Grupo Baraka Sells a Logistics Warehouse in Murcia to Corum for €14M

11 June 2018 – Expansión

The Baraka Group, controlled by the businessman Trinitario Casanova, has closed an agreement to sell one of the logistics assets owned by its construction company Trabis.

Specifically, Baraka has sold a logistics warehouse, called Trabis II, located in the Murcian town of Yecla, the region where Casanova’s companies are headquartered. The property, which has a constructed surface area of 14,000 m2, has been sold for €14 million through a sale and leaseback contract.

“The advantage is that the buyer is guaranteed an asset in which the tenant will continue to undertake its activity”, explained Pablo Carvajal, Director of Capital Markets at Catella, the consultancy firm that has advised the new owner in the transaction.

The buyer is the French fund manager Corum Asset Management. Created in 2011 and with offices in Paris and Amsterdam, the firm set itself the objective last year of investing €500 million in real estate assets across Europe, with a special focus on Spain. For its investments, whose yields exceed 6%, Corum works with two funds Corum Origin and Corum XL, the latter was launched last year.

This is not the first time that Baraka and Corum have closed an operation together. In July 2016, the French firm paid more than €24.8 million for another logistics building also leased to Trabis.

Corum is one of the international investors that has opted to purchase logistics assets in Spain, a booming market due to its high returns and the increase in the e-commerce business. “The logistics investment market is proving attractive for domestic and international investors alike and increasingly more are investing in this type of asset. Between January and May, €250 million has been invested in these types of properties”, say sources at Catella.

At the overall level, investment during the first half of the year is expected to reach €5 billion. “During 2018, €3 billion has been invested in tertiary (non-residential) assets. Taking into account certain transactions pending completion, we expect to see investment of close to €5 billion during the first half of the year, around €1 billion less than during the same period in 2017”, he predicts.

Casanova

The divestment of this logistics warehouse comes just weeks after Trinitario Casanova entered the Madrid Nuevo Norte real estate project (known as Operación Chamartín). The businessman has committed to pay €400 million to the initial owners for the rights to 1.2 million m2 of land (now in the hands of the Ministry of Development) where the company DCN, controlled by BBVA and SanJosé, is planning to build an urban development with more than 10,500 homes.

In addition, Casanova is working on the marketing of the future shopping arcade in Edificio España, the property that he purchased from Wanda for €172 million to immediately sell it on to the RIU hotel group.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

‘Operación Chamartín’ Becomes ‘Madrid, Nuevo Norte’

31 July 2017 – Expansión

A Solomonic agreement has been reached between DCN, the Ministry of Development, the Town Hall of Madrid and the Community of Madrid to push ahead with the long-standing project, which will see the construction of 11,000 homes (including 4,100 social housing properties) and a large business centre.

But its name is no longer ‘Operación Chamartín’, ‘Distrito Castellana Norte’ or ‘Madrid Puerta Norte’….after almost 25 years since the idea was first floated by the then government of Felipe González, the development in the northern zone of the belt of Madrid’s M30, is going to be called ‘Madrid, Nuevo Norte’.

On Thursday, the Town Hall of Madrid, Adif and DCN (the property developer in which BBVA and SanJosé hold stakes) presented the strategic guidelines upon which the new project is going to be based. It reduces the buildability to 2.68 million m2, down by 20.5% compared to the 3.37 million m2 proposed by DCN, and cuts the total number of homes to 11,000, of which 20% will be social housing properties. On the other hand, the management of the plan has been handed over to the Town Hall of Madrid, which will control the timings and activities.

The players involved announced the 19 points included as the basis of the agreement, most of which are technical, and which also involve resolving the legal actions. The new plan will see a modification to the General Urban Plan (PGOU) and is divided into five areas (Chamartín Station, Business Centre, Fuencarral Malmea, Fuencarral Tres Olivos and Las Tablas) and two large zones: the South of the M30, which will constitute primarily office space and a large CBD, and the North of the M30, which will focus on housing.

A large business centre for Madrid

One of the fundamental axes of the plan will be the Chamartín station and the Business Centre, which will be located next to the new station to allow for sustainable mobility. The event on Thursday was attended by the Minister for Development, Íñigo de la Serna; the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, and the President of the company Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), Antonio Béjar. “This initiative has solid pillars and is sustainable over time. It is an avant-garde and recognisable project, which will generate investment and create employment”, said Antonio Béjar.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, expressed her appreciation for the capacity for “dialogue and consensus” and asked for collaboration from the other political groups to move ahead with the project. “The world is changing. From now on, in Madrid, we are going to be capable of forming part of that change”. For the Minister for Development, Íñigo de la Serna, this is a new project, born out of an agreement that unites the interests of the parties (…).

In this way, the urban planning project, which just six months ago looked to be doomed to failure, seems to be back on track in the critical areas. The property developers said that Madrid does not currently have a recognisable and compact business district. This plan, they said, is designed to fill that gap.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo, L. Ruiz-Ocaña and C. Galera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Procisa Group Undergoes A Corporate & Financial Makeover

30 December 2016 – Expansión

Procisa, the group owned by the Cereceda family, which in turn owns La Finca, the business and luxury residential complex, in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid) has embarked upon a profound corporate and financial restructuring process involving: a capital injection amounting to €395 million; the entry of the US fund Värde; and the strengthening of its corporate governance.

In terms of the corporate changes, from now on, the company will be organised around the Grupo La Finca holding company, which will in turn own three separate companies: La Finca Global Assets, dedicated to the real estate business and to the operation of the high-end office market; La Finca Casablanca, which will construct the largest luxury residential development containing more than 500 homes; and La Finca Real Estate, upon which the group’s future development will hinge.

Under the framework of this operation, the US fund Värde, owner of Dospuntos (the former real estate division of Sanjose) and owner of a stake in Aliseda, Banco Popular’s real estate asset manager, has acquired 39% of La Finca Global Assets. The US private equity firm, which manages more than $40,000 million in assets around the world, has been one of the most active investors in Spain since the outbreak of the crisis.

Portfolio

By virtue of the agreement signed yesterday, Värde, which must have paid around €130 million for its stake, will become a shareholder of the current office buildings in the portfolio and of the new projects in this area of the business. In addition to the La Finca business park, La Finca Global Assets’s properties include a property located on Calle Marcelo Spínola – a business centre comprising seven seven-storey buildings – and another property on Calle Martínez Villergas, comprising three seven-storey buildings.

Meanwhile, the La Finca business park, covering 220,000 m2 of premium rental space, comprises 20 buildings, 16 of which are used as offices plus the remaining four, located in the centre of the complex, which are used to provide the necessary services to the users of these offices. The complex’s current tenants include technological companies such as Orange and Microsoft.

In terms of the injection of funds, the company has signed a financing agreement with a syndicate led by Société Générale, CaixaBank and Santander amounting to €395 million, which it will use to pay off existing debt and tackle new projects. According to the latest available balance sheet, Procisa’s debt amounts to €525 million.

Specifically, the subsidiary La Finca Casablanca is planning to construct a development containing 515 luxury and exclusive homes, a shopping and leisure centre, as well as sports facilities and a golf course, in the south of Pozuelo de Alarcón.

New directors

Meanwhile, the group owned by the Cereceda family has strengthened its corporate governance by hiring some new directors. Susana García-Cereceda, the current Chairman of Procisa and one of the heiresses of the family empire created by the businessman Luis García Cereceda, who died in 2010, will lead the holding company and each of its subsidiaries, as the CEO.

In addition, Grupo La Finca will hire Jorge Morán as the Vice President of the holding company. (…). Moreover, Värde will join the Board of La Finca Global Assets with the appointment of three board members. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Castellana Norte Wants To Become The New “City” Post-Brexit

20 October 2016 – Expansión

BBVA and the San José group are refusing to throw in the towel on their plans to construct the Castellana Norte urban development (previously known as Operación Chamartín). To this end, the heads of the company Distrito Castellana Norte have engaged the real estate consultancy firm Colliers to perform a study, which will delve into the need for Madrid to have a new supply of offices and high quality residential properties.

“Madrid is a very attractive business centre, with good infrastructure and security, but there is clearly a lack of high quality products on the market at the moment, because the market has grown in a heterogeneous way and the stock of available offices is extremely poor compared to the centres of other European cities”, explained Antonio Pan de Soraluce, the Director General at Colliers International España.

Sources at the consultancy firm highlight the opportunity that exists to turn Madrid into a international destination of choice and to become the new “City” in Europe. “Projects such as Castellana Norte are very attractive because companies are becoming increasingly demanding about where they locate their offices. We have an opportunity not only because of Brexit, but also because we are a very attractive location for companies from Latin America looking to open offices in Europe”, said Pan de Soraluce”.

20% of the total surface area (more than 3 million m2) in Distrito Castellana Norte will be allocated to offices, homes and businesses, whilst the remainder will be used for infrastructure and communal space.

International comparisons

The project has very low buildability ratios when compared with other similar urban planning projects around the world. “We have studied 200 projects, of which 14 are similar, given that they also involve the regeneration of obsolete railway and port infrastructures, and we have identified that Castellana Norte has the third lowest buildability coefficient of them all”.

Projects assessed included La Défense in París, Canary Wharf in London and Postdamper Pl. in Berlín. All of those projects received institutional support and some even benefitted from public financing. That is something that is not happening with the Town Hall of Madrid, against whom the property developer company has filed an appeal for cancelling the project that was planned initially. The Community of Madrid and the Ministry of Development have supported DCN’s appeal, given that they own most of the land where the project was due to be constructed.

To date, the company owned by BBVA and San José has invested more than €120 million on the Castellana Norte development.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake