionality to the remodelling operation that is being promoted”, said the Town Hall. Although no timeline has been established, it has been confirmed that the building work on the outside will be coordinated with those happening inside the Bernabéu itself.

A square measuring more than 10,000 m2 will be created on the façade overlooking Paseo de la Castellana, benefitting from the removal of the bus parking lot that currently occupies that site. In its place, gardens and new lighting will be installed. On the other side of the stadium, overlooking Calle Rafael Salgado, a space will be opened with “co-existence traffic and flexible parking platforms”.

Calle Padre Damián and Plaza de Sagrados Corazones, which co-exist alongside the grandstands, will gain space thanks to the demolition of the Esquina del Bernabéu shopping centre, to create a new square. Moreover, the north and south pavements of Calle Concha Espina will be widened, making the whole area more pleasant for residents and pedestrians.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

El Corte Inglés Should Receive Approval for Madrid Mega-Centre in March

23 December 2017 – Expansión

Three years have passed since El Corte Inglés acquired the most sought-after plot of land in Madrid, a space measuring 13,000 m2, located on Paseo de la Castellana. The group paid €136 million to be awarded the land, previously owned by Adif, in a deal that involved an initial payment of €68 million, followed by the disbursement of the remaining amount three years later. And that is also how long it has taken for El Corte Inglés to process the paperwork to allow it to expand the jewel in its crown, its Castellana shopping centre. According to sources familiar with the process, in January, the Town Hall of Madrid will submit its approval of the definitive plan to the central Spanish Government (…). According to the same sources, if all goes according to plan, El Corte Inglés will receive the green light to expand its Castellana megacentre in March, or, in any case, before the summer.

A complex project

The wait of more than three years to unblock the project has been due to a mix of complexity and bad luck. The urban planning proposal for the land established a total buildable surface area of 35,192 m2, of which 10,176 m2 corresponded to three above-ground storeys for tertiary use and 25,000 m2 to four underground basement floors for parking.

This proposal was very complex given the location of the land, located as it is, right on top of the Nuevos Ministerios Metro and Renfe stations (…).

Once it has been given the green light, it is likely that El Corte Inglés, which declined to comment, will not take long to start the building work to expand its Castellana centre. Its flagship store in the Spanish capital spans a surface area of more than 170,000 m2, with 70,000 m2 of retail space spread over seven floors and 1,600 underground parking spaces. More than 3,000 people work there.

According to sources in the sector, El Corte Inglés will also take the opportunity (of the construction of the new building) to reorganise the retail space that it owns in Nuevos Ministerios, and which includes its stores located between number 83 and 85 Paseo de la Castellana, which it sold to the real estate firm Monthisa in September 2016 through a sale and leaseback agreement (…).

Premium fashion and gastronomy

The marketing and design of the new retail space that El Corte Inglés is preparing to build on the land acquired from Adif is being carried out with the utmost secrecy by the retailer, which has refused to hire real estate agents like normally happens in these types of projects (…).

The most likely course of action is that it will create a premium space to house luxury brands and the highest-level gastronomy – although that is not the only possibility that the retail chain is currently contemplating -. That would strengthen one of the main objectives of its star centre: to attract tourist shoppers in the capital (…).

Original story: Expansión (by V. Osorio and R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Zambal Buys 2 More Office Buildings in Madrid for €38M

20 December 2017 – Eje Prime

Zambal is fattening up its portfolio with more new assets. The company, which is managed externally by IBA Capital Partner, an independent private equity firm specialising in real estate investments, has added two more office buildings to its portfolio, according to sources at the group. The investment on the acquisition of the two properties by the Socimi has amounted to €38 million.

The Socimi has completed the acquisition of two buildings, located at number 25 Calle Albarracín, in the Julián Camarillo area, which form part of a large office complex, with a total leasable area of 13,283 m2 and 166 parking spaces.

The complex is leased in its entirety to the French multi-national Atos, specialising in digital transformation and which is listed on the Paris stock market. “A single long-term lease contract has been formalised with the current tenant with a compulsory occupancy period of 12 years”, explain sources at the group.

The acquisition price amounts to approximately €38 million, of which €28 million has been paid at the time of the purchase and the remaining €10 million will be paid within the next six months. The sale will be undertaken in its entirety using own funds and financing from the firm’s main shareholder. In addition, Zambal will remodel the building to bring it in line with market standards

The Socimi has formalised a loan with Altaya, its largest shareholder, amounting to €40 million (comprising two tranches, one for €25 million for the payment in December, and another for €15 million, for the delayed payment), with the aim of partially financing the acquisition of the properties, formalised by public deed today.

With these purchases, the Socimi has further increased its asset portfolio, which is now worth more than €730 million. These two office buildings represent the second set of assets that Zambal has acquired in 2017. As Eje Prime revealed, at the end of last month, the company purchased two more office buildings in Madrid for €70 million (…).

Zambal started to acquire assets in June 2013, when it bought a retail property located at number 23 Plaza Catalunya, in Barcelona, which is leased by El Corte Inglés and which has a gross leasable area of 7,400 m2.

Also in 2013, Zambal added more assets to its portfolio: it purchased an office building located at number 25 Avenida San Luis in Madrid and another property located at number 25 Calle Serrano Galvache. In the following years, the Socimi added a building on Paseo de los Olmos in Madrid and another office block on Avenida de Manoteras. In December 2015, Zambal made its debut on the MAB with a market capitalisation of almost €600 million, making it the tenth Socimi to list on the market.

In addition, in recent years, Zambal has undertaken the divestment of assets that it has not considered strategic for its activity. They include the building at number 9 Calle Preciados, which it purchased in October 2013 and which it sold in February 2016, as well as the retail property located at number 61 Calle Serrano, which it also sold in February last year.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja & J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Completes Construction of Torre Sevilla Shopping Centre

18 December 2017 – Eje Prime

The complex, which has been designed by the architecture studio Broadway Maylan, comprises two large buildings, which have a combined gross leasable area of 26,700 m2.

CaixaBank is ending the year by finishing its projects. The company has completed construction of the Torre Sevilla shopping centre after investing €20 million, according to a statement issued by the group. The termination of this work, in which 800 professionals have participated, makes way for the final phase of the project, ahead of the imminent handover of the shops to the various retailers.

The company is now starting the work required to prepare the access routes from the street to establish the entry points. The remodelling work has included efforts to adapt the structure, air conditioning architecture and installations, electricity, lighting and mechanics, as well as, the regulation of all of the access points to the centre from the street and the parking lot.

They have also included the creation of new outdoor common areas for the movement of people; the installation of four escalator hubs that connect the different floors; and the placement of open-air walkways to connect the two buildings and to encourage the free movement of people between the retail spaces on both sides.

The complex has been designed by the architecture studio Broadway Maylan and comprises two large buildings, with a gross leasable area of 26,700 m2 and a constructed surface area of 43,000 m2. One of the buildings has three floors and the other has four floors. In total, there is initially space for eighty shops.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Ruggieri Family Acquires a Hotel in Mallorca for €70M

5 December 2017 – Eje Prime

The Ruggieri family is continuing to back Spain. A month after announcing the stock market debut of its Socimi Elaia Investment Spain (EIS), which has been trading on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) since 2 November, the French family has acquired a hotel in Mallorca for €70 million. The operation has been carried out through Lagune, an investment vehicle specialising in tourist and healthcare real estate assets, which is owned by the clan’s holding company, Grupo Batipart.

The hotel, located in the Mallorcan area of Cala Romántica, has 267 rooms and will be operated by the chain Iberostar. The intention of Lagune is to completely remodel the establishment to increase its category rating and turn it into a four-star property.

The establishment is the first that the investment vehicle has acquired in the hotel sector in Spain, although it already owns 16 healthcare residencies in the country. It purchased those properties at the beginning of this year and entrusts their management to the nursing home firm DomusVi.

Currently, the Ruggieri family controls other assets in Spain, through EIS (in which it holds a 66% stake) in Madrid, Barcelona, the Costa del Sol, Mallorca and the Costa Brava. In Europe, the family office owns a real estate portfolio worth around €1 billion, located in France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Matutes Family Buys Real Cinema In Madrid For €17M

2 October 2017 – Eje Prime

Madrid is still active in terms of real estate transactions. The former Real Cinema, located opposite the Teatro Real de Madrid, is going to pass into the hands of Marc Rahola Matutes, nephew of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abel Matutes, and cousin of Abel Matutes Prats, for €17 million.

The building, which has a constructed surface area of 2,300 m2, will undergo a remodelling, which could see Matutes’ total investment rise to €24 million, according to El Confidencial.

According to sources in the real estate sector, the company that owns the property, Selbridge SL, purchased it in 2003 and has constituted a purchase option over the entire domain of the property in favour of White Land, a company administered by Rahola Matutes. The building occupies a plot of land measuring 900 m2 and houses a performance hall.

Marc Rahola Matutes launched his career at the Palladium Group. In addition, the director manages the investments of the fund Ocean Group Capital, which he created after leaving his role at Matutes’ company, and through which he has bet heavily on the hotel sector.

The fund started out by acquiring the iconic OD Ocean Drive, located in the Marina Botafoch area. Then, it bought three luxury hotels in the Balearic Islands: OD Port Portals, in Mallorca; OD Talamanca (formerly Hotel Victoria) and OD Can Jaume, a holiday farm property, both in Ibiza.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Wanda Confirms Sale Of Edificio España To Baraka For €272M

26 July 2016 – Cinco Días

The Wanda Group has confirmed that it has reached an agreement with the Murcian group Baraka (the investor group owned by Trinitario Casanova) to sell Edificio España for €272 million, but it has made it clear that the deal has not been formalised yet, according to a statement presented to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The price represents €7 million more than the €265 million that Wanda spent when it acquired the property in 2014.

In its statement, Wanda echoed the information circulating in the press that the Group owned by Wang Jianlin has reached an agreement with Baraka to sell Edificio España and it detailed the terms of the sales agreement reached with the Spanish group.

The company owned by Wang Jianlin stated that on 12 July, Wanda European Real Estate Investment and Baraka Global Invest signed a “memorandum of understanding” relating to the negotiation and possible sale “of all of the issued shares, amounting to €272 million.

Under the framework of this memorandum, continued Wanda, Baraka has paid €1 million as a deposit to the Chinese group, which grants the buyer exclusive rights to proceed with the sale until 15 October 2016. Next, it added that the sale is still “under discussion and consultation and is subject to a final agreement between the parties”.

For this reason, it warned that “investors should pay attention to the possible sale, which may or may not go ahead”.

Abandoned plans

The Chinese group put Edificio España up for sale after giving up on its plans for the property, citing technical difficulties. Wanda had wanted to remodel the building to construct a hotel, shopping centre and luxury homes.

The main obstacle was that the Town Hall required the Wanda Group to maintain the façades of the original building.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake

ABC Serrano Completes 2 Year Refurbishment

21 July 2016 – Expansión

After almost two years under refurbishment, the ABC Serrano shopping centre in Madrid, the former headquarters of the ABC newspaper and a property with more than one hundred years under its belt, is ready to secure new brands, attract younger customers and compete with the fashion houses and restaurants along Madrid’s golden mile.

The shopping centre, which has a retail surface area of 14,000 sqm and 255 underground parking spaces, spread over four floors, is accessible from both Paseo de la Castellana and Calle Serrano.

The co-Presidents of IBA Capital Partners, Thierry Julienne and Jesús Valderrama, explained in an interview with Expansión that, since the architect Mariano Bayón was commissioned in the 1990s to completely renovate the building and convert it into a shopping centre, ABC Serrano has not undergone any remodelling. “We have brought a sleeping beauty to life. It is another step in the regeneration of the city centre”, said Julienne.

The construction work, which began in Q4 2014 and which will be completed in September, had a budget of €15 million and has been complex. Firstly, because the building is a listed property for the purposes of cultural interest and, also, because the remodelling process has been undertaken in the presence of tenants and shoppers. “We have maintained an open dialogue with the Town Hall, which has guided us a lot”, explained Julienne.

The construction work at ABC Serrano, which has been owned by CBRE Global Investment Partners since February 2016 and in which IBA Capital participates as a shareholder and the manager of the asset, has focused on improving access between the floors and redistributing the retail space.

In this way, the flights of stairs have now been unified into a single core. In addition, the dome of the building, which was previously covered over, has been turned into a huge skylight allowing natural light to enter the building.

The construction work, which has been led by the architecture studio L35, will allow the shopping centre to secure new brands, attract customers on the weekend and improve the profitability of the asset. “We reject offers from tenants that do not fit with the centre’s image”, explained Julienne.

The co-Presidents of IBA indicated that the shopping centre, which has an occupancy rate of 70%, has signed new lease contracts with Habitat, which will open its new flagship store in a 900 sqm unit; as well as with a hand and footcare specialist D-Uñas, and Zooo-Huawei, the official technical service company of Huawei and Sony. In addition, tenants such as Neck&Neck, El Armario Francés, Sebago, Luis&Tachi, Lujans, Viena Capellanes and Calzedonia, amongst others, have renewed their contracts. “This is a trophy asset, both in terms of the location and because it is an iconic building with a new image”, said Valderrama.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Derby Hotels’ Assets Are Worth €800M

23 June 2016 – Expansión

Family owned chain / The Group chaired by Jordi Clos owns 12 hotels and 10 apartment buildings, and has a gearing ratio of 11.2%.

The Catalan businessman Jordi Clos, owner of Derby Hotels and the Egyptian Museum of Barcelona, and the Chairman of the Barcelona Hotel Association, has created a real estate empire from scratch that is now worth €800 million. Few hotel chains in Spain are so asset rich, given that the group owns all twelve of its hotels and all ten of the tourist apartment buildings that it operates. Its gearing ratio is also unusually low: 11.2% of the total asset value, at around €90 million.

In addition to the properties for tourist use, which are located in London, Paris, Madrid and Barcelona, the group also owns several office buildings, homes and car parks, which it holds purely for real estate investment purposes.

Derby Hotels, which moved its headquarters from Barcelona to Madrid a few months ago, recorded revenues of €74.3 million in 2015, up by 6.4% compared with the previous year. Of that amount, €67 million was generated by the hotel business and the remainder, from the operation of the tourist apartments.

The only building in this family-owned chain that precedes Jordi Clos is the Hotel Derby, which his father-in-law opened in Barcelona in 1968. The businessman has opened all of the other properties, over a thirty year period from 1983 until 2013.

In some cases, Clos acquired his properties with investment partners, before going on to buy out their stakes years later. Such is the case of the Caesar Hotel in London, which he purchased together with the Metropolis real estate fund in 2004 for €30 million (each party acquired a 50% stake). In 2009, he joined forces with that fund again to acquire the Hotel Banke in Paris for €75 million. In 2013, Clos purchased the shares that Metropolis held in those two hotels in an operation that valued the assets at €120 million in total.

A similar case was that of Hotel Bagués in Barcelona, which he opened in 2010 with the Bagués Masriera family, owners of the building that the jewellers of the same name had occupied for decades. Last year, Close purchased the remaining 40% stake that the jewellers still held for €3.8 million.

Searching for new properties

Now, having digested the purchase of the 50% stakes of the hotels in London and Paris, Derby wants to continue to expand its empire in Europe. “Barcelona has been ruled out due to the hotel moratorium there and, we already have two five-star hotels in Madrid”, explained Clos. “Instead, we want to continue to diversify our risk by opening hotels in other cities, such as Amsterdam and Munich, although we are also looking at Copenhagen and Stockholm”.

The terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 directly affected the Group’s hotels in the French capital. Clos estimates that the occupancy rate there fell by 15% and average prices decreased by 20%. “If we weren’t a diversified chain with a low gearing ratio, it would have been hard for us to survive the winter in Paris”, he added.

Indeed, Hotel Banke had just increased its rating from four to five-stars following the remodelling of its 91 rooms. Now, the group is planning to raise the category of its hotel in London too, to a superior four-star property. To this end, it plans to increase the size of its rooms and reduce the total number from 140 to 120.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake