Amenabar Joins Forces with Ares to Invest €110M in Construction of 400 Build-to-Rent Homes

17 January 2020 – El Confidencial

Amenabar Promociones has signed the largest build-to-rent operation to date in Spain with the fund Ares. Together, they are going to invest more than €110 million in the construction of more than 400 rental homes in Valdebebas, Madrid.

The homes are going to be built on a plot that Amenabar acquired at the end of 2019 from Ferrovial for €56 million. The Basque, family-owned, property developer made its debut in Madrid’s residential market five years ago and handed over more than 1,000 new homes last year. In 2020, it plans to increase that figure to almost 1,600, a volume that it hopes to maintain for the next couple of years, which will see it outperform many of its listed competitors.

With this operation, Amenabar is following in the footsteps of companies such as Aedas, Metrovacesa, Quabit, Momentum and Urbas, which have all committed to projects in the build to rent sector in recent months.

Meanwhile, Ares has become one of the most active funds in this segment of the market. For example, Aedas is going to build 500 rental homes for Ares (€70 million); and Metrovacesa is going to construct another 121 homes for the fund (€29 million).

The appeal of the segment lies in the attractive returns that rental homes are currently generating. In Q2 2019, the average gross yield on rental homes across Spain amounted to 3.9%, according to official data from the Bank of Spain, which is much higher than the return on bonds and other prime real estate assets, such as offices and high street premises. Moreover, various cities and neighbourhoods offer even higher returns e.g. Madrid Capital (5.06%) and the Villaverde neighbourhood (8.43%).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Urbas to Allocate Land to Residential Build-to-Rent Sector

16 December 2019 –

The Urbas real estate group is planning a series of new investments in the residential rental housing market. The firm is considering using some of its 18-million-square-meter portfolio of land for build-to-rent developments.

The firm is currently analysing potential opportunities, including participation in the Ministry of Development’s State Housing Plan 2018-2021, which was designed to stimulate the rental housing sector.

Original Story: Eje Prime

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Urbas will Receive up to €6M from its Major Shareholders

22 January 2019 – Expansión

Urbas, a company specialising in the promotion and management of land, has signed an agreement with its reference shareholders Robisco Capital Markets and Quamtium to push ahead with the repayment of its debts. By virtue of this agreement, its shareholders are guaranteeing its financial stability and allowing it to obtain liquidity in exchange for shares in the company. In this way, the shareholders are going to inject up to €6 million into the company in exchange for up to 1.75% of the share capital.

These shareholders own almost 28% of the company each, according to the latest registers from the CNMV.

Specifically, Robisco and Quamtium are going to sign a line of credit for a maximum of €2 million to equip the company with the liquidity it needs to make its current payments, at least, until the end of 2019. Moreover, the shareholders have committed to acquire debt from Urbas’s suppliers and creditors up to a maximum of €4 million.

In exchange, Robisco and Quamtium are reserving the right to acquire part of the share capital through the share subscription, said the company to the CNMV. The increases will be undertaken at a maximum nominal value of €6 million, equivalent to 1.75% of the share capital. “The agreement allows us to consolidate the structure of the balance sheet and improve the financial ratios, at the same time as strengthening the activity, developing the businesses and ratifying the trust and commitment of the main shareholders”, said Juan Antonio Acedo Fernández, who was recently appointed as the President of the Group.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Urbas’s Share Price Soars by 44% After Appointment of New President

16 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Urbas Grupo Financiero saw its share price skyrocket on the stock market after appointing its new President. The company closed the day with gains of more than 44% on the main stock market, its largest daily increase since March 2016. The rise coincided with the arrival of Juan Antonio Acedo Fernández as the head of the company.

Specifically, the share price of Urbas skyrocketed by 44.18% on Wednesday to €0.0062, after opening the day at €0.043 per share. That boost took the company to levels not seen since October last year, according to reports from Europa Press.

A road engineer by background, the new President of Urbas has more than 25 years of experience in the real estate, construction and energy sectors, “where he has held several positions of maximum responsibility”, highlighted the company in a statement sent today to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

At the end of the ninth month of 2018, Urbas owned a land portfolio spanning 18 million m2, spread over the regions of Aragón, Andalucía, Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Murcia and Valencia. Currently, the company’s assets are valued at €34.8 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Urbas’s Share Price Rallies Following the Publication of its 5-Year Strategic Plan

8 January 2019 – Idealista

Few events are as long-awaited by investors and analysts as the presentation of the strategic plan of a listed company. Above all, when that company has had a difficult year on the stock market, such as the case of Urbas. The real estate company, a classic amongst the ‘small cap’ or companies with a small market capitalisation in the Spanish market, is leading the first stock market rally of 2019 in the sector after losing almost 75% of its value in 2018.

During the first week of the year, Urbas’s share price has recorded a large rise of 30%. In reality, the reaction began during the final week of last year, when the group revealed the broad strokes of its strategy for the period 2019-2024. Its plan pivots around a reduction in the level of debt, generating value from its assets and the payment of a dividend from 2022.

The market has picked up on the company’s message, which with a land portfolio of almost 18 million m2, also wants to provide a new boost to its property developer business. But its number one objective is to reorganise its debt balance, which amounted to €194 million at the end of the third quarter, up by 3.7% compared to the same period a year earlier. The figure contrasts with the just over €16 million that the company is currently worth on the stock market.

The objective is to reduce the debt figure to €86 million. To achieve that, Urbas faces the challenge of moving forward with the dual negotiations that it is holding on the one hand with its creditor banks and on the other hand with Sareb to refinance its indebtedness to the necessary levels to allow it to handle new investments.

Therefore, the group’s plans are aggressive, as shown by the fact that Urbas wants to finish the first year of its new business plan with revenues of more than €20 million and a net profit of more than €14 million. By the end of the period, in 2024, the forecasts skyrocket. But, today, the reality of the group is very different. Until 30 September, Urbas lost €5 million due to the effect of the financial interest adjustment made and its revenues slightly exceeded €2 million.

In any case, the sharp rise in Urbas’s share price so far this year should be considered with the utmost caution. It is a very small security with very limited liquidity, which means that its movements may be brusque and fast, both up and down. In recent years, it has recorded large fluctuations. With the sole exception of 2017, the share price has always moved by at least 33% in each of the last nine years (…).

Original story: Idealista 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Urbas To Carry Out €2.2M Capital Increase & Appoint 3 New Directors

29 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Urbas is ploughing ahead. The real estate group’s Board of Directors is going to propose a €2.19 million capital increase to its General Shareholders’ Meeting through the offsetting of loans, as well as the appointment of three new independent directors, according to a statement filed by the company with Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The maximum amount of the capital increase will be €2,198,705.17, and the Board will be able to execute it for a maximum period of twelve months, following its approval, on one or more dates. Given that it is a capital increase involving special compensation and not a monetary contribution, preferential subscription rights will not apply.

The company’s shareholders will also vote for the re-election of the companies Robisco Investment and Quamtium Venture as members of the Board of Directors on a proprietary basis; they currently serve as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the company, respectively.

In addition, Urbas will propose the appointment of three new independent directors to fill three existing vacancies. The new board members in question are Adolfo José Guerrero Hidalgo, Pablo Cobo del Moral and Ignacio Sáenz de Santamaría Vierna.

The General Shareholders’ Meeting is scheduled to be held on 29 June. The company’s annual accounts will also be submitted for approval on that date, along with the Directors’ Report, the Report on the Remuneration Policy of the Board of Directors and the re-election of  Baker Tilly Fmac as the auditors of the accounts for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Property Developer Urbas Records a Loss of €354k in Q1

15 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The Urbas Financial Group is in the red. The company recorded a negative net consolidated result of €354,000 during Q1, which represented a decrease from the profit of €1.05 million that it recorded in the first quarter of 2017, according to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The Group’s total debt with banks decreased by 2.4% in March to €122.6 million. Urbas’s land portfolio spanned 18 million m2 at the end of the first quarter. Of the real estate company’s total surface area, 73% corresponds to rural land, 25% to buildable land and 2% to urban land.

Most of the land bank that the Group owns is located in the Community of Valencia, which accounts for 34.8% of the company’s portfolio. That region is followed by Madrid with 20.5% of the total; Andalucía with 17%; and Castilla La Mancha with 14%, which are the other three regions where the company’s land is concentrated. It also owns plots in Murcia, Castilla y León and several other autonomous regions.

In 2017, Urbas increased its profit by 8.8% to exceed €5 million. The group recorded revenues of €4.2 million, which represented an increase of 40% with respect to 2016, and also generated positive EBITDA.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s RE Companies see their Share Prices Rise by 30% on Average in 2017

12 December 2017 – Expansión

Spain’s real estate companies are on a roll: the recovery in activity has given these companies more visibility on the stock market. On average their share prices have risen by 30% in 2017. Renta Corporación, Hispania and InSur are the best performers and all three are very much in favour with the experts.

The property sector is in fashion on the stock market. On average, the share prices of real estate companies rose by 30% in 2017, well above the 10% rise that the Overall Index has registered since the beginning of the year.

Within this group, three companies shine the brightest: Inmobiliaria del Sur, Hispania and Renta Corporación all saw their share prices rise by between 39% and 53%, and the experts think that the upward trend will continue.

Moreover, Urbas and Axiare also saw their share prices rise by more than 30% in 2017, but for diametrically opposite reasons. The first was suspended from trading in September after the National Court announced that it was investigating the firm’s President for “suspected fraud” following a complaint filed by the Anticorruption Prosecutor.

Meanwhile, Axiare is the target of a takeover by its counterpart Colonial, which launched its bid in the middle of November and saw it approved by the CNMV just a few days ago. The operation, which is expected to result in the creation of a real estate group with assets worth €10 billion, offered a 13% premium over the company’s share price at the time, which led to a sharp rise. Currently, the company’s shares are trading just below the offer price (€18.29 compared to €18.36 per Colonial’s latest offer).

The economic environment, improvement in activity and greater investor appetite for housing are all working in favour of these companies, said Nicolás López, from M&G Valores.

However, the expert points out that the low market capitalisation of some of them and their very low liquidity increase their volatility, which makes them options suitable only for high-risk profiles.

Renta Corporación’s share price has risen by more than 50%

In the case of Renta Corporación, which is limited in size: amounting to just €92 million. The company is the best performing real estate company of 2017, with a share price increase of 53% (…). The company has taken advantage of its knowledge of the real estate market to launch, together with the Dutch pension fund APG, a Socimi. Since its creation, eight months ago, the new listed company has invested €93 million in the purchase of more than 1,000 homes, all located in Madrid and the surrounding area (…).

Strategic diversification favours InSur

Inmobiliaria del Sur completes the podium of the most profitable real estate companies this year. Its share price has risen by 40%. The secret to its success is the new business plan that the company has launched and which has been welcomed warmly by the market.

The family business, which has more than 70 years of experience, splits its activity between the construction of homes and the rental of office buildings, which allows it to have two revenue streams. With a business plan that involves building more than 2,000 homes between now and 2020, InSur has closed alliances with partners such as Anida, the real estate arm of BBVA, to become a key player in residential development (…).

Hispania’s specialisation boosts its share price

Meanwhile, Hispania’s share price has risen by more than 39% since the beginning of the year. This year, the company (…) has initiated a new phase, specialising in hotel assets (in June, it became the largest hotel owner in Spain with 38 establishments) and divesting the rest of its properties (…).

A few weeks ago, the company published its results for the third quarter, which went down well. The Socimi recorded a profit of €179 million during the first nine months of the year, up by 31% compared to the same period in 2016 (…).

Original story: Expansión (by D. Esperanza and R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Investing In RE Companies: Analysts Share Their Top Picks

11 July 2016 – Expansión

The constraints that several British real estate funds are facing following Brexit has placed the focus on the RE sector once again. “With globalised markets, an event in one country has an impact around the world. In the short term, it is likely that property companies will decline in the United Kingdom, as well as in other European markets”, says Mar Barrero, from Profim, but she is certain that the chances of a contagion, affecting companies and real estate funds in Spain, are minimal.

Indeed, the effects of the result of the British referendum on the real estate market may also be positive. At least, that is according to Pablo García, from Carax Alphavalue. “If companies that are currently headquartered in London change their centres of operation, there will be activity in the sector to mobilise offices in Europe. In this context, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid would be well positioned”, he assured and, for this reason, he is positive about the sector.

Barrero justifies her optimism by the “purge that has taken place in the last 10 years, which has led to a significant cut in property prices”. “In Spain, we are in a different phase of the real estate cycle”, says Rubén de la Torre, from Andbank.

Merlin Properties: The industry giant on the stock market and one of the shares with the highest percentage of buy recommendations, according to the consensus of Bloomberg analysts, with support from 85% of them. After overcoming the risk of a possible interventionalist government, De la Torre points to its size as one of Merlin’s positive features. “Its listing on the Ibex gives it visibility and its merger with Metrovacesa will allow it to enter the orbit of many funds” says the expert. In addition, it has managed to diversify its profile through its latest acquisitions.

And as if that weren’t enough, its shares are trading at attractive prices, given that, according to the analyst, they are being traded at a discount of almost 20% with respect to their net book value. The Socimi has potential, according to the consensus, of 21% following a YoY decrease of 18.5%.

Colonial: This is Pablo García’s favourite security due to the quality of its assets and its exposure to the French market, which allows it to diversify. In any case, he believes that the growth of the company will come from its Spanish assets. According to other experts, the company’s decision to start paying dividends again (at the start of July, it paid its first dividend for ten years) is another of Colonial’s attractive features. 66% of the analysts advise buying this security, which they say has potential to increase by 19%. The share price has fallen by 1% so far this year.

Hispania: De la Torre says he also likes this share, “which is very linked to the hotel sector” (…). The company has recently closed a capital increase amounting to €230 million to finance new investments. 57% of the analysts advise buying this share, which has an upside potential of 18%. Its price has fallen by 9% so far this year.

Axiare: The only Socimi that is unlikely to increase its capital this year, given that its net debt is almost non-existent. (…). 63% of the analysts advise buying this security, which has upwards potential of 13%. This year, the share has fallen by 9.8%.

Lar España: A share that is very dependent on the economic cycle due to its significant exposure to the shopping centre segment. (…). 80% of Bloomberg’s analysts advise buying this share, with an upside potential of 38%. This year its price has decreased by 23%.

Other real estate companies: the stock market is also home to other real estate companies, which, due to their small size or limited monitoring by analysts, are at the mercy of speculative movements. Shares in Inmobiliaria del Sur, Quabit, Renta Corporación and Urbas tend to be highly volatile.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Martínez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Urbas To Earn €250M From Sale Of 1,600 Homes Over 5 Years

29 July 2015 – El Economista

Urbas has launched a new business plan that forecasts the sale of 1,600 homes, located in 49 developments, over 5 years, through which it expects to generate turnover of €250 million and profits of more than €40 million.

The company has calculated this turnover volume on the basis of an average expected price of €167,000 per home, said the Urbas Grupo Financiero in a statement today. The company expects to begin selling the homes it owns in Spain during the third quarter of the year (…).

The company will also deal with more than 9 million square metres of land, commercial premises and buildings that it holds, most of which is located in the Corredor de Henares and Guadalajara.

Integration of assets

This represents a new stage for the company, which has spent the last year completing all of the regulatory processes and appraisals necessary following its absorption of the assets previously owned by Aldira Inversiones Inmobiliarias and Alza Residencial. The transaction has allowed Urbas to increase in size by a factor of 13 in the last year, whereby “gaining financial muscle and increasing its volume of assets, to become one of the medium-sized listed real estate companies on the market”.

With the final integration of the assets, approved by the General Shareholders’ Meeting on 10 July 2015, Urbas is now redirecting its own resources to positive figures, through a capital increase amounting to €384 million, which will result in a market capitalisation of approximately €600 million and a reduction in its debt ratio to 33%.

The General Shareholders’ Meeting also approved the new corporate regulations to update and improve its corporate governance. The company’s share capital has been divided into three basic packages of similar proportions, which are controlled by the groups Darivenia Markets, Quantium Venture and Alza Residencial.

The rest of the capital will continue to trade on the stock exchange, ensuring that the company has “a high volume of liquidity, which has made it one of the most active companies in terms of share sales on the Spanish stock exchange in recent years”.

Following the transformation of its financial structure, in line with the economic recovery, and given that none of its shareholders are financial institutions, the group hopes to leave the economic crisis behind and embark on a promising future, focused on the real estate sector and its listed status on the stock exchange.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake