2 October 2018 – El Economista
The property developer Aelca has sold its entire asset portfolio to Värde, including its land and developments in progress, which are going to be integrated into Vía Célere. Nevertheless, far from disappearing from our radars, the company founded by José Juan Martín and Javier Gómez is going to continue operating and, for the time being, is going to do so linked to Sareb, according to explanations provided by several sector sources speaking to this newspaper.
The company has been negotiating with the bad bank for months to sign an alliance that would turn it into the manager of a portfolio of land worth €800 million. At the outset, Sareb structured the operation in a different way, since its initial objective involved injecting those assets into a listed industrial company or one with concrete plans to debut on the stock market, to give liquidity to the land.
Nevertheless, Sareb’s plans for its property developer business took an about turn after both Aedas Homes and Vía Célere took the decision to exit the process in which they were finalists together with Aelca. In addition, the intentions of Värde, the main shareholder of both Vía Célere and Aelca, to integrate the assets of the latter into the former, were revealed, giving rise to the large property developer in Spain by asset volume, with a gross asset value (GAV) of €2.2 billion.
In this context, Sareb and Aelca sought a formula that would allow them to continue with their future partnership. And that involves creating a company with the bad bank’s property development business, in which it will hold a majority stake and Aelca will serve as the industrial partner and manager of the assets. Thus, according to the same sources, the most likely scenario is that a banking asset fund (‘fondo de activos bancarios’ or FAB) will be created, which will include land and residential projects from Sareb worth €800 million, in which the company chaired by Jaime Echegoyen will own around 90% and Aelca will acquire the remaining 10%.
On the other hand, the same sources state that Aelca will continue to buy land and build developments independently of Sareb. In this business, the founders of the real estate firm enter into play again, who despite having sold their stakes to Värde, will continue to be associated with the fund “to support the company as an independent manager and developer of residential properties in Spain”, explains the firm in a statement.
After the transaction, Javier de Oro will take on the role of Director General at Aelca, having served as Head of Real Estate at Aliseda, the exclusive administrator of Banco Popular’s real estate assets at risk.
Vía Célere, founded and chaired by Juan Antonio Gómez Pintado, will retain its identity and its 300 employees; depending on its on-going needs, it will resize its structure over the next few months. The new company will have the capacity to deliver around 2,000 homes in 2019 and 5,000 homes in 2021, with a more diversified portfolio, although ,most of its land is located in Madrid (38%), Málaga (20%) and Barcelona (11%), three of the markets with the highest demand.
Following the integration of Aelca’s assets, Värde will control 75% of Vía Célere, and the remaining 25% will be distributed between minority shareholders (Marathon, Attestor, BAML, Barclays, DB and JPM).
Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)
Translation: Carmel Drake