Mapfre Divested Non-Strategic Assets Worth €130M in 2017

7 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The insurance company Mapfre is still interested in the Spanish real estate sector, but it is divesting certain assets that it considers to be non-strategic in the country. The company sold properties worth €130 million in the Spanish market last year, according to information presented in the group’s annual report for 2017. The most high profile sales were carried out in Madrid and included the Luchana building, amongst others.

During the year, divestments amounting to around €130 million were carried out in Spain and Portugal. Highlights include the sale of a plot of land in Valdemarín (Madrid) for €5.5 million and two plots in Palma de Mallorca for €22.5 million, plus a series of other smaller assets for €24.5 million in total.

One of Mapfre’s main divestment operations last year was the sale of the Luchana building to GMP for €72 million. It is an exempt asset, dating back to the beginning of the 1980s, located just six minutes from Paseo de la Castellana by foot.

GMP is currently renovating that property, which spans a gross leasable area of 14,424 m2, spread over eleven above ground floors in total, ten office floors and one commercial-use floor at street level. Its main tenant is Mapfre, which houses the headquarters of its General Regional Management team for Madrid and Verti in this building.

In total, all of the operations signed in the Iberian Peninsula generated gains of more than €65 million for Mapfre, according to the annual report.

Investment in its asset stock in Spain 

But Mapfre has not only been selling assets in Spain, it has also been feeding its portfolio by investing in the renovation of its properties. The insurance group has undertaken improvement work on its portfolio in Madrid, where it has finished work on an asset it owns on Calle Sor Ángela de la Cruz amounting to €8 million, where the General Regional team for Madrid is located; and work on Plaza de la Independencia amounting to €7.39 million. That building has already been leased out for the most part (70% of the leasable surface area).

In addition, Mapfre has started refurbishment work on the facilities of its property on Calle Mateo Inurria, a building that has been leased in its entirety to the Ministry of Finance for a rental cost of €5.04 million per year. Improvement work on its offices on Calle General Perón is still underway with an investment of €5.81 million in 2017. Work is also still underway on the tower in Barcelona amounting to €22 million in 2017, which is expected to be completed during the first half of 2018.

At the end of 2017, the market value of Mapfre’s real estate investments in Spain amounted to €2.945 billion, “with latent capital gains of more than €750 million”, explains the group. Of the total, approximately 58% corresponds to properties for own use, and the remaining 42% relates to properties that are rented out to third parties or are on the market for sale. The occupancy ratio of the rental properties amounts to 83%, considering that at the moment, more than 7,500 m2 of its space is being renovated for repositioning on the market from 2018 onwards.

Commitment to Europe 

In March, the insurance group announced its partnership with GLL to launch a fund to invest up to €300 million in the purchase of prime offices in Europe over a two to three year period.

The new vehicle launched by Mapfre and GLL aims to enter large capitals cities across the continent (Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium) with the aim of achieving returns of between 4% and 6% per year and diversifying its portfolio against other types of financial assets (…).

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Sells 19 Plots of Land in NW Madrid to Ibosa

12 March 2018 – El Confidencial

A large-scale operation has been closed in the real estate market in Madrid. Grupo Ibosa has purchased the largest batch of “finalist” land – also known as land that is ready to be built on – in the north of Madrid from the US fund Blackstone for €16 million. The plots are located in one of the areas with the highest purchasing power in the whole Spanish capital, next to La Zarzuela race track, in Valdemarín (Aravaca), where properties, the vast majority of which are family homes, cost upwards of €1 million.

According to various sources, the cooperative manager is working with Gran Roque Capital, the real estate management company owned by the Venezuelan businessman Miguel Ángel Capriles, and the fund Urbania Internacional, with whom it has constructed various projects in the area.

The acquired land is divided into 19 plots – with surface areas ranging between 500 m2 and 750 m2 each (…). They used to belong to Jardines del Hipódromo, a company owned by Inmobiliaria Monteverde, which filed for creditors’ bankruptcy at the end of 2011. At the end of 2016, Mercantile Court nº8 in Madrid convened the auction of the plots – the company’s only asset – which ended up in the hands of Blackstone, one of its creditors after it purchased the debt that the company had taken out with Banco Sabadell and La Caixa (…).

Grupo Ibosa has also purchased land in Aravaca from Blackstone, specifically, on Calle Diplomáticos, where it is going to build eight luxury family homes measuring 700 m2 on plots spanning 1,000 m2. And, it has an agreement with another owner for another plot in Valdemarín to build another dozen houses.

In total, three transactions – which amount to around 24,000 m2 in total – involving a very scarce asset in the capital, which has led to real competition between property developers and investment funds and an important upwards pressure in prices. In total, Grupo Ibosa is going to build almost 40 units from whose sale it expects to obtain revenues of more than €55 million. In all three cases, the developments will be carried out under the cooperative regime (…).

A sought-after neighbourhood

Valdemarín is one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in Madrid for young directors and Spanish executives. A neighbourhood where homes cost upwards of €1 million and where plots of land – like in the neighbouring El Barrial – are really scarce. New build properties are also in short supply, which has led to significant price increases of 20% (10% per annum) in recent years. According to the sources consulted, everything that comes onto the market is sold very quickly.

“Within Aravaca, Valdemarín has become fashionable thanks to its good schools and access to Madrid,” say sources at Engel & Völkers, which places the maximum price that can be paid in the area at €6,300/m2 (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Baupost Finalises Purchase Of Luxury Property Developer Levitt

19 October 2017 – Expansión

The luxury real estate construction sector is retaining its shine. One of the property developers that survived the previous cycle, Levitt-Bosch Aymerich, is on the verge of changing hands. A consortium of American investors, led by the fund Baupost Group, is holding exclusive negotiations to purchase the property developer that specialises in luxury homes, which has a market capitalisation around €200 million.

Sources in the sector explained to Expansión that the operation is in the due diligence phase (the assets are being audited) and that, although no agreement has been reached yet, the operation may be closed soon if the negotiations continue.

Baupost will team up with a local operating partner, Alpine Grove, for the operation. The advisors on buyer include PwC and the law firm Garrigues, on the legal side. Meanwhile, Deloitte Legal is the legal advisor on the sell-side.

According to the latest available information from the Mercantile Register, Levitt-Bosch Aymerich’s net equity amounted to €162 million at the end of 2016. The company recorded a turnover of €61 million and an attributable net result of almost €6 million. Besides Baupost, several other US investment funds that are very active in Spain also submitted bids for Levitt. In this way, market sources indicate that Lone Star, Värde and Castlelake all expressed their interest in the company over the last 12 months.

Levitt, founded in 1929, with the construction of a luxury residential development in New York, arrived in Spain in 1971 with the help of José María Bosch Aymerich, who died in 2015.

In 1973, the company undertook its first development on the Monteclaro urbanisation on the outskirts of Madrid. Since then, it has constructed several high-end developments in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as some office complexes.

In this regard, in October 2014, the company sold five office buildings in Madrid to Merlin for €130 million in order to focus on its residential business.

The firm is currently working on some developments in Valdemarín (Aravaca), in one of the most exclusive areas of Madrid as well as on the El Juncal urbanisation in Alcobendas, amongst others.

Shopping fever

If this deal is closed in the end, it will join the fever of property developer sales that has been happening in Spain in recent years. Examples include Lone Star, which purchased Kutxabank’s real estate subsidiary Neinor in 2014 for €930 million. Also, in February, Värde acquired Vía Célere for €90 million and merged it with DosPuntos – the former real estate subsidiary of the SanJosé group -. In addition, that same fund purchased Aelca from Grupo Avintia for €50 million in June 2016.

Meanwhile, Castlelake, which started to back the Spanish housing market back in 2013 with the purchase of land, launched Aedas Homes just a year ago. Other investors are also backing the market through agreements with local groups to build homes, such as the case of Morgan Stanley and Gestilar, and Green Oak and Ibosa, amongst others.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

GreenOak & Ibosa Create A JV Property Developer

5 September 2017 – El Confidencial

House building is continuing to spark a great deal of interest amongst international investment funds. With a positive outlook for future increases in sales – according to BBVA, this year, we can expect to break the threshold of half a million units sold – and prices over the next few years, the sector is under the spotlight. The latest player to try its luck with residential property development is the US firm GreenOak, which has just created a joint venture with the cooperative manager Grupo Ibosa, one of the most active in the sector in Madrid in recent years.

According to sources close to the negotiations, both companies have decided to join forces – their capital and their construction know-how, respectively – to launch a vehicle that will invest primarily in the Spanish residential market, in the main cities in Spain.

Its first project is a residential skyscraper in Isla Chamartín, (…) a small real estate triangle bounded by the M-11, the A-1 and Avenida de Manoteras, in Madrid, where in September last year, Grupo Ibosa purchased a plot of land from Oncisa for just over €30 million. The project will require a total investment of more than €80 million (…) and will involve the construction of a 75m tall tower with 20 floors and two blocks of flats, which will house more than 200 homes. Prices will range between €200,000 and €1 million.

GreenOak is the latest in a long line of large international funds to enter the house building sector. The first to officially make the leap was Lone Star, which purchased Kutxabank’s real estate arm Neinor at the end of 2014 with the aim of turning it into the largest house builder in Spain. The company now has 4,300 homes under construction and owns more than 1 million m2 of land. (…). Another player that stands out is Aedas Homes, the heir of Vallehermoso, which is backed by the Socimi Merlin Properties and the fund Castlelake, and which owns one of the largest land portfolios in Spain (…).

Valdemarín, in the spotlight

According to the sources consulted, Ibosa and GreenOak are on the verge of closing their next joint operation. They are looking at purchasing several plots of land that Blackstone is about to sell in Valdemarín, one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Madrid, where detached family homes go for no less than €1 million and prices are experiencing double digit rises.

The plots of land in question, which have been put up for action (…) are divided into 19 lots measuring 450 m2 each (just over 8,500 m2 in total) with auction values ranging between €730,000 and just over €1.1 million. The plots used to belong to Jardines del Hipódromo, a company owned by Inmobiliaria Monteverde, which filed for creditor bankruptcy at the end of 2011.

Grupo Ibosa knows the Valdemarín area like the back of its hand, since it has already managed two projects there. Alhena Valdemarín, comprising 36 detached family homes, which were sold in their entirety in a matter of months last year; and Mirach Valdemarín, a development of 14 detached homes measuring 200 m2 each and costing upwards of €893,000, also constructed under the cooperative regime.

GreenOak, a very active fund in Spain

In addition, before this agreement with Ibosa, GreenOak had already made a small foray into the Spanish residential market, given that in September 2015, it teamed up with the German fund Activum ASG Iberia to purchase c/ Fuencarral, 77, located next to Tribunal metro, from the General Treasury Social Security. That building will house high standing homes and a large retail space. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Avintia Puts 75% Of Property Developer Aelca Up For Sale

11 March 2016 – El Confidencial

The construction company Avintia is looking for a buyer for the 75% stake that it holds in Aelca, the young Madrilenian property developer founded by Javier Gómez Fernández and José Juan Martín Montes. According to market sources, the sales process – which was launched a few months ago – is now quite advanced and several important investment funds have been participating in it. Morgan Stanley, amongst others, exited the process because it rejected the vendor’s demand for purchase exclusivity. Sources at Aelca declined to comment on the matter.

The businessman Antonio Martín Jiménez, founder of Avintia, has decided to sell his stake in the company at a time when the recovery of the residential market is already a reality in Madrid and when many investment funds have fully launched themselves into property development in our country and, in particular, in the capital.

Funds such as Lone Star, Castlelake, Värde, Cerberus, HMC, Kennedy Wilson and Pimco are just a few examples of large international investors that have decided to enter this market. In particular, Castlelake, which has a sizeable portfolio of land in Madrid after acquiring Project Crossover from Sareb, has chosen Aelca as its local partner for the launch and marketing of several residential projects.

A year ago, José Juan Martín, the CEO of Aelca, explained its partnership with that fund. “We are working with them in Valdemarín (see above), in Madrid, on a development containing 32 homes. We are also working with them on the promotion of 90 homes in Hospitalet, in Barcelona, whilst in Estepona, we have a project with them involving 70 secondary residence homes”. (…).

Created in 2007

Avintia, is a 100% Spanish company, created in 2007, which specialises in public and private construction projects. (…). Eight companies operate under its umbrella: Avintia (construction), Aelca (property development), ADI (real estate development), Brick O’clock (services), Adh (hotel development), Avora (international business in Colombia), Avintia Empresas (development of tertiary industrial properties) and Avintia Racing, the company that owns a Moto GP team. In 2008, at the height of the crisis, the parent company recorded revenues of €110 million, whilst in 2015, its forecast turnover amounted to €400 million.

Aelca, the group’s property developer arm, has a strong presence in the residential market in Madrid: 18 of its 24 developments are situated in the Community of Madrid. Its most high profile projects are located in Boadilla del Monte, Aravaca and La Tablas, areas where the recovery in the real estate sector and prices is already a reality.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Elena Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake