1 March 2018 – Valencia Plaza
There’s a new player in the Valencia real estate sector. The US fund Harbert Management Corporation is disembarking in Cap i Casal together with the property developer Momentum Real Estate Investment Managers with the purchase of three residential plots from a subsidiary of the real estate company ‘Nuevas Actividades Urbanas’ (NAU), a firm that has been controlled by the investor group Atitlan for the last year.
According to sources in the real estate sector, the operation involves two plots located in the Campanar neighbourhood – close to Maestro Rodrigo – plus a third plot in the area near to Avenida Alfahuir. In all cases, the plots are located in established residential areas of the city where the demand for housing is significant.
The fund has invested €33 million in total to acquire this set of assets, which are estimated to have a (roof space) impact of 42,900 m2. The operation put an end to a long sales process led by Atitlan itself in which more than a dozen parties had expressed their interest.
This is the first major operation that NAU has undertaken following the entry of Atitlan as a shareholder. Atitlan is owned by Roberto Centeno (pictured above) – the son-in-law of Juan Roig – and Aritza Rodero. The company has a stake equivalent to 40% in NAU, which allows it to lead the real estate firm.
It does so through Demeter Áurea, which has controlled 84.51% of NAU’s shares since 2017 after it acquired the 48.62% that Bankia held and received the 35.89% that Gesfesa transferred to it. NAU’s best assets include its stakes in the Aqua Multiespacio and Arena Multiespacios shopping centres in Valencia.
When asked about this, sources at Atitlan confirmed to this newspaper that “one of NAU’s subsidiaries that has filed for liquidation has sold three residential plots”. Nevertheless, the company distances itself from the operation. “Atitlan does not hold a majority stake in NAU and NAU does not hold a majority in the subsidiary that has sold the plots”, they confirmed.
A new property developer in the city
In any case, the operation represents the entry into Valencia of a new operator, the property developer Momentum Real Estate, which is called to lead the development of plots that until now were owned by NAU’s subsidiary. According to details provided by the firm on its website, it specialises in the construction of primary residences.
“It only works with ‘finalist’ assets, those that do not have any urban planning procedures pending”, said the company, which has a large portfolio of developments in Spain – mostly in Madrid – but which lacked projects in the Community of Valencia until now.
With regards to the fund, Harbert does already have experience in the Community of Valencia. It was the owner of the El Manar de Massalfassar shopping centre, which it sold in 2017 for around €40 million.
Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)
Translation: Carmel Drake