Caprabo Sells a Batch of Six Stores in Cataluña to Lidl

5 February 2019 – Expansión

Lidl is giving a new boost to its ambitious growth strategy in Cataluña. To strengthen its position in certain locations, the German distribution chain has acquired a batch of six supermarkets from Caprabo, which together span a combined commercial surface area of 9,000 m2.

The operation involves establishments measuring more than 1,000 m2, which Caprabo inaugurated between 1997 and 2009 in the municipalities of Castelldefels, Roses, la Bisbal d’Empordà, El Vendrell, Sant Celoni and Terrassa (…).

Lidl already owns around one hundred points of sale in Cataluña, equivalent to 18% of its commercial network in Spain, which comprises more than 550 stores in total. The autonomous region is a strategic area for the multinational’s growth plan. According to Retail Data, in 2018 alone, Lidl increased its sales space in the Catalan market by 11.2%, where it now accounts for 4.6% of the market. Cataluña is Lidl’s second largest autonomous region in terms of number of supermarkets, behind Andalucía.

Meanwhile, Caprabo, owned by the Eroski group, has a network of 324 points of sale in Cataluña, Navarro and Andorra (…).

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Conforama to Build a 60,000 m2 Logistics Centre in Valencia

16 January 2019 -Eje Prime

A new operation in the Valencian logistics sector. The furniture and household good distribution company Conforama is going to build a 60,000 m2 logistics centre on the Carrasses Industrial Estate in the Valencian municipality of Llíria, according to Efe.

The asset is going to be located on a plot measuring 80,000 m2, which will also include an administrative building. Moreover, with this investment and according to the town hall of the municipality, 30% of the industrial estate’s surface area will be occupied within three years.

This operation forms part of the French company’s expansion strategy. It owns assets located across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as in Italy, Croatia, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Serbia. In Spain, it has 37 stores and it plans to grow that figure to 50 over the coming years.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Losantos Family Puts Neinver Up for Sale for €500M+

26 December 2018 – Cinco Días

One of the historical names of Spanish real estate, the Losantos family, is putting its real estate firm Neinver up for sale for more than €500 million. Neinver specialises in building and managing retail outlets and is the company that manages shopping centres such as The Style Outlets and the Factory. It has a presence in several countries.

The company, chaired by José María Losantos del Campo, has engaged the bank Credit Suisse to search for interested parties in this multi-national firm that started life in La Rioja, according to four financial and real estate sources familiar with the operation. The financial entity and the company declined to comment about this operation.

The founder of the company, born in 1936, started out in the sale and purchase of tinplate, together with his brother Mario, and later founded Neinver in 1969. Mario would go on to found Riofisa, one of the large real estate empires in Spain (…).

José María Losantos grew Neinver, which is now headquartered in Alcobendas (Madrid), specialising in turnkey projects, for example, in several wineries, and which has opted for shopping centres over the last two decades. His son, Daniel Losantos, serves as the firm’s CEO. The real estate company has, in turn, been controlled by the company Teckel Gestora since 2016, which also owns rural estates in Ciudad Real and which is owned by the patriarch of the family.

Neinver manages 600,000 m2 of commercial spaces, across almost 2,000 stores and in 15 outlet centres under the brand The Style Outlets and Factory, which span a commercial surface area of 300,000 m2.

The company has a joint venture to share ownership of some of these assets with TH Real Estate, the real estate arm of TIAA, the US teachers’ pension fund. Neinver controls a lot of these properties through 23 companies, according to reports from Insight View based on property registry data.

In addition to the centres in Spain, it owns assets together with TH Real Estate and other partners in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

In Spain, it owns The Style Outlets – which are dedicated to the off-season sale of well-known brands – in Las Rozas, San Sebastián de los Reyes and Getafe (all three in Madrid), A Coruña and Viladecans (Barcelona), as well as the Madrilenian shopping centres Alegra and Nassica.

This search for buyers entrusted to Credit Suisse comes at a critical moment for investment in the Spanish real estate market, which is featuring many international funds and Socimis. So far this year, until the middle of December, a record investment figure of €18.719 billion has been registered, according to CBRE, up by 45% compared to 2017, boosted above all by the acquisition of companies. In the case of retail, €4.279 billion has been invested to date this year.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruis & Pablo Martín Simón)

Translation: 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

CBRE: Investor Interest in High Street Stores Skyrockets

5 July 2018 – Cinco Días

Stores on the most commercial streets of Spain have become an object of desire for investors in the real estate market. Large funds and insurance companies alike are investing in these types of assets and experts predict that a new record is going to be set in the segment this year.

Investors are expected to spend around €1.1 billion on these types of commercial premises in 2018, according to forecasts from the consultancy CBRE. That figure would exceed the amount invested in high street stores in 2017 by €300 million, equivalent to a growth rate of 36.9%. Of interest are shops on commercial thoroughfares such as c/Preciados and c/Serrano in Madrid and Paseo de Gracia and Portal de l’Àngel in Barcelona. In fact, those two cities accounted for 79% of total investment last year. “Nevertheless, other cities in Spain are on the rise and there is growing demand for investment products in cities such as Bilbao, Valencia, Sevilla and Málaga”, according to the report “The Keys to Retail in Spain”, published by CBRE yesterday.

Investors regard these types of well-located assets as a good option for placing their money, a solid alternative in the context of low-interest rates and because these high street stores perform better (than other commercial assets) in the face of competition from online retailers. Currently, according to CBRE; the returns on these properties amount to 3.5% in Barcelona and to 3.25% in Madrid; in other cities (with more risk), the returns are greater.

The stars of these acquisitions are mainly the large funds. Hines, M&G, AEW, Thor, Union Investment, CBRE GI and Deka. “In 2017, in addition, an insurance company entered the high street sector for the first time: Generali acquired the Pull & Bear store on Calle Preciados in Madrid”, according to the report. Other active players include the Socimis, such as Tander, Ores, and Silicius, which have started to express interest.

In terms of large operations so far this year, in January, the German fund Deka acquired 16 Inditex stores for €400 million. Another significant operation was the acquisition of Mercado de San Miguel by the Dutch fund Redevco, for €70 million.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vukile Increases Castellana Properties’s Share Capital by €7M to Fund New Purchases

12 June 2018 – Eje Prime

The South African fund Vukile is looking after its investment vehicle in Spain. The Socimi Castellana Properties has increased its share capital by €7 million to undertake new purchases, according to explanations provided by the group to Eje Prime. The company is whereby continuing with its investor appetite, which was sated in May with the purchase of the Habaneras shopping centre for €80.6 million.

“Castellana Properties is immersed in an ambitious growth process”, explain sources at the company. “Last year, the Socimi acquired eleven retail parks in Spain for approximately €300 million, to become a strategic player in the real estate sector and, specifically, in the retail sector”, explain sources at the company.

“The capital increase forms part of this growth strategy; it will allow us to increase the company’s financial capacity to undertake new and exciting projects”, they conclude. Following this increase, the resultant subscribed share capital will amount to €33.4 million. The South African fund Vukile now has a portfolio containing thirteen shopping centres in Spain and an investment made to date of €290 million across the whole Spanish market.

Since last year, the group has closed several operations in the Spanish market. Redevco Iberian Ventures, the joint venture between the real estate company specialising in retail Redevco and funds managed by the global alternative asset manager Ares Management, sold nine retail parks to the Socimi for €193 million.

In December, the group acquired two retail spaces in Granada and Murcia with an investment of €65 million. Alameda Park has a surface area of 25,000 m2 and was acquired for €54.6 million, whilst Pinatar Park occupies 10,637 m2 and involved an outlay of €10.7 million.

The only operation signed by Vukile and Castellana Properties so far this year has been the purchase of the Habaneras shopping centre for more than €80 million. The complex was constructed in 2005 by Metrovacesa. Since then, the asset has passed through the hands of Unibail-Rodamco, in 2008 and Harbert, which acquired Habaneras for €65 million.

That centre has a gross leasable area of 24,158 m2 and contains 70 stores distributed over three floors and more than 800 parking spaces. Its tenants include operators such as Zara and H&M. The Habaneras shopping centre received 4 million visitors last year and recorded operating revenues of €5 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Socimi Castellana Properties Buys Habaneras Shopping Centre for €80.6M

9 May 2018 – Eje Prime

A new retail operation has been closed in the world of the Socimis. Castellana Properties has completed the purchase of the Habaneras shopping centre in Torrevieja (Alicante), for €80.6 million, from the listed real estate investment company (Socimi) Heref Habaneras.

The shopping centre has a gross leasable area of 24,158 m2, spread over three floors and contains 70 stores, according to the purchaser, which has highlighted that the centre’s occupancy rate stands at 94%.

In a statement, the CEO of Castellana Properties, Alfonso Brunet, added that last year the Socimi acquired eleven retail parks in Spain worth around €300 million, making it “a strategic player in the real estate sector and, specifically, in the retail segment”.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Makro Puts 3 Centres in Madrid Up For Sale for €90M

12 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Makro wants to make cash in Madrid. The food wholesaler chain wants to get rid of three of the centres that it owns in the Spanish capital to raise €90 million. The intention of the company is to sell the assets under the sale & leaseback method, which means that the company would continue to occupy the premises as the tenant.

The three centres for sale are located in Barajas, Alcobendas and Paseo Imperial and will allow the company, which was founded in The Netherlands, to raise money to invest in the development of new projects. Currently, the company is owned by the German group Metro, which has already successfully signed operations of this kind in other markets, according to Expansión.

Makro has 37 centres in Spain located in fifteen autonomous regions. The food company’s list of customers exceeds 900,000 people and its total retail surface area across the country spans 241,744 m2.

This sale, under the sale & leaseback formula, is currently being used in the market by lots of operators. One example is Inditex, which sold 16 stores in Spain and Portugal under this method in January to the German investment fund Deka; it paid €400 million for the shops, some of which are located in prime locations in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Café Iruña Building in Bilbao Goes On The Market for €20M

28 February 2018 – El Correo

The Heredia-Spínola family, owner of the property that has been home to the popular Café Iruña since 1903, has the future of one of the large real estate operations in Bilbao in its hands, after putting the building up for sale for €20 million. In addition to the hostelry establishment, which has been operated by the businesswoman Alicia Garmendia since 1980, the building, which has one of the most spectacular chamfered street corners on the Ensanche, also houses more than twenty companies on its upper floors.

Offices for lawyers and attorneys as well as for business and tax advisors, massage salons, yoga and pilates studios, insurance broker desks, psychologist and psychiatric clinics, study and documentation centres and even a nursing home are some of the services that occupy the six storeys of one of the most iconic premises of the Vizcayan capital. The Chinese Institute also has its headquarters in this building with views over Colón de Larreátegui and Berastegi.

There have been lots of comings and goings in the property since its owners expressed their intention to put the building on the market a few months ago. The operation, which is being undertaken with the utmost secrecy, is keeping a large number of its tenants in suspense. Most companies have been paying old rents, which are well below current market prices, for several years. But some are now starting to move out as their contracts are expiring and the new rents, more in line with the prevailing prices in the centre of the town, are proving unviable, both in the office and retail segments.

One of the fashion stores located on the ground floor of the property closed its doors several weeks ago after its rental cost increased. The other – Quo Bilbao – dedicated to the sale of clothing and accessories for women, which has been selling off its stock at a discount for weeks with articles costing between €10 and €50, is still open and has no intention of shutting down (…).

A hotel or luxury homes

Those who are also clear that “under no circumstances” shall they move from the site that they have occupied for 115 years are the managers of Café Iruña, the most popular cafeteria in Bilbao. Coincidently, it will reopen its doors tomorrow after being closed since last Monday to undertake several maintenance and conservation jobs (…). The Iruña Servicios de Hostelería Group confirmed that (…) under no circumstances will the change of ownership affect the operation of the business, which was founded on 7 July 1903 by the Navarran property developer Severo Unzue and which has become famous for its Moorish pintxos, amongst other snacks.

“We employ almost 30 people and we are going to continue”, insisted Garmendia. With two years to go until the current contract expires, only an exorbitant increase in the rental price may call into question the survival of this establishment, which spans 300 m2 and whose décor is inspired by the Mudejars with polychrome ceilings and stunning tiles that captivate thousands of tourists, making it one of the main restaurants of choice  in the city (…).

The companies that enjoy this central location are under the impression that the new owners could convert the property into luxury homes or turn it into a hotel (…).

Original story: El Correo (by Luis Gómez)

Translation: Carmel Drake