Lar to Invest €200M Buying Retail Assets After Divesting Other Assets Worth €425M

25 April 2019 – El Economista

Lar is entering a new phase in which it will specialise in retail after divesting all of its offices and logistics assets. The Socimi has received total proceeds of €425 million from its recent sales, of which it intends to dedicate around €200 million to new purchases over the next three years.

According to José Luis del Valle, President of Lar España Real Estate, the Socimi is now going to focus on operations in the commercial segment only, including both asset purchases and new developments, to continue to expand its €1.5 billion portfolio.

Lar is coming to the end of the development of Vilanova Park in Sagunto (Valencia), Lagasca 99 in Madrid and Lagoh in Sevilla and so it has the capacity to take on more promotion projects in the future, according to Miguel Pereda, CEO of the Socimi.

Following its recent asset sales, Lar has approved the distribution of an extraordinary dividend amounting to €25 million, charged against the accounts for 2018, equivalent to €0.80 per share. This represents the largest dividend in the Socimi’s history and is 67% higher than last year’s payout.

On Wednesday, the Socimi completed the sale of the last office building left in its portfolios – the property located at Calle Eloy Gonzalo in Madrid, which is now in the hands of Swiss Life.

In addition to its forecast new operations, Lar is also working on the repositioning of its assets, with plans to invest €40 million in total.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Ores has Invested €362.5M in 35 Assets Across the Iberian Peninsula

16 April 2019 – Eje Prime

Ores, the Socimi owned by Bankinter and Sonae Sierra, has invested €362.5 million in 35 assets across the Iberian Peninsula since its creation, according to a report filed by the company with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) at the end of Q1 2019.

During the first quarter of this year, the company purchased a retail store in Burgos with a gross leasable area of 724 m2 for €5.2 million.

The company’s portfolio comprises hypermarkets (28.1%), mini-hypermarkets (17.8%) and retail parks (15%), amongst others. Its assets are located mainly in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as in prime areas of provincial capitals.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Lar puts its Office Portfolio up for Sale for €110M

5 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Lar is strengthening its plan to divest its non-commercial assets. The Socimi has placed its office portfolio on the market for €110 million. The package comprises two buildings, one located in Madrid and the other in Barcelona.

The two properties span a combined gross leasable area (GLA) of 23,800 m2. The building in Madrid is located on Calle Eloy Gonzalo and has a surface area of 6,363 m2. The Socimi acquired the asset in December 2014 for €12.7 million, according to Expansión.

The office building in Barcelona has a surface area of 8,610 m2 and is located on Calle Joan Miró. The property cost Lar €19.7 million in total when it purchased it in June 2015.

This operation follows other divestments that Lar has been carrying out since September 2017 when it sold its office building on Calle Arturo Soria in Madrid to Colonial for €32.5 million. Similarly, last July, the Spanish Socimi completed the sale of its logistics portfolio to Blackstone for €120 million.

To date, the divestments carried out by the company amount to €265 million, more than half the figure established in Lar’s business plan to 2021. In parallel, the Socimi plans to continue investing in shopping centres and retail parks. The group’s most recent acquisitions have included the purchases of the Rivas Futura shopping centre in Madrid for €62 million and the Adadía shopping arcade in Toledo for €14 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

TH Real Estate Changes its Focus in Spain to Purchase Logistics Properties, Offices & Alternative Assets

11 June 2018 – Eje Prime

After ten years in Spain, TH Real Estate is changing its focus in terms of acquisitions. The company, which has historically purchased retail assets in the country, is going to change strategy to strengthen its portfolio with logistics properties, office buildings and alternative assets, such as halls of residence for students. That is according to Marta Cladera (pictured below), Director General of TH Real Estate Iberia, talking to Eje Prime in an interview.

“Traditionally, and due to the type of active funds, we have been very focused on the purchase of retail products” – said Cladera – “Now, we want to nurture our portfolio with logistics buildings, offices and alternative assets, such as halls of residence”. “We are analysing the market, we have a good track record in other types of assets, and so we will be able to create a portfolio with new types of assets and we will begin this year”, she added.

TH Real Estate will carry out these purchases through its fund European City Fund, which is one of the most active at the moment in terms of acquisitions and which has sufficient resources to undertake new purchases. By type of asset, the plans in terms of alternative assets involve not only the purchase of properties but also “teaming up with other operators, which may be from other parts of Europe”. In this way, TH Real Estate will follow in the footsteps of other funds such as CBRE GI and Axa, which, in their strategy to enter the hall of residence business, purchased Resa, the largest student hall company in Continental Europe.

In terms of the office sector, Cladera assures that “the competition is fierce” and the supply “is scarce”. “We are looking for buildings costing upwards of €50 million, but the supply that we are finding is not prime and those that are prime due to their location need a lot of renovation work, and that is something that holds us back, given that the numbers have to make sense for us to proceed and we have to focus on returns”, said the director.

Currently, TH Real Estate manages a portfolio worth €103 billion around the world, although Spain represents a small proportion of that, accounting for just 2% of its total business. In the Spanish market, the company owns assets worth €2 billion. “Although it is small compared to other markets, you have to look at the evolution: when we arrived in 2007, the portfolio was worth €200 million, as such, the growth over the last ten years has been significant”, she said. TH Real Estate’s team in Spain comprises nine people.

Socimi: under consideration 

Although this move is still in an embryonic phase, TH Real Estate does not rule out joining the Socimi party that is raging in Spain with some of its assets (…).

Currently, TH Real Estate owns fifteen assets across the Iberian Peninsula, of which fourteen are located in Spain and one in Portugal. Of those, two are logistics assets (acquired in 2017), and the rest are retail properties. One of the formulae that the group has used in the country has been to create joint ventures with different players for the acquisition of assets. Such was the case of the purchase of 50% of Xanadú from Intu for €264.4 million, for example (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

M&G European Property Fund Expands Portfolio in Spain

29 May 2018 – Real Assets

M&G European Property Fund has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of industrial and retail assets in Spain.

The €3bn core European property fund, managed by M&G Investments’ real estate arm, said it bought two industrial and two retail assets for €80m.

The two retail acquisitions are H&M Reyes Catolicos in Granada and Gran Via 68 in Madrid.  Both sites, which total 3,668sqm, are leased.

The industrial sites Teka Logistics Platform and a further asset in the Getafe logistics corridor are both in Madrid. The sites have a combined size of 55,092 sqm.

Fund manager David Jackson, said: “Our latest research suggests the Spanish economy will continue to perform well, with its recovery having accelerated in 2017.

“This extends to the commercial real estate market, where we predict average rental growth in both industrial and retail will range between 3% and 4% per year for the next three years in Madrid.”

Jackson said these new acquisitions fit perfectly with our strategy to increase our exposure to Continental Europe by investing in core assets in strong growth markets.

“We see a strong correlation between the level of rental growth and tourist spend in major tourist destinations across Europe; Madrid and Granada are very good examples of this trend.”

Federico Bros, a director of asset management for Spain and Portugal, said: “We have seen strong demand for high street retail in prime locations across Spain. Both of the retail sites we have purchased are in established locations and offer great rental growth prospects.

“The industrial sector in Spain also offers strong rental growth prospects as online activity accelerates and these acquisitions help us diversify our portfolio in key sectors.”

M&G European Property Fund was launched in 2006, with a mandate to invest in a globally diversified portfolio of assets in mature European markets outside the UK.

Original story: IPE Real Assets

Translation: Carmel Drake

IBA Capital Creates a Fund to Invest up to €300M in Spain’s High Street

25 May 2018 – Eje Prime

IBA Capital is gaining strength as one of the investment funds with the most potential in the Spanish market. The company has just launched an investment fund specialising in the retail high street segment, through which it plans to invest up to €300 million in the purchase of commercial assets located on the main streets (high streets) of Spain’s secondary cities, according to Thierry Julienne, founder of the investment vehicle, speaking to Eje Prime.

This new vehicle from IBA Capital will bet on buying commercial premises on streets such as Calle Larios in Málaga and Calle Tetuán in Sevilla, for example. Also on IBA Capital’s radar are assets located in cities such as Valencia, Santander, Coruña, Oviedo and Vigo, amongst others.

“We want to create a portfolio of prime assets – we are not looking for properties to create value, but rather buildings are profitable with operators such as H&M, Mango and chains from the Inditex group as tenants”, explains Julienne, who also added that the stores that may interest the fund should have a surface area of around 1,000 m2.

“It is a safe fund, which has been created with an investment capacity of €100 million, but which may reach €300 million over the next few years”, he says. The type of investor to which this new vehicle from IBA Capital will be directed are “conservative and Spanish”, explains the director. “Family offices, for example, are target investors of this new fund”, he concludes. (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deka Puts Most of its Recently Acquired Inditex Stores Up for Sale

23 April 2018 – Eje Prime

After closing one of the most important real estate operations of the year, Deka is looking to capitalise on its investment with a new knock-on effect. The German fund manager has just put back on the market the majority of the stores that it purchased at the beginning of the year from the Galician giant Inditex, in an operation worth around €400 million, according to sources close to the sales process, speaking to Eje Prime.

According to the same sources, Deka has divided the portfolio into three. The first part comprises two properties, which the fund is going to hold onto, those at number 16 Calle Preciados, in Madrid (with 2,725 m2 of retail space) and number 58 Calle Pelayo, in Barcelona (with 5,134 m2 of retail space).

The second and third parts of the portfolio are already up for sale. The aim of Deka is to divest the assets located in secondary cities (such as those located in Zamora, Albacete and Ciudad Real) by placing them on the market and also to listen to offers for the assets located in cities such as Valencia and Madrid, which, although they are not strategic for the fund, it is not in a rush to sell.

Deka, which will also hold onto one of the two properties that it purchased in Lisbon (located on Calle Augusta), acquired the 16 assets in January for approximately €400 million, and chains belonging to the Inditex group continue as the tenants of those establishments.

These two moves, both the purchase and the sale, demonstrate Deka’s interest in the Spanish market. As Eje Prime revealed, Deka’s route map involves doubling its investment volume in the country from €1 billion to €2 billion over the next five years.

Currently, the fund manager owns a portfolio of tertiary assets in Spain including the office buildings on Avenida Diagonal 640 and Sarrià Forum in Barcelona and the mixed-used (office and retail) property El Triangle, also in the Catalan capital. Moreover, the group owns the Ballonti shopping centre in Bizkaia, which it recently put on the market for around €150 million, and the Espacio Mediterráneo shopping centre in Cartagena, as well as the Hotel Meridien de Las Ramblas in Barcelona and another vacation hotel in Mallorca.

The company’s presence in the Spanish real estate sector dates back to the 1990s when it had a portfolio of assets with a very similar volume to its current size. At that time, Deka owned large spaces such as the Diagonal Mar shopping centre in Barcelona and the Castellana 35 and Castellana 79 buildings in Madrid. But, in around 2006, according to Esteban de Lope, Director of the Retail Property Fund Management Department at Deka, “an opportunity arose and we sold almost all of our portfolio at a significant profit”.

After hiding in the shadows for five years, competing in other European markets such as the French, British, Belgian and Dutch, as well as its own German real estate market, Deka returned to Spain in 2010 with the acquisition of the Avenida Diagonal 640 building.

The sale of the batch of assets acquired from Inditex coincides with the group’s desire to divest some of its businesses in Spain. Lope said that “given the nature of the market, it is easier for Deka to divest than to purchase”. “The Inditex portfolio was an exception” – says the director – “they wanted to sell quickly, but they needed to be certain that the buyer had money to invest; thus an opportunity arose, with the condition of us having to move very fast”.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankinter Continues to Fatten Up its New Hotel Socimi Atom

3 April 2018 – El Español

After the success of Ores, the shopping centre Socimi managed by Sonae Sierra and whose ownership Bankinter shares with the insurance company Mapfre, the bank has recently constituted another real estate investment company as an alternative way for its most select clients to generate greater returns from their wealth (…).

The company is called Atom. Another Socimi that, with a share capital of almost €25 million, started work three months ago from offices leased to it by the bank in the La Finca Business Park, in the Madrilenian suburb of Pozuelo de Alarcón.

No date set for its stock market debut

Although at first, the possibility was considered that Atom would make its stock market debut during the first quarter of 2018, that decision has now been delayed. “No date has been set for the stock market debut. It could happen at any time. In a matter of weeks or months”, say sources at the bank led by Dolores Dancausa (pictured above), the CEO (…).

Bulky portfolio in just 3 months

Nevertheless, and unlike Ores – which made its debut on the MAB on 22 February 2017 without a single asset in its portfolio – Atom is going to start its stock market life with a bulky portfolio of assets. In just three months, it has acquired around 20 hotel establishments.

The last six – including the Hotel Rey Don Jaime de Valencia- were incorporated at the end of March, when the Socimi took advantage of an asset divestment by the private equity firm Atitlán, led by Aritza Rodero and Roberto Centeno, the son-in-law of the President of Mercadona, Juan Roig. Atom added 900 bedrooms to its portfolio through that operation.

Although it has not been disclosed, sources in the sector consulted by this newspaper indicate that the other hotels acquired by Atom could be the 11 establishments that Banco Sabadell left out of the operation, closed in October, in which the entity chaired by Josep Oliu sold the hotel management platform HI Partners to the fund Blackstone for almost €631 million.

Whilst in the case of Ores, Bankinter engaged Sonae Sierra as a specialist shopping centre manager, for Atom, it has empoyed Global Myner Advisors Hotels Capital Invest (GMA-HCI), a company led by Víctor Martí Gilabert, which has proven experience in the management of hotel assets (…).

Atom’s Board

In addition to Martí Gilabert, on the Board of Atom – which is chaired by Eduardo Ozaita, who was recently appointed the Director General of the Commercial Bank of Bankinter, switching roles with Fernando Moreno, who has moved to lead Business Banking –  sits Esther Colom García, who has been hired as the Legal Counsel of the new Socimi (…).

Together with Ozaita, on Atom’s Board as Bankinter’s representative is its Director of Investment Banking, Jaime Íñigo Guerra, who also sits on the governing body of the Socimi Ores. Atom’s Board is completed by Antonio Riestra and Ignacio Díaz, the sole administrator of Otels Hospitality Services.

In theory, the idea being proposed by Bankinter is for Atom to make its debut on the MAB with a portfolio of hotels worth around €200 million, with two-thirds of the establishments located in holiday environments and the remaining one-third located in strategic urban nuclei.

The split of Atom’s share capital will be similar to that of Ores

To raise this share capital, Bankinter has committed to contributing around €20 million, the manager GMA-HCI around €10 million, and other institutional investors another €30 million. Most of the money, around €120 million, will be provided by Bankinter’s own private banking clients. The minimum investment per client will be €200,000, up to a maximum of 15% of each individual’s financial wealth.

Bankinter wants Atom to have a similar shareholder structure to that of the Socimi Ores, in which the financial institution holds a 10% stake (7.48% through the parent company and 2.54% through Línea Directa), the insurance company Mapfre holds 6%, the Castellón based companies Corporación Juan Segarra and Inmuebles Gil Comes hold 5% each, and the manager Sonae holds 3.75%. The remaining 70% is owned by Bankinter’s private banking clients.

Original story: El Español (by Juan Carlos Martínez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axiare Sells Planetocio to AEW for €20M

9 March 2018 – Eje Prime

Axiare has sold off Planetocio. The Socimi, which has been controlled by Colonial since February, has divested the Madrilenian shopping centre to a fund controlled by the manager AEW, which has paid €20 million for the asset.

Located in Collado Villalba, Planetocio is one of the few retail assets that Axiare, which specialises in the office sector, still holds in its portfolio. The operation is going to be closed this week and will see the buyer strengthen its presence in the Spanish real estate, after it acquired the Mercado de Fuencarral for €50 million last August.

Planetocio was constructed in 2001 and has been owned by Axiare since 2014, when it paid €99.5 million to the Dutch fund Wereldhave for a portfolio that, in addition to the shopping centre, contained several office buildings and industrial warehouses, according to Expansión.

In total, the Madrilenian shopping centre has a gross leasable area of 19,222 m2 and 797 parking spaces. Following this sale, the number of retail assets that Axiare holds in its portfolio will be reduced to La Mercedes Open Park (Madrid), Les Gavarres (Tarragona) and ViaPark (Almería).

Axiare’s divestment of this retail asset comes a few weeks after Pere Viñolas, CEO of Colonial, confirmed that the “logical” thing would be for the properties that his firm has inherited following its takeover of the Socimi to be sold gradually, although the group has the “peace of mind necessary to do so when it is most convenient”.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

JLL: Real Estate Investment Rose by 45% in 2017 to €14bn

11 January 2018 – El País

The volume of real estate investment in Spain broke records once again in 2017, closing the year at €13.989 billion, up by 45% compared to 2016, according to data from the international real estate consultancy JLL. And investors were not averse to any of the market segments, although two really stood out in 2017. On the one hand, the retail sector (stores and shopping centres), which saw investment of €3.909 billion, up by 31% compared to 2016 – that represents a historical figure thanks to the 35 operations that were closed during the year. And on the other hand, investment in hotels, which increased by 75% with respect to 2016.

Not even the political crisis in Cataluña deterred hotel investment from beating its own record by the end of 2017, with investment of €3.907 billion, representing an increase of 79% with respect to 2016 and comfortably exceeding the historical record set in 2015, when investment amounted to €2.614 billion, according to the study of this market conducted by the consultancy firm Irea. And that despite the slowdown in Cataluña, where no transactions have been closed since the referendum was held on 1 October. Nevertheless, “the impact of the uncertainty in Cataluña will make it hard for the investment data seen in 2017 to be repeated”, says Miguel Vázquez, Partner in the firm’s Hotels division.

For the time being, the incessant arrival of tourists in Spain (the country welcomed more than 82 million foreign visitors in 2017, almost 10% more than in 2016) is continuing to spark investor interest. In fact, in 2017, investment in holiday hotels comfortably exceeded financing in the urban segment (69% vs 31%), rebalancing the trend seen in 2014 and 2015.

Moreover, destinations that had remained quiet following the crisis were revived. Málaga rejoined the list of investors’ preferred destinations, accounting for 15% of total investment with 18 transactions amounting to €516 million. The Canary Islands retained its position as the favourite investment destination, accounting for €939 million of investment, representing 27% of the total volume. Madrid was the main destination for urban investment once again, with €637 million (including existing hotels and the acquisition of properties to convert them into hotels), ahead of Barcelona, which recorded €422 million.

Last year in Spain, 182 hotels were sold, containing 28,813 rooms, compared with 147 hotels and 21,646 rooms in 2016. That represented an increase not only in terms of the number of assets but also in the average price paid per room, which amounted to around €119,000, approximately 30% higher than the average price paid in 2016. In 2017, conversion projects and transactions involving land for the construction of hotels recorded a combined investment volume of €478 million, representing an increase of 139.8% compared to 2016, according to Vázquez.

Offices and residential assets

Offices were the third favourite assets for investors, accounting for investment worth €2.210 billion. Nevertheless, it was the only segment that recorded a decrease in absolute terms with respect to the prior year, with investment in this asset class falling by 20%. That reduction was driven by data in Madrid, given that investment in the Spanish capital fell by 38% with respect to the previous year – €1.374 billion – whilst in Barcelona, the investment volume amounted to €835 million, equivalent to an increase of 60%. Nevertheless, according to Borja Ortega, Director of Capital Markets at JLL, “that decrease was not due to a decline in investor interest, but rather a lack of product on the market and the fact that the previous two years saw record-breaking figures”.

Investment in land also stands out, since it amounted to a record volume of €109 million in Barcelona and €193 million in Madrid; moreover, that trend is expected to continue in 2018.

But it was investment in the residential sector – the purchase of entire buildings and land – that really soared in 2017. It amounted to €2.082 billion, which represented an increase of 160% with respect to the €802 million recorded in 2016. In Cataluña, residential investment amounted to 145% to reach €444 million.

Original story: El País (by S. L. L.)

Translation: Carmel Drake