Spanish REIT, Lar España, (BME: LRE) continues its asset rotation strategy and has sold two retail warehouse units in Pamplona to AEW for 11.5 million euros. This transaction has allowed the SOCIMI to achieve a return of 36.9% on the 2015 purchase price of €8.4 million, according to an official statement made to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV). Shares in the Spanish REIT are currently trading at €8.83, down -0.6% YTD with a 52 week low of €7.90.
This deal is part of a divestment process that LAR started in September 2017 with the sale of an office building in Arturo Soria (Madrid). So far the Spanish fund has sold over €276.5 million worth of property including a logistics portfolio to Blackstone for €120M, as reported by SpanishReit.com. Grupo LAR continues, however, to seek investment opportunities and plans to invest €220 million in shopping centers and retail parks and is allocating €247 million to new developments such as Vidanova Parc in Sagunto (Valencia) and Palmas Altas in Seville (Andalusia) as well as an extra €49 million to improve its retail portfolio. LAR’s portfolio currently includes 18 properties valued at over €1.4 billion, with €1.1 billion represented by shopping centres.
AEW opened a new office in Madrid in January of 2017 and appointed Carsten Czarnetzki as Country Head. The group has since reinforced its position with the hiring of Tim Nalder, former co-head of asset management at Invesco, as asset management director as well as Maxime Foulon as investment analyst. With the acquisition of these assets, AEW has added 4,108m² of GLA to its Spanish portfolio which includes a retail high street unit in Calle Serrano and an office building in Alcobendas, the Amura Building. The French investment fund also bought the iconic Fuencarral Market in Madrid last summer from Activum SG for over €50 million in 2017 and rented it to Decathlon.
AEW is one of the world’s largest real estate asset managers, with €59.3 billion in assets under management as at 31 March 2018. AEW has over 600 employees, with its main offices located in Boston, London, Paris and Hong Kong and offers a wide range of real estate investment products including co-mingled funds, separate accounts and securities mandates across the full spectrum of investment strategies. In Europe, the fund manager has over 300 employees based in 10 locations. AEW represents the real estate asset management platform of Natixis Global Asset Management, one of the largest asset managers in the world.