1 October 2018 – El Español
The US fund Värde has created and will control one of the largest residential property developers in the country after merging the two companies in the sector in which it holds a stake, Vía Célere and Aelca, according to a statement issued by the entity.
The resulting company, which will retain the name Vía Célere, will have the capacity to deliver 2,000 homes in 2019 and 5,000 homes in 2021.
Värde will control 75% of the share capital of the new Vía Célere. Nevertheless, the firm will continue to be led by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado (pictured above), who also chairs the real estate trade association.
This is the US fund’s second merger operation in the Spanish real estate sector, after it integrated Dos Puntos, the real estate firm that it constituted with assets left over from the San José group, and Vía Célere in April 2017.
With its latest operation, Värde says that it is “reaffirming its commitment to the Spanish market”, which it considers is still highly “fragmented” and “needs greater consolidation by the operators to provide a rate of deliveries that reflects the budgets prepared”.
Värde, together with Lone Star, Castlelake, Blackstone and Cerberus, is one of the overseas funds that arrived in Spain during the peak of the crisis to buy up real estate assets, above all those that the banks had been left with after foreclosing debts.
Possible resizing of the workforce
According to Värde’s data, the property developer that it has created owns assets worth €2.2 billion, located all over the country, although the firm did not provide details about the new entity’s landbank in square metres or the number of homes under construction.
According to information provided by the new Vía Célere, 38% of its assets are located in Madrid, 20% in Málaga, 11% in Barcelona, 9% in Sevilla, 5% in Valencia and the remaining 17% in other provinces.
25% of the share capital of the new Vía Célere, which is controlled by Värde (75%), is distributed between other shareholders, all of them are foreign investors, such as Barclays.
At the operational level, the new real estate giant says that, in theory, it will hold onto the 300 employees that make up the workforce, although it does not rule out “resizing its structure” over the coming months, depending on its needs.
Original story: El Español
Translation: Carmel Drake