Q21 Real Estate & Baupost Buy Luxury Property Developer Levitt

1 March 2018 – Eje Prime

A new corporate operation has been closed in the Spanish real estate sector. Q21 Real Estate, a company created by the former Grupo Pinar and the US fund Baupost, has acquired the luxury property developer Levitt. Following the purchase, the group will consolidate its position as one of the reference players in the luxury residential market in Madrid, as well as in the northeast and northwest of the Community of Madrid.

With this purchase, Q21 is going to increase its existing portfolio, comprising more than 1,700 homes, with 145,000 m2 of residential buildability in the northeast and northwest areas of the region, and with more than 75,000 m2 of buildable surface area in the tertiary sector. Levitt is going to provide the buying company with a contribution of land and housing under development in prime areas of Madrid.

According to the latest information available in the Mercantile Registry, Levitt-Bosch Aymerich had net assets worth €162 million at the end of 2016. The company recorded turnover of €61 million last year.

Besides Baupost, some of the other US investment funds that are very active in Spain also submitted bids for Levitt, such as Lone Star, Värde and Castlelake; they all expressed their interest in the property developer in recent months.

Levitt, founded in 1929 to construct luxury homes in New York, arrived in Spain in 1971 at the hand of José María Bosch Aymerich. In 1973, the company completed its first development, the Monteclaro urbanisation, on the outskirts of Madrid. Since then, it has constructed various high-standing developments in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as several office developments.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Pinar & Baupost Agree Purchase of Levitt & Create New Property Developer Giant

19 February 2018 – El Confidencial

The most coveted property developer of recent times may change hands within the next few days. Levitt is holding advanced talks with Q21 Real Estate, a company created by the joining of forces between the former Grupo Pinar and the US fund Baupost, to close its sale this week and, in any case, before the end of February, according to several sources familiar with the operation.

The agreement will put an end to almost two years of to-ing and fro-ing with different interested parties in acquiring the property developer, a reference player in the market for premium homes, and will also create a new giant in the sector within the convulsive Spanish residential market.

As El Confidencial revealed, it was in 2016 when Levitt first started to listen to offers as a formula for dealing with its problem of generational succession, following the death of the group’s founder and alma mater, José María Bosch Aymerich, without any direct descendants.

Owner of one of the best land portfolios in Madrid, with land in locations such as Alcobendas, Las Rozas, Pozuelo and Boadilla del Monte, Levitt has proved tempting over the past two years for giants such as Goldman Sachs, Apollo, Värde and even the fund Baupost itself, which was on the verge of acquiring the property developer last year.

But on the home straight, those negotiations were called off due to differences over price, as well as over the continuity of the project and Levitt’s team. After closing that door, the fund found another window open through Q21, the property developer that has placed a better offer on the table than the one put forward by the US fund, and one that ensures the survival of Levitt.

Who is Q21?

Constituted in July 2014, Q21 Real Estate has a brand that is still new and a workforce of just 17 employees – both features have facilitated its agreement with Levitt, with which it shares its vision of high-quality developments.

Currently, Q21 has nine developments underway, mostly in the Community of Madrid (Boadilla del Monte, Valdebebas, Getafe and Mostoles), but also in Málaga and Valencia. Altogether, the firm is working on 1,500 homes.

With assets worth €6.3 million and net equity of €3.58 million in 2016 (the last year for which audited figures are available), Q21 generated revenues of €5.27 million, an operating profit of €3.5 million and a profit of €2.76 million.

Its numbers are well below those recorded by Levitt, whose turnover amounted to €62 million and net profit €6.3 million. Moreover, Levitt owns a portfolio worth €200 million, its brand is recognised in the market and its history spans almost fifty years in Spain after it arrived in 1971 to introduce the US residential urbanisation model.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Apollo Gets Ready To Buy Property Developers & Hotels In Spain

14 March 2017 – El Confidencial

A new player has emerged in the Spanish real estate market. Apollo, one of the largest fund managers in the word, has decided to join the fray between Värde, Castlelake and Lone Star, and analyse the purchase of its own property developer, according to sources familiar with the entity.

The firm led in Spain by Andrés Rubio is tackling this strategy through its new fund (its third), which already has €2,700 million and which plans to raise up to €4,000 million. This money will be used to acquire real estate assets, NPLs and hotel portfolios in Spain, Italy, UK, Ireland and Germany. Our country could receive around €1,000 million of investment, given that Apollo is expected to continue its commitment to the hotel sector, into which it took a giant leap last December, when it acquired two portfolios from CaixaBank and Popular, and looks set to enter the property development business with a bang.

According to the same sources, one of the companies that is on the fund’s radar is Levitt, which has some of the best plots of land and fame in the sector. Its possible sale has been mooted in the market for a while, given the generational change that the group faces and the appeal of the company, which operates in the high-end segment.

Asentia, Colonial‘s former bad bank is one of the other companies that has been making a name for itself in the market; Acciona Real Estate has also been considering its options, which range from an IPO to the entry of a large fund into its share capital; whilst Procisa, the former property developer behind La Finca, has sold 40% of its offices to Värde and continues to control important developments on plots of land in Madrid (Pozuelo de Alarcón and Brunete), Huelva (Cartaya) and Lleida (Baqueira).

In fact, Apollo was previously involved in negotiations regarding a similar operation to the one that Värde ended up signing with the Cereceda family. But the rapid consolidation that has taken place in the market, with the creation of Aedas by Castlelake, the purchase of Vía Célere by Värde and the imminent debut of Neinor on the stock market, has convinced the fund that a window of opportunity has now opened up in the property development sector.

Apollo plans to invest this new €1,000 million fund over the next three or four years, during which time it wants to become a top-tier player in the property development sector, in line with the moves made by its competitors, and to create its own hotel platform.

In the residential sector, it intends to focus on buildable land, located primarily in Madrid and Barcelona, the two provinces where the incipient recovery is being felt most strongly.

In the tourist segment, in parallel to the strategy to purchase loan portfolios secured by hotel collateral, the fund is actively looking for well-located establishments to create a vacation platform along the coast and on the islands, comprising around 20 assets.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Oncisa