11 September 2017 – Levante EMV
Santander, Popular and BBVA have transferred land to Metrovacesa for the construction of 3,700 homes in the Community of Valencia. According to real estate sources, the three banks have contributed more than 440,000 m2 of buildable land in some of the best development areas of Valencia and Alicante. The operation includes plots for the construction of hundreds of homes and a retail space in La Patacona.
As a result, Metrovacesa has become the largest real estate company in the Community of Valencia. If we add these latest plots from the banking institutions to Metrovacesa’s previous portfolio, the company now has 660,000 m2 of buildable land for the construction of 5,700 homes.
The land transfer forms part of Project Horizonte, which has seen Santander, Popular and BBVA (all shareholders of the real estate company) contribute land worth €1,108 million to Metrovacesa for the construction of 40,000 homes across the whole of Spain. Santander (which has recently absorbed Popular) and BBVA relaunched Metrovacesa as a platform to provide an outlet for their land portfolios. The banks are looking to make a profit from the rising economic cycle in the construction sector.
Sources close to the operation specified that the most significant plots of land are located in Benimaclet, Moreras and Patraix (Valencia); the development area of La Patacona (the urban plan for Bodegas Vinival in Alboraia); Benalúa Sur and Albufereta (Alicante); Nou Nazareth (Sant Joan d’Alacant); El Acequión (Torrevieja); several plots in Castelló and Sagunt; and buildable land on the seafront in El Puig (…).
With Project Horizonte, BBVA and Santander have concluded the restructuring of Metrovacesa, which they were forced to take over during the crisis, when at the end of 2008, they foreclosed the debt of the Sanahuja family, which was the majority shareholder of the entity at the time.
By virtue of Project Horizonte, the entity chaired by Ana Botín has decreased its stake in Metrovacesa to 61.3%, from the 70.3% that it held until now. Nevertheless, its stake really amounts to 70.5% if we include the 9.2% owned by Banco Popular. Meanwhile, BBVA has increased its stake in the real estate company from 20.5% to 29%. These variations are a result of the various land contributions made by each one of the shareholder entities, which have materialised through a capital increase.
Original story: Levante EMV (by Ramón Ferrando)
Translation: Carmel Drake