La Finca Global Assets Approves its MAB Debut for July

12 June 2019 – El Confidencial

On Wednesday, the General Shareholders’ Meeting of La Finca Global Assets approved the company’s debut on the stock market, which will take place during the first week of July.

The decision was supported by Susana García Cereceda, President of the company and owner of 50% of the share capital, and Värde Partners, which holds a 39% stake. It was opposed by the President’s sister, Yolanda, who owns a 10.99% stake, but she was outvoted.

La Finca owns 220,000 m2 of office space worth €725 million as at 31 December 2018, all of which is located in Madrid and Pozuelo de Alarcón. Nevertheless, the company has debt amounting to almost €400 million, and has to cover the costs of managing its business parks, and so, its final valuation is expected to range between €156 million and €170 million.

At its meeting, the General Shareholders also approved the company’s accounts for the year ending 31 December 2018, which reported operating profits of €45.9 million, mainly from rental income and a result for the year of €9.73 million, up from €4.6 million in 2017.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Agustín Marco & Ruth Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

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

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


Vía Célere Engages Lazard To Prepare Its IPO

29 June 2017 – Expansión

Vía Célere is accelerating its process of debuting on the stock market. The real estate developer, controlled by the US private equity fund Värde, has engaged the bank Lazard as an advisor for its debut on the Madrid stock exchange.

Moreover, the firm chaired by the businessman Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado (pictured above) is making contact with some of the placement entities of the operation, which is forecast to take place in the spring of next year, although a firm date has not yet been set.

The real estate developer, which owns a portfolio of more than 10,000 homes, plans to debut on the market with a capitalisation of more than €1,000 million, in an operation that will allow the US fund to undo positions at the same time, which will serve to raise financing to allow it to continue to grow.

Värde acquired a controlling stake in Vía Célere from Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado – who has continued as the President of the company – in February for €90 million. The US fund carried out that operation a year after launching the real estate firm Dospuntos, which it constituted using assets from Parquesol – a subsidiary that the SanJosé group ceded to its creditors under its own refinancing framework at the end of 2014. The merger between the two groups was approved by the General Shareholders’ Meeting of Dospuntos in April.


Besides Värde, the following players also hold stakes in Vía Célere’s share capital: the funds Attestor and Marathon, which are the second- and third-largest shareholders, respectively, as well as Barclays and Bank of America.

The integration of Vía Célere and Dospuntos resulted in the creation of one of the major property developers in the sector, with a land portfolio spanning more than 1 million m2.

The company owns assets worth more than €700 million and has own funds worth €400 million. Its plans for the next three years include starting to build 4,491 homes and completing 2,494 units, according to data provided by the company in April.

Värde – one of the most active players in the Spanish real estate market in recent years – is also the majority shareholder of another property developer – Aelca, which purchased the Avintia group for €50 million in June 2016, and which controls 40% of La Finca Global Assets, which, in turn, owns the business park of the same name, together with the García Cereceda family.

With this operation, Vía Célere will follow in Neinor’s footsteps, after it debuted on the stock market in March, to become the first property developer to debut on the stock exchange in ten years, following Realia’s IPO in 2007. The property developer backed by Lone Star debuted on the stock market at a price of €16.46 per share and currently has a market capitalisation of €1,440 million.

Vía Célere’s debut on the stock market is likely to be followed by that of Aedas. That real estate firm, which is controlled by the fund Castlelake and led by David Martínez, engaged Goldman Sachs and the law firm Linklaters in April, to prepare its debut on the stock market, which is scheduled for October.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

International Funds Rule Spain’s Residential Sector

10 March 2017 – Expansión

The recovery in the market is fuelling investors’ interest in housing. International funds such as Lone Star, Värde and Castlelack are the new stars.

The recovery of the residential market is starting to take shape in certain autonomous regions and international investment funds are positioning themselves to benefit as the boom takes hold. According to data published on Wednesday by INE, the price of private (unsubsidised) housing rose by 4.7% on average in 2016, which represents the third consecutive annual increase following six years of decreases and the highest rise since 2007.

And as they await the reactivation of the sector, several of the funds have made in-roads. Värde, Lone Star, Castlelake, Texas Pacific Group, Apollo, Cerberus and Kennedy Wilson are just some of the stars of the new residential market.

These funds maintain their presence in the residential market in several ways: as holders of debt, as servicers and as owners of the new generation of property developers, which are much more professional than their predecessors.

Specifically, Värde has been one of the firms that has staked the most on the real estate sector in Spain in recent years. The fund recently announced the purchase of the property developer owned by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado. That followed its purchase two years earlier of the real estate subsidiary of Grupo SanJosé (formerly Parquesol), which it subsequently renamed Dospuntos. The fund’s plans now involve integrating those two companies into a single firm, which will have more than 1 million m2 of land and more than 10,000 homes in progress or in its portfolio. In addition, Värde plans to list this firm on the stock market in the medium term.

Moreover, in 2014, the US fund purchased 51% of Banco Popular-e’s credit card business, for which the entity generated gains of more than €400 million. And as Expanión revealed, in December 2016, the fund acquired 40% of La Finca Global Assets, a division of the group owned by the Cereceda family, which specialises in the management of premium offices in Madrid.

Another fund that has been seduced by the residential market is Lone Star, which controls the property developer Neinor. The former real estate subsidiary of Kutxabank will be the largest exclusive property developer to debut on the stock market since Realia in 2007 (the large Socimis that have also debuted since then invest in tertiary assets). The fund is looking to place up to 60% of the company’s shares on the stock market, through the issue of new shares and the placement of existing shares. Lone Star, which will see its stake diluted as a result of the operation, will use the funds raised to reduce debt and continue with its plans to reach cruising speed by 2020 with the completion of between 3,500 and 4,000 homes per year.

Another fund that has positioned itself well in this market is Castlelake with Aedas. The group specialising in the residential segment, controlled by the US fund, has a portfolio of developable land worth €1,000 million, which will allow for the construction of more than 12,000 homes. The fund decided to back the house building segment and, on the advice of Merlin Properties, has launched fourteen developments in Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, Málaga, Sevilla and Valencia.

Similarly, the funds have known how to gain a foothold in the market through the servicers. Servihabitat, Altamira, Haya and Aliseda are all controlled, in whole or in part, by international investors. These companies, created by the banks during the crisis to accelerate the divestment of assets from their balance sheets, have evolved into multi-service platforms, with financial and real estate assets.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Given Green Light To Buy 40% Of La Finca Global Assets

14 November 2016 – Real Estate Press

In August, a judge suspended the sale of part of Procisa to the fund Värde, due to a family dispute, which left the operation up in the air. Now, the precautionary measures have just been lifted and the BOE has published its proposal for the carve out of the firm into three companies, which will allow the definitive sale to go ahead.

The agreement carves out Procisa into three companies: La Finca Global Assets, containing the office assets; La Finca Promociones y Conciertos Inmobiliarios, containing the residential assets; and La Finca Somosaguas Golf. Sources close to the operation indicate that this is the final step in the process for the agreement with Värde to be signed.

The new company that owns the office assets will be converted into a Socimi. For the time being, the consideration paid for the operation will not be revealed. Meanwhile, Procisa, founded by the late Luis García Cereceda, is being led by the second generation of the same family, in the form of Susana García Cereceda.

The new Socimi’s main asset is the La Finca business park in Pozuelo, constructed alongside the luxury residential urbanisation. The company contains 20 buildings, of which 16 are offices and the rest are used for social and commercial purposes. Tenants at the site include companies such as Microsoft, Orange and Accenture. The Hotel AC La Finca is also located there. This is one of the most sought-after business parks in Madrid, with an occupancy rate of almost 100%, according to market sources. The future Socimi will manage an office surface area covering 227,000 m2, which includes other office properties in addition to the complex in Pozuelo.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Finalises Acquisition Of 40% Of La Finca Business Park

28 April 2016 – Expansión

Procisa– the real estate company owned by the García Cereceda family – is finalising an agreement with the American fund Värde Partners to sell it a 40% stake in its office business, which includes, amongst others, assets in the exclusive La Finca Business Park, located in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), according to sources in the sector. (…)

Procisa, the group that specialises in offices and luxury residential developments, recently constituted a company under the name Grupo La Finca and divided its business into two distinct areas: one operating in the office segment, which is where Värde will acquire its stake; and the other operating in the residential business, which will continue to be fully owned by Procisa.

Susana García Cereceda will continue to lead the new Grupo La Finca, where she will serve as CEO, the same role that she currently performs in Procisa’s family business.

In the same way, García Cereceda will lead the two business lines into which the group has been divided.

To complete the organigram of the new real estate company, it is expected that new members with experience and background in the sector will join the company over the next few months.

Residential business

In terms of the residential business, Grupo La Finca wants to expand through new housing developments, as well as in the exclusive development in Pozuelo de Alarcón, next to the Parque Empresarial. The main features of this urbanisation include security, privacy and exclusivity. The group’s intention is to develop a new complex, to complement the detached and terraced houses that currently comprise La Finca.

With its upcoming investment in La Finca Global Assets (the name of La Finca’s office division), Värde Partners, which currently controls the real estate division of Grupo San José, with a 51% shareholding, and which also owns a stake in Popular’s servicer Aliseda, will take a leap into the high standing office business, which will allow it to expand its presence in the commercial and professional business segment in the future.

The private equity fund Värde Partners has been one of the most active investors in Spain since the crisis began. Its first major operation was closed last August, when it acquired 51% of the real estate company San José to construct 1,500 homes in Spain.

In 2014, it purchased 51% of Banco Popular-e’s card business, whereby the entity recorded profits of more than €400 million.

Moreover, a year earlier, it acquired, together with Kennedy Wilson, the real estate arm of Popular, Aliseda, for approximately €800 million. At the global level, the fund, founded in Minnesota in 1993, manages more than USD 40,000 million and has 200 employees around the world, of which 65 are professional investors with more than 12 years of experience.

From now on, its assets in Spain will include La Finca Global Assets, whose assets comprise not only the La Finca business park, but also other iconic buildings owned by Procisa, including a business centre comprising seven, 7-storey buildings on Calle Marcelo Spínola and another property comprising three, 7-storey buildings on Calle Martínez Villergas. (…).

Meanwhile, the park in La Finca, has a surface area of premium leasable space covering 27,000 m2, comprising 20 buildings (16 offices and 4 for the provision of services for use by office workers). Current tenants include companies such as Orange and Microsoft. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake