Harbert forges Spanish Costa’s JV

The US alternative asset manager, which has been active in Spain recently, has agreed a joint venture to develop a retail warehouse in Malaga, southern Spain.

Harbert Management Corporation is to develop a retail warehouse on Spain's Southern coast in partnership with Doric Malaga.

The US alternative investments firm, which has around $25 billion (€17 billion) of assets, said it would develop a 17,000-square-meter property scheduled to open late next year in the city of Malaga. The site is close to an outlet operated by popular Swedish household goods store, Ikea.

Scott O’Donnell, senior managing director of Harbert's European business, said in a statement that retail warehousing was in very limited supply in the area.

Alabama-based Harbert is investing out of European Real Estate Fund II, its second vehicle in Europe which has been active in Spain for some months. In February, it formed a joint venture with Promociona Hispania, which expects to invest between €150 million and €200 million of capital over the next couple of years in jointly developing assets. The pair announced they had acquired a site in Southern Madrid for 120,000 square meters of logistics space.

Though some private equity real estate firms have been finding opportunities, Spain is in the grip of a property crisis with many public property companies suffering losses as a result of a housing crash following years of over-supply.

Yesterday, Immobiliara Colonial, one of the country’s largest property companies, revealed it had agreed a €7 billion debt restructuring package. The company has taken on large debts to finance international expansion via corporate acquisitions.