Blackstone Creates ‘Testa Home’ to Manage 20,000 of its Rental Homes

10 January 2020 – El Economista

Blackstone has created a new company, Testa Home, to manage 20,000 of the rental flats owned by its Socimis and other subsidiaries.

The entity will be led by Fidere’s current president, Juan Pablo Vera, and will owned by Testa (58.12%) and Fidere (41.88%).

The aim is to make the management of the portfolio more efficient, optimise operating costs and returns, and render an improved service to tenants.

Of the 20,000 flats, 11,000 are owned by Testa, 6,500 by Fidere, 2,000 by Aliseda and 500 by Hispania.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Neinor Reports Profits of €90M, Exceeding its Own Forecast by 30%

9 January 2020 – El Confidencial

Nine months after issuing a profit warning, announcing a new roadmap and appointing a new CEO (Borja García-Egotxeaga (pictured below)), Neinor has reported profits of €90 million, up by 30% compared to the revised forecasts of €70 million.

The property developer handed over 1,269 finished homes last year, within its forecast range of between 1,200 and 1,700, and has another 200 ready to hand over this year. It plans to hand over half of those this month (January) and the rest during the course of the year, depending on its margins.

2020 is going to be a critical year given the looming change in the economic cycle, with stabilisation expected in terms of sales and prices. In 2018, prices rose by 8%; in 2019, they increased by 6-7%; and in 2020, the firm’s objective is to sell 1,700 homes and achieve a price increase of 3.5-4%. Thanks to these rises, the group’s margin amounted to 30% at the end of 2019.

By contrast, Neinor has not managed to fulfil its land purchase plan to date, although it expects to achieve its ambitious forecasts for 2020 when it aims to invest €110 million in total.

The property developer’s two largest shareholders, Orion (28%) and Adar are both keen to support the growth of the company and benefit from the consequent recovery of its share price.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Orion Becomes Neinor’s 2nd Largest Shareholder with an 11.1% Stake

29 May 2019 – Eje Prime

The French fund Orion European Real Estate has doubled its stake in Neinor Homes in just two months to 11.1%, despite the profit warning issued by the property developer in April.

As such, Orion is now Neinor’s second-largest shareholder, after the Israeli fund Adar Capital, which owns 28.7% of the shares. Other shareholders include Bank of Montreal (5.2%), Julius Baer (6.2%) and King Street Capital (4.1%).

Based on the current share price, Orion’s package of 8.8 million shares in Neinor is worth €95 million.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

The FROB Recorded a €382M Provision Against its Stake in Sareb in 2018

20 May 2019 – El Confidencial

The Spanish Fund for Orderly Banking Restructuring (FROB) presented its accounts for 2018 this week revealing that it decided to recognise a €382 million provision against its stake in Sareb last year.

In this way, the FROB has now written off 92.3% of its initial investment in the entity chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured above), up from 75% in 2017. If the rest of the investor entities, namely all of the large Spanish banks with the exception of BBVA, do the same, then they will have to recognise losses of around €450 million.

In absolute terms, the FROB’s stake in Sareb is now worth €169 million compared with its initial investment of €2.192 billion. The FROB is Sareb’s largest shareholder with a 45.9% stake, followed by Santander (22.3%), CaixaBank (12.2%), Sabadell (6.6%) and Kutxabank (2.5%).

As the bad bank’s largest shareholder, the FROB typically sets the tone of the provisions for the other entities. Last year, after the FROB increased its cumulative provision to 75%, other shareholders such as CaixaBank and Sabadell recognised extraordinary provisions in their accounts for Q2. This year, the average provisioning rate is expected to increase from around 70% to 90%.

Sareb closed 2018 with losses of €878 million (up by 55%) due to the strong competition in the institutional market and the real estate crisis that still affects much of the country. The bad bank sold 21,152 properties last year and its income from property management soared by 19% to €1.4 billion, but its income from the loan portfolio fell by 16% to €2.2 billion and so total income fell by 5% to €3.7 billion.

The outlook for the bad bank for the next few years is not great and many experts forecast that not even a single euro will be recovered from Sareb.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Intu Considers Selling its 4 Shopping Centres in Spain to Pay Off Debt

6 March 2019 – Expansión

The British retail giant, Intu Properties, is considering putting up for sale its real estate assets in Spain in order to pay off some of its debt. The company’s stock market value has plummeted to €2 billion in recent months, and its debt amounts to more than €5 billion, following two unsuccessful takeover bids for the company last year.

The firm has reportedly received expressions of interest for its Spanish portfolio, which is worth €1 billion in total, from several large international investors. The assets in question are Xanadú (Madrid), Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza), Parque Principado (Asturias) and a mega-project currently under construction in Málaga.

No formal sales process has been initiated yet but a number of unsolicited offers have been received. Nevertheless, legal sources state that the firm would have to offer the right of first refusal to its shareholder partners in each case, namely CPPIB in the case of Puerto Venecia and Parque Principado, and Nuveen (previously TH Real Estate) in the case of Xanadú, before opening any sales process to the wider market.

Other potential suitors include Castellana Properties (the firm backed by the South African investor Vukile) and the Slovenian group J&T.

Original story: Expansión (by Roberto Casado & Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vitalia Buys 2 Plots for the Construction of Private Nursing Homes

5 February 2019 – Alimarket

The nursing home management group Vitalia Plus has confirmed to Alimarket its intention to continue incorporating new projects and acquiring residences in operation in Spain. In recent days, Vitalia has signed agreements for the purchase of two plots of land in Valencia and Salamanca, cities where the firm has not had a presence until now. In the case of Salamanca, Vitalia is planning to build a private nursing home in the city with 130 beds and 30 day spaces. Meanwhile, in Valencia capital, the group will build 128 residential spaces and 30 day spaces. Two other plots are expected to be added to those two new projects, whose purchase the group is currently negotiating in two other Spanish cities.

The new projects form part of a second phase of investments planned by Vitalia, worth more than €100 million, which the group will finance with own funds (more than €50 million) and a €50 million loan, requested recently from the European Investment Bank (….).

Currently, besides the new homes announced in Valencia and Salamanca, Vitalia has 22 other nursing homes in different phases of completion – including the Vitalia Expo in Zaragoza, Vitalia Toledo and the expansion of one of its centres in Teruel (…) – which contain 3,443 beds in total (3,701 beds including the new projects in Valencia and Salamanca). These centres will be added to the 44 nursing homes that the group manages in Spain, with 6,461 beds (…).

Since March 2017, the group Vitalia Plus has been controlled by the investor CVC Capital Partners (which owns an 80% stake), whilst the investor Portobello Capital owns 10% and the executive President and founder José María Cosculluela Salina holds the remaining 10%. In 2017 – the most recent data available – Vitalia recorded a consolidated turnover of €91.05M with 2,850 workers.

Original story: Alimarket (by Eva de Frutos)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Galil Capital Completes a €7.9M Capital Increase

5 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Galil Capital is raising funds to continue growing its portfolio. The Socimi is going to increase its share capital by €7.9 million, compared with the figure of €8.74 million planned initially, according to a statement filed with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

Once the term for the preferential subscription and discretional allocation of shares has ended, Galil explained that the share capital will be increased by €6.59 million, corresponding to 658,710 new shares and to a total disbursement of €7.9 million.

The shareholders of the Socimi, controlled by the Israeli businessman Gil Avraham Shwed, approved the capital increase of up to €8.74 million last November. With this operation, promoted just one month after it raised €4.5 million in bank loans, the company is intending to finance the purchase of new assets.

Galil Capital started life in 2015 and specialises in the investment and management of properties in Madrid and Barcelona. The Socimi is led by Jerry Mandel, former CEO of Merrill Lynch, who is the founder and owner of GC Nadlan, the company that manages the real estate firm (…).

According to the latest available information, corresponding to June, Galil Capital’s portfolio comprises six assets, all of which have residential use, worth €31.36 million (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Marta Casado)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Proptech Sonneil Will Triple its Sales in 2019

4 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Sonneil is broadening its horizons. The Spanish proptech, founded in 2014 by the former director of the international team at Solvia, Alfredo Millá Ferrero, expects to close this year with turnover of €1.5 million, triple the figure recorded last year. The startup now has a portfolio comprising more than 3,700 homes, 1,000 of which it is marketing exclusively. Over the medium term, the company does not rule out entering new markets, although it is not something that it is considering for this year.

The company, headquartered in Alicante, specialises in the sale of new build second homes to foreigners on the Spanish coast. The company, which operates online only, relies on digital marketing to “minimise intermediaries and reduce costs”, explained Millá to Eje Prime.

“Selling to foreigners is a very opaque sector, and with lots of intermediaries, there is a very large accumulation of costs”, said the executive. “There has been a transformation in all sectors, except for the real estate sector, where we are still working with the same model”, he said.

Alongside Millá, the drivers behind the project were Albert Ribera, one of the founders of the portal Trovit; Juan Busquets, Partner at Busquets Abogados, and Juan Pedro Moreno, CEO of Accenture.

Since it was founded, Sonneil has carried out three rounds of financing, subscribed to in their majority by shareholders, but which have also given capital access to investors such as Domingo Caamaño and Vicente Rodero, former directors of BBVA, and Sevenzonic Ventures, the investment group backed by Javier Rodríguez Zapatero, former CEO of Google, and Manuel Gálatas.

The company’s portfolio, which is mostly owned by property developers and family offices, is concentrated along the Mediterranean coast, Mallorca and Ibiza.

Sonneil’s main clients are Belgian Flemish, Russian, British and Dutch, although Millá Ferrero commented that there has been a notable decrease in the number of British clients in recent years, especially since the Brexit referendum (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Milana Mishchenko)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Starwood Purchases Omega Park in Madrid and an Office Building in Barcelona

24 January 2019 -El Confidencial

The US fund Starwood Capital has taken another important bite out of the Spanish office market with the purchase of the entire portfolio of Autonomy, the Socimi whose main asset was the Madrilenian Omega Business Park, a giant corporate complex comprising four buildings spanning more than 33,000 m2, and which houses the headquarters of multinationals such as BP and Samsung.

The transaction, whose consideration amounted to €125 million, also includes an office complex in the sought-after 22@ district of Barcelona, which allows the US fund to also expand its presence into the Catalan capital and to make strides in its commitment to build an office portfolio in Spain worth €500 million.

To reach this objective, Starwood joined forces last year with Drago Capital, together with which it starred in the purchase of the Madrilenian San Fernando Business Park for €120 million, and which has also accompanied it in its purchase from Autonomy (…).

The Socimi, meanwhile, had put the for sale sign up over its whole portfolio a while ago. It constructed the portfolio with a clear opportunistic appetite during the worst periods of the crisis and it is now able to undo its positions with juicy gains.

In fact, at the end of 2017, Autonomy sold the jewel in its crown in Spain, the building located at number 4 Gran Vía, to the Riberas family, owner of Gonvarri and Gestamp, for €43 million, an amount that generated a gain of 40% for the opportunistic investor.

Following the sale of the office portfolio to Starwood, the Socimi is going to distribute €44.7 million as an issue premium, as well as an interim dividend of €51 million, amounts that in both cases will be paid into the accounts of shareholders on 30 January.

Moreover, once all of these operations have been completed, Autonomy will still have €10 million in cash and no assets under ownership, which means that it will have completed its objective of divesting all of its positions in Spain with juicy gains.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Realia Completes its €149M Capital Increase

2 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Realia has completed its capital increase. The real estate firm owned by the Mexican magnate Carlos Slim has completed its €149 million capital increase with a final injection of €42.1 million, according to a statement filed by the company with Spain’s National Securities and Market Commission (CNMV).

In its latest expansion phase, the company has issued 175.4 million new shares in total, for a nominal value of €0.24 and an issue premium of €0.61 per share. The company’s share capital has thereby been consolidated at €197 million, divided into 820 million shares.

Since Slim took control in 2015, Realia has undertaken three capital increases in total. The latest is the operation closed today, which was approved in November to try to decrease the company’s debt, which amounts to €672 million, and to provide a financial boost to its real estate businesses.

Slim controls 70.76% of Realia’s capital, 33% in a direct way and 36.98% through the construction group FCC, which is also led by the Mexican businessman. The real estate company also has an asset portfolio spanning approximately half a million square metres, which includes one of the Kio Towers in Madrid.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake