Spanish-accented real estate investment in Portugal

Spanish-accented real estate investment in Portugal

With just under a week to go until the awards ceremony in the Portuguese city of Estoril, the Iberian Property Investment Awards, organised by Iberian Property, has announced the list of finalists in the "Deal of the Year in Portugal" category, which highlights exceptional real estate investment transactions in Portugal.

After revealing the finalists in the "Deal of the Year in Spain" category, the awards, which recognise and reward the most outstanding leaders and projects in the field of real estate investment in 2022 on the Iberian Peninsula, previews the projects and protagonists competing in the context of investment in Portuguese Real Estate. These are:

C&W PT + JLL PT - Project Liberdade (Advisory)

Real Estate Advisor: Cushman & Wakefield Portugal and JLL Portugal

Seller: Novo Banco

Buyer: Merlin Properties

Transaction Date: Third Quarter 2022

Location: Lisbon

Sector: Offices

The "Liberdade Project" represents advice from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) on the sale and purchase of Liberdade 195, the historic headquarters of Novo Banco in Lisbon. The seller was Novo Banco and the buyer was the Spanish Socimi Merlin Properties.

Foto Project Liberdade.jpg

This is an unique property, considering its privileged location (the largest building on the corner of Av. da Liberdade) and also its scale, excellent state of conservation, very spacious floor plans (in the context of Lisbon's prime CBD) and excellent ceiling height. In addition, both its location and technical specifications offer flexibility for different uses, especially office, hospitality or residential. In short, it represents the perfect definition of a "flagship asset", one that rarely comes to the market and attracts the attention of a wide range of potential buyers.

However, finding the right buyer was not an "obvious" process. Both the location and the building were absolutely attractive and crucial; however, Novo Banco was to vacate the building in less than two years, thus making the buyer profile a value-add: after a short lease-back period, the buyer would have to assume all planning, commercial and refurbishment risks. In addition, the investment volume of more than 100 million euros was a challenge for a part of the potential demand, which simply could not afford such an amount.

The sale transaction was entrusted on a co-exclusive basis to C&W and JLL. The consultancy firms initiated a structured process to advise on the sale of the building in April 2022. A total of 125 investors showed interest and signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), which resulted in 33 bids being received. Finally, Merlin Properties was selected to enter into exclusivity and begin due diligence. A promissory contract was signed in August 2022, with the final sale and purchase agreement closing in September 2022.

ECS Capital - Portfolio Crow

Seller: ECS Capital

Buyer: Davidson Kempner

Transaction Date: Fourth Quarter 2022

Location: Algarve

Sector: Hotels

Davidson Kempner Capital Management completed the acquisition of leading Portuguese investment manager ECS Capital ("ECS"). The acquirer, which brings together several investment funds, also included operational partners such as Kronos and US real estate investment and hotel management company, Highgate.


The transaction includes the acquisition of two funds managed by ECS, as well as some additional Portuguese companies, whose assets comprise 65 attractive hospitality, residential and commercial properties located mainly in the Algarve region.

ECS' real estate portfolio includes 18 hotels and three golf courses, as well as residential properties and land for development at the renowned Vale do Lobo Golf & Beach Resort and the popular Conrad Algarve Hotel in Quinta do Lago.


The deal represents an exceptional opportunity for ECS to build on its many years of success as a leading investment manager in the Portuguese private equity sector.

This deal has been ranked as a finalist in the Iberian Property Investment Awards as the largest deal in Portugal in 2022, involving the purchase of the largest portfolio of real estate assets located in various parts of the country.

ROUND HILL CAPITAL - Portfolio Smart Studios

Seller: Smart Studios

Buyer: Round Hill Capital

Date of Transaction: Third Quarter 2022

Location: Lisbon, Estoril and Porto

Sector: Student accommodation


Portugal attracts a large number of international students due to the quality of the educational offer and the quality of life available for young professionals. However, the growing student community revealed a strong imbalance between supply and demand in this segment, where the available accommodation solutions are still mostly non-institutional and lack modern and adequate conditions. With the acquisition of Smart Studios, RHC improved both the availability and quality of student accommodation, thus responding to the growing demand.


Round Hill Capital (RHC) acquired the Smart Studios portfolio with an investment value of approximately 200 million euros. The deal included a total of nine assets in the student accommodation sector, with a total floor area of 53,000 square metres. This acquisition was the largest PBSA (Purpose-Built Student Accommodation) transaction in Portugal, adding 2,013 new beds to the European portfolio of Round Hill European Student Accommodation, the joint venture created between CPP Investments and RHC, which now has a total of 5,000 beds.

More finalists for the Iberian Property Investment Awards

These finalists represent the pinnacle of achievement in Iberian Real Estate investment in 2022. The winner will be announced during the highly anticipated awards gala on 19 September in Estoril, Portugal. In addition, in the coming days, we will share information about the rest of the nominees in the categories of this first edition, which are:

  • Deal of the Year in Spain
  • Green Asset Initiative of the Year (E)
  • Social Impact Initiative of the Year (S)
  • Investor Reporting of the Year (G)

For more detailed information, please visit the official website of the Iberian Property Investment Awards.

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