Vitruvio to Complete a €14.5M Capital Increase Ahead of its Takeover of Única

5 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Vitruvio is preparing to launch its takeover bid for Única. The Socimi is planning to complete a €14.5 million capital increase to finance the operation, which will be complemented by the exchange of shares plus available cash from the company.

In addition, the company has now completed the two due diligence processes on the Madrilenian Socimi – specifically, the technical and legal due diligences, and both of them have proved positive. “That was the last step that needed to be completed before submitting the offer to the reference shareholders of Única, which is extendable to all of the shareholders”, explained sources at Vitruvio speaking to Eje Prime.

Vitruvio is planning to close the operation for around €32 million. After adding €45 million in properties from Única, the group will be managing a portfolio of rental assets worth €160 million.

According to explanations provided by the Socimi in a statement sent to the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), the capital increase will finance part of the acquisition, fulfil the maximum indebtedness limit of 33% and make way for the entry of new investors.

The rest of the operation will be paid for with €8.1 million of available cash as well as financing available to Vitruvio for the purchase, and another €9.7 million, which will be paid for with shares representing 30% of Única.

The capital increase will be proposed at the next shareholders meeting in March at a price of €14.50 per share. “Vitruvio will propose the capital increase at the latest NAV per share, whereby avoiding any dilution of the shareholders”, explained the company.

Única Real Estate was founded in 2015 by the former CEO of Metrovacesa, Eduardo Paraja, and specialises in the acquisition and leasing of commercial premises in the Community of Madrid.

Vitruvio, meanwhile, has a diversified portfolio comprising offices, homes and commercial premises. Together, the two companies own 71 properties, and generate revenues and EBITDA of €9.3 million and €6.3 million, respectively.

Original story: Eje Prime (by I. P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb’s Board Suspends the Sale of its Socimi Témpore to Launch a ‘Transparent Process’

19 December 2018 – El Independiente

The sale of Tempore Properties, the Socimi owned by the Company for the Management of Assets proceeding from the Restructuring of the Banking System (Sareb), was almost a done deal, but the plug has been pulled at the final hurdle. Sareb and the investment fund TPG were in the midst of closing the final details of the operation when the Board of the so-called “bad bank” decided to reject the offer. To the bewilderment of the US group, the directors of Sareb have demanded the launch of an ordered and transparent sale process, according to sources familiar with the events speaking to El Independiente.

Tempore, which has just carried out a non-monetary capital increase for €150 million and which will soon manage 3,300 real estate assets worth €325 million, received several offers at the end of November. The bid from TPG was successful over the others, but the process did not have all of the guarantees, and so the members of Sareb’s Board of Directors took the decision to block the transaction.

“It makes sense, especially taking into account the legal problems that could be generated if a government agency participates in exclusive processes”, indicated sources in the sector. “The directors have to be increasingly careful with the operations that they approve or they may incur serious faults”, added another.

In this way, the entity that it seemed was going to become the new owner of the Socimi, TPG, is the shareholder of companies such as Spotify, Airbnb, Burger King, Lenovo, Ducati and Grohe, amongst others.

Sareb, in which the State owns a 45% stake, wanted to close the operation before the end of the year and improve the appearance of its accounts, which are set to report losses, for another year. Now, however, that operation will have to wait until 2019.

The Tempore portfolio being sold by Sareb is concentrated (80%) in the metropolitan areas of Spain’s major capitals, with the remaining assets located in geographical areas with significant demand in the rental market, such as Valencia, Sevilla, Zaragoza, Málaga and Almería.

Azora is responsible for the management of the portfolio, specifically for the administration and sale of the assets. The Socimi is led by the Director of Rentals at Sareb, Nicolás Díaz Saldaña. Before joining the bad bank, Saldaña led the international team at Metrovacesa during the toughest period of the real estate crisis (…).

Several sources in the financial sector have indicated that Sareb must maximise the cleanliness of the operations that it participates in, especially after some institutions have been called out for irregular sales.

The Bank of Spain took Sareb to task over some suspicious activity following an inspection, according to a report to which El Independiente has had access.

Original story: El Independiente (by Ana Antón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mazabi’s Socimi Silicius Plans to Double its Portfolio in 2018

18 December 2017 – Eje Prime

Mazabi is backing Silicius growth. The Socimi is ending the year by drawing a new roadmap for its future and setting itself new challenges for 2018. According to explanations provided by the company, one of its objectives is to reach an asset volume of €300 million next year, compared to its current property portfolio value of €120 million.

Currently, Silicius receives annual rental income of approximately €6 million. Recently, the company purchased a new asset in the north of the country: it acquired the property at number 2 Plaza Arroka in San Sebastián, owned until then by the supermarket chain Eroski (…).

Silicius is also currently in the middle of developing its plans for the Obenque building in the Spanish capital, which has undergone a complete renovation, according to Eje Prime. The total surface area of that property amounts to 5,870 m2 and it is used as office space, with 140 parking spaces. The work on Obenque will finish in February, but the company has already started marketing the asset, which may be leased in its entirety by a single operator or shared between several tenants. The average rental cost of the building is approximately €14/m2/month or €1.12 million per year (…).

At the beginning of October, the company signed a €29 million loan with two Spanish banking entities. With that loan, the real estate company may accelerate the purchase of assets (worth €44 million) forecast in its business plan before the end of the year.

According to Juan Díaz de Bustamante, the CEO of Silicius, these acquisitions will primarily be retail premises, out of town stores and office buildings leased over the long-term. “The strategic locations for us are the main cities in Spain and the provincial capitals, with a special focus on the north of the country”.

The company is not going to limit its acquisitions to Spain and will analyse opportunities in Europe’s major capital cities as well. Specifically, the company is currently looking at the possibility of closing an acquisition in Portugal.

The new phase for Silicius will be divided into two, according to sources at the Socimi. “Firstly, the Socimi will incorporate family groups and real estate firms into the project through the contribution of rental assets by the respective groups to diversify their investment and risk with the aim of finding liquidity and management efficiency”. In this sense, Silicius expects to be able to finance its plans with a capital increase, through contributions, ranging between €25 million and €50 million.

In the second part of the new phase, the Socimi will incorporate a contributing equity partner to its share capital. The group has set itself the objective of listing on the stock market in 2018 with a value of around €250 million. Once listed, the company’s aim is to incorporate institutional shareholders to achieve the minimum target of €400 million, the amount that the group considers necessary for the Socimi’s shares to be considered liquid.

Currently, the firm holds in its portfolio a hotel in Conil (Cádiz), two office buildings in Madrid and four retail assets with tenants such as Cortefiel on Paseo de la Castellana and another leased to Vips on Calle Velázquez.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Hires KPMG to Accelerate Sale of Rental Homes Worth €3bn

29 November 2017 – El Confidencial

Spanish financial entities have put their foot down on the accelerator to remove a decade’s worth of real estate crises from their balance sheets. The starting gun was fired by Banco Santander in the summer, when it transferred 51% of the €30 billion in toxic assets that it had inherited from Popular to Blackstone; and yesterday, another milestone was marked by the agreement announced between BBVA and Cerberus, which will allow the bank to deconsolidate more than €12 billion in foreclosed assets.

The next major step may involve CaixaBank after the entity engaged KPMG to try to accelerate the sale of a significant batch of real estate assets, with a net value of €12.1 billion. Specifically, the professional services firm is already working on organising one or more processes to allow the sale of some of the €3 billion that the bank owns in rental assets, according to sources familiar with the process.

That portfolio contains almost 40,000 units and, if it ends up being sold, will represent one of the most significant divestments made by the entity to date. Sources at CaixaBank acknowledge that they are working with KPMG and admit that one of the services that the firm is rendering “may include the sale of certain foreclosed rental assets” but they point out that it would only for a portion of the aforementioned €3 billion.

The sale to Testa of 135 homes, announced in September, fits within this strategy – a small appetiser ahead of the main course that the bank led by Gonzalo Gortázar really wants to serve. Its efforts are aimed at trying to taking advantage of the excess liquidity held by the large funds and the current attractiveness of Socimis to find an exit for its foreclosed rental assets.

Despite CaixaBank’s interest in reducing its real estate exposure, something that both the Bank of Spain and the European Central Bank are asking the entire sector to do, the entity is choosing to be cautious. It is pushing ahead one step at a time, according to market sources, who say that the bank is working to redefine the future of its whole real estate division.

New route map

CaixaBank’s real estate activity is currently divided into two large subsidiaries, Building Center, the real estate company that owns the bulk of the entity’s foreclosed assets; and Servihabitat, a platform (servicer), in which the bank holds a 49% stake, whilst the other 51% is owned by the fund TPG.

The second company, which has been given the mandate to manage the bank’s properties, but not ownership of them, has just hired Iheb Nafa as its new CEO, to replace Julián Cabanillas. It has also engaged McKinsey and Oliver Wyman to analyse all of its future options; any change would require the firm to reach an agreement with TPG; moreover, that giant may be interested in increasing its stake in Servihabitat.

CaixaBank has net real estate assets amounting to €12.1 billion according to its most recent quarterly report as at 30 September. All of this “property” is included in the area known as Non-Core Real Estate, which generated losses of €330 million during the first nine months of the year. The jewel in that crown is the real estate company Building Center, owner of the majority of the foreclosed assets, whose accounting coverage ratio stands at 49%.

Sources in the sector expect the bank to make its big move within the next year, and for it to be in line with those already made by BBVA and Santander. For the time being, the entity is limiting its expectations to the field of research, by indicating that “KPMG, Oliver Wyman and McKinsey are redefining operating processes to improve logistics and efficiency”.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb’s Socimi Will Debut On The MAB Before Year End

18 July 2017 – Expansión

The Listed Real Estate Investment Company (Socimi) being driven by Sareb, to enable it to put some of its stock of rental homes onto the market, will be called Témpore Properties. And, the vehicle is expected to make its debut on the stock market before the end of the year, once it has completed all of the procedures required by the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), according to a statement issued by the so-called bad bank.

Sareb has already completed the first steps by constituting the new company and engaging advisors to accompany it throughout the process, such as Renta 4, which will act as a global advisor, and Clifford Chance, which will render legal and tax advice to the project.

Those experts have been joined recently by the real estate consultancy CBRE, which is working on the valuation of the properties that will be incorporated into this new divestment vehicle, and which form part of the portfolio that Sareb has for rent in the autonomous regions of Madrid, Cataluña, Andalucía and the Comunidad Valenciana.

The valuation of each one of the assets must be performed in accordance with the standards established by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in line with the requirements of institutional investors.

€7 million debt repayment

Sareb has also repaid senior debt amounting to €7.05 million after having proceeded last week to rectify the asset transfer contract signed in 2013 with Banco Mare Nostrum (BMN), an entity that is currently involved in a merger process with Bankia.

The rectification, corresponding to a contract signed with BMN on 25 February 2013, become effective on 11 July 2017, through the early partial repayment of some senior bonds.

Specifically, 69 senior bond titles 2016 and 2017 were repaid, together with €153,596.80 in cash, according to a statement filed by the so-called bad bank with Spain’s National Securities and Markets Commission (CNMV) (…).

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Singapore GIC To Expand Its Logistics Portfolio In Spain & Portugal

19 May 2017 – Expansion

P3, the company specialising in the ownership, development and management of logistics assets, wants to take advantage of the support being offered by its new owner, the sovereign fund Singapore GIC, to lead the logistics market in Spain and establish itself as one of the country’s leading developers and investors in this segment.

The company, which operates under the commercial name P3 Logistics Parks, currently owns a portfolio of assets covering 400,000 m2 in Spain, after it purchased eleven logistics warehouses in April. P3 is planning to finish the year with 500,000 m2 under management, according to the CEO of the company in Spain, David Marquina.

“We want to become one of the main suppliers of logistics space over the next three years. Specialisation and a long-term outlook are our mantras”, he said.

To this end, P3 has just opened an office in Madrid and has a team there analysing opportunities. The group specialises in closing off-market operations.

The firm wants to strengthen its two business lines in the country: investment in rental assets and the construction of turnkey projects for clients. “We are analysing both the purchase of companies that own logistics assets, as well as the acquisition of portfolios and individual properties to grow in size”.

Similarly, as part of its expansion plan, P3 is considering expanding its operations into Portugal. The company, which was created in 2002 in Prague and which quickly began its expansion into central and Western Europe, owns a portfolio containing 170 logistics warehouses and parks in 11 countries across Europe, spanning a total surface area of 3.5 million m2 and with a land bank covering more than 1.8 million m2 for development.

“Germany, France and other countries where we have had a more limited exposure until now, such as Italy and Spain, are strategic markets for the group”.

In Spain, P3 has a presence in the central logistics corridor, which connects Madrid, Zaragoza and Barcelona, and it wants to strengthen its presence in the Mediterranean corridor.

The director highlights that 98% of its assets are leased through rental contracts that have an average term of 6.2 years.

For Marquina, the economic recovery and political stability have allowed investors to be interested in Spain, which is firmly back on the investment map. “After the crisis, real estate and logistics development was left paralysed. The stock became obsolete and out-dated. Over the last four years, liquidity has increased in the market and there has been a compression in yields, but there is still a long way to go”, he said.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Montoro Family Prepares For Monthisa RE’s IPO

28 April 2017 – El Confidencial

With the discretion that characterises family businesses, the Montoro family, which owns the real estate firm Monthisa, has been working for two years on one of the major milestones in its recent history. Known as Project Maura, the operation is aimed at creating a large portfolio of rental assets, with the firm’s debut on the stock market as the ultimate objective.

To deal with this firm, the company segregated its entire real estate business into the company Monthisa Real Estate, which was just another subsidiary until then, and sold one third of the capital to the US fund Proprium Capital, the same entity that has been a shareholder of Grupo Lar for almost a decade, which currently controls 16.5% of that company’s shares.

This asset manager is the heir of Morgan Stanley’s former special situations fund, which ended up being spun off from the parent company in the United States for regulatory reasons, although the management team continued, with Tim Morris at the helm.

Although Proprium – whose representative on the Board of Monthisa Real Estate is Philipp Westermann (…) – is a minority shareholder, the two partners signed a pact by virtue of which they established joint control over Monthisa Real Estate and committed to multiplying the assets in record time.

The result of this alliance has been the creation of a new real estate giant, whose first major purchase was the acquisition of the El Corte Inglés’ ground-floor retail premises on Paseo de la Castellana for almost €150 million, an operation that was closed in September last year; and most recently, the purchase of a building on the Madrilenian Calle Montera, which will be used for tertiary activities (offices and a hotel).

Following these operations, Monthisa Real Estate has a portfolio worth around €250 million, given that the company was constituted with commercial premises, offices and hotels that the Montoro family already controlled, worth more than €100 million.

Its assets include: the Correos Building, so called because the tenant is the public postal company; number 8 on Ribera del Loira, currently occupied by Dell; and the Hotel Radisson, on Calle Moratín 52, on the sought-after Prado Recoletos thoroughfare.

But the Montoro family and Proprium are also rotating their asset portfolio, as demonstrated by the sale of the office building that they used to own in Berlin – a 7,975 m2 property, leased in its entirety to MTV; and a unit in the Plaza Norte 2 shopping centre, occupied by Cinesa cinemas.

Survivor of the crisis

Monthisa is, together with Lar, GMP and Pryconsa, one of the few domestic real estate companies that managed to survive the crisis and, like the first two, it is committed to carving out its real estate business and teaming up with overseas funds to take advantage of the recovery in the sector.

Before reaching this point, the Montoro family’s property development arm regularised its situation with Sareb (…) and reached an agreement with the entity chaired by Jaime Echegoyen to develop properties jointly.

Following all these changes, the next major milestone involves turning Monthisa Real Estate into an iconic real estate company and, if the script is followed, providing an exit for Proprium, with the capital markets as the preferred option.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axis: Spain’s Servicer Sector Is Being Redefined

23 December 2016 – El Mundo

In order to understand the current situation in the Spanish real estate market, beyond the reactivation of the construction of homes in certain specific areas, it is worthwhile looking at the amount of debt and real estate assets, left over from the bubble, that are still sitting on the balance sheets of financial institutions and other major owners, such as investment funds.

This real estate indigestion, which led to the restructuring of the financial system, the creation of Sareb (popularly known as the bad bank) and the launch of the bank’s servicers (which are now mainly owned by funds), has drawn a new real estate reality. The involvement of these new players has changed the rules of the market. They have and will continue to play a key role.

The Asset Under Management Report, which the consultancy Axis Corporate has just prepared and presented, is an extremely useful tool for understanding this business, which is being completely redefined. Axis Corporate specialises in advising these new players in the sector.

Regarding the role of the servicers, the study explains that, once each one has established itself in the market and following the Íbero tender whereby Sareb awarded the management of its assets, they must consolidate or adapt their respective models.

In this sense, and taking into account what is happening in other countries, Luis Fernández, Managing Partner of Financial and Real Estate Services at Axis believes that “over the medium term, the number of servicers will be reduced to two or, at the most, three”. Corporate movements forecast not only the “inevitable” concentration process, but also the repurchase of these platforms by financial institutions, their sale to industrial partners and international growth.

This will happen in a context in which the major investors, which are currently their main shareholders, will have their interest diverted to other problem economies such as those of Greece, Cyprus and Italy, where financial restructuring processes, such as the one undertaken in Spain, are still pending and where they may try to replicate the asset management model as servicers.

“The funds entered this business three years ago and their perspective as investors tends to be fixed for four years, which means that we are now approaching the divestment phase”, said Fernández. In this process, sources at Axis expect that the exit of funds with a more opportunistic profile will make way for others, with a more industrial focus”, who are committed to creating value more over the long term”.

In this regard, José Masip, Partner at Axis, draws our attention to the rental market, which is going to be “highly attractive” over the next few years and he predicts that we will see a “clear commitment” from the latter type of funds to obtaining profitability, not only from the value appreciation of their assets, but also from their rental.

“Both banks and funds are going to continue removing assets from their balance sheets through Socimis or by means of other vehicles specialising in rental”, said the expert. In this context, sources at Axis estimate that “over the medium term, it will not be unusual to see companies managing volumes of up to 50,000 homes for rent”.

Original story: El Mundo (by L.M.C.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Popular Considers Buying Back Aliseda

19 October 2016 – Reuters

Banco Popular said on Tuesday that it is considering buying back its real estate management company Aliseda as part of its real estate asset deconsolidation process.

Aliseda currently manages the Banco Popular Group’s properties and the bank holds a 49% stake in the entity; the remaining 51% is held by the investment funds Värde Partners and Kennedy Wilson.

“This is one of several options being considered, but so far, the bank’s decision-making bodies have not made any final resolutions”, said the financial institution in a statement.

Popular sold the majority stake in Aliseda in 2013 in an operation that, according to sources, amounted to around €800 million.

Popular said last month that it is considering the creation of a vehicle to group together the properties owned by the entity, which may list on the stock exchange.

The value of these assets would amount to €6,000 million and according to analysts, the integration of Aliseda into the project would allow it to guarantee constant cash flows thanks to the funds obtained from the rental of the properties.

Banco Popular, which is currently financing 100% of these proeprties, said that the new subsidiary would look to raise financing in the capital markets.

Original story: Reuters

Translation: Carmel Drake

Armabex: The Avalanche Of Socimis Continues

17 October 2016 – El Economista

There are 29 listed Socimis on the Spanish stock market, of which 24 are listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB). And there are lots more on their way. All of them are subject to the following basic conditions: they must have a minimum share capital of €5 million, distribute 80% of their profits as dividends and hold each rental property in their portfolios for at least three years. But, other than that, they are all completely different.

Socimis, which is the acronym for collective listed real estate investment companies, have come to replace the former real estate companies, which are now just shadows of their former selves (firms such as Quabit and Inmobiliaria Colonial) in a country where investing in property is the typical thing to do. “For every one million euros invested or saved in financial assets, another €25 million is invested in property in Spain”, according to Antonio Fernández, Chairman at Armabex.

Arrival of foreign capital

A few years ago, the Socimis found the perfect breeding ground for construction in Spain. Following the real estate boom, which did away with much of the sector and the subsequent burst of the price bubble, overseas investors decided that it was time to return to Spain. From there, the large Socimis were born in our market, such as Merlin Properties, Hispania, Lar España and Axiare, which all have significant overseas shareholders.

Fernández called these companies the Alpha Socimis – they are used by overseas investors to enter the Spanish real estate market because “by buying shares in them, they are, in turn, acquiring major buildings in the country’s largest cities”. By contrast, the Beta Socimis are those that focus on the development of their assets and, therefore, they make investments (capex).

According to the latest data from Eurostat, house prices in Spain rose by 3.8% YoY during the second quarter of 2016, i.e. by almost one percentage point more than the 2.9% increase registered across the Eurozone as a whole. As such, the increase in house prices has now been higher in Spain than across the EU (on average) for seven months in a row.

The different types of Socimis


– On the one hand, we have the large Socimis in the market. If an investor is looking for real estate vehicles, such as Merlin Properties, he should know that he is mainly investing in high quality homes and premises that will generate regular rental income. In addition, they are monitored by at least ten brokerage houses, such as in the case of Lar España. According to Bloomberg, these two companies, along with Axiare and Merlin, i.e. the four large players in the Spanish market, all have “buy” recommendations.

– On the other hand, we have the mainly family-run Socimis, where “there may be just a single person taking the decisions”, said Fernández, “and that involves risk”, even more so when they are dealing with single assets that could be sold at any time. Five Socimis have been constituted on that basis, with just one property. (…). A fair few others own between three and five properties only.

– There are also Socimis that own land. “It is worth noting that their returns are higher because they involve greater risk”. According to the expert, these firms rent land and invest in it, which means that, in many cases, the company does not generate any profits and therefore it does not distribute dividends to its shareholders. (…).

– And there are also Socimis that more closely resemble funds of funds, in other words, Socimis that invest in other Socimis, but that do not possess their own assets. Corpfin Capital holds four Socimis under its structure; and Optimum Re Spain Socimi manages several real estate funds.

Original story: El Economista (by Laura de la Quintana)

Translation: Carmel Drake