AXA Negotiates with ACS to Build 2 Office Blocks on Paseo de la Dirección in Madrid

29 May 2019 – Eje Prime

The insurance company AXA is holding negotiations with the construction company ACS to build two office buildings on plots that it owns on Paseo de la Dirección in Madrid.

The towers would be similar in height to the residential skyscrapers that Stoneweg is planning to build on the same street. They would include restaurants and shops, which would serve to regenerate activity in the Tetuán neighbourhood.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Project Caleido will Revolutionise the Commercial Offer on Paseo de la Castellana

9 May 2019 – Expansión

From the end of 2020 onwards, Project Caleido, which is being promoted by the property developer Inmobiliaria Espacio and the Philippine company Megaworld Corporation, is going to launch 14,000 m2 of commercial space at the northern end of Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid, whereby providing a much-needed leisure area for workers in the Cuatro Torres business district.

The commercial space will seek to imitate a typical high street with between 70 and 80 premises distributed over two floors. The premises will house restaurants (35%), services (11%) and retail, technology, accessories and cosmetics brands.

Caleido’s offering will also include a boutique cinema, a supermarket, a gym, an exhibition and events centre and an eSports space. The developers have already marketed 30% of the space and expect to fill another 20%  of the premises before the summer.

According to a study performed by GfK, Caleido will receive more than 3 million visitors per year and will serve not only the employees that already work in the area, but also the more than 6,000 students who will be studying at IE’s new high-rise campus in the fifth tower as well as employees and patients of the Quirónsalud Group’s new advanced medicine centre.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Portal de L’Àngel Ratifies is Position as Spain’s Most Expensive Street

14 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Portal de l’Àngel has reaffirmed its position as Spain’s most expensive street in Spain for opening a commercial premise. The busy Barcelona thoroughfare charges an average rent of €3,360/m2 per year, according to the report Main streets across the world 2018, compiled by Cushman&Wakefield. The amount this year has not varied with respect to the previous year.

Meanwhile, Madrid’s Calle Preciados continues in second place in the ranking, with an average rent of €3,240/m2 per year, which represents a 2% increase with respect to prices last year.

Across Europe as a whole, Portal de l’Àngel occupies the 18th position in the ranking of prime high streets in the region, whilst Calle Preciados is positioned at number twenty. In terms of the main commercial thoroughfares around the world, Barcelona’s prime street is placed at number 67 and Madrid’s at number 71.

In the global ranking for 2018, Causeway Bay, in Hong Kong knocked off Fifth Avenue in New York from the top of the podium, with a rental price of €24,606/m2 per year. Retail rents on the New York prime street amount to €20,733/m2 per year. In third place is New Bond Street in London with an average price of €16,071/m2 per year.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

El Corte Inglés Values its Real Estate Assets at €17.1bn

25 September 2018 – Expansión

The properties owned by El Corte Inglés are worth €17.147 billion, according to the most recent valuation entrusted by the company to Tinsa for the end of its financial year, February 2018. That is the valuation that the company shared with investors interested in the placement of €600 million of its bonds.

This real estate portfolio, which according to previous reports was worth almost €17.0 billion, comprises 94 shopping centres, of which two are located in Portugal. These shopping centres account for 87% of the total value of the company’s assets. El Corte Inglés warns investors that this valuation may have to be adjusted in the future, given the illiquid nature of its real estate assets.

Tinsa’s study segments the distribution company’s shopping centres by value. Two of them are worth more than €500 million each, and another two are worth between €400 million and €500 million. The bulk of the centres, 45 to be precise, have a valuation of between €100 million and €200 million. Six of the centres are worth between €300 million and €400 million.

32% of the value of the real estate assets of El Corte Inglés are located in Madrid, whilst 10% are located in Barcelona. Málaga and Valencia are home to 6% each; Sevilla another 4%; and the other Spanish regions, the remaining 42%.

The bulk of the valuation of El Corte Inglés’s real estate portfolio, €14.964 million, corresponds to its stores and shopping centres

The company highlights that it owns the largest portfolio of real estate assets of any of the companies in its sector in Europe. The total surface area of its real estate assets spans 3,994 million m2.

This independent valuation entrusted to Tinsa does not include the real estate operations carried out by El Corte Inglés since February of this year. In August, the company sold two shopping centres located in Madrid (Princesa) and Bilbao (Gran Vía) to Corpfin Capital Real Estate for around €100 million.

Quarterly results

The results of El Corte Inglés remained practically stable YoY during the first quarter of its financial year, which finished at the end of May. According to the unaudited provisional accounts, the company lost €50 million during that quarter, compared with losses of €51 million during the same period in 2017.

The company’s sales grew slightly, with net revenues of €3.417 billion, just above the €3.413 billion recorded during its first quarter last year.

According to the unaudited provisional data at the end of July 2018, corresponding to the first five months of the financial year, sales fell by 0.1% YoY and EBITDA decreased by 0.6%.

This result is explained by a decrease in revenues in the retail and technological departments, which were partially offset by an increase in sales in its travel agency and insurance departments.

El Corte Inglés explains to investors interested in its bonds that sales of clothing were hit during that period due the unusual climate this year (…).

Original story: Expansión (by A. Roa & D. Badia)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deutsche Bank Acquires L’Aljub Shopping Centre in Elche for €170M

8 May 2018 – Expansión

Deutsche Bank is increasing its commitment to the Spanish retail sector by adding the L’Aljub shopping centre in Elche to its portfolio of assets in Spain.

Specifically, the German bank has signed an agreement with the fund Seva (Southern European Value-Add Mandate), managed by TH Real Estate for the investors TPG Real Estate – the real estate platform of the international manager TPG – and Partners Group, for €170 million.

The operation has been advised by the consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield, which has worked with the vendor, whilst CBRE has advised on the buy side.

With this acquisition, the entity is strengthening its position in the commercial sector in the country. In August 2016, Deutsche Bank purchased the Diagonal Mar shopping centre from Northwood for €495 million. That operation was the second largest transaction ever closed in the shopping centre sector in Spain, after the purchase of Xanadú.

Moreover, Trajano – the Socimi managed by Deutsche Bank – purchased the Alcalá Magna shopping centre from Incus Capital for just over €100 million at the beginning of last year. In addition, the firm also owns the Salera shopping centre in Castellón de la Plana.

The L’Aljub shopping centre was inaugurated in 2003 and spans more than 60,000 m2, spread over two floors and with a large underground car park.

Besides the commercial and leisure offering, L’Aljub is home to an Eroski hypermarket on the ground floor.

Specifically, the shopping centre contains 120 shops and has 3,200 parking spaces. Its most high-profile tenants include Inditex, H&M, Primark, Mango and Cines ABC.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deloitte: Tertiary Real Estate Inv’t Amounts to €9.7bn in 2017

27 December 2017 – Expansión

An increase in property prices has led to a 22% reduction in the purchase of non-residential assets in 2017 with respect to 2016.

The boom that has marked the real estate investment sector in Spain since 2014 is starting to show signs of slowing. That is according to the most recent non-residential investment figures, which, with just a few days to go before year-end, are reflecting a decrease of 22% with respect to 2016.

According to a market study performed by Deloitte Real Estate, investors spent €9.7 billion this year on tertiary properties (offices, hotels, commercial and logistics assets) compared with €12.4 billion in 2016 and €11.8 billion in 2015.

“With just a few operations still left to close before 31 December, which will amount to between €0.5 billion and €0.6 billion, tertiary investment has fallen by 22%. This decrease in activity is a sign that we have crossed the equator of the bullish cycle and that we are possibly starting a period of greater stability”, explained Javier García-Mateo, Partner in Financial Advisory at Deloitte.

The 22% decrease is due to a weaker second half of the year in terms of the rate of investment (…). During the third quarter, investment fell from €6.6 billion in 2016 to €1.6 billion this year, says Deloitte in its report. During the fourth quarter, the difference was a decrease of 42% (€2.8 billion compared with €1.8 billion). The decrease is more pronounced in the property segments that tend to lead absolute investment, namely, offices and retail assets. In the case of the former, investors have spent €2.3 billion in 2017, less than half the amount recorded in 2016 (€4.9 billion) and 2015 (€5.3 billion) (…). “Offices tends to be the segment that traditionally leads investment, but this year it has decreased by 55%. This is not due to a lack of supply, but rather the gap between the expectations of sellers and the offers from buyers. Moreover, some operations have been abandoned, such as the sale of Hispania’s portfolio”, said García-Mateo.

In this way, unlike in previous years, where large operations were closed during the final quarter of the year, such as Torre Foster – sold for €490 million at the end of 2016-, Torre Espacio – sold in November 2015 for €550 million – and Torre Picasso – sold for €400 million in December 2011 – this year, the most significant operation has been the sale of 50% of Torre Caleido on Paseo de la Castellana, for around €150 million, closed during the first quarter of the year.

In the case of retail assets, investment in shopping centres fell by 29% to €2.7 billion, despite record operations such as the one involving Xanadú, whilst the purchase of shops fell by 36% to €421 million.

“After 4 years of increases in valuations and the consequent decrease in yields, investment in offices and retail property is significantly less attractive than in the hotel and logistics segments, where there are up to 3 points of differential per year”, say the sources at Deloitte. The large hotel operations this year have included the purchase of Edificio España by the Riu Group and the sale of HI Partners, along with its 14 establishments, by Banco Sabadell to Blackstone for €630.73 million.

Cataluña

The 22% decrease comes at a time that is being characterised by the independentist challenge in Cataluña, although the uncertainty being generated in that region does not seem to have had an impact on real estate investment, at least not yet, according to García-Mateo. “In Cataluña, the absorption of office space has fallen and sales in shopping centres have also decreased, by around 10% with respect to Q4 2016, but investment has not been hit, as evidenced by Meridia Capital’s recent purchase of the Barnasud shopping centre and Invesco’s acquisition of the Mango facilities in Palau de Plegamans (Barcelona)”, he added.

In this way, the experts justify that the decrease in investment is due to a change in the cycle, following four years of rapid growth (…).

Nevertheless, the €9.7 billion spent during 2017 represents the fourth-highest figure in the historical series (dating back 13 years).

It was only in the last two years, as well as in the record year for the sector (2007), when investment amounted to €12.6 billion, that investment in non-residential assets exceeded the €10 billion threshold, according to Deloitte.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Optimum III Buys 48 Homes & 5 Shops on Outskirts of Barcelona

22 December 2017 – Eje Prime

Optimum III’s final push in 2017 is proving dizzying. In its latest deal, the Catalan Socimi has acquired a package of assets containing 48 homes, 5 shops and 39 parking spaces in Rubí, a town on the outskirts of Barcelona, according to a statement issued on Friday by the company, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

This purchase follows a series of acquisitions in recent weeks in the same Catalan city, where it bought a residential property in Hospitalet de Llobregat, as well as in Madrid, where it purchased an office building in the city centre.

The Socmi’s new asset has a surface area of 6,548 m2 and, as well as containing almost fifty homes, includes 51 storerooms. The company, controlled by BMB Investment Management and Bluemountain, has reported that 80% of the homes are already occupied, mainly under lease contracts, but just one of the five shops is currently leased (…).

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Completes Construction of Torre Sevilla Shopping Centre

18 December 2017 – Eje Prime

The complex, which has been designed by the architecture studio Broadway Maylan, comprises two large buildings, which have a combined gross leasable area of 26,700 m2.

CaixaBank is ending the year by finishing its projects. The company has completed construction of the Torre Sevilla shopping centre after investing €20 million, according to a statement issued by the group. The termination of this work, in which 800 professionals have participated, makes way for the final phase of the project, ahead of the imminent handover of the shops to the various retailers.

The company is now starting the work required to prepare the access routes from the street to establish the entry points. The remodelling work has included efforts to adapt the structure, air conditioning architecture and installations, electricity, lighting and mechanics, as well as, the regulation of all of the access points to the centre from the street and the parking lot.

They have also included the creation of new outdoor common areas for the movement of people; the installation of four escalator hubs that connect the different floors; and the placement of open-air walkways to connect the two buildings and to encourage the free movement of people between the retail spaces on both sides.

The complex has been designed by the architecture studio Broadway Maylan and comprises two large buildings, with a gross leasable area of 26,700 m2 and a constructed surface area of 43,000 m2. One of the buildings has three floors and the other has four floors. In total, there is initially space for eighty shops.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The USA’s Largest RE Firm Launches its Second Socimi in Spain

15 December 2017 – La Información

The largest real estate company in the United States, Lennar Corporation, has just redoubled its commitment to the Spanish market with the creation of a second Socimi. The aim is to reinforce the role already being played by its company Al Breck Socimi, to optimise the performance of the real estate assets that the US giant owns in Spain, through this special tax regime.

The operation has been formalised through the company Rialto Capital Management, one of the investor vehicles – headquartered in Luxembourg – that Lennar uses to carry out real estate operations in Europe and the only one that has a stable structure in Spain. Rialto Captial is listed on the Mercantile Register, according to information provided by the website Informa, as the sole shareholder of the new company, Ceres Real Estate Socimi. In turn, Ceres is the heir of Clearfield Invest, a firm constituted just over two months ago and whose administrators form part of the team in Spain of Grupo TMF, a company specialising in the provision of all kinds of services for companies.

This singular sequential corporate structure is identical to the one that preceded the launch of Rialto Capital’s other Socimi, Al Breck, between September 2014 and October 2016. In that case, a parent company Cornwall Invest was constituted with three subsidiary companies. Two months after the creation of those companies, the firm Al Breck Luxembourg, which Rialto Capital owns outright (100%), acquired Cornwall Invest, which acquired the three subsidiary companies a week later, as the prologue to the formal application for adopting the special tax regime afforded to Socimis.

Al Breck Socimi took over the management of the portfolio of real estate assets acquired by Rialto Capital and Drago Capital from Inverseguros, the collective investment platform created back in the day by several insurance companies and which was the first real estate fund to be registered with the CNMV. The package included parking spaces, offices, shops and homes, most in very central areas of Madrid, and was valued by the company in the MAB incorporation document, at €110 million.

According to Lennar’s annual report for 2016, besides that operation, the company only formalised one other operation last year, namely a real estate development in which it invested USD 1.6 million (…).

Rialto Capital’s new Socimi is feeding a market on the rise; this year alone 17 new companies with a combined asset portfolio of more than €4.5 billion have joined the MAB (…).

In October, Lennar Corporation became the largest real estate company in the USA after closing the absorption of Cal Atlantic, the most important company in the state of Virginia. According to the local press, the operation has resulted in the creation of a giant with annual revenues of USD 17 billion (€14.4 billion), a market capitalisation of USD 18 billion (€15.26 billion) and a portfolio of more than 240,000 properties.

Original story: La Información (by Bruno Pérez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Housing: The Bastion of the Socimis on the MAB

14 December 2017  – Expansión 

More than fifteen of the listed Socimis have residential properties in their portfolios. Alternative assets are also sneaking into the portfolios of many of the companies that trade on the MAB.

Homes, offices, hotels, shops, warehouses, land under development, health centres, student halls and even gas stations. The 44 Socimis that are currently listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) are involved in the rental of all kind of assets, but housing is the star for these listed vehicles, which currently hold more than €12.22 billion in their portfolios and capitalise €6.835 million.

In this way, in contrast to the scarce presence of rental housing owned by the vehicles listed on the main stock exchange, housing accounts for 21.9% of the portfolios of the Socimis on the MAB. Specifically, of the firms specialising in residential, a few stand out: Fidere – the Socimi owned by Blackstone which made its stock market debut in 2015 with 2,688 social housing properties purchased during the crisis – and Colón – and rental housing Socimi controlled by Azora, which debuts on the stock market in June. Altogether, 16 companies have residential assets in their portfolios, according to data from Armabex.

After housing, offices account for 20.4% of the assets in the Socimis’ portfolios, followed by shopping centres (14.2%), shops (13.9%), industrial warehouses (6.3%) and hotels (5.7%).

In terms of geographical distribution, Madrid leads the investment by Socimis, with €5.684 billion – 46.5% of the total -, whilst Barcelona accounts for 11.2%, with €1.364 billion. The other assets – €4.34 billion – are located across the rest of Spain.

In terms of the investor profile, the main stars on the MAB are non-resident, accounting for 55.1% of the assets incorporated. In 2017, seven Socimis owned by non-resident investors joined the MAB, with assets worth €1.388 billion.

Trends

For Antonio Fernández, President of Armabex, the trend over the next few months will be characterised by fragmentation and specialisation. For example, of the 17 new companies listed in 2017, two specialise in hotels –Bay Hotels & Leisure (the Socimi owned by Hispania and Barceló, which made its debut in the summer) and Elaia Investment Spain (previously Eurosic Investment Spain, which debuted in November)-, one owns gas stations – Kingbook Inversiones –, and more recently, one specialises in industrial warehouses – P3 Spain Logistic –.

The latter is a Socimi of Socimis, in other words, a Socimi that controls 100% of another company of the same kind, which is not listed but which has the same obligations and tax benefits as a regular Socimi. “46% of all Socimis own other non-listed Socimis. It is a structure that is used a lot when it comes to constituting asset portfolios. It allows companies to be sold and new shareholders to enter individually”.

In this company structure context, we are also starting to see investors crossing between Socimis. In this way, for example, the Singapore fund features in the share capital of P3 Spain Logistic and GMP. Similarly, the financial institutions have bet on this vehicle for their real estate assets. In this way, Banca March will debut a Socimi that owns the ABC Serrano shopping centre, which it acquired from CBRE Global Investors in June, and Sareb is preparing for the debut of Témpore Properties.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake