Hispania Signs €340M Financing Agreement with BNP Paribas

26 September 2018 – Hosteltur

Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios has signed an agreement with BNP Paribas to open a financing line amounting to €340 million to finance and/or refinance its debt, according to a statement filed by the Socimi today with Spain’s National Securities and Markets Commission (CNMV).

In the relevant fact, the company reports that on 25 September 2018, it signed the aforementioned agreement with the entity “under market terms, amounting to €340,000,000, to finance and/or refinance debt held by the group’s entities upon their maturity, plus commissions, costs and expenses”.

This new financing arrangement will expire on 16 February 2020, although it may be extended twice by the company for one year each time.

Hispania recorded a net profit of €71.9 million during the first half of this year, 55% less than during the same period in 2017 when it earned €161.4 million. That decrease was basically due to the recognition of a provision for the fees to be paid to Azora, the former manager of the group. As Hosteltur reported, the relationship between the two entities was terminated on Monday, with Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio, the owners of Azora, leaving the Board of Directors of the Socimi.

Blackstone, the new owner of Hispania, has paid €224 million to the manager by way of compensation for the early termination of Hispania’s asset management contract, which covered its hotels, offices and residential buildings. The indemnity amount was calculated on the basis of the manager’s base fees (€33.6 million) and success fees (€190.8 million), according to the terms specified in the “Termination Letter”, following the success of the takeover bid launched by the US fund for 100% of the Socimi.

Nevertheless, in terms of the results during the first half of the year, Hispania’s operating profit grew by almost 16%, to €57.1 million, whilst its revenues amounted to €85.3 million, which represents an increase of 9.8%.

Revenues from rental income amounted to €80.9 million, up by 14%. Of that amount, €67.9 million corresponded to hotels, €11.3 million to office buildings and €1.7 million to homes.

At the end of the first half of the year, the gross value of Hispania’s assets amounted to €2.818 billion, which represents an increase of 60.8% with respect to their acquisition price and of 43.3% compared to the total investment.

Original story: Hosteltur

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Vértice, Led by Daniel Cruz, Abandons Barcelona to Focus on Valencia

3 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Grupo Vértice is leaving Barcelona to focus on Valencia. The property developer is going to centre its investments on the Mediterranean capital under the control of its new majority shareholder, Daniel Cruz. The businessman, which controls 60% of the company, was appointed as the CEO at the end of last year.

The company’s efforts will involve becoming a key player in the Community of Valencia, where it is going to invest €15 million over the next few months. Another important member of the real estate company’s shareholding, its Director-General to date, Antonio Sesé, is going to continue in the company with a minority stake, according to Valencia Plaza.

The reasons why Vértice is going to focus on Valencia include the potential of the residential sector in that city, where may of the entrepreneurs who led the market before the crisis are returning, as well as the socio-political instability that Barcelona is currently experiencing, according to Sesé.

Specialising in the purchase and renovation of residential buildings in poor conditions, Grupo Vértice has already sealed two new investments in Valencia, in the neighbourhoods of El Cabanyal and La Zaidía. The first, involving the renovation of a property containing nine homes and a commercial premise, will involve an outlay of €1.7 million for the real estate company.

Meanwhile, the promotion in La Zaidía, with 27 homes and three commercial premises, will involve an investment of €3.5 million. The company is going to completely renovate the apartment block, in which tenants live under an old rent system. Moreover, Grupo Vértice is currently negotiating three new purchases in Valencia, its new centre of focus.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Dextra Corporate Launches Residential Fund Focusing on Galicia

2 March 2018 – Eje Prime

The Barcelona-based corporate finance firm has created a fund manager, Swan Real Estate Management, whose first vehicle aims to acquire, renovate and sell on up to ten residential buildings in Galicia.

Dextra Corporate is throwing itself into the housing market. The Barcelona-based finance firm, led by former Deloitte employees Iker Zabalza and Stephan Koen, has created Swan Real Estate Management, a fund manager to invest in the Spanish residential market. Its first investment vehicle, Seagull Real Estate, will get going shortly with €14 million to spend and will travel exclusively to Galicia where it plans to buy up to ten buildings. For this company, Dextra has been supported by Andbank: 90% of the investment is going to proceed from Galician customers of the Andorran bank.

The aim of the project, in which the manager AKM, led by Xavier González, is also involved, is to look for assets in second-tier cities in Spain, which are still in the recovery phase. The plan is to renovate the buildings and sell them on on a home by home basis.

