Lar España REIT purchases Egeo office building in Campo de las Naciones, Madrid

December 17th, 2014

Lar España Real Estate REIT has purchased the Egeo office building located in Campo de las Naciones, Madrid from MEAG, the German fund, for €64.9 million. This is the eleventh investment acquisition undertaken in Spain by the REIT following its IPO last March 5th. Cushman & Wakefield advised on the transaction.

The six story property has a lettable area of 18,252 square feet and 350 basement level parking spaces. Currently, the office space is fully occupied. The Campo de las Naciones business park accounted for 57% of real estate investment activity in Madrid during the third quarter of 2014. “With the acquisition of the Egeo building, Lar España Real Estate has doubled the size of its office portfolio in Madrid,” said Arturo Perales, director of the office department of Grupo Lar. Including this transaction, the Spanish REIT has invested €297.4 million of the €400 million raised in the IPO, of which €165.3 million have been allocated to five shopping centres in Irun, Palencia, Albacete, Barcelona and Alicante ; €78.1 million to three office buildings in Madrid; €44.9 million to eight logistics warehouses in Guadalajara; and €9.1 million to a retail warehouse in the capital.

For further information about available and completed commercial real estate transactions and comparables in Spain contact i-comparables.com

WP Carey to purchase €300m portfolio of 70 buildings in Andalucia

December 5th, 2014

The Regional Authority of Andalusia in Spain has agreed to sell 70 public public building for €300 million to fund manager WP Carey Inc, which sealed the deal through its Spanish subsidiary, Inversiones Holmes. The amount agreed is slightly above the asking price of €292 million. The succesful bidder has deposited €15 million as a warranty, equal to 5% of the total value of the transaction. The Marbella branch of CBRE advised WP Carey on the transaction.

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Citibank and Mazabi set up a Spanish real estate investment club

December 4th, 2014

Today (4th December 2014), Expansion, the Spanish financial newspaper has published an article stating that Citibank has recently commenced a joint venture with Mazabi, a Spanish investment company. The stated objective is to invest €400 million in real estate in Spain, with a target return of 15%.

Citibank has identified Spain as an attractive country for investment, and many large international players have already invested heavily in the Spanish market. To profit from this demand, especially for real estate, Citibank has set up the investment club aimed at High Net Worth individuals (HNWI’s) from all around the world.

Fernando López Muñoz, Director of Global markets for Citi Private Bank for Spain, Italy, Portugal, Latin America and EMEA, has explained that “this club intends to invest a minimum of €200 million in Spain, which could be leveraged to €400 million.”

The club has three years to invest the capital with a possible extension of two years. However, Lopez has indicated that most of the investments will be committed during 2015 and the first six month of 2016.

The Investment Club comprises capital from some 15 to 20 families with a minimum net worth of €100 million each. These families have committed to invest €10 million each in opportunities which have already been identified by Mazabi. However, individual investors are not obliged to invest since they join the club on the basis of a soft commitment. Most of the identified investment opportunities are located in Madrid and Barcelona although some are located in Bilbao, Valencia, Seville and other provincial capitals.

Most of the club members are from Latin America and the Middle-East, but there are also investors from the USA and Europe. The vehicle is projected to last for five to seven years with an expected annual return of 15%.

For information on recent Spanish real estate investment transactions, intelligence on Spanish real estate buyers and sellers, office letting transacions in Madrid and Barcelona and more please contact: www.i-comparables.com

Goldman Sachs buy Spanish Lake property portfolio for €355 million

December 2nd, 2014

Bankia, the rescued Spanish bank, subject to corruption investigations, has announced the sale of the “Lake” property portfolio consisting of 38 Spanish real estate assets including apartment blocks, retail shops and logistics warehouses, to Goldman Sachs, which has paid €355 million for them.

In a statement, Bankia explained the Lake portfolio deal included 27 apartment blocks with a total of 1,336 homes and an area of 125,000 square metres in addition to 1,565 parking spaces, 584 storage rooms and 48 retail units on the ground floor level of the buildings.

Apart from the above 27 residential buildings, Goldman Sachs have acquired nine retail units with an area of 18,000 square metres and two logistics warehouses with an area of 10,521 square metres.

Spanish banks, burdened with as much as €40 billion of repossessed real estate, are under increasing pressure to sell as prices fall and investors return to the market after a property slump. Losses linked to real estate at BFA-Bankia, a banking group forged from a merger of savings banks led by Caja Madrid, pushed Spain into taking a €41 billion European bailout to prop up lenders in 2012.

Firms such as Goldman Sachs and Cerberus Capital Management LP have acquired real estate assets in Spain after house prices dropped by more than 45 percent from their 2007 peak. Last year Goldman Sachs bought apartment blocks and social-housing developments from local authorities in Madrid in a partnership with Spanish private-equity firm Azora Capital SL.

For detailed information about transactions in the Spanish real estate investment market contact i-comparables.com.

Alaska Permanent Fund invests in Spain

October 28th, 2014

The Alaska Permanent Fund, the institutional fund that manages the State of Alaska’s government pensions, has made its first investment in the Portuguese and Spanish real estate markets. Only a few days ago the fund sealed the deal with Inmochan, the property management arm of the Auchan group, to co-invest in three retail parks. Two of the parks are located in Portugal and one, known as Zenia Boulevard Retail Park, is located in Orihuela in Spain.

The Alaska Permanent Fund is to award the management of the shopping malls to CBRE Global Investors.

For more information about investment transactions in the Spanish real estate sector please contact: www.i-comparables.com

Spanish REIT completes purchase of bank and office portfolio for €740

July 3rd, 2014

The Merlin Properties REIT has completed the purchase of Tree Inversiones Inmobiliarias (Tree Investment Properties), owner of 880 bank branches and five buildings, all occupied by Spanish bank BBVA on long term rental contracts. The amount of the transaction was €739.48 million.

This is the first tranche of assets acquired by the REIT, managed by the Spanish fund manager Magic Real Estate, which starred last Monday in the biggest Spanish stock market launch over the last three years.

Merlin already had an agreement with the shareholders of Tree Investments to complete this purchase, but the deal was conditional on the successful IPO of the REIT.

Tree Investments has until now been owned by Deutsche Bank, Banca March, Ares Capital Management and Europa Capital.

The lease of the bank branches extends to 2039 and in the case of the office buildings, until 2029.

Merlin issued a statement in which it said that the purchase of this portfolio is the “starting point” for “a series of investments”, which it will undertake over the next few months.

For access to the commercial real estate transactions database including the Spanish real estate investment market and office lettings transactions in Madrid and Barcelona contact i-comparables.com

Spain’s Catalan Government to sell fifteen buildings for up to €300 million

January 31st, 2014

Sources in the real estate sector have indicated that the Generalitat de Catalunya is to put up a portfolio of fifteen buildings for sale for which it could obtain up to €300 million.

The privatization of these properties, for which the list has still not been completely finalized, is the first step of the initiative to obtain extraordinary income as reflected in the 2014 Budget where income of €2.3 billion from sales and concessions is expected.

This large portfolio of properties has an area of around 90,000 m2 and basically comprises office buildings, many of them occupied by the Catalan government itself, which would remain as a tenant following a sale and leaseback transaction. Sources from the Ministry of Economy have declined to comment.

The sale is expected to arouse the interest of international investors and real estate funds, although history has shown that these auctions always have tortuous results.

The main point of reference for investors interested in the portfolio is the transaction closed by Axa Real Estate in June 2013, when it acquired 13 buildings for an amount of €172 million. This transaction which amounted to an area of 80,000 m2 of above ground accomodation provided a guaranteed return of 10%.

For detailled information about investment and corporate sales transactions in Spain and office rental transactions in Madrid and Barcelona contact: i-comparables.com

Investment funds falling over to recruit top executives in Spain

January 28th, 2014

Spain is back on international investor radar screens. Foreign investment funds increasing interest in entering the Spanish property and capital markets is having a positive effect on the executive employment market, giving rise to a wave of executive signings. After several years of monitoring from London or New York, investment companies have decided to form local teams or hire consultants to carry out their plans for Spain.

Some large investment funds have preferred to wait until they had acquired some investments before hiring a team. This was the case with the U.S. fund, Anchorage, which waited until it had acquired real estate assets from EuroHypo (Operation Copernicus) and shares in Codere and La Seda, apart from looking at other transactions such as El Arbol and Supersol supermarket portfolios. After this period they signed up Juan José Nieto as representative for Spain. Nieto is a past chairman of Service Point, a quoted Spanish company, and also of Vía Digital and Antena 3 TV, both previously owned by Telefonica.

Other funds have preferred the figure of senior advisor to take the market pulse before making their first investment. This path was the one adopted ​by U.S. firm, Searchlight, founded by former directors of Apollo. Searchlight has appointed Gonzalo Díaz-Ratobeen as its top Spanish executive. Díaz-Ratobeen is a veteran of Spanish venture capital companies and has passed through Gala and Suala Capital, both Spanish investment managers.

Firms such as Oaktree, Cerberus and Brookfield have all been busy recruiting due to their interest in the Spanish economy and investing in companies such as Panrico, BankiaHabitat and Abertis. These funds have hired veterans from the Ibex 35 in the role of senior advisors, namely Juan Arena (formerly at Bankinter), Juan Hoyos (formerly at McKinsey) and Rafael Miranda (former CEO of Endesa).

For more operational roles, the contracted financial and management executive profile is of a lower age range (35/45). Some recent signings include Fortress (Chema Cava), Varde (Hector Serrat), Goldman Sachs (José Antonio Urquizu), Apollo (Enrique Ibáñez) and HIG (John Barnet), who have turned to professionals from other funds in the same industry (Gladia, Patron, Portobello, BBVA and Riverside) which are now less operational.

This wave of signings is maintaining the momentum initiated by the first investment funds which set up operational structures in Spain in early 2013, such as Blackstone (Iñaki Echave) and KKR (Jesus Olmos). Now, in 2014, other well known international venture capital partners such as BC Partners and Cinven are addressing their physical prescence in Spain. Investor appetite has always been around, but the gap between buyers and sellers pricing aspirations is increasingly narrowing which is why international investors are committing more and more resources to Spain.

For transactions information about the Spanish commercial real estate investment market and Madrid and Barcelona office rental markets contact: i-comparables.com

Commerzbank selling huge Spanish Eurohypo real estate portfolio

January 23rd, 2014

Commerzbank, has put the biggest credit portfolio on the market in the history of Spain and the largest in Europe at the present time. The second largest German bank wants to liquidate all its real estate asset positions in Spain, which amount to €5 billion, and has retained the services of Lazard for the purpose.

The enormous interest of international funds to buy loan portfolios and real estate assets in Spain has led Commerzbank to put the Eurohypo portfolio up for sale. Eurohypo, one of the major financiers of real estate in Spain during the era of the property bubble, was acquired by its German mortgage bank rival after the real estate bubble burst.

Commerzbank, which between 2009 and 2010 had to be partially nationalized partly due to the indigestion that followed on from the merger with Eurohypo, wishes to divest these loans and assets during 2014, either by dividing the assets into lots or through a disposal in a single transaction.

According to official information from Commerzbank, the portfolio consists of €3.3 billion in loans that are currently up to date on payments and €1.7 billion delinquent or non performing loans (NPL’s).

Lazard has already started preparing the sales particulars to send to potential buyers, which include entities such as Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, some of the most active banks in transactions of this type, as well as opportunistic funds such as Fortress, Cerberus, Lone Star, Apollo, Anchorage, Centerbridge, HIG, Kennedy Wilson, Varde Partners and Blackstone.

See original article in El Confidencial El Confidencial

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Foreign interest in Spain on the increase

September 13th, 2013

Foreign interest in Spain is on the increase. The “El Economista” news web site, highlights that in just over a month, various international funds in Spain have invested about €515 million through the purchase of properties in the banking sector. Also, if we add the Evo acquisition by Apollo or the entry of American entrepreneurs and David Martinez Jaime Gilinski at Banco Sabadell, to these transactions, the foreign stake for Spain amounts to 1,200 million in just five weeks.

The Sareb, “bad bank”, wants to take advantage of this situation and, according to Expansion, a Spanish financial newspaper, it has released a package of loans from Bankia and and NGC valued at €350 million. The newspaper also stresses that “the transaction has generated interest in the market and could be closed in just two months” and points out that candidates to take loans include international funds such as Cerberus, Fortress, Apollo, Blackstone and HIG. It also adds that Sareb has seven office buildings for sale in Madrid for €450 million.

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