Värde Will Integrate Aelca into Vía Célere to Strengthen the Latter’s IPO

21 July 2018 – El Economista

A new merger operation is on the horizon in the real estate sector, and it is going to star Vía Célere and Aelca. According to confirmation from several sources in the sector speaking to this newspaper, the two entities’ common shareholder, the fund Värde, is working in an active way to integrate the two companies with the aim of strengthening the structure of Vía Célere ahead of its upcoming stock market debut.

The fund and its partners in the real estate company (Marathon, Attestor, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan and Barclays) are currently holding conversations with the founders of Aelca to carry out an operation in which the assets of the property developer would be integrated into Vía Célere’s portfolio. According to the same sources, Värde, which owns around 80% of each real estate company, wants to close a preliminary agreement within the next two weeks, although the operation may not actually be executed until October and November.

The objective of the fund is to close the integration before the end of the year, in such a way that the company will be ready to carry out its debut on the stock market when the next sales opportunity presents itself. Following the debuts of Neinor, Aedas and Metrovacesa, the market has almost exhausted its appetite for the real estate sector, plus there has been some high volatility on the stock market due to political instability.

These circumstances have meant that the fund has not been able to liquidate its investment in Vía Célere so far this year, as it had planned, although, sources at the company say that no specific date had ever been set for the IPO. In the case of Aelca, its founders and shareholders, Javier Gómez and José Juan Martín, have been aiming (to list their firm) in 2019, a step that may now be taken under the umbrella of the Vía Célere brand.

With this move, once listed on the stock market, the firm launched and presided by Juan Antonio Gómez Pintado will be positioned as the property developer with the largest market capitalisation, amounting to €2.3 billion. Similarly, according to the same sources, the target for the delivery of homes by the new company would increase to around 5,000 units per year, thus reaching the figures planned by its competitor Metrovacesa, which also forecasts such volumes for 2021.

Before designing the integration process for the two property developers, Värde has also studied the possible merger of Vía Célere with one of the other large listed companies, although, that formula was giving rise to a giant with a volume of business that was not seen in the property development sector even in the boom years.

With the merger of the two property companies now on the cards, the new Vía Célere will have a land bank with capacity for the development of around 23,000 homes. To this figure, the plots that Sareb will inject into Aelca will have to be added, with an approximate value of €800 million, in the event that the property developer ends up reaching an agreement with the bad bank.

The American fund reached an agreement with the Avintia group in the summer of 2016 to acquire Aelca for around €50 million. Almost simultaneously, Värde launched Dospuntos from the leftovers of the former Parquesol, the real estate subsidiary of the Sanjose Group.

Six months later, it closed the purchase of the property developer led by Gómez Pintado for around €90 million to integrate it with Dospuntos and create a new giant in the sector, retaining the Vía Célere brand, which has become the fund’s new darling.

Created shortly before the real estate bubble burst, the real estate company is one of the few that managed to survive the crisis and if Värde’s plans do crystallise, it could position itself as the largest listed property developer in the country.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vía Célere Launches in Girona with a 139-Home Development

29 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Vía Célere is expanding its homes across Spain. The residential property developer has started marketing Célere Domeny, its first project in Girona, comprising 139 homes. The urbanisation is going to be built in the capital of the province located in the north of Cataluña. In that autonomous region, the company is already working on projects in Barcelona.

Vía Célere’s new development comprises two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, which are going to be built on a plot of land that will also have common areas with a swimming pool, a padel court, a gym and even a study room, amongst other services.

The residential development is located in the northwest of the city of Girona, in Pla Baix de Domeny between Calles Roberto Bolaño Avalos, Damià Escuder i Lladó and Carrer Font de la Teula. The developer is going to open an experiential office on the site, a project unveiled recently by Vía Célere, which allows visitors to tour different spaces and experience emotions and sensations.

The province of Girona is the tenth in which the real estate company chaired by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado has a presence. The firm is controlled by the international investment fund Värde Partners. In addition, the company owns plots of land in neighbouring Portugal, in Lisbon and Porto, which it inherited from its merger with Dospuntos in 2017.

Currently, Vía Célere has a land bank spanning 1.4 million m2 of buildable space, equivalent to a production capacity of 12,200 homes. The property developer invested €227 million last year to expand and diversify its land portfolio, with operations in Madrid, Sevilla, Valladolid, Barcelona, La Coruña, Girona and the Balearic Islands, amongst other provinces. Since 2007, the company’s management team has delivered 2,300 homes.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Via Célere Expands in Portugal Building 60 Homes in Porto

27 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The developer began operations Portugal last September with the launch of its first venture in Lisbon, where it is building a development of 276 homes.

Vía Célere now intends to expand its footprint in the Portuguese real estate market. This time the developer headed to the north of mainland Portugal, setting its sights on the city of Porto. The Spanish real estate company will build 60 homes on land that it had previously acquired through a merger.

The company, chaired by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado (pictured above), will launch the development on a 6,144-square-meter site that was incorporated into Vía Célere after its merger with Dospuntos. The project will be implemented in Lordelo do Ouro, a neighbourhood that is four kilometres from the city centre, according to El Economista.

The Vía Célere development in Porto reinforces the commitment, not only of Gómez-Pintado’s real estate firm but also of Spanish real estate developers in Portugal. “It is the right time to move forward with the development of new projects in Portugal. Because of its sustained economic growth and the growing confidence and purchasing power of its consumers, in an environment of greater access to finance and low-interest rates, the Portuguese market is an excellent opportunity for real estate investment,” via Célere’s chief executive stated during a presentation of the project in Lisbon.

The Lisbon development will begin construction during the second semester of this year and will be divided into four phases. In the first phase, a residential area encompassing 15,800 buildable square meters will be built, together with up to 120 multi-family homes. The land for this project also originated with Via Célere’s merger with Dospuntos.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Richard Turner

Aedas, Testa and Vía Célere, After the ‘Neinor Effect’: The Stock Market Opens its Arms to Real Estate in 2018

27 October 2017

U.S. funds are seeing gold in Spain’s residential real estate market and are planning on taking their presence in the country to the next level. Castlelake, Värde and Lone Star are the leading this new moment in Spanish real estate.

What will the new real estate cycle bring that that everyone is looking to invest in it? Not only is Spain a target market for large international funds, but it is also a playground for these groups to grow their businesses and create a new corporate reality within the sector. Castlelake’s Aedas, Värde’s Vía Célere and Aelca and even Spain’s own Testa and Sareb are seeking to take advantage of the Neinor effect by preparing their IPOs for the coming months. If 2017 was the year in which the residential real estate market in Spain quickly recovered, 2018 is expected to be the year when developers give an emphatic ‘yes’ to the market.

The Värde fund has had the clearest intentions regarding the future of its business in Spain. The company will list two of the developers that it controls in the country: Vía Célere and Aelca. The U.S. fund plans to list 60% of the first company on the stock market.

Värde hired Credit Suisse and Jefferies-Arcano to manage contacts with investors for the Vía Célere IPO, while CaixaBank will act as the placement bank. Last February, Värde paid ninety million euros for control of the Madrid-based developer Vía Célere, with the aim of merging it with its real estate company DosPuntos.

Värde had initially planned for Vía Célere’s IPO to take place at the beginning of 2018, but the move could take place before the end of 2017, after considering the excellent performance the real estate sector is experiencing on the stock exchange.

The stock exchange is one of funds’ alternatives to finance their growth plans in Spain

The U.S. fund has similar plans for Aelca, which has a portfolio of assets valued at 650 million euros and which could also start trading in the coming months. The fund has invited the main investment banks and advisory firms to present their proposals to list the developer on the stock market. Aelca was founded in 2012 by Javier Gómez and José Juan Martín and Värde acquired 75% of the company’s capital in 2016. The remaining 25% is in the hands of the two founding partners, who lead the developer’s management.

Castlelake and Aedas

Another principal actor in Spain’s new real estate cycle is the developer Aedas Homes, owned by the U.S. fund Castlelake, which is also considering a jump to the stock market soon. The firm has already publicly declared its plans to list its shares on the Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia stock exchanges and its inclusion into the Stock Exchange Interconnection System (Continuous Market).

Its objective is the same as that of Värde’s Vía Célere: placing up to 60% of the company’s capital through an initial offer that expects to raise funds amounting to 100 million euros. Aedas Homes will invest these funds in future growth opportunities and to partially finance the planned expansion of the group and, principally, to pay for buildable land under the housing development plan, up to 2023. The share offer will be composed of the issuance of new shares and an offer of existing shares by the sole shareholder, Hipoteca 43 Lux.

Developers and socimis take their business in the country to the next level, moving to the continuous market

Neinor Homes paved the way for the new wave of developers that are betting on stock market listings, hoping to gain the financial strength to ensure their growth plans for their businesses in Spain. Lone Star’s company was the star of the most significant IPO of a real estate developer in the country. The company made its leap to the market last March with an initial capitalisation of around 1.3 billion euros.

The value of the group’s shares has been increasing in the stock market in recent months. At the close of yesterday’s session, the company’s shares were valued at 17.97 euros each, with a total market capitalisation of 1.419 billion euros, an increase of 9.15% since its debut in the continuous market in the first quarter of this year.

Testa to Sareb: also heading to the stock market

Thus, the Basque company has facilitated the path for other real estate developers who are looking to make the leap to the stock market. An example is Testa Residencial, which is also preparing for a listing next year.

The apartment rental socimi, owned by Santander, BBVA and Acciona, is expected to debut on the stock market sometime between April and May of next year. The company will be listed on the stock exchange after becoming the first company focused on rentals in the country after its merger with Acciona’s home rental business.

Through this operation, the group presided by José Manuel Entrecanales will take a 21% stake in Testa’s capital, which makes it the second largest shareholder of the socimi, behind Santander (38.8%), in exchange for supplying the combined company with one thousand additional properties, according to Europa Press.

The transaction is part of the growth strategy that Testa delineated after its incorporation in October 2016, a result of a merger between Merlin and Metrovacesa. This approach has as its ultimate goal the firm’s IPO, as established by its status as a socimi. Under the socimi’s legal structure, the firm has September 30, 2018, as a deadline for a stock market listing.

Sareb prepares to launch its socimi Témpore Properties and its immediate jump to the stock market

Sareb has also been caught up in the rush to a listing, this time with its socimi Témpore Properties. While it is still in the process of incorporation, the bad bank says it will take the company public before the end of this year. To this end, it has chosen Azora, which was behind the creation of Hispania, one of the largest socimis in Spain, to manage the firm.

Témpore Properties will have its pick of more than 1,500 of Sareb’s best rental properties, with a volume of assets valued at over 200 million euros, with the aim of attracting the highest number of investors.

Sareb continues to plan to list Témpore Properties on the stock exchange through the Alternative Stock Market (MAB), which saw the debut of a large number of socimis last year. But it intends to make the leap to the continuous market, where companies with higher visibility are listed, in the future.

Original Story: Eje Prime – C. Pareja

Translation: Richard Turner

Värde Invests €50M In Barcelona Despite Tension Over Independence

24 October 2017 – El Confidencial

One of the largest real estate investment funds in the Värde Partner group has purchased 52,000 m2 of space for offices in Barcelona. It has closed the operation this week, less than a month after the referendum that was held on 1 October. The real estate sector has been surprised that buyers have not scaled back their efforts during such a controversial week from a political point of view. Värde is spending more than €50 million on this purchase, according to sources in the real estate sector.

It is one of the largest commitments to Barcelona in the real estate market in recent times, not least because it is associated with a development project that will require a further investment of €70 million. Moreover, the new space will then have to be leased to tenants. If Barcelona has a future, Värde believes in it, beyond the political problems.

The operation has involved an auction for the assets, carried out by CB Richard Ellis, which has gone on for months. The key name for these assets was “Project Helix”. And bidders have been competing to buy land, with a surface area of almost 13,000 m2 in the Poblenou neighbourhood, in the business district known as 22@.

Värde is already developing other projects in Barcelona, given that it purchased Vía Célere and since that property developer already had housing projects in several parts of the Catalan capital, such as La Magoria –Gran Vía– and on Calle Aragón.

Värde Partners is a US fund that has acquired some significant positions in Spain in recent years. Its speciality is not only real estate and it moves assets under management amounting to more than $10,000 million.

In Spain, the firm’s activity is not limited to Cataluña, by any means; it has a strong presence right across Spain. In 2018, it plans to list Vía Célere on the stock market, once it has merged it with the real estate company DosPuntos.

Sources in the sector did not expect Operation Helix to be signed, after the events of 1 October and the political uncertainty surrounding the sovereign tension. Much smaller transactions have failed to cross the final hurdle for much less significant reasons. But to everyone’s surprise, failure was not an option this time and the Catalan families that owned the land took home their juicy cheques.

Very diversified in Spain

In addition to its assets in Barcelona, Värde Partners controls the Socimi La Finca Global Assets, which comprises the non-residential assets from the García Cereceda family worth €260 million. It also owns a complex on Calle Marcelo Spínola in Madrid, as well as Torre Suecia in Méndez Álvaro and several buildings in the centre of the capital.

In Barcelona, assets are much more scarce and so many real estate companies are entering the property development market, which has driven up the price of land, due to the scarcity caused by the lack of urban planning by the mayor Ada Colau. In this context, having land ready to build on its very valuable in the Catalan capital.

Project Helix may be even more valuable if an urban planning amendment that has been submitted is approved. That would allow Värde to allocate some of the buildable roof surface area (m2) to homes, in light of the current shortage of new homes in Barcelona.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Marcos Lamelas)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Baupost Finalises Purchase Of Luxury Property Developer Levitt

19 October 2017 – Expansión

The luxury real estate construction sector is retaining its shine. One of the property developers that survived the previous cycle, Levitt-Bosch Aymerich, is on the verge of changing hands. A consortium of American investors, led by the fund Baupost Group, is holding exclusive negotiations to purchase the property developer that specialises in luxury homes, which has a market capitalisation around €200 million.

Sources in the sector explained to Expansión that the operation is in the due diligence phase (the assets are being audited) and that, although no agreement has been reached yet, the operation may be closed soon if the negotiations continue.

Baupost will team up with a local operating partner, Alpine Grove, for the operation. The advisors on buyer include PwC and the law firm Garrigues, on the legal side. Meanwhile, Deloitte Legal is the legal advisor on the sell-side.

According to the latest available information from the Mercantile Register, Levitt-Bosch Aymerich’s net equity amounted to €162 million at the end of 2016. The company recorded a turnover of €61 million and an attributable net result of almost €6 million. Besides Baupost, several other US investment funds that are very active in Spain also submitted bids for Levitt. In this way, market sources indicate that Lone Star, Värde and Castlelake all expressed their interest in the company over the last 12 months.

Levitt, founded in 1929, with the construction of a luxury residential development in New York, arrived in Spain in 1971 with the help of José María Bosch Aymerich, who died in 2015.

In 1973, the company undertook its first development on the Monteclaro urbanisation on the outskirts of Madrid. Since then, it has constructed several high-end developments in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as some office complexes.

In this regard, in October 2014, the company sold five office buildings in Madrid to Merlin for €130 million in order to focus on its residential business.

The firm is currently working on some developments in Valdemarín (Aravaca), in one of the most exclusive areas of Madrid as well as on the El Juncal urbanisation in Alcobendas, amongst others.

Shopping fever

If this deal is closed in the end, it will join the fever of property developer sales that has been happening in Spain in recent years. Examples include Lone Star, which purchased Kutxabank’s real estate subsidiary Neinor in 2014 for €930 million. Also, in February, Värde acquired Vía Célere for €90 million and merged it with DosPuntos – the former real estate subsidiary of the SanJosé group -. In addition, that same fund purchased Aelca from Grupo Avintia for €50 million in June 2016.

Meanwhile, Castlelake, which started to back the Spanish housing market back in 2013 with the purchase of land, launched Aedas Homes just a year ago. Other investors are also backing the market through agreements with local groups to build homes, such as the case of Morgan Stanley and Gestilar, and Green Oak and Ibosa, amongst others.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Via Célere Hires Credit Suisse to Lead Its IPO


24 August 2017

The investment bank will lead the initial round of contacts with investors, along with Jefferies-Arcano.

The US fund Värde Partners, one of the most active investors in the Spanish real estate market, is finalizing plans to list the real estate developer Via Célere on the Spanish stock market. The Madrid-based company was acquired last February by Värde to merge it with its property development company DosPuntos. After wrapping up the merger, the fund is preparing to take the merged company public in the coming months. To do this, the US firm has hired the companies Credit Suisse and Jefferies-Arcano to lead the initial rounds of contacts with investors, according to Bloomberg. CaixaBank will act as a placement bank, sources close to the process confirmed to Expansión. Sources at Värde declined to comment on the matter.

Värde’s objective is to list around 60% of the company on the stock market, following in the steps of its counterpart Lone Star, which last March listed its Spanish real estate development company Neinor Homes on the Spanish stock market. Initially, Värde had intended to take the company public at the beginning of 2018, but other sources now believe that the listing may be brought up to the end of 2017. This is due to favourable investor sentiment regarding Spanish real estate companies, with large socimis, such as Neinor Homes, trading above the value of their assets. In the case of Neinor, the company’s IPO was oversubscribed by 4.3 times and shares have since appreciated by 13%.


In addition to hiring the investment banks, Via Célere has accelerated its investment plan to grow the company before the public listing. In recent months, the real estate company founded and chaired by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado has spent close to 100 million euros expanding its portfolio of land to 1.2 million square meters.

In February, Värde Partners, along with five other funds, bought Via Célere from its founder for 90 million euros. Värde is the largest shareholder, holding 51% of the capital, followed by Attestor and Marathon, the second and third largest shareholders respectively.  JP Morgan, Barclays and Bank of America also have smaller stakes.

At the time, the estimated value the combined operations of Via Célere and DosPuntos was put at roughly 700 million euros.

Värde and its partners’ plan is that the company’s listing should be at a valuation superior to 1 billion euros. After the purchase, the new shareholders targeted investments between 200 and 250 million euros per year until 2023, to achieve a rate of construction of 3,000 homes a year (this year, the figure amounts to about 1,800 units).

At present, its portfolio is valued at more than €800 million, with 1.2 million square meters of land available for building.

Another listing

Another company in the real estate sector, Aedas Homes, is expected to go public even before Via Célere’s IPO. The developer, also controlled by a U.S. investment fund, Castlelake, hired Goldman Sachs and Linklaters for its IPO. At present, Aedas has assets valued at 1.1 billion euros, highlighted by a 1.35 million-square meter portfolio of land.

In addition to being the largest shareholder in Vía Célere, Värde controls another real estate developer, Aelca, and 40% of La Finca Global Assets, which owns several business parks in Madrid.

Original Story: ProOrbyt Expansion – R. Ruiz

Translation: Richard Turner


Spain’s Housing Construction Boom Comes from Minnesota


17 August 2017

  • US vulture funds lead bets in the residential market
  • Blackstone becomes a huge property owner after buying 51% of Popular’s real estate assets

7,000 kilometres away from Madrid, in the US city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, decisions have been taken that have affected the recovery of the housing construction sector in Spain. The firms Värde Partners and Castlelake – known as opportunist, or vulture funds – had the opportunity to enter a depressed real estate market in the face of a foreseeable recovery. But they are not the only big U.S. investors who risked buying at bargain prices and restarted the bull market. Who is behind these companies?

One of the most active is Värde Partners, a Minneapolis-based company created in 1993, which began to buy troubled assets in Spain during the worst years of the financial crisis, at the beginning of this decade. The highlight of Värde’s participation in the Spanish market was its acquisition of Grupo Empresarial San José’s residential development business, to whose portfolio it added the land that it had been purchasing.

With that basis, Värde created the real estate company Dospuntos, one of the several firms created by the American investment funds to free up construction projects that had been paralyzed since the 2007 property market crisis. After that deal, it returned to the market at the beginning of 2017 when it bought the Spanish real estate developer Via Célere from Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado, who was chosen to lead the newly merged company as its chief executive, and whose objective is a listing on the stock market early next year.

In parallel, Värde acquired 75% of the recently started developer Aelca from the Avintia group, which strengthened its position in housing construction. Aelca already had plans to start works on 1,900 new homes, adding to Via Célere’s 1,700 homes.

The fund has invested $50 billion since its inception and its chief executive is Marcia L. Page, a veteran alternative asset manager. Tim Mooney, responsible for Värde’s real estate business, has designed Värde’s investment strategy in Spain, which also includes the purchase of part of the property business of Procisa, which constituted the company La Finca Global Assets. In addition, Värde, together with the investment fund Kennedy Wilson, bought a majority stake in Aliseda, Banco Popular’s banking platform, that it resold recently after Santander acquired the bank.

The other Minnesotan investment fund behind the new construction boom is Castlelake, which has a total of $10 billion in assets under management around the world. It was created in 2005 and specializes in investments in troubled companies, distressed debt and mortgage loans in complicated situations. Castlelake has been buying land in Spain since 2012 and created the real estate company Aedas Homes, which is expected to go public this fall. The Minneapolis firm was created by Rory O’Neill, a manager from another similar fund called CarVal Investors, and Evan Carruthers, who serves as managing partner.

As an aside, this fund is also specialized in the purchase and management of aircraft for leasing. It has a fleet of 400 aircraft, comparable to the giant IAG, which has 530 aircraft, and 835 engines for the aircraft. The European team at Castlelake, which leads the real estate investment strategy in Spain, is located in London and led by Eduardo D’Alessandro.

Its real estate developer Aedas Homes has some of the old team from Vallehermoso and plans to begin construction on around 1,700 homes sometime in 2017.

The vulture fund which was the fastest to make its bet on the Spanish real estate market is Lone Star. The fund, based in Dallas, and whose name refers to the one star on the Texas state flag, bought the real estate developer Neinor from Kutxabank for €930 million.  Lone Star proceeded to inject new land into the developer’s portfolio and restarted its residential construction business.

Lone Star then launched an ambitious plan to turn the renamed Neinor Homes into the country’s largest real estate companies, practically the only one with plans for developments throughout Spain, a far cry from the small regional developers that survived the crisis.

In addition, it was ahead of other companies on their way to a market listing, when it debuted last March, in what became the first initial public offering of a real estate developer in the Spanish market in a decade. That move also allowed Lone Star to divest 60.1% of the capital of a company that was valued by the market at €1.3 billion.

Neinor is expected to be another of the market’s leading developers to head to the stock exchange, together with Aedas, Vía Célere and Metrovacesa, controlled by Santander (61% of capital) and which is already studying a possible IPO.

Lone Star, which in Spain is run by the Argentine Juan Pepa, was created 22 years ago in Dallas, founded by fund manager John P. Grayken. That firm has launched 17 investment vehicles in which it has bought troubled assets and debt in much of the world.


The Blackstone fund, the largest real estate owner in the world, has created a housing giant in Spain from foreclosed properties and the purchase of toxic assets from banks. Its latest move was the acquisition of 51% of a joint venture, for 5 billion euros, which will manage 30-billion euros in property assets acquired from Banco Popular, making it the largest real estate company in the country, ahead of Sareb.

Blackstone was created in New York in 1985 and currently manages assets worth $370 billion. In Spain, it created Anticipa, a platform that manages assets acquired from banks, which already has 12,000 homes for rent. To manage them, it formed the socimi Albirana Propertis, which is listed on the Alternative Stock Market. It also owns Fidere, another socimi that manages the portfolio that the asset management company bought from the Municipal Housing Company (EMV) of Madrid.

In the field of bank servicing, which appeared as banks were looking to divest their problematic real estate assets, other funds have also been active, although some have already sold off, such as Kennedy Wilson and Värde with Aliseda. TPG remains in Servihabitat, the platform linked to Caixabank. The Californian vulture fund entered the market in 2013. That year, Santander also sold its platform Altamira to the New York-based Apollo fund.

Original Story: El País/Cinco Dias – Alfonso Simón Ruiz

Translation: Richard Turner

Dospuntos Sells Hotel in Malaga to European Fund for €27 Million


8 August 2017

The Vincci Selección Posada del Patio Hotel in Malaga has been acquired by the European real estate investment fund Internos Global Investors.

Dospuntos is unloading of one of its assets. The Vincci Selección Posada del Patio Hotel in Malaga has been acquired by the European real estate investment fund Internos Global Investors for 26.75 million euros. Dospuntos, controlled by the US fund Värde Partners, was advised in the deal by the real estate consulting firm JLL.

The hotel, one of only two five-star hotels that exists in the city of Malaga, has 106 rooms and a total area of approximately 11,300 square meters spread over seven floors. Vincci Hoteles has operated the hotel since its construction in 2010 through a long-term lease.

Dospuntos was created from the former real estate development company Grupo San José (which in turn originated from the ex-Parquesol). The developer started operations with land sufficient to build 7,000 homes, to which purchases worth 2 billion euros will be added by 2025.

Original Story: EjePrime

Translation: Richard Turner

Vía Célere Boosts Its Land Portfolio Ahead Of Stock Market Debut

18 July 2017 – Expansión

The property developer Vía Célere is advancing with its growth plans ahead of its stock market debut. The Madrilenian real estate company was acquired in February by six funds led by Värde Partners, which owns 51% of its share capital. Following the operation, for which they disbursed €90 million, the company has been working on increasing its size and will debut on the stock market at the beginning of 2018, with a market capitalisation of more than €1,000 million.

The first step in this process was the integration of DosPuntos, the real estate company that Värde and its partners (the funds Attestor and Marathon, as the second and third largest shareholders, respectively, as well as Barclays and Bank of America) had created from the former subsidiary of San José (Parquesol). The operation saw the incorporation of 800,000 m2 of land into Vía Célere’s portfolio (meaning that the firm will be able to build around 7,000 extra homes).

Having closed that merger in record time (less than a month) Vía Célere, led by its former owner and CEO, Juan Antonio Gómez Pintado, has since launched several land purchase operations with the aim of increasing its real estate portfolio.

New portfolio

In total, Vía Célere has invested almost €100 million in nine plots of land through three operations. The land, located in several different provinces, will allow the property developer to increase its buildability by 212,016 m2 and construct 1,907 new homes (…).

Following the contribution of funds from the new shareholders, Vía Célere set itself the goal of investing between €200 million and €250 million per year between now and 2023 in order to maintain a construction rate of around 3,000 homes per year. This year, it plans to start building around 1,800 units: “Our intention is to continue identifying new opportunities and to expand our portfolio of land and projects over the next few months”.

Before these purchases, the property developer’s real estate portfolio contained land covering 1 million m2, making it one of the largest land owners in the country, exceeded only by Metrovacesa, which, following the contribution of €1,108 million from its shareholder banks, now owns land spanning 6 million m2; Neinor Homes, which, following investment of €147 million this year now owns 1.2 million m2 of land on which to build homes; Aedas, the property developer backed by Castlelake, which owns 1.35 million m2 of land.

In total, Vía Célere’s assets are worth €704 million and it currently has 10,054 homes in progress or under construction. Before the integration with DosPuntos, the property developer recorded revenues of €75.4 million in its most recent full year.

Stock market

The property developer led by Värde Partners plans to debut on the stock market next year. In this way, Vía Célere will follow in the footsteps of Neinor Homes, the first real estate developer to debut on the stock market in almost a decade, with a value of €1,340 million. The market capitalisation of that firm currently amounts to around €1,498 million.

Aedas, the company backed by the fund Castlelake, is another of the property developers that has set its sights on the stock market; it plans to make its debut before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the new Metrovacesa, led by Santander and BBVA, has already met with several investment banks to manage its return to the stock market, which it exited in 2013 after 72 years of trading (….).

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake