Vía Célere Steps On Accelerator Before Stock Market Debut

30 April 2017 – Expansión

A decade after it was created, the Madrilenian property developer Vía Célere is writing a new chapter in its history, following the recent entry of Värde into its share capital. The US fund paid €90 million to acquire the company and merge it with Dos Puntos – heir of the real estate subsidiary of SanJose (formerly Parquesol) – which Värde also controls. (…).

The property developer will invest €640 million over the coming months with the objective of debuting on the stock market within two years.

Following the sale of Vía Célere, Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado (pictured above), former President of the firm, is working on the integration of his company with DosPuntos. “We are conducting a fiscal study to work out how to execute the operation and we are organising our new land portfolio, which covers a surface area of more than 1 million m2 (…)”.

One of the challenges facing the new property developer is its debut on the stock market. “We were never going to retain the two companies, but rather merge them with a view to the stock market debut. We have around €700 million of assets and that figure is insufficient. We have to resort to other types of land to grow in size. We need to have assets worth between €1,000 million and €1,200 million in order to debut on the stock market”, explained Gómez-Pintado.

The director said that “the company will do everything within its power to debut on the stock market as soon as possible”. In this sense, Gómez-Pintado believes that Vía Célere will reach its cruising speed, with the completion of 1,500 homes, within one year. (…).

To finance its €640 million investment, the company plans to conduct a capital increase with the current shareholders, who include, in addition to Värde, Attestor and Marathon, as the second and third largest shareholders, respectively, as well as Barclays and Bank of America. (…).

For Gómez-Pintado, these funds contribute greater financial knowledge to a profession that needs to have access to other sources of financing. “Having the involvement of a kind of company that is capable of accessing alternative sources of finance and of not being limited to traditional property developer loans gives the stability that the sector needs”.

One of the points of the agreement (between Värde and Vía Célere) was the continuation of Gómez-Pintado in a management capacity – he will be the President and CEO of the merged group. “They don’t only buy a company for its assets, they also have an express interest in the team”. (…).

Competition

The birth of the new Vía Célere is happening in parallel to the process to launch other new property developers, a profile of companies that Gómez-Pintado differentiates from the players seen in the previous boom. “In the property development sector, there has always been knowledge of the sector, but not of the financial tools. In 2015, we saw a turning point and in 2016, the sector gained a lot of speed; this year it will consolidate its position”.

Despite his ambitious growth plans, the President of Vía Célere was cautious when asked about a new real estate boom. “I don’t think there is going to be another bubble, because we are starting from such a low point that there is still a very long way to go”, he said. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz and R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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