Grupo Lar has purchased 113,000m² of land in Alcalá de Henares from Toys «Я» Us Iberia for the construction of a 60,000m² logistics complex which will be comprised by two state-of-the-art logistics warehouses, the first of which is expected to be built by mid-2021.
The sale of the land to Grupo Lar allows the toy company, which will remain as a tenant in part of the new logistics complex, to improve its financial situation as well as focus its logistics platform and Iberian headquarters in one modern location.
Toys «Я» Us Iberia was purchased in 2018 by Green Swan SGPS S.A. following the retailer’s global crisis of 2017 during which it filed for bankruptcy in the US & UK lagged by huge indebtedness and falling sales. Green Swan, led by Paulo Andrez, agreed to purchase 60% of the Spanish subsidiary, whilst the historic local managers own the remaining 40%.
The group’s Spanish REIT, Lar España Real Estate, SOCIMI, S.A. became a retail-only operator in the first half of 2019, having completed divestments in logistics and offices as envisaged in its strategic plan. Since then, there have been rumours about the possibility of South African REIT Vukile attempting a hostile takeover.
However, despite the REIT’s retail focus, in March 2019, a Herbert Smith Freehills team led by partner Alberto Frasquet advised Grupo Lar Holding Iberia on the establishment of a joint venture agreement with Centerbridge Partners to focus on logistics acquisitions.
The acquisition in Alcalá de Henares is, in fact, the third logistics acquisition for the JV partners as well as their largest investment yet. In addition, the JV is working on new developments in Barcelona’s second logistics crown and in the Valencian suburb of Quart de Poblet.
Grupo Lar remains open to leasing space to new tenants who may wish to benefit from the project’s proximity to Madrid and its communications, as well as the advantages of a modern and sustainable construction.