Vukile Goes Quiet After Reports of Takeover Bid for Lar España

31 October 2019 – On September 9, the Spanish daily Expansión published a report stating that the South African fund Vukile, which owns Castellana Properties, was preparing a takeover bid for Lar España. News of the more than €700-million bid led the socimi’s shares to soar by 10.29%, from 6.80 euros to 7.50 euros. Since then, however, Vukile has remained mum on the subject.

Lar España is an attractive asset, with a portfolio of fifteen shopping centres with close to 600,000 square meters of gross leasable area. The portfolio is worth approximately €1.5 billion and includes the Las Huertas shopping centres in Valladolid, Portal de la Marina (Benidorm), Ànecbalu (Castelldefells), Megapark Barakaldo, As Termas (Lugo) and the Lagoh in Seville.

Original Story: Merca2 – Javier Rosell

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Vukile Looking to Launch Takeover of Lar España

10 September 2019

The South African firm, Vukile Property, is looking to take a stake in Socimi Lar España, a major investor in shopping centres, with 16 assets valued at 1.462 billion euros.

Vukile, which operates in Spain through Castellana Properties, has already arranged financing for the deal. UBS will represent the firm, while Lar España has hired Lazard.

Lar España was the first socimi to list on the continuous market and currently has a capitalisation of €615 million, a 36% discount to net asset value. Lar España’s largest shareholders, Pimco and Grupo Lar, are expected to insist on a 30% premium to the share price. The socimi ended the first semester with sales of €39 million and a net profit of 29 million euros.

Lar España has been focusing its investments on shopping centres, selling the office buildings it had in its portfolio, as well as logistic assets. In the last 18 months, the firm has raised €425 million, including the €120-million sale of a logistics portfolio to Blackstone and the €190-million sale of four office buildings in Madrid and Barcelona.

Lar España currently has fourteen assets in its portfolio, with a gross rental area of ​​580,000 m2 and a market value of €1.462 billion (June 30, 2019).

Original Story: Expansión – Rebeca Arroyo / Nicolás Sarriés.

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Castellana Properties Acquires Puerta Europa Shopping for €57 Million

5 August 2019

Castellana Properties, the socimi controlled by the South African fund Vukile, acquired the Puerta Europa shopping centre in Cadiz for 56.8 million euros. Located in the town of Algeciras, the shopping centre opened a decade ago and has more than 100,000 square meters of surface area, of which 29,531 square meters are commercial area.

The mall has an area of influence with more than 250,000 inhabitants, and has 100 stores, including a wide range of fashion and leisure shops and restaurants. Tenants include such established brands as Primark, Zara, H&M, Yelmo cinemas and a Mercadona supermarket.

Original Story: Expansión – Rocío Ruiz

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

El Corte Inglés Closes Los Arcos & Bahía Sur Shopping Centres and Sells Them to Castellana Properties

27 May 2019 – Cinco Días

El Corte Inglés has reached an agreement with Castellana Properties to sell two shopping centres in Andalucía, specifically Los Arcos (11,000 m2) in Sevilla and Bahía Sur (12,000 m2) in Cádiz, for €36.8 million.

The deal will become effective on 30 September, on which date both the El Corte Inglés store in Bahía Sur and the Hipercor in Los Arcos will be closed. The department store group will use the funds to reduce its debt, which amounted to €3.7 billion at the end of the first half of 2018.

The operation does not form part of Project Green, the portfolio containing 95 non-strategic real estate assets that ECI has entrusted to PwC, and whose sale is still on-going. According to market sources, the only bid received so far for the entire portfolio has come from the US fund Apollo.

Meanwhile, the Socimi Castellana Properties, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), is controlled by the South African group Vukile, and has 17 assets in its portfolio including shopping centres, retail parks and offices spanning a combined leasable surface area of 317,106 m2, worth €916 million.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz & Javier García Ropero)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Intu Considers Selling its 4 Shopping Centres in Spain to Pay Off Debt

6 March 2019 – Expansión

The British retail giant, Intu Properties, is considering putting up for sale its real estate assets in Spain in order to pay off some of its debt. The company’s stock market value has plummeted to €2 billion in recent months, and its debt amounts to more than €5 billion, following two unsuccessful takeover bids for the company last year.

The firm has reportedly received expressions of interest for its Spanish portfolio, which is worth €1 billion in total, from several large international investors. The assets in question are Xanadú (Madrid), Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza), Parque Principado (Asturias) and a mega-project currently under construction in Málaga.

No formal sales process has been initiated yet but a number of unsolicited offers have been received. Nevertheless, legal sources state that the firm would have to offer the right of first refusal to its shareholder partners in each case, namely CPPIB in the case of Puerto Venecia and Parque Principado, and Nuveen (previously TH Real Estate) in the case of Xanadú, before opening any sales process to the wider market.

Other potential suitors include Castellana Properties (the firm backed by the South African investor Vukile) and the Slovenian group J&T.

Original story: Expansión (by Roberto Casado & Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vukile to Inject €600M into its Socimi Castellana Properties

5 March 2019 – Eje Prime

Vukile is going to inject €600 million into its Spanish Socimi, Castellana Properties, to enlarge its portfolio. The aim of the South African fund is to debut the Socimi, which specialises in shopping centres, on the main stock market during 2019.

The company currently owns 19 commercial assets in Spain worth €898 million and has a leverage ratio of 48%, but before making the leap onto the main stock market, the company wants to increase its asset portfolio to €1,500 million and reduce its leverage ratio to below 45%.

The plan is to carry out a €600 million capital increase, to finance the additional asset purchases, which will be subscribed by its main shareholder, Vukile.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Unibail’s Profit in Spain Falls by 3.6% Following the Sale of 4 Assets

20 February 2019 – Idealista

The French shopping centre giant has seen its profits in Spain decline due to one of the operations of the year. Unibail-Rodamco earned 3.6% less in the Spanish market in 2018, specifically, €155 million, following the sale of its portfolio of four shopping centres to the South African fund Vukile for around €500 million, as reported by Idealista News last July. If it had not carried out that sale, the group’s profits would have grown by 2.8%.

The company ended last year in the Spanish market with a net profit of €161 million, up by 10.3% compared to 2016, when the group earned €146 million. Until now, Spain had been one of the fastest-growing countries for Unibail-Rodamco.

Across all of the markets in which it operates, the French company recorded a net profit of €1.9 billion, up by 36.9% YoY. That increase in gains was due, in part, to the purchase of the Westfield shopping centre group.

Whilst the area where Unibail-Rodamco increased its profit by the most in the last twelve months was Central Europe, up by 21.7%, France was ranked in second place, with growth of 5.3%. Behind France was Austria with an increase in profits of 4.3%.

Mega-operation with Vukile

Unibail-Rodamco became one of the stars of the sector last July when it closed the sale of four shopping centres to the South African fund Vukile, through its Spanish real estate vehicle Castellana Properties Socimi for €489 million (…).

Currently, the group led by Christophe Cuvillier (pictured above) owns a portfolio in Spain worth €3.6 billion, which receives 126.2 million visitors per year. Those assets account for 10% of its global portfolio.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Castellana Properties Incorporates Unibail’s Shopping Centres into its Portfolio

28 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Castellana Properties is now the ninth largest Socimi in Spain. The company, which is controlled by the South African fund Vukile, has doubled the value of its portfolio to €900 million by incorporating the firm Morzal Property into the fold. Morzal is the vehicle through which Vukile purchased four shopping centres from the giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in July.

The General Shareholders’ Meeting of Castellana approved the purchase of 100% of Morzal at the same price as the initial operation was closed, according to Eje Prime. The incorporation of the company, which paid Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield €490 million in July for its four assets, has been carried out through a capital increase subscribed by a non-monetary contribution of Morzal’s share capital, attributing a value of €6 per share to the shares of Castellana Properties.

Following this incorporation, the Socimi has increased its portfolio with the following shopping centres: Los Arcos (Sevilla), Bahía Sur (Cádiz), El Faro (Badajoz) and Vallsur (Valladolid). In total, the manager is adding a gross leasable area (GLA) of 121,300 m2 to reach a total of 318,622 m2 distributed all over Spain.

The market capitalisation of the company now amounts to €460 million, whilst the average value of its assets has increased from €27 million to €48 million, and its vacant space has decreased from 3.3% to 1.8%.

“The acquisition of these four shopping centres significantly strengthens our portfolio and reaffirms our commitment to the retail real estate sector in Spain”, said Alfonso Brunet, CEO of Castellana Properties.

Similarly, in terms of the future, Vukile has the commitment to inject another €200 million into Castellana over the coming years, as revealed by Eje Prime. In April, the fund subscribed an agreement with the Socimi to undertake capital increases for that maximum value in the event that it does not find the necessary partners to continue buying retail parks and shopping centres with, “given the need for financing to undertake such investments”.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Castellana to Merge the Kinépolis & Alameda Shopping Centres in Granada

2 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Castellana is making changes in Granada. The Socimi owned by the South African fund Vukile is going to merge the Alameda Retail Park and the Kinépolis shopping centre into a new brand, called Granaita, according to explanations provided in a corporate presentation that the firm has distributed to potential investors.

The company, which has been listed on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) since July, will invest €5 million in the process to reposition and integrate its two shopping centres in Granada.

Castellana is one of the emerging players in the current retail market in Spain, in which it specialises. The objective of the company is to be “the leading Socimi in the retail sector”, adds the company, whose objectives include the optimisation of its asset portfolio. The operation that it is going to carry out in Granada sits firmly within that framework.

The real estate manager acquired Kinépolis in June 2017, through the company Junction Parque Granada. The asset, inaugurated in 2004, comprises eight stores with a gross leasable area of 18,508 m2 and is worth €32.5 million.

Meanwhile, Alameda Retail Park was incorporated into Castellana’s portfolio in December last year. Located in the municipality of Pulianas, in Granada, the park began operating in 2014 and comprises four stores with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 27,256 m2. The monthly rent at Alameda amounts to €10.71 and its market value stands at €55.3 million.

The fund that sustains the Socimi financially, Vukile, is going to inject up to €200 million over the next few years to continue with its plan to conquer the commercial sector in Spain, where it hopes to form a portfolio worth €1.2 billion. Castellana is going to look for new shareholders to inject the resources necessary to carry out this plan, which seeks to enable the Socimi to make the leap from the MAB to the main stock exchange within the next three years.

In pursuit of this goal, Vukile acquired four shopping centres from Unibail-Rodamco for €489 million last summer, which were placed in Castellana’s portfolio, as reported by Eje Prime.

Castellana Properties closed 2017 with revenues of €9.31 million, whilst it registered turnover of €5.15 million during the first three months of 2018. The net result for 2017 amounted to €18.61 million, and the firm earned €6.65 million during the first quarter of 2018. The group’s debt at the end of 2017 amounted to €146 million.

Original story: Eje Prime (By Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vukile Finalises Purchase of 4 Shopping Centres from Unibail for €490M

18 July 2018 – Idealista News

One of the deals of the year in the shopping centre sector is on the verge of completion. The South African fund Vukile, through its Spanish real estate vehicle Castellana Properties Socimi, is in the process of buying four shopping centres from the European giant Unibail-Rodamco for €489 million. Castellana Properties, which also acquired the Habaneras shopping centre in May, is going to add the Bahía Sur, El Faro, Los Arcos and Vallsur complexes to its asset portfolio in Spain, all of which are currently owned by the French company specialising in shopping centres.

Vukile will acquire these assets in a block purchase, although Unibail-Rodamco had been negotiating their sale with other groups, such as Lar España and Klépierre, on an individual basis. The French group, which completed its integration with the Australian firm Westfield in June, has signed a binding offer agreement with Castellana Properties for €489 million. According to sources familiar with the operation, that amount may decrease before the final sale is signed.

From now on, Castellana Properties Socimi will have the following shopping centres in its portfolio: Bahía Sur, which spans 59,300 m2 and is located in Cádiz, close to Puerto Real and San Fernando; El Faro, which spans 66,300 m2 and is located in Badajoz; Los Arcos, located in Sevilla, with a surface area of 44,000 m2; and Vallsur, located in Valladolid with a surface area of 36,000 m2.

The sale of these four assets forms part of the operation carried out last year with Barnasud, the complex acquired by Meridia Capital, a Catalan fund owned by the businessman Javier Faus, who paid Unibail-Rodamco €35 million for the asset (…).

Currently, the group led by Christophe Cuvillier has a portfolio in Spain worth €3.556 billion and receives 126.2 million visitors per year. Those assets account for 10% of its global portfolio.

Castellana Properties, on a mission to acquire shopping centres in Spain

Since its creation, Vukile has been increasing its portfolio of assets in Spain through Castellana Properties in a frenetic way. In July last year, Vukile purchased nine retail parks from Redevco Iberian Ventures, the joint venture between the real estate company specialising in retail Redevco and the funds managed by the global alternative asset management company Ares Management, for €193 million.

Before the end of the year, Castellana Properties formalised the purchase of two retail spaces located in Granada and Murcia for €65 million (…).

The only operation signed by Vukile and Castellana Properties so this year has been the purchase of the Habaneras shopping centre for more than €80 million (…).

Original story: Idealista News (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake