Hayfin & Atitlán Buy Land from Sareb to Lock Down Plan for Valencia’s Former Formula 1 Circuit

21 August 2018 – El Confidencial

The British fund Hayfin Capital and the Valencian investor Atitlán Grupo Empresarial are continuing to take steps to launch the most iconic urban development project and the one still pending execution in the city of Valencia with the greatest chances of generating gains.

At the end of July, a joint venture held by the two investment specialists completed the purchase of plots still owned by Sareb in the so-called PAI del Grao, a developable sector that occupies land on the former Formula 1 urban circuit in the regional capital. Hayfin and Atitlán acquired 14,000 m2 of land in total, with 8,100 m2 corresponding to residential use and 2,700 m2 to commercial use, according to market sources speaking to El Confidencial. The buildability is defined by the current urban plan of the Town Hall of Valencia, although it is finalising a new plan that will modify the distribution of that buildability. The expectation is that the final use of this land will amount to around 16,000 m2.

The investors paid €4 million in an operation that appears to have a low economic value but significant strategic potential. The sale of the assets by the bad bank chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (…) will allow the Spanish-British consortium to increase its percentage stake in the plan as a whole, which occupies a surface area of more than 300,000 m2 and will involve the construction of a new neighbourhood that will connect the Ciudad de las Ciencias and Avenida de Francia with Valencia’s maritime seafront. The area is set to become one of the most sought-after parts of the city if its developers decide to build high-quality residential properties (…).

Nevertheless, it will be a while before the new Valencian neighbourhood takes shape. As a result of the administrative and bureaucratic processes still pending, the real estate sector estimates that it will take between three and five years before developments in the PAI del Grao can start to be marketed. Nevertheless, if Hayfin and Atitlán are patient and manage to overcome the pitfalls, they may obtain juicy profits from an urban planning operation in which they have already invested more than €30 million but which could generate up to €300 million in property sales, according to the most optimistic estimates.

The plan for the former Valencia Street Circuit is the most ambitious project to be launched by the Atitlan Grupo Empresarial’s real estate division, which according to its own official data already has 100 homes under development, 200,000 m2 of surface area for rent and 1.5 million m2 of land under management, including its operations in Portugal.

With its olive-growing subsidiary Elaia the largest generator of current income, an aquaculture division (Sea8) and the service and construction company Mosaiq (formerly Obinesa-Lubasa), Atitlán generated sales amounting to €437 million last year and an EBITDA of €92 million. According to official figures, it employs 2,500 people across the group (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Víctor Romero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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