GreenOak Buys ‘Sevilla Factory’ Shopping Centre For €15M

10 July 2015 – Expansión

The French-Dutch group Unibail Rodamco, one of the largest shopping centre owners in Europe, has closed the sale of one of its assets in Spain: the Sevilla Factory.

According to the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres, the property, which opened in the year 2000, has a constructed surface area of 20,000 m2, of which almost 16,000 m2 comprises retail space, and is spread across one floor. In addition, the shopping centre has 1,200 parking spaces.

The new owner of the centre is the fund GreenOak. That fund closed one of the largest shopping centre transactions in Spain last year, together with Baupost and the Spanish real estate company Lar, when it acquired seven properties in Madrid, Málaga, Barcelona, Burgos and Alicante. It paid €160 million to Vastned for those properties. According to real estate sources, the fund will now spend €15 million on Sevilla Factory.

Knight Frank has advised Unibail and Deloitte’s RE team has advised GreenOak. Both have declined to comment on the deal.


Through this transaction, Unibail Rodamco continues with its plans to divest its shopping centres in Spain that have lower footfalls. Sevilla Factory receives an average of 1.9 million visitors per year.

To this end, in recent months, the company has sold several shopping centres and has been preparing new deals. In December, Unibail sold the Habaneras shopping centre in Alicante to the US fund Harber for €65 million. Whilst a few months earlier, it sold Albacenter to the Socimi Lar España for €28.4 million.

Now, the French-Dutch real estate company is considering selling Equinoccio in Majadahonda (Madrid) and Barnasud in Barcelona. Unibail Rodamco is also the owner of other shopping centres in Spain, such as La Vaguada and Parquesur in Madrid and Splau in Barcelona.

Meanwhile, GreenOak is one of the funds that is backing Spain most heavily at the moment. Since its creation in 2010, it has invested around $2,500 million. Now it is focused on four key markets: USA, Japan, England and Spain.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Buys ‘El Rosal’ Shopping Centre For €87.5M

9 July 2015 – Info Bierzo

The Socimi Lar España has acquired the ‘El Rosal’ shopping centre in Ponferrada for €87.5 million, according to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

According to Lar, El Rosal has a catchment area of more than 200,000 inhabitants and an occupancy rate of 92%. Moreover, its tenants include high profile brands such as Carrefour, Zara, C&A, H&M and Worten.

Lar has taken out a fifteen year loan with CaixaBank amounting to €87.3 million to finance the transaction. It is the second shopping centre that the Socimi has purchased this year, after it acquired ‘As Termas’ shopping centre in April for €67 million.

“We also note that this is the only shopping centre within a 100km radius, which broadens its appeal even further. The fact that Ponferrada and El Bierzo are surrounded by mountains and hills creates a unique catchment area, in which all roads lead to the town in (the province of) León”, says Miguel Pereda, Director at Lar.

The purchase of El Rosal is the largest transaction that Lar has carried out to date, as part of its strategy to acquire “shopping centres that are located in major catchment areas, with potential for growth and no sizeable shopping centres nearby”.

“The centre received more than 5.4 million visitors in 2014…”, says Pereda. Over the medium term, the real estate company plans to invest €3.4 million in operators and on the building.

With this transaction, Lar now has a total investment assets of €658.4 million, of which €368.4 million has been spent on the acquisition of 7 shopping centres, located in Lugo, Guipúzcoa, Palencia, Albacete, Barcelona and Alicante, and now Ponferrada.

The El Rosal complex opened in October 2007 and has a surface area of more than 151,000 m2 (retail space of 50,800 m2), as well as 2,450 parking spaces.

The British fund Doughty Hanson, which owned the shopping centre until Wednesday has sold 100% of the capital. The British firm sold the ‘Plaza Éboli‘ shopping centre, in Pinto, in June for a reported consideration of €30 million. It paid €120 million for the two shopping centres in El Bierzo and Madrid four years ago.

Original story: Info Bierzo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Reyal Urbis Finds New Tenant For c/Torrelaguna Office

6 July 2015 – Expansión

The real estate company, Reyal Urbis, has found a new tenant to lease one of PwC’s former headquarters, at number 75 on the Madrilenian street, Calle Torrelaguna. The office has a surface area of more than 11,000 m2. Companies such as Iberia, BNP Paribas and Alstom have all moved to the area in recent times.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

GreenOak Buys 5 Logistics Assets In Madrid For €75M

24 June 2015 – Expansión

GreenOak hereby completes its second major deal in Spain. Over the last few months, the US fund has closed the purchased of five logistics assets in the Community of Madrid, which cover a surface area of 200,000 m2 (100,000 m2 of facilities and 100,000 m2 of land).

Based on the prices of these assets in the market, GreenOak must have paid between €60 million and €75 million for the five assets, according to various real estate sources.

The US fund is planning to continue its growth in this segment and has already agreed to purchase another three logistics assets, also in the Community of Madrid, which will add a further 100,000 m2 to GreenOak’s portfolio in Spain.

The fund plans to continue acquiring assets – in Barcelona, Zaragoza and Valencia as well – to reach (a surface area of) half a million square metres over the next 12 months.

All of the assets purchased by GreenOak are located in Getafe and in the Corredor del Henares and are currently leased out to companies such as Seur, Montfrisa and TransXtar. The vendors have been banks, other funds and family-owned companies.

“Logistics is an asset class where scale and experience make a difference. We are focusing on Spain, where we have the strongest interest”, says John Carrafiell, founding partner at GreenOak.

“Given our resources to undertake investments in the sector, our team on the ground and our real estate due diligence skills, GreenOak can close deals quickly, with investments of between €5 million and €100 million”, says Carrafiell.

The chief executive at GreenOak is leading the fund’s strategy in Spain first hand. Carrafiell is regarded as one of the gurus of global real estate investment. He used to lead Morgan Stanley’s business in this segment and in 2004 he closed one of the largest deals ever in the UK, the purchase of Canary Wharf.

Fund history

After leaving Morgan Stanley, Carrafiell created GreenOak in 2010. Since then, the fund has raised assets under management amounting to €4,751 million and has opened offices in USA, London, Seoul, Munich, Tokyo and Madrid.

GreenOak signed its first major purchase in Spain last year, with the acquisition of seven shopping centres from the Dutch group Vastned Retail for €160 million.

Moreover, in recent months, GreenOak has tried to enter the office market. It was in the running for the purchase of Castellana, 77, which was eventually sold to GMP; and Castellana, 89, which was acquired by Corporación Financiera Alba, owned by the March family. The fund expects to close the purchase of offices and shopping centres within the next few weeks.

 Original story: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

UBS Pays Hines €70M For Zielo Shopping Centre

5 June 2015 – Expansión

The transaction confirms the return of institutional investors to the Spanish market.

International funds are continuing with their commitments in Spain. Whilst the key players in the market were opportunistic funds in 2013 and Socimis in 2014, in recent months, institutional funds, both European and Asian, have burst into the market.

The latest player to make an investment in Spain has been UBS. The Swiss fund management has finalised the purchase of the Zielo Shopping centre, in Pozuelo (Madrid), after several weeks of exclusive negotiations. UBS will pay €70 million for the property to Hines European Value Added Fund, a fund managed by the property developer Hines.

The company invested €100 million in the development of the shopping centre, designed at the height of the property boom, including a loan for €50 million. The property was opened in October 2009 and has a surface area of 50,000 m2, of which 15,555 m2 comprise the retail area.

In the transaction, UBS has been advised by the consultancy firm Knight Frank, whilst CBRE, which also manages the centre, has worked with the vendor. “This transaction shows that prime assets are generating significant interest amongst investors with a more core profile”, explains Gonzalo Senra, Head of Commercial Investments at CBRE.

In 2014, more than €2,000 million was invested in commercial property in Spain, a figure that may be exceeded this year, according to Knight Frank, given that €600 million has already been invested.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Colonial To Construct New Office Block Next To Castellana

29 May 2015 – Expansión

The real estate company Colonial has purchased a property on Calle Estébanez Calderón in Madrid, just a stone’s throw from the Paseo de la Castellana. It will demolish the building and construct a new office block in its place. The total investment will amount to €40 million.

The future corporate tower will cover an area of 15,000 square metres above ground and will be exclusively devoted to offices that will be rented out.

Given the scarcity of prime products for sale and the significant pressure from the international market to purchase this kind of product in Madrid and Barcelona, Colonial has decided to build its own property. The company chaired by Juan José Brugera specialises in office buildings in the centres of Madrid, Barcelona and Paris and its assets amount to €6,000 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

MoD Sells A Plot Of Land In Mallorca For €5.5M

27 May 2015 – Expansión

The Ministry of Defence is continuing its real estate divestment plan to generate revenue. To this end, the body chaired by Pedro Morenés has closed the sale of a plot of land measuring 14,429 square metres, with more than 25,000 square metres of buildable area, in Cas Capiscol (Mallorca).

Given that the building is owned by the Administration, the Ministry of Defence organised a public auction, through the real estate portal addmeet. The plot of land that is up for sale houses former (army) barracks, spread over several buildings, which have been in disuse since the 1990s.

The Ministry of Defence put this land on the market for €5.318 million. In the end, it has been sold for a slightly higher price: €5.55 million. The winning bid was submitted by a subsidiary of the Catalan real estate company La Llave de Oro. The buildable plot measuring 25,131 square metres may be used for tertiary purposes, i.e. to build offices, hotels and retail buildings. Nevertheless, the general urban development plan where this land is located is currently in the process of being modified.

The Ministry of Defence also own other plots of land in Mallorca, including in Son Busquets, where it has a plot measuring more than 110,000 square metres.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Blackstone Buys 1 Shopping Centre In León And 2 In Lisbon

13 May 2015 – El Economista

The US fund Blackstone is keeping its eyes fixed on the Iberian Peninsula. This was evidenced yesterday by the announcement that it had acquired three shopping centres in Spain and Portugal.

Specifically, it has purchased Espacio León (located in the province of the same name), which has a leasable surface area of 37,000 square meters. This transaction was closed through the purchase of CG Malls Europe’s shares in that shopping centre.

The other two are Almada Forum, which has a leasable surface area of 59,000 square metres and Forum Montijo with 42,000 square metres, which are both located in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

Through this transaction, the US fund has acquired leasable surface area of more than 138,000 square metres.

The properties will be managed by Multi Corporation, a company that Blackstone bought two years ago, which specialises in the management of real estate assets. Multi is currently the owner and manager of 25 real estate assets in Spain and Portugal.

As such, Blackstone is continuing to consolidate its position in the Iberian market. The US fund has made several purchases in the Portuguese territory in recent months.

Last December, the company acquired part of a portfolio from Novo Banco’s fund manager for €220 million, which became the latest real estate transaction of the year (in Portugal).

Two months ago, Blackstone also acquired Alverca Park (also in Portugal), which covers more than 60,000 square metres and contains offices and retail space.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia Puts Property Worth €4,800M Up For Sale

6 May 2015 – Expansión

Project Big Bang / The financial entity has put a batch of homes, land and commercial buildings up for sale, with the objective of disposing of all of the foreclosed assets left on its balance sheet.

Bankia has decided to accelerate the process to divest its real estate assets with a ‘macro-transaction’ involving a large block sale. The financial institution has launched so-called Project Big Bang, which includes a portfolio of residential and commercial assets (including offices and shops), as well as land, worth €4,800 million.

The transaction is still in its very early stages, involving initial meetings with investors, but it will represent the largest asset sale process seen to date (excluding transfers of debt with real estate collateral).

The properties up for sale include assets that Bankia did not transfer to Sareb following its nationalisation, as well as foreclosed assets resulting from subsequent defaulted payments. Most of the portfolio corresponds to residential assets. Thus, of the €4,800 million assets that Bankia has included in the batch, €3,300 million related to residential properties at 31 March 2015. In total, the bank will transfer 38,545 residential units (flats, chalets, parking spaces and storage rooms), with a total constructed surface area of 3.6 million square metres.

Along with the €3,300 million of residential assets, Bankia is selling 4,938 commercial units worth €1,100 million.

Land at zero cost

The portfolio also includes 2,589 plots of land with a total surface area of 4.6 million square metres. This land has a value of zero, according to Bankia, having been fully provisioned.

The sale is being coordinated by Credit Suisse and KPMG. The transaction may be closed as a single deal or through the sale of several blocks. The sale value may also decrease from €4,800 million to a smaller amount, say sources close to the process.

Many of the large funds, including Blackstone, Lone Star and Apollo, have already expressed their interest in the portfolio. These investors will have to compete with Cerberus, which has a preferential right to examine Bankia’s real estate portfolio. This “preferential” arrangement forms part of the negotiations that the US fund has held with the Spanish entity in recent years. In 2014, Bankia transferred its Bankia Habitat business unit to Cerberus for a consideration of between €40 million and €90 million, together with the 400 professionals who work for the platform.

Last September, Cerberus joined forces with the Norwegian fund Lindorff to acquire some of the doubtful and substandard loans, plus those that had doubtful or substandard outlooks, worth €900 million, which the entity chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri (pictured above) was selling, as part of the Somo transaction. In February, Bankia launched a campaign to accelerate the sale of its remaining properties.

The clean up

Project Big Bang represents the largest divestment initiated by Bankia to date in the foreclosed asset and doubtful debt segment. The entity chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri has been one of the most active in this market, having transferred almost 80 portfolios containing problematic loans since 2013, with a nominal value of €10,000 million.

Initially, Bankia undertook these types of transactions due to necessity, since the restructuring plan agreed with Brussels compelled it to divest non-strategic assets amounting to €50,000 million.

Although it has now almost completed this plan, the entity has decided to ‘step on the divestment accelerator’ in 2015 in order to reduce its default rate and focus its resources on new productive assets that improve its financial results. As well as the foreclosed assets, Bankia is also currently negotiating the sale of problematic mortgages, property developer loans and hotel debt.

If it closes all of these transactions, the nationalised group would become the first entity to withdraw from the segments considered by the market as a burden to the sector.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz and J. Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mutua Owns Prime RE Assets Worth €1,200M

9 April 2015 – Expansión

The real estate subsidiary of the insurance company owns more than twenty assets, including 15 (properties) on the Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid’s prime (real estate) axis.

Mutua Madrileña is not only one of the largest insurance companies in the Spanish market, it is also one of the largest owners of office buildings. Through its real estate subsidiary, led by Emilio Colomina, Mutua manages a portfolio of more than twenty real estate assets, with a (combined) surface area of around 200,000 square metres.

Fifteen of the buildings in the portfolio are particularly noteworthy; they have a (combined) surface area of approximately 175,000 square metres and include several properties located on the prime axis (the most sought after area) of Madrid. Mutua Inmobiliaria owns numbers 31, 36, 50 and 110 on the capital’s main thoroughfare, the Paseo de la Castellana, as well as the Torre de Cristal, located in the Cuatro Torres complex, at number 259.

And just a stone’s throw away from La Castellana, in the heart of the capital’s financial district, the company also owns the Alfredo Mahou building (pictured), which has a surface area of around 24,000 square metres; as well as the Torres de Colón.

At the end of 2014, these fifteen buildings had an appraisal value of €1,200 million, representing a slight increase on the previous year, with unrealised gains of €356 million.

In 2014, the real estate company recorded turnover of €46.8 million from rental payments, and (its buildings) had an occupancy rate of 90%, i.e. 2% higher than last year.

“The favourable development of Mutua Inmobiliaria’s business is due, to a large extent, to the investment plan that the company launched in 2008 and completed in 2014. As a result, the company modernised its (portfolio of) buildings”, explains the insurance company.

During this period, Mutua invested around €150 million in upgrading (its buildings, including) the Torres de Colón, for example – work there began in late 2011 and involved a budget of around €25 million. “The investments made have allowed us to build loyalty and retain customers, sign new rental contracts, at maximum prices, and reduce operating costs, which has increased the attractiveness and efficiency of our properties”, says Colomina.

The new (rental) contracts include: the move of the law firm Hogan Lovells to Castellana 36-38 late last year, where it leases 4,608 square metres, and KPMG’s upcoming move to Mutua’s skyscraper in the Cuatro Torres, which has a surface area of 20,000 square metres.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake