Värde Merges Vía Célere & Aelca to Create one of Spain’s Largest RE Firms

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

Vía Célere Invested €227M in 2017 Buying 473,000 m2 of Land

5 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The property developer led by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado accelerated its pace in 2017. By the end of the year, Vía Célere had invested in land purchases amounting to €227 million, whereby increasing the surface area of the company’s buildable land portfolio by 473,000 m2.

With its stock market debut looming, the company also closed some high-profile corporate operations last year, such as the integration of Dos Puntos into the group, in which the US fund Värde Partners has held a stake for a year, and the carve-out of its property business.

Vía Célere’s portfolio of land for residential construction now spans 1.43 million m2. With these plots, the property developer has the capacity to build 12,200 homes in Spain over the next few years.

The most recent purchases made by the real estate company in this field were in Barcelona, A Coruña and Ibiza. The investment on the White Island was the first to be made by the company in that area of the Balearics.

By region, besides the provinces already mentioned, Vía Célere closed land purchase operations in 2017 in provinces such as Madrid, Sevilla, Valladolid and Girona. During the course of its ten-year life, Vía Célere has handed over more than 2,300 homes, a figure that, in light of the business plan launched, it is seeking to increase to 10,000 units over the next two years.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

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”. (…).


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

Aedas Homes Prepares Its Stock Market Debut For October

28 April 2017 – Expansión

Aedas Homes wants to follow in the footsteps of its rival Neinor and debut on the stock market. The residential property developer controlled by the US fund Castlelake has engaged Goldman Sachs and the law firm Linklaters to prepare its debut on the stock market and whereby benefit from the good times that the residential market is currently enjoying in Spain, as well as from the confidence that international investors are placing in the real estate sector, according to market sources.

The same sources indicate that, although the operation is still in a preliminary, evaluation, phase, the objective of the new property developer, which only commenced activity a few months ago, is to be ready to start trading its shares in October of this year.

In this way, the real estate company would join Neinor, which debuted in March and would overtake Vía Célere, which is controlled by the fund Värde, which has also expressed its desire to debut on the stock market, within two years.

Aedas Homes is exclusively dedicated to the development of housing projects, both primary and secondary residences. The property developer undertakes projects on land that it owns and has a portfolio of land, primarily buildable (building permission has already been granted), for the construction of more than 12,000 homes. Specifically, it has fourteen developments currently underway in Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, Málaga, Sevilla and Valencia.

Castlelake’s commitment

Castlelake, which backed the housing market in Spain in 2013 by purchasing various plots of land, launched Aedas Homes less than a year ago, advised by the Socimi Merlin Properties. After accumulating a portfolio of land in Spain spanning 1.3 million m2, worth more than €1,000 million, it is now building more than 1,500 homes.

The company, which includes professionals from Testa, is led by David Martínez (pictured above). (…).

Control of the funds

Aedas is one of several new property developers, controlled by investment funds, that wants to lead the residential market in Spain, which is highly fragmented and still reeling from the crisis.

Besides Aedas, one of the new star property developers in the Spanish real estate market is Neinor, which was launched by Lone Star. (…) . Other new players include Vía Célere – which has merged with Dos Puntos – and Aelca (both controlled by Värde).

Another new player (…) is Kronos Homes, in whose share capital, investors from the United Kingdom, France, Finland, the USA and Switzerland hold stakes.

In addition, other players include Metrovacesa Promoción Suelos – the division that was left out of the merger between Metrovacesa and Merlin –and other property developers that survived the crisis such as Realia, controlled by the Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, and Quabit, heir of the former Astroc.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo and S. Saiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Newest RE Companies Have Assets Worth €4,900M+

24 April 2017 – Expansión

The Spanish real estate sector is enjoying a new phase of growth following its unprecedented crisis. Whilst over the last two years, we saw the boom of the Socimis, specialising in rental properties, 2017 looks set to become the year that the property developers bounce back.

Or at least that is according to the ambitious business plans that the six large companies –Neinor Homes, Aelca, Vía Célere, Aedas, Kronos and Metrovacesa Promoción y Suelo – have put in place, with the aim of benefitting from the growing increase in house sales, and the significant demand from buyers.

To that end, the companies have not hesitated to invest several thousands of millions of euros to create portfolios of land on which to begin their developments. These six developers alone now own assets worth €4,924 million, mostly buildable land, ripe for development. In total, these companies own 6.9 million m2 of land.


The entity Metrovacesa Promoción y Suelo stands out on this list of new property developers. The real estate company is looking to recover its sceptre as the Spanish real estate king, after selling its property portfolio to the Socimi Merlin Properties. Owned by Banco Santander, BBVA and Popular, the company currently has 472 homes under construction across 17 developments. Nevertheless, its greatest strength lies in its portfolio of land, which, spanning 2.3 million m2, makes it the largest owner of that type of asset in Spain. Moreover, sources at the company state that its portfolio may increase “considerably this year”, following the contribution of “high-quality land” by the shareholders.

Currently, the land allocated for residential use only is worth €1,050 million. Moreover, it has a portfolio of tertiary land (for offices and shopping centres) worth €325 million and it is already developing a 10,000 m2 office building in Madrid.

Meanwhile, Neinor Homes stands out for its asset value and because it has the largest volume of development activity. Last month, the company, led by the investment fund Lone Star, became the first real estate developer to debut on the stock market in a decade. It did so with a portfolio of assets worth €1,120 million, including land with a surface area of more than 1 million m2. The bell first rang on 29 March, with 4,002 homes under construction across 60 developments.

Vía Célere is following a similar strategy to Neinor. The Madrilenian real estate company is set to become one of the large property developers after it was acquired by five funds, led by Värde Partners, and following its merger with its counterpart Dos Puntos. The new Vía Célere has a portfolio of land spanning more than 1 million m2, with 2,494 homes under construction.

Meanwhile, Aedas Homes, with 1.35 million m2 of land and assets worth €1,100 million, has positioned itself as one of the leading players in the sector after just a few months of life. Led by the fund Castlelake and advised by the team at Merlin, Aedas is currently building 1,510 homes. This year, Aedas has set itself the objective of launching 28 developments and continuing to invest in land purchases. (…).

Another one of the new companies aspiring to the throne of the large property developers is Aelca. Created in 2012, the fund Värde owns a 75% stake in this property developer, which, in turn, owns a portfolio of land measuring between 700,000 m2 and 800,000 m2. Aelca currently has 2,200 homes under construction across 43 developments.

Finally, Kronos Homes is, currently, the company with the smallest portfolio of land. Nevertheless, its shareholders (a group of overseas investors) plan to invest €1,000 million before the end of the year purchasing land on which to build 4,000 homes.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Dos Puntos’ Owners To Contribute €640M In Merger With Vía Célere

11 April 2017 – Expansión

The merger between Dos Puntos (the property developer backed by the fund Värde Partners) and Vía Célere (created by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado in 2007) is facing a key milestone today. The shareholders of Dos Puntos will meet today for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the departure of the incumbent President, Javier Eguidazu, and the appointment of Gómez-Pintado as the new Chief Executive. The agenda for the meeting also includes the merger of both companies, which will include a capital increase, through monetary contributions. The owners of the new Vía Célere will contribute €640 million.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Buys Vía Célere To Become Spain’s Largest Residential Property Developer

27 February 2017 – Real Estate Press

Värde Partners has purchased Vía Célere, the real estate company owned until now by the President of Asprima, Juan Antonio Gómez Pintado (pictured above). The operation was closed on Friday, however, the consideration paid has not been revealed. Gómez Pintado will manage the fund’s real estate activity in Spain. As a result of this deal, Värde has consolidated its position as the largest residential property developer in Spain.

Vía Célere currently has two property developments underway and owns land for the development of around 1,000 homes, in Madrid and Barcelona. It also owns several developments overseas, specifically, in Brazil, Bulgaria and Poland.

Vía Ágora, which owns Vía Célere and the property development companies that operate outside of Spain, recorded revenues of €83.4 million in 2015, with a net profit of €6.12 million, according to the latest accounts filed. The group’s property development activity in Spain accounted for €49 million of this revenue, with a profit of €3.5 million.

Värde already controls the property developers Dos Puntos and Aelca, along with 40% of La Finca, and with this new acquisition, it is fulfilling the objective of reaching the size that ensures a high rate of sales growth (…). The fund also manages the servicer Aliseda.

In addition to Värde, the funds Lone Star and Castlelake have also made strong commitments to the Spanish residential real estate market in recent times.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Operación Chamartín’s # 2 Jumps Ship To Castlelake

21 September 2016 – El Confidencial

Just three years ago, BBVA and San José hired David Martínez as the CEO of Duch, the property developer of Operación Chamartín, which was subsequently renamed Distrito Castellana Norte. It was a high profile move, given that Martínez was CEO of Valdebebas at the time, the only large real estate development in the capital that had managed to resist the crisis.

With those credentials, Martínez became the number two in command at Operación Chamartín, behind only the Chairman, Antonio Béjar. He was also the key figure that allowed the project to be relaunched, a year later, with the consent of the three administrations involved: the Ministry of Development, the Community of Madrid and the Town Hall of Madrid.

But that consensus broke down with the arrival of Ahora Madrid in Palacio de Cibeles. They reversed the plan and submitted their own proposal, Madrid Puerta Norte, which cut the scope of the original plans in half.

In the middle of this blockade, whose most recent chapter has just been written by the High Court of Justice in Madrid, with the admission of the appeal submitted by DCN against the Town Hall, Martínez has abandoned ship to join one of the major international funds in the Spanish real estate sector: Castlelake.

As El Confidencial revealed, the US firm has reached an agreement with Merlin to launch its own property developer from what was leftover of the former firm Vallehermoso, and the 1 million sqm of land that the fund has been acquiring over the last two years.

New property developer

Martínez said goodbye to DCN on 1 September to join this new company, which is expected to start work in October under the brand, Aedas Home. The firm has offices on Paseo de la Castellana and an 11-man team that used to form part of Vallehermoso, Sacyr’s former property developer subsidiary, which was liquidated two years ago.

Martínez’s recruitment is a statement of intent regarding the plans that Castlelake has for Spain, given that he is one of the most recognised professionals in his sector in Spain – he was at the helm for eight years at Valdebebas and then has spent another three years at Operación Chamartín. In fact, many consider him to be the real brains behind these two developments, on whose future the final configuration of the north of Madrid depends.

With Aedas Home, Castlelake has finished shaping the new map of the largest property developers in Spain, a market whose present and future is marked by the clear commitment that three large international funds, in particular, have made to the Spanish real estate sector: Lone Star, which acquired the developer Neinor from Kutxabank for €930 million two years ago; Värde, which together with Marathon and Attestor has launched Dos Puntos from the ashes of the former San José Desarrollos; and now, Castlelake.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake