Blackbrook Capital (Blackbrook), a European independent real estate investment firm focusing on mission-critical commercial property, has acquired a portfolio of 22 convenience grocery stores in Spain from public real estate company Lar España.
The supermarkets are subject to long-term triple-net leases with Eroski, the third-largest grocery retailer in Spain and the dominant market leader in northern Spain and the Balearic Islands (among the wealthiest regions in Spain). The portfolio totals approximately 39,000 sqm of leasable area.
Eroski operates as a co-operative with more than 1.2 million customer and employee members. It is a key component of Mondragón Corporation, the largest co-operative in the world with interests in finance, industry, retail, and knowledge. Eroski is also a member of the largest purchasing alliance in Europe, with over €140 billion of global turnover. In its financial year ending 31 January 2020, Eroski generated turnover of over €5.2 billion.
The 22 supermarkets are generally located in densely populated residential areas that should display resilience to future trends towards online food sales, having a captive consumer base from local neighbourhoods, and supporting omnichannel distribution with Eroski’s rapidly developing online platform. Eroski has been ranked as the leading online supermarket in Spain for the past three years. Deep infill and developed micro-locations combined with strict planning regulations support long-term asset value preservation.
Also in February, Blackbrook confirmed the acquisition of a portfolio of build to suit grocery stores in Portugal. With construction on one site recently completed, and the remainder due for completion in phases over the next 12 months, the supermarkets will be acquired by Blackbrook upon completion and leased on a long-term basis to Continente, the leading grocery retailer in Portugal.
Continente is the largest entity within Sonae SGPS, S.A. (Sonae), a major Portuguese conglomerate with interests in food retail, health, sports, fashion and electronics retail, investment management, financial services, real estate, and telecommunication services. Sonae is one of the largest employers in Portugal with over 46,000 staff. Continente is the leading food retailer in Portugal generating revenues of €4.7 billion in 2019 with a market share of approximately 27%.
Arvi A. I. Luoma, Co-Founder & CEO of Blackbrook, said: “Our second transaction in Iberia in 2021, this portfolio fits perfectly within our investment strategy – long-term net leases on high-quality mission-critical assets with tenants that are well-entrenched in their market. Grocery retail is a vibrant and growing sector which has demonstrated resilience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, a trend that will only continue. This, coupled with urban locations of the sites which can support both consumer convenience and local e-commerce distribution needs, indicates to us that these will be strong performing assets for the long term.”
José Luis del Valle, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lar España, said: “We would like to thank Arvi and the Blackbrook team for closing this transaction in a timely fashion and as agreed from the outset. Blackbrook’s net lease and transactional expertise, combined with their ability to acquire the portfolio on an all-equity basis, made them the optimal counterparty for this transaction.”