31 August 2018 – El Economista
Last year, the Spanish-Swiss platform Stoneweg, led in Spain by Joaquín Castellví, launched its alternative financing division, to which it has already allocated €200 million to support the development of around 40 real estate projects.
The company headquartered in Geneva (Switzerland) has also raised another €100 million to finance new developments, in which it participates up to a maximum of 60 per cent of the debt.
With the creation of this new line of business, the firm was one of the first to enter the alternative financing market in Spain, a market in which the number of players is growing gradually.
The role that Stoneweg takes in the financing of projects is prior to that of the banks, given that the firm enters in the initial phase of developments, before there is a high level of pre-sales or when a project involves a plot of land that is not yet buildable. For that reason, its financing is more expensive than that offered by the banks, but it provides investors with the opportunity to enter more projects and whereby take full advantage of the upwards cycle currently underway.
Once the developments progress and achieve the parameters requested by the banks, the developers typically cancel the bridge financing in order to resort to traditional means.
In the case of Stoneweg, 50 per cent of the projects in which it has participated to date have been residential, whilst the other half have involved hotels and offices. One of the most significant alliances was closed at the end of last year with Ayco, which subscribed a financing line with an initial drawdown amount of €13 million.
Property developer role
This line of business comes in addition to the firm’s role as a direct investor in the real estate market, where the company has disbursed almost €700 million in recent years. In this way, the firm has starred in one of the largest ever operations in the office market in Barcelona, with the development and subsequent sale of the Luxa Complex in the 22@ district.
The company is continuing to look for opportunities in that segment, both in the Catalan capital and in Madrid, although, currently, housing accounts for the majority of its portfolio, given that it has around 2,000 units under development at different stages.
Through its residential firm Stoneweg Living, the platform has now handed over 150 units and in June, it finished its first development in Madrid, Alfonso X, located in the neighbourhood of Chamberí. Moreover, it recently started work on its first high-end development in the Maresme area of Barcelona, in which it is going to invest around €19 million.
Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)
Translation: Carmel Drake