Seagull will focus mainly on properties in central areas of A Coruña and Vigo, which may be of interest to customers with a medium-high purchasing power, according to Expansión. The manager’s forecast is to purchase between five and ten residential buildings.

Although it is going to start off with €14.4 million, Swan hopes to increase the investment figure of its Galician vehicle to €25 million. With the addition of bank financing, the spending capacity of the fund could rise to €50 million.

For Project Seagull, Dextra has teamed up with local businessman Manuel Corbal, who has extensive experience in the Galician real estate sector, in the areas of construction and promotion.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Regional Gov’ts Clamp Down on Tourist Apartments

28 January 2018 – El Economista

Spain is breaking records in terms of visitor numbers and, in the age of the globalisation of communications, many people are wanting to make money from renting out their homes. This trend has forced autonomous governments and town halls to introduce legislation so that the so-called collaborative economy does not end up turning into unfair competition.

The tourist housing sector has been calling for the homogenous regulation of its activity for some time now, but for the time being, it has had to make do with the regulations approved by certain autonomous governments and town halls, above all those in the most central neighbourhoods, which are seeing their resident populations emptying out in the face of rising rental prices.

The latest to join the regulation train is the Town Hall of Madrid, which has approved a one-year moratorium for the granting of operating licences for all kinds of accommodation in residential buildings exceeding 90 days.

The moratorium will result in the suspension of licences for the opening of new hotels in the centre, a paralysis that in the case of tourist homes also extends to the districts of Chamberí, Salamanca and Arganzuela.

The Community of Madrid is also preparing a decree to regulate homes for tourist use, which will require owners to have a certificate of suitability to guarantee that their properties fulfil the conditions necessary and which will define digital platforms such as Airbnb as “tourist companies”, liable to fines of up to €300,000.

One of the pioneers in regulating this activity was the Town Hall of Barcelona, which prohibits the opening of new accommodation of this kind in the centre of the city, but does allow the closure of existing ones in the outskirts to be compensated, provided the new units are located in exclusive buildings and have not been used for residential purposes.

Moreover, it has strengthened the detection and sanctioning of illegal tourist apartments and, in the application of Catalan law, has fined operators that publicise them.

The Balearic Islands’ Government is also fining people who let their apartments to tourists up to €40,000, and in the case of real estate agents, tourism brokers and the digital platforms that publish them like Airbnb and HomeAway, it is levying fines of up to €400,000.

In fact, last month, sanction files were opened against Airbnb and Tripadvisor for their illegal supply of rental apartments in the Balearic Islands.

Meanwhile, since 2016 in Andalucía, the Junta has obliged homes used for tourist purposes to be recorded in a register, in order to avoid fraud, intrusion and unfair competition against hotel establishments (…).

After a great deal of controversy with tourist associations, the Canarian Government regulated the use of holiday rentals in 2015, and although the High Court annulled the article that prohibited holiday rentals in tourist areas, the law is still valid because the Executive filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, which has not ruled yet (…).

Any apartment offered through a digital platform in the Community of Valencia must be registered with the Valencian Tourism Agency and is subject to governing regulations in terms of safety and quality.

Murcia, meanwhile, has implemented a specific plan to reduce the current mismatch between the regulated and unregulated supply, putting a stop to intrusion and reinforcing the fight against employment on the black market, which is typically precarious and exploitative.

By next spring, the Community of Castilla-La Mancha will have drafted a law that will put an end to the legislative vacuum in this regard and which, according to the regional Government’s calculations, will allow it to shed light on between 1,500 and 2,00 tourist homes that are advertised on several online portals, but which offer no guarantees for clients and generate no tax revenues for the administration.

In Euskadi, last month, the Basque Government approved a draft decree that seeks to regulate the most tourist aspects of homes, providing guarantees to advertisers, neighbours and tourists, given that the decision to grant licences lies with the town halls, such as those of Bilbao and San Sebastián, which account for two thirds of the almost 2,500 tourist apartments in the País Vasco (…).

In March 2017, the La Rioja Government approved a general tourism regulation, which distinguishes tourist apartments – those that contain three or more accommodation units in the same building – from homes for tourist use, including those that are advertised online.

Last year, a decree entered into force in Asturias to regulate tourist apartments and, according to the most recent available figures, 640 registrations have been recorded and 159 sanction files have been opened (…).

Finally, the Junta de Extremadura is working to reform Law 2/2011, dated 31 January, governing the Development and Modernisation of Tourism in Extremadura, which will materialise this year and which will offer new instruments to help in the fight against fraud involving tourist apartments.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Optimum III Acquires Office Building in Madrid for €10.2M

28 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Optimum III, the residential Socimi owned by BMB Investment Management and the US fund Bluemountain, is continuing to fatten up its asset portfolio with new purchases. The company has acquired part of an office building in Madrid. The purchase of this property has involved an investment of €10.2 million for the group.

The property is located at number 59 Calle José Abascal in the heart of the capital. The operation, according to the Socimi “involves the purchase of 950 m2 on the first floor; 976 m2 on the second floor; 546 m2 on the third floor; and another 546 m2 on the fifth floor”. In total, the company has acquired 3,000 m2.

The rest of the building is mixed use. The company’s plans involve leasing space to one or more companies that want to locate their offices in the property. To this end, the Socimi is planning “to undertake a small renovation to give the space a facelift”.

Optimum III is continuing to grow its asset portfolio. The Socimi’s most recent purchases include the acquisition of a residential building in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi neighbourhood in the upper area of Barcelona, for €6.6 million. That property is located at number 46 Calle Calaf, in one of the most expensive districts in the Catalan capital.

The Socimi was created to take advantage of the decline in the real estate market in Barcelona. That was when BMB launched its third fund, Euro Re Optimum III Barcelona, focused on the residential market in the Catalan capital. BMB wanted to take advantage of its operational experience and its knowledge of the market in Barcelona to invest in residential properties for rent acquired at below market prices, contributing its experience in terms of optimisation and portfolio sales in the city. According to its backers, it is a tailor-made fund for private investors and family offices.

Optimum III’s business is different from the activity carried out by its predecessor Optimum Real Estate in several respects. Firstly, due to the reactivation of the real estate market, the average price of its acquisitions are now, approximately, €2,500/m2 in Barcelona and €2,800/m2 in Madrid, according to the group. Secondly, the capital of Spain is gaining greater weight in the portfolio; whereas Madrid accounted for 20% of the previous Socimi’s portfolio, it now accounts for 30%, compared with Barcelona’s 70%.

Moreover, leveraging the work already performed by BMB for Optimum Re Spain between December 2016 and February 2017, Optimum III has now acquired five properties in the two cities. In Barcelona, it has acquired buildings located at the intersection of Avenida Diagonal with Calle Girona; and at the junction of Calle Bruc and Calle Aragó, amongst others. BMB’s intention is to make a total investment of €100 million, between acquisitions and improvements. In this way, the portfolio of Optimum III will comprise more than twenty buildings.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Testa Residencial: Undisputed Leader Of Rental Home Market

31 July 2017 – El Mundo

Testa Residencial is becoming even stronger in the rental home market. The company has approved a €341 capital increase, which is going to be financed through Acciona’s contribution of 1,058 homes, concentrated in 10 buildings located primarily in Madrid, as well as by the contribution by a third party of another 43 units.

In a clear bullish market, with an increasingly higher penetration of rental properties, Testa Residencial is currently the market leader and looks set to become the brand of reference in the sector. The firm is continuing with its strategic plan to grow its portfolio of high-quality assets with the capacity for improvement through management, as well as to optimise the returns from its existing portfolio.

The stock of homes to be contributed by Acciona are characterised by their high quality – 95% of them are located in Madrid; 849 homes are located in Parque Conde Orgaz and 85% of them are unsubsidised properties.

This residential portfolio has an occupancy rate of 94%, generates gross annual income of €12.5 million, has a gross valuation of €400 million and a net asset value of €336 million. It is one of the highest quality portfolios on the Spanish market.

Following the contribution, Acciona will own a 21% stake in Testa Residencial. The other shareholders include Santander (35.7%), BBVA (26.9%), Merlin Properties (12.7%), Popular (3.1%) and others (0.6%).

51% of the homes are in Madrid

After the General Shareholders’ Meeting, which has been convened for September, has approved the capital increase, Testa Residencial’s portfolio will comprise 9,041 homes (concentrated in 118 buildings), of which 51% will be located in the Community of Madrid.

The portfolio’s gross annual income will exceed €70 million, the gross value of the company’s assets will amount to €2,179 million and the net asset value will equal €1,8016 million. Testa Residencial has a very conservative level of indebtedness (17%).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania’s Profits Rose By 35% In H1 2017 To €185M

28 July 2017 – Expansión

Hispania, the Socimi in which George Soros owns a stake, recorded net profits of €185 million during the first half of 2017, which represents an increase of 35%. It invested €100 million during that period.

At the end of the first half of the year, the company’s portfolio was worth €2,339 million, which represents an increase of 10%. The company owns 39 hotels, with a total of 11,200 rooms and is consolidating its position as the largest owner of hotels in Spain.

In addition, the Socimi owns 25 office buildings with a combined surface area of more than 153,000 m2 and a plot of land where two additional buildings measuring more than 33,000 m2 are going to be constructed. It also owns five residential buildings, which contain almost 730 homes.


Hispania is planning its liquidation in 2020 and has already started to implement its divestment policy. Specifically, during the first half of the year, Hispania sold the Aurelio Menéndez office building for €37.5 million and continued to sell off its homes.

Specifically, during the first six months of the year, it sold 25 homes in Isla del Cielo and Sanchinarro (Madrid), generating a net profit of 35% compared with the original investment.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meridia Capital Acquires 43,400m2 Block In 22@ District

14 July 2017 – Inmodiario

Meridia Capital Partners has announced the acquisition of almost a whole block measuring 43,400 m2 in the technological 22@ district of Barcelona. This prime enclave is located just a stone’s throw from the sea and is one of the main nuclei for the development of offices and residential areas in Barcelona. Located at the northern edge of Villa Olímpica, in recent times, many renowned companies have established their headquarters in this area of Poblenou. The plot is demarcated by Calles Ávila, Doctor Trueta, Badajoz and Avenida Icaria.

Meridia Capital will carry out a comprehensive transformation of the block with the aim of converting it into a cutting-edge mixed-use complex, where both offices and residential buildings will be erected. Around 32,300 m2 of the land will be allocated to the development of high-quality offices and the remainder (11,200 m2) will be set aside for residential use. It is one of the most ambitious projects of those currently being undertaken in the 22@ district.

This site is home to the former La Siberia ice factory and the Industrias Deslite building, both of which form part of the special protection plan set out by Barcelona’s Historical-Artistic Architectural Heritage. Meridia Capital will preserve both the façade as well as the structure of both historical buildings.

The acquisition of this block constitutes the fourth operation completed through Meridia III, the latest real estate investment vehicle launched by the fund manager Meridia Capital. Meridia III has an investment capacity of €500 million. Its predecessor, Meridia II, which had an investment capacity of €400 million, has been disbursed in its entirety.

Juan Barba, Partner and Managing Director of Real Estate at Meridia Capital, said: “This new operation represents a major opportunity for the development of a mixed-use project (residential/office) in an area that is undergoing a complete transformation and where demand is growing”.

Javier Faus, Founding Partner and CEO at Meridia Capital, added: “We are really excited to be contributing to the development of the “Front Marítim” and of the 22@ district, as the real area of innovation in Barcelona. This is one of the most ambitious operations that will be undertaken over the next few years. We are very optimistic about the future of our city and we hope that operations such as the one announced today will help to continue to attract the best companies and talent here”.

Garrigues and Deloitte advised Meridia Capital on this operation.

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

BMB Joins Forces With BlueMountain To Create New Socimi

2 March 2017 – Expansión

The hedge fund is the largest shareholder in Optimum III Value-Added Residential, which will invest up to €100 million buying residential buildings in Barcelona and Madrid.

BMB Investment Management, the real estate investment vehicle manager has launched a new project. The Barcelona-based company led by Josep Borrell Daniel has signed an alliance with the US investment firm BlueMountain Capital Management to launch the listed real estate investment company (Socimi) Optimum III Value-Added Residential, which could debut on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) in April.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Orihuel)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Owner Of Torre Ámbar Will Debut On MAB In 2017

25 October 2016 – El Economista

Inveriplus, the owner of Torre Ámbar, one of the skyscrapers that makes up the residential area of Isla Chamartín, will debut on the MAB next year. The firm, which specialises in the transformation of toxic assets into liquid assets, has already created a company under the Socimi framework and wants to complete its first operations before the end of the year.

“We have not chosen a trading name yet”, explained Oscar Bellette, the Executive Director of the firm, but he assured that advanced negotiations are already underway regarding the Socimi’s purchase of two residential properties in Madrid.

One of them is the iconic Torre Ámbar, located in the north of Madrid, which was constructed during the years of the property boom in Spain. Inveriplus already owns 50% of the homes in the building – it managed to sell the rest – but is currently holding conversations with the creditor banks to cancel the debt.

Bellette explained that his firm is also working with lenders of a property on Calle Apolonia Morales and that it has already reached an agreement with BBVA to cancel the debt relating to a group of chalets in a town in Valencia.

All of these assets already form part of its portfolio, but the investment that has been earmarked for their financial clean up operations amounts to between €22 million and €24 million.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake