Vía Célere Engages Lazard To Prepare Its IPO

29 June 2017 – Expansión

Vía Célere is accelerating its process of debuting on the stock market. The real estate developer, controlled by the US private equity fund Värde, has engaged the bank Lazard as an advisor for its debut on the Madrid stock exchange.

Moreover, the firm chaired by the businessman Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado (pictured above) is making contact with some of the placement entities of the operation, which is forecast to take place in the spring of next year, although a firm date has not yet been set.

The real estate developer, which owns a portfolio of more than 10,000 homes, plans to debut on the market with a capitalisation of more than €1,000 million, in an operation that will allow the US fund to undo positions at the same time, which will serve to raise financing to allow it to continue to grow.

Värde acquired a controlling stake in Vía Célere from Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado – who has continued as the President of the company – in February for €90 million. The US fund carried out that operation a year after launching the real estate firm Dospuntos, which it constituted using assets from Parquesol – a subsidiary that the SanJosé group ceded to its creditors under its own refinancing framework at the end of 2014. The merger between the two groups was approved by the General Shareholders’ Meeting of Dospuntos in April.

Shareholders

Besides Värde, the following players also hold stakes in Vía Célere’s share capital: the funds Attestor and Marathon, which are the second- and third-largest shareholders, respectively, as well as Barclays and Bank of America.

The integration of Vía Célere and Dospuntos resulted in the creation of one of the major property developers in the sector, with a land portfolio spanning more than 1 million m2.

The company owns assets worth more than €700 million and has own funds worth €400 million. Its plans for the next three years include starting to build 4,491 homes and completing 2,494 units, according to data provided by the company in April.

Värde – one of the most active players in the Spanish real estate market in recent years – is also the majority shareholder of another property developer – Aelca, which purchased the Avintia group for €50 million in June 2016, and which controls 40% of La Finca Global Assets, which, in turn, owns the business park of the same name, together with the García Cereceda family.

With this operation, Vía Célere will follow in Neinor’s footsteps, after it debuted on the stock market in March, to become the first property developer to debut on the stock exchange in ten years, following Realia’s IPO in 2007. The property developer backed by Lone Star debuted on the stock market at a price of €16.46 per share and currently has a market capitalisation of €1,440 million.

Vía Célere’s debut on the stock market is likely to be followed by that of Aedas. That real estate firm, which is controlled by the fund Castlelake and led by David Martínez, engaged Goldman Sachs and the law firm Linklaters in April, to prepare its debut on the stock market, which is scheduled for October.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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