29 November 2016 – El Confidencial
Early in the summer of 2015, the opportunistic fund GreenOak surprised the market by announcing its unbridled appetite for the Spanish logistics market. In June of that year, the vehicle funded and managed by John Carrafiell announced that it had just purchased five logistics assets in the Community of Madrid, with a combined surface area of 200,000 m2, and that it had agreed to acquire another 100,000 m2.
Over the next few months, the fund completed a barrage of operations, involving the acquisition of, amongst others: a 14,000 m2 platform, which became the largest logistics operation in the País Vasco in 2015; a 30,000 m2 asset in Toledo, leased to Schwepees; the Michelin logistics platform in Seseña, which has a surface area of 47,000 m2; and a portfolio covering 144,320 m2 spread across several properties in Zaragoza and Massalvés (Valencia), which it purchased from Prologis.
Thus, in just 12 months, GreenOak fulfilled its objective of acquiring a portfolio covering 500,000 m2, but rather than develop it, the US fund has now decided to put it up for sale, and whereby take advantage of the strong appetite from institutional investors and specialists in the sector. According to several sources familiar with the sale, the fund has opened a formal sales process, whose first key milestone was recorded last week, with the presentation of preliminary offers from interested parties.
The US firm Eastdil Secured, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo, is coordinating the process, according to the same sources, who point out that this advisor was also chosen by the Canadian fund Ivanhoe to coordinate the sales process of Xanadú, one of the largest shopping centres in Spain, which was sold for around €500 million.
GreenOak’s decision to divest its entire logistics portfolio is seen in the market as an operation by an opportunistic fund, which knew how to buy cheaply and which has decided to take advantage of the interest from more stable investors to generate rapid capital gains. The consideration for the operation is expected to exceed €200 million, compared with the figure of around €125 million that GreenOak has invested to build the portfolio.
GreenOak signed its first major property purchase in Spain in 2014, when it acquired seven shopping centres from the Dutch group Vastned Retail for €160 million. (…).
It then went onto buy the building located at number 77 on Calle Fuencarral, which it acquired from the General Social Security Treasrury for €21 million; followed by the Sevilla Factory shopping centre, which it bought for €12 million; an office building in Port Cornellá (Barcelona), which it purchased for €10.1 million; and four buildings in the Avalon Business Park (Madrid) and another one in Arroyo de la Vega (Alcobendas), on which it spent more than €55 million in total, according to the figures disclosed in the annual accounts of Gore Spain, the Socimi through which the fund channels its investments in our country.
The icing on the cake for GreenOak came in June this year, when it acquired the Las Mercedes Business Park from Standard Life. The property is located on the outskirts of Madrid, next to the A-2 motorway and comprises an 80,000 m2 complex with 10 buildings, of which nine are used for offices, with the tenth used for the provision of general services.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake