Axa & Sonae Sierra Team Up To Buy Área Sur Shopping Centre

16 June 2017 – Observatorio Inmobiliario

Axa Investment Managers – Real Assets and Sonae Sierra have announced the completion of their purchase of the Área Sur shopping centre (in Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz) from its owner until now, Union Investment Real Estate. For the time being, the amount paid for the operation has not been disclosed, but sources consulted by Observatorio estimate that it must have gone for more than €100 million. To carry out the acquisition operation, the buyers have constituted a joint venture, in which Axa IM – Real Assets will be the majority shareholder (with 85% of the capital), whilst Sonae Sierra will hold the remaining 15% and will be the Operating Partner.

Inaugurated in September 2007, Área Sur has a gross leasable area (GLA) of 47,000 m2, spread over three floors, as well as 2,344 parking spaces. The first floor, measuring more than 23,400 m2, is home to fashion brands such as Zara, Primark, Massimo Dutti, Cortefiel, Sfera, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Springfield, Stradivarius and Okeysi, amongst others. The top floor houses a large leisure and restaurant space, spanning 10,000 m2, as well as an 11-screen Yelmo cinema, whilst the ground floor, measuring 14,200 m2, has a Mercadona and an El Corte Inglés store.

The Área Sur shopping centre, which receives almost 7 million visitors per year, has a privileged location in one of the areas of Spain that receives the most tourists. The centre has an area of influence of almost 450,000 inhabitants, and it is one of the largest shopping centres in Andalucía.

Nathalie Charles, Regional Head of Asset Management & Transactions for Southern Europe at Axa IM – Real Estates, said that “this is our first operation in collaboration with Sonae Sierra, one of the most important professionals in the retail real estate sector in Europe and with whom we hope to have the opportunity to work on other projects in Europe in the future”.

Pedro Caupers, Chief Investment Officer at Sonae Sierra, added that “we will pour all of the experience and knowledge that we have accumulated over more than twenty-five years, to improve the returns on the asset and contribute added value to Área Sur, to turn it into one of the iconic centres in the south of Andalucía. Sources at Sonae Sierra confirm that they are continually looking for new and innovative asset management initiatives, with the aim of achieving a higher return on investment for our shareholders. Similarly, we are very happy to be carrying out this project with Axa IM – Real Assets, in accordance with our model to co-invest with other partners, assuming responsibility for the management in order to achieve the objectives set by both parties”.

Cushman & Wakefield advised Union Investment on the sell-side.

Original story: Observatorio Inmobiliario

Translation: Carmel Drake

AEW Europe Buys Amura Building In Madrid For €37M

4 February 2016 – Expansión

The real estate investment manager AEW Europe has acquired the Amura office building, in the Arroyo de la Vega de Alcobendas area of Madrid, for €37 million. The asset has been purchased for the Europe Value Investors (EVI) fund from Union Investment Real Estate, which is headquartered in Hamburg and which has owned the building for twelve years. The operation has been advised by Cushman & Wakefield.

The building was constructed in 2002 and contains five floors of offices, plus two underground floors for parking. In total, it has a surface area of 18,178 m2 and its occupancy rate is currently 67%. The property’s tenants include Euronet Negocios and GEA Process Engineering.

AEW Europe is one of the largest real estate investment managers in Europe, with nine offices and more than 280 employees. It manages assets with a value of €18,200 million.

Meanwhile, the Europe Value Investors fund focuses on the office segment in cities all over Europe and until now, has invested €375 million in a total of 12 assets.

According to the director of EVI, Carsten Czarnetzki, “Amura is a well-located, high quality asset, which provides us with the opportunity to add value and increase revenues by leasing out the empty space”. And he added: “There is a shortage of high quality office space in the market in Madrid and therefore, this acquisition gives us the potential to increase the asset’s value as the recovery of the Spanish economy continues.

Two investments per month

This is the second operation completed by AEW Europe in Madrid this year. The German investment manager made its debut in the Spanish market recently with the purchase of a retail outlet on Calle Serrano, in an operation that was also advised by Cushman & Wakefield. In that case, the firm made the purchase through its City Retail fund, which has an investment budget of €400 million.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

AEW Purchases Office Building In Alcobendas For €39M

9 December 2015 – Expansión

The investor furore for properties in Spain and for office buildings in particular, has resulted in record figures for this business in 2015 and has led to a fierce struggle for the best buildings in the major markets, such as Madrid and Barcelona.

This fight for the real estate gems in the centre of large cities has left many investors unable to close all of the operations they want to in Spain, and for this reason, they have started to look for opportunities beyond the established areas. Such is the case of the fund AEW Europe. The firm, one of the largest real estate investment managers on the continent, is finalising its purchase of an office building, known as the Amura building, in the Arroyo de la Vega area of the Madrilenian suburb of Alcobendas. The area is a long way from the financial centre of Madrid but it is the location of choice for several multinational companies, such as Citibank, Procter & Gamble, Pfizer and Bankinter.

Amura has several features that make it attractive to investors. The building, measuring 18,177 m2 over four levels, has an occupancy rate of 75% with very affordable rents, of around €10/m2/month.

Its main tenant is the Ricoh group, the manufacturer of digital equipment for office use. The Spanish subsidiary of Ricoh opened its headquarters in this building in 2008, leasing an area measuring 1,700 m2, which it increased by a further 800 m2 three years later.

Until now, the property formed part of Union Investment Real Estate’s Spanish portfolio. Union Investment is one of the largest fund managers in Germany, with assets worth €220,000 million under management.


Union Investment will sell the property to AEW for €39 million, according to real estate sources, which represents a yield of around 5%; that is low for the area, but reflects the furore that exists for these types of properties.

In Europe, AEW owns a portfolio of assets worth more than €16,600 million and it has now set its focus on the Spanish market. “Spain has gone from not existing (for us) to being a key priority market”, said Russell Jewell, the Director of PE funds in Europe for AEW.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake