The Grifols Family Joins Forces with Corp Promotor to Create the Largest Rental Home Group

8 January 2019 – El Confidencial

After two small ventures in the sector, the Grifols family is entering the real estate sector in a big way. And it is doing so to create the largest rental home developer in Spain. Through the company Scranton, which is controlled by the Grifols family and a group of former directors from the pharmaceutical company, they are joining forces with the Catalan property developer Corp Promotors to constitute a group that is going to build 2,500 rental homes in the Barcelona area over three years, according to sources in the real estate sector familiar with the group’s plans, which are expected to involve an investment of €230 million in total.

This corporate alliance is being carried out by the company Scranton and does not involve the Grifols as a company, which has been left out of the operation. But the success of Grifols has been impacting its shareholders for a long time now. The Dutch firm Scranton, owner of 8.67% of Grifols, is mobilising investments in other sectors using the profits obtained by the company that bears the family name.

Spokespeople from Corp declined to comment on the matter. But other financial sources familiar with the project explain that Scranton and Corp are going to create a joint venture company, in which Scranton will hold 66% and Corp will own 34%. Corp will provide land, including assets such as plots on Rambla Guipúzcoa, Bonaplata and Can Batlló II, next to Gran Vía, all in the Catalan capital. And the Grifols will provide the funds to build on that land. Sources in the real estate sector indicate that half of those 2,500 homes will be constructed in the city of Barcelona and the remainder will be built in nearby cities such as on the Torreblanca plots in Sant Just Desvern and in towns such as L’Hospitalet, Badalona and Terrassa, for example.

Corp Promotors was created by two partners who left a nightclub business in Mataró to enter the real estate sector a decade ago, at the height of the real estate crisis, when almost all of the property developers in Barcelona had abandoned their activity after running out of bank credit. Those two partners are Pedro Molina Porras and Pau Castro Sáez. According to the consolidated accounts of the group deposited at the Mercantile Registry, Corp Promotors recorded revenues of €99.8 million in 2017 and profits of more than €7 million. The book value of the group’s plots are worth €209 million but not all of them will be involved in the operation with the Grifols.

The Grifols and its partners have detected a housing emergency in Barcelona, with an alarming lack of developments and they have entered the market in search of profitability at a time when investors have surplus funds, but there are insufficient assets (…).

New player

Through its alliance with Corp, the Grifols are aspiring to become one of the major players in the Spanish real estate sector. According to the business plan prepared by the partners, once the new company is operating at full capacity, in three years time, it could be worth €1 billion and with rental assets that will convert it into a kind of high yield bond for investors.

That will be possible because Corp is one of the largest owners of land at the moment in the Barcelona area. But with so many projects underway, the group is very indebted. Its accounts reflected debts of €142 million at the end of 2017, twice the figure of a year earlier. Corp’s shareholders have been trying to sell the property developer, in whole or in part, for a year, according to sources in the real estate sector. Now, with the new partner, they can forget those plans and enter another phase of their corporate life (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Marcos Lamelas)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Large Property Developers Handed Over Just 3,000 Homes in 2017

2 February 2018 – Expansión

Market / The property developers Amenabar, Aelca and Corp take the lead in the race to notarise new homes.

The property developers have returned to the forefront after years of ostracism. In this way, two companies, Neinor and Aedas, debuted on the stock market in 2017, putting an end to the 10-year drought. Meanwhile, a historical company in the sector, Metrovacesa, is planning its stock market debut for Monday (5 February), and is waiting to close the requests book.

These companies, together with the other large property developers such as Vía Célere, Aelca and Habitat (all three of which are controlled by investment funds) have set themselves the objective of handing over between 3,000 and 4,000 homes per year, something that they will achieve over the next 2-4 years. Nevertheless, for the year just ended (2017), the figures recorded were much more modest.

According to data facilitated by the companies, the 13 largest residential property developers notarised an average of 270 new homes each last year. Together, they handed over just 3,168 units, compared with the more than 77,500 newly-built homes that were sold (according to data as at November from INE).

Amenabar is the leader of the ranking for the number of homes handed over. The property developer owned by the Amenabar family closed 2017 with 752 homes notarised. This year, that company, which is headquartered in Zarautz plans to start work on around 3,094 homes and to sell 4,087 units.

Of those properties for sale, approximately half correspond to land in the portfolio and the rest to new purchases to be made over the coming months, say sources at the company.

With almost 500 units each, Aelca and Corp Promotor complete the top three firms in terms of the number of homes notarised, with 498 and 496, respectively. Founded in 2012 by José Juan Martín and Javier Gómez, and controlled by Värde Partners (75% stake), Aelca is one of the new real estate companies and it has a more advanced pace of work. In this way, it plans to launch almost 4,000 homes across almost 50 new developments during 2018. In 2017, Aelca sold 1,128 homes.

Meanwhile, with 360 flats registered, Gestilar also stands out. The Madrilenian company created by Javier García-Valcárcel closed sale and purchase or pre-reservation contracts for another 419 homes in 2017, up by 57% compared to 2016. The company controlled by its founder does not have any immediate plans to debut on the stock market. Nevertheless, it has closed an alliance with one of Morgan Stanley’s investment funds to boost its plans to buy land and subsequently develop it.

Neinor

With a figure of more than 300 units (between 310 and 315, according to the latest estimates from the company), Neinor Homes has accelerated its house building plans to fulfil its business plan, which aims to put between 3,500 and 4,000 homes per year on the market between now and 2020.

Those hand overs will allow Neinor to increase its revenues, which, during the first half of last year, amounted to €127 million, after the hand over of 150 units.

It was followed by Inbisa, with 223 notarisations, and Vía Célere, with 183. The real estate firm led by Juan Antonio Gómez Pintado handed over two developments in Madrid and part of a third on c/Aragó in Barcelona, its first project in the Catalan capital.

In the absence of year-end data, during the first three quarters of last year, Realia handed over 80 homes amounting to €16.9 million (around €212,000 per unit), compared with 69 and €13.4 million in the previous year.

Less than ten each

Finally, three of the largest domestic property developers are operating at a  much slower rate. Such is the case of Quabit, which notarised just six homes in 2017, although it is expected to reverse that situation this year, after closing new land purchases, including co-investment alliances with the fund Avenue Capital. In this way, it plans to hand over 215 units in 2018, corresponding to four developments in Boadilla, Barcelona and Guadalajara, and also start work on around 2,000 new homes, confirms the company.

In the case of Habitat, the company did not notarise any homes in 2017, a year that was marked by its own sale, formalised by Bain Capital Credit just a few weeks ago. Now, the fund is working to boost the company, which is planning to hand over its first homes in 2018, of the more than 1,000 that it has up for sale.

The same thing is happening with Aedas. Launched in 2016, the company controlled by the fund Castlelake plans to hand over its first 231 homes this year.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake