3 June 2015 – Expansión
Almost 3,000 VPOs / The US fund is completing the final steps for the IPO of its Spanish subsidiary Fidere Patriomonio on MAB. It will do so through a small private placement, advised by Renta 4 and Clifford Chance.
The social housing that Blackstone owns in Spain will be listed on the stock exchange within the next few weeks. The US fund is working on the debut of its subsidiary, the Socimi Fidere Patrimonio, on the Alternative Stock Exchange (Mercado Alternativo Bursátil or MAB); the subsidiary purchased almost 3,000 social housing properties (VPO) during the crisis.
The US investor has engaged Renta 4 as its advisor and Clifford Chance as its legal advisor for its market debut. The operation, which is still pending approval by several authorities, will replicate the model used by Uro Property, the Socimi that owns a third of Santander’s branch network in Spain.
Thus, Fidere Patrimonio will float by listing – through a private placement – the minimum amount of capital required by law, i.e. around €2 million. The Socimi will list on the MAB with the goal of not losing the tax relief afforded to this kind of company, including exemptions for the payment of Corporation Tax.
As part of the listing process, Fidere has: appointed Iberclear as the accounting entity; created a website for investors; and amended its bylaws.
According to Blackstone, the MAB listing will be completed before the summer. Fidere’s market debut comes at a time when the local and regional election results are threatening to change the rules of the game with respect to the public sale of social housing.
In fact, Blackstone purchased the majority of its 3,000 VPO homes from the Municipal Company for Land and Housing (Empresa Municipal de Vivienda y Suelo or EMVS). The US fund paid €125.5 million for 18 residential developments in July 2013, which included 1,860 homes in total. The developments are located in the Madrilenian neighbourhoods of Carabanchel, Centro, Villa de Vallecas and Villaverde.
Subsequently, the fund complemented Fidere’s portfolio with other transactions. In November 2013, it purchased another 420 VPO homes from FCC for just over €30 million.
Two months later, the US fund won the auction to buy 600 VPO homes from Sareb, for which it paid almost €50 million. Most of the homes came from Catalunya Banc and Bankia, and were located in Madrid, Barcelona and Guadalajara.
In August 2014, Blackstone closed its final major purchase of VPO homes. The fund acquired 26 of Bankia’s real estate development companies, which included 3,000 homes in different stages of development: completed, under construction and in the initial phase. Initially, only one of the 26 companies has been included in Fidere.
Fidere’s board is led by two of Blackstone’s executives, Francois Bossy Jean – Chairman – and Diego San José – Director of the RE business at the fund – , together with an executive from the consultancy firm Magic Real Estate, Miguel Oñate.
Plans for growth
Beyond the listing on MAB, Blackstone is planning to continue to acquire rental housing so that Fidere can become one of the key players in this market in Spain. Once it is listed on the stock exchange, new investors will be able to enter through capital increases and the sale of shares.
With its stock market debut, Fidere will become the eighth Socimi to list on the stock market since the regulations changed at the end of 2013.
Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloagar and R. Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake