Sonae and Bankinter to Launch Second Socimi, This Time in Portugal

11 December 2019 – After the success of their jointly-controlled socimi in Spain, Sonae and Bankinter are planning on launching a new investment vehicle in Portugal in 2020. The new socimi will have an initial investment capacity of 100 million euros and will eventually seek a stock market listing in Portugal.

The new socimi reportedly will not focus on any single type of real estate asset. Instead, it will invest in a wide range of assets, from commercial real estate to offices, along with logistics assets and other investments.

The two firms’ socimi in Spain mainly invests in commercial real estate and is aimed at Bankinter’s private banking clients. Ores currently controls a portfolio 34 assets with a combined market value of over 357 million euros and an annual gross income of 21 million euros.

Original Story: Idealista – Custodio Pareja

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Árima Finances Acquisition of Sonae Spain’s Headquarters

9 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Árima Real Estate has signed long-term financing agreements with CaixaBank and BBVA for a total amount of 63.8 million euros, using the funds to finalise its acquisition of Sonae Spain’s headquarters in Madrid. The socimi reported that the financing arrangements have flexible conditions and competitive interest rates.

The asset that Árima acquired is in the region of ​​Avenida de América-Torrelaguna in Madrid. The building has a gross leasable area (GLA) of ​​6,759 square meters, along with 110 parking spaces.

Árima’s total investments since its stock market debut six months ago have now reached 173 million euros. The socimi currently has more than 61,000 square meters of GLA. Of that, 89.3% corresponds to office buildings and the remaining 10.7% is in the logistics segment, all in Madrid.

Original Story: El Economista / Europa Press

Socimi Ores Acquires Stradivarius’ Premises in Burgos for €5.2M

29 March 2019 – Idealista

The Socimi Ores, owned by Bankinter and Sonae, has acquired a commercial premise in Burgos, occupied by Stradivarius, for €5.2 million. The store has a surface area of 724 m2 and is located at number 13 Calle Moneda. The purchase has been financed using available cash, taking Ores’ purchases so far this year to more than €92.2 million.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Spain, the Fifth Biggest European Destination for Real Estate Investments

14 August 2018

With more than €6.1 billion invested in the year to June, Spain consolidated its position as one of the favourite destinations for investors, behind the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Holland.

The Spanish property market is still monopolising the flow of investment capital to Spain. With 6.161 billion euros invested in the first half of the year, Spain accounted for 5% of the total volume invested in the European market and has consolidated its position as the European country with the fifth highest volume transacted until June, behind the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Holland.

Overall, investment in the real estate market in Europe exceeded 120 billion euros, 10% less than in the same period of the previous, record-breaking, year, according to a report prepared by the consultancy CBRE.

By country. The United Kingdom is the leader in investments, with 34.4 billion euros, followed by Germany with 24.5 billion euros. In both cases, investments fell by 6%.

Behind these countries is France, with 11.9 billion euros; Holland with €10 billion; Spain with €6.1 billion; and Sweden with €5.1 billion.

By asset type. The office market was, once again, the segment that attracted the largest volume of investment in Europe, with 52 billion euros, 41% of the total; followed by alternative assets – student and senior citizen residences and healthcare facilities – with 21%; retail (20%), logistics (11%) and hotel management, 7%.

A takeover bid for Axiare

Spain. Colonial’s bid for Axiare encouraged investment in the sector during the first six months of the year, which, despite everything, came in at 15% below that registered in the same period of the previous year.

The acquisition of Axiare, which specialises in offices, by its rival Colonial, accounted for 30% of the total volume transacted in the first half of the year and leveraged the total investment in offices, to 2.036 billion euros.

The most active segment behind offices was retail. With 1.689 billion euros transacted in the first six months of the year, retail accounted for 27% of the total, thanks to the large volume invested in commercial centres with, among others, Redevco and Ares’ purchase of 70% of Parque Corredor for 140 million euros.

Operations focused on high street stores also encouraged investment in retail. Last January, the German fund manager Deka finalised its acquisition of 16 stores owned by Inditex, of which 14 are located in Spain, for some 400 million euros.

The next most significant segments by volume transacted were hotels, with 869 million euros, and logistics, with 716 million euros. 589 million were also invested in the residential sector, almost the same figure as in the first half of 2017, while purchases of alternative assets saw investments of 125 million euros.

Upward forecasts

As for forecasts for the end of the year, CBRE believes that the recovery in the real estate market in Catalonia that, after the independence referendum of last year, has experienced a certain measure of paralysis, along with the finalisation of some large operations currently under negotiation, will see the conclusion of 2018 reaching investment levels similar to those of previous years. Investments in 2017 reached 12.9 billion euros.

The director of Capital Markets at CBRE Spain, Mikel Marco-Gardoqui, explains that taking into account the various “large-scale” operations in advanced negotiations and the return of activity to the investment market in Catalonia, the prospects for the end of the year are “rosy.”

Among these operations is the purchase of four shopping centres owned by Unibail Rodamco for 490 million euros by Vukile. Specifically, the sale of Los Arcos (Seville). Bahia Sur (Cadiz), Faro (Badajoz) and Vallsur (Valladolid) by the South African fund was finalised at the end of July and will be counted, therefore, amongst the transactions closed in the third quarter.

Also, the finalisation of the sale of the three shopping centres sold by CBRE GI and Sonae – Gran Casa (Zaragoza), Max Center (Bilbao) and Valle Real (Santander) – for around 500 million euros is expected in the coming months. According to Expansión, the Slovak fund J&T, in alliance with Sonae, is a favourite to acquire this portfolio of commercial assets.

Corporate operations will also continue to boost the sector in the second half of the year. Among the operations that will boost the real estate market is the purchase of Hispania by Blackstone. The American investment fund finalised its takeover of Hispania last July, after taking control of almost 91% of the Socimi.

The offer from Blackstone, which already held 16.56% of the socimi’s capital, values Hispania at 1.992 billion euros and makes the US fund the largest hotel owner in Spain.

Marco-Gardoqui explains that Spain’s benign macroeconomic prospects, the potential for revenue growth in the office sector, the strong growth of electronic commerce and the need for adequate logistics spaces will continue to undergird the real estate sector.

Likewise, the consultancy underlined the opportunities in the alternative asset segment, which have an extensive need for development and professionalisation. Together with the availability of low-cost capital at low cost, the sector is expected to attract additional capital.

Expansion – Rebecca Arroyo

Ores Acquires 2 Commercial Premises in Madrid & León for €4.9M & €3.8M, Respectively

4 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Ores is ratifying its position as one of the most active Socimis in Spain in terms of acquisitions. The Socimi owned by Bankinter and Sonae has just purchased one commercial premise located on Calle Alcalá in Madrid for €4.9 million. That purchase was carried out after the Socimi signed a €140 million loan with ING, as revealed by Eje Prime.

The commercial establishment is located at number 157 Calle Alcalá and has a surface area of 374 m2. The premise is currently leased to the Tim Hortons restaurant group. The operation, according to sources in the sector, has been brokered by the real estate consultancy Aretail.

In addition, Ores has bought a commercial premise at number 13 Calle Ordoño II in León. That store, which has a surface area of 745 m2, is occupied by the Catalan fashion chain Mango as the tenant. The Socimi paid €3.8 million for the space.

“With these acquisitions, financed using available cash from Ores, the company is continuing to fulfil the investment objectives established in its business plan, in accordance with the financial parameters committed to with the shareholders”, add sources at the group.

These purchases form part of a new growth phase that Ores is embarking on, which is being financed by a €140 million loan. With this financial strength, the group is going to carry out new real estate acquisitions in Spain and Portugal. The group’s most recent purchases include two plots in Mejorada del Campo in Madrid for €6.6 million. With a surface area of 8,000 m2, they are both leased in their entirety to the Valencia-based supermarket group Mercadona.

The year 2018 is proving to be one of the most active for Ores in terms of property purchase operations. At the beginning of the year, the company invested €86 million in the acquisition of six commercial premises in Portugal (…).

Ores is aimed at private banking clients. Although its portfolio of assets is reduced, for the time being, the Socimi made its debut on the stock market with the aim of investing €400 million in high street retail premises, supermarkets, out-of-town retail parks (measuring up to 20,000 m2), bank branches and single assets with long-term leases and solvent tenants.

Bankinter and Sonae Sierra launched this new venture in the real estate sector in record time. The two groups constituted the company on 15 December last year and in just two months, carried out the process to create the vehicle, raised sufficient capital to bring it to life and completed its stock market debut.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sonae Considers Listing its Retail & RE Service Divisiones

22 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Sonae is considering launching its retail business on the stock market. The Portuguese company has engaged the banks Barclays, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank to explore the leap onto the stock market of its divisions Sonae MC, which is dedicated to food retail, and Sonae RP, the arm dedicated to the group’s real estate services. The fashion and sports division, owners of brands such as Zippy, Losan and Salsa, amongst others, would be left out of the operation.

The group explains in a statement that it is evaluating the potential entry onto the stock market of some of its retail business portfolio, in which it would retain a majority stake. The purpose of this move is to create value for shareholders and ensure stability in the growth of its business.

Sonae carved out its fashion and sports business from the rest of the group in 2016, after purchasing Salsa and Losan. That division, which is called Sports&Fashion, includes the fashion and sports equipment chain Sport Zone; the children’s clothing chain Zippy; the ladies’ fashion label Mo; the outdoor chain Berg; the Spanish chain Losan (…) and the Portuguese firm Salsa, which specialises in denim.

As a whole, the Sonae group closed 2017 with turnover of €5.6 billion, up by 6.9% compared to the previous year. The Sports&Fashion division of the Portuguese retailer saw its revenues rise by 11.7% in 2017 to €589 million, nevertheless, Sonae MC continues to generate the bulk of the business, with sales of €3.9 billion in 2017.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sonae Files Complaint Against Store Opening Hour Restrictions

25 April 2016 – Expansión

Legal action/ The group behind the retail brands Worten, Sport Zone and Zippy is rebelling against the store opening restrictions being imposed by the Generalitat in certain areas of Valencia.

Sonae SR, a division of the Portuguese group Sonae, the retail specialist, is on the war path against the Valencian government. The company will start legal proceedings, probably tomorrow or on Wednesday, against the General Trade Directorate of the Community of Valencia, after that body took the decision in March to prohibit stores and shopping centres from opening on Sundays and Bank Holidays in certain areas of Valencia, including the area around the Arena shopping centre (pictured above).

Rafael Maortua, from the law firm Main Servicios Profesionales and the legal representative for Sonae SR, estimates that the opening hour restrictions will have a negative impact of more than 20% on the Sonae SR group’s sales at that shopping centre. The company has calculated that, under the new legislation, they will have to close their doors on an additional 38-40 days per year.

To avoid this, they are filing a claim that will be lodged with the secretary of Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC). (…).

Although the main driver behind the recent restriction on openings hours is the protection of small retailers, Maortua says “Consumers are not going to change their decision to shop on a Sunday or Bank Holiday because their favourite store is closed..”.

The legal representative of Sonae SR points out that when trade was liberalised in Madrid, 20,000 new jobs were created. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Ana Antón)

Translation: Carmel Drake