Several Funds Acquire/Increase their Stakes in Hispania in the Midst of Blackstone’s Takeover Bid

11 June 2018 – Expansión

Blackstone’s takeover bid for Hispania has placed the Socimi firmly on the radar of investment funds. Since April when Blackstone announced its intention to launch a public share acquisition offer (OPA) for the Spanish Socimi, there have been continuous changes in the shareholding structure.

In terms of the funds who have been active, Fidelity has continued to back the company and has strengthened its stake to 9.64%. Prior to the takeover bid, the company’s stake remained at just over 7%.

Fidelity is the second largest shareholder of Hispania, behind Blackstone, which, after purchasing the stake owned by the Hungarian-born magnate George Soros, leads Hispania’s shareholder ranking, with a 16.56% stake.

Another one of the Socimi’s shareholders that has strengthened its weight since the takeover is Axa Investment Group, which now controls 4.14% compared to 3% before the takeover bid, and Bank of Montreal and BlackRock, which currently hold stakes of around 4.1% each, compared with 3.01% and 3.3%, respectively, that they used to control.

These shareholders constitute the hardcore nucleus of the company’s owners, together with the Mexican firm Canepa, which holds almost 6% through Tamerlane, and the Brazilian family office BW Gestao de Investimentos (BWG) with 3.7%.

New shareholders

In addition to the reference shareholders who have taken positions, Blackstone’s interest in Hispania has led to new interest from other shareholders.

The Norwegian fund, through its manager Norges Bank, has appeared to acquire 1.09% of the Socimi; Man Group, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, has bought 1.27%; and Kite Lake Capital Management has purchased 1.56%.

Blackstone’s takeover bid for 100% of Hispania at a price of €17.54 per share means that it is valuing the Socimi at €1,905 million. Hispania used to have a market capitalisation of €1,903 million and its shares closed trading on Friday at a price of €17.68 per share, slightly above the takeover price.

After Blackstone launched its takeover, Hispania’s Board of Directors engaged Goldman Sachs, UBS and JPMorgan as financial advisors and Freshfields and Uría Menéndez, as legal advisors, to analyse the terms of the offer and look for alternatives.

Expressions of interest

In a conversation with analysts in May, during the presentation of the group’s results, Cristina García-Peri, Director-General of Hispania, classified Blackstone as a “plausible” buyer, but she emphasised that other investors have been “very interested” in the Socimi and its hotel portfolio.

The American investment fund’s offer, whose brochure is pending approval by Spain’s National Securities and Markets Commission (CNMV) is conditional upon obtaining at least 50% plus one of the shares in Hispania. Moreover, the takeover is subject to a clause that prevents the sale of assets for an aggregated transaction value of more than 5% of the NAV (net asset value) (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Sells Its Portfolio of Offices to Swiss Life

9 August 2017

 

The Ázcarraga 3 building in the Chamartín district (Madrid)

The Spanish REIT, which counts George Soros as an investor, is close to finalizing the sale of about twenty office buildings to focus on its hotel business.

Everything is ready for the sale of Hispania’s portfolio of offices, one of the most anticipated deals in the real estate market. Absent any last-minute hiccups, the Spanish REIT, which counts George Soros as an investor, will sign an agreement with Swiss Life for the sale of some twenty office buildings for about 510 million euros, according to EXPANSIÓN’s sources.

Hispania’s office portfolio is distributed between Madrid, where 16 buildings are located, as well as two offices in two buildings and one asset under development, Barcelona and Málaga, with five and one building each.

The real estate consultants CBRE, JLL and the law firm Freshfields have advised Hispania, while Swiss Life has been advised by Aguirre Newman and Garrigues.  The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, or even days.

According to the latest information provided by Hispania, the Spanish REIT’s portfolio of offices had a value of 584 million euros at the end of the first semester of 2017. This assessment included the Aurelio Menéndez building, sold in June to a family office for 37.5 million euros. Hispania plans on keeping its commitment to execute pending works on the asset, which it expects to complete in November, at which time the sale of the building will be finalized.

Not including Aurelio Menéndez, Hispania has offices with almost 182,000 square meters of gross leasable area, of which almost 21,300 meters are in Madrid’s financial district. It also has another 116,852 square meters in office buildings in the prime secondary zone. Hispania has 39,506 square meters in Barcelona and 4,288 square meters in Malaga.

According to the latest information published by Hispania, the occupancy level in these buildings is 84%, with an average monthly income of 13.8 euros per square meter.

Hispania acknowledged this morning in a relevant fact to the market that is negotiating the sale of office assets and added that it maintains contacts with, among others, Swiss Life, although it added that it has not yet reached any agreement on the matter.

Divestment

With this operation, the company managed by the Azora Group goes one step further in its strategy to divest itself of residential and office assets to focus on the hotel business, in which it will continue to invest before putting those assets up for sale as well.

In this regard, in February Hispania announced its intention to continue with its initial objective of selling all its assets, individually, in portfolios or through a sale or change of control in the company, before March 2020, six years after the company was floated. Under this strategy, shareholders decided to extend the investment period until 31 December.

In addition to George Soros, who controls 16.7% of the REIT through Soros Fund Management, Fidelity Management and Research (7%), Tamerlane (6%), BW Gestão de Investimentos (3,6%), BlackRock (3.3%) and AXA Investments (3%) are also investors.

Original Story: Expansion – R. Arroyo / S. Saiz

Translation: Richard Turner