South African Fund Vukile Acquires 9 Retail Assets For €198M

4 July 2017 – Expansión

A new institutional investor has arrived in Spain. And it comes from an unusual place for large investors in the Spanish real estate market: South Africa.

The South African real estate investment fund (REIT) Vukile Properties has completed its first operation in Spain by purchasing nine commercial assets located all over the country. The South African firm has disbursed €198 million for the properties, which have a combined surface area of 117,700 m2.

Of that amount, €193 million will be paid to the owner until now, the company Redevco Iberian Ventures, a joint venture created in 2015 by the groups Ares and Redevco to invest in the Iberian Peninsula.

Vukile has completed its purchase through the Spanish company Castellana Properties. This company, previously known as Vinemont Investments, changed its corporate structure last summer, to become a Socimi, after completing a capital increase of €12.6 million.

The first properties acquired by this Socimi form part of the portfolio that the Dutch company Redevco has been creating in the Iberian Peninsula over the last few years. The assets include five stores in the Parque Principado de Asturias complex and Parque Oeste, in Alcorcón (Madrid), spanning a surface area of 13,600 m2. The largest property is the Kinepolis complex, in Pulianas (Granada), measuring 25,900 m2 distributed over six stores.

97% of these retail spaces are leased to operators such as Mercadona, Día, Media Markt and fashion labels such as C&A and Kiabi.

For its first operation in Spain (and Europe), the South African REIT, which is listed on the Johannesburg and Namibia stock exchanges, has joined forces with the brothers Lee and Chad Morze, who it defines as “well-known and successful businessman living in Spain”. According to the commercial registry, Chad Morze is the administrator of Diversified Real Estate Asset Management, a company whose primary activity is the provision of tax, audit and accounting advice. Created at the end of 2015, the company has not filed any annual accounts yet. Lee Morze is also registered as an administrator of the same company.

Of the total amount disbursed (€198 million), Vukile has announced that it will contribute own funds amounting to €103 million, whilst the other almost €95 million will be obtained through a bank loan to Castellana Properties from the entities Santander, CaixaBank and Bankia, amongst others.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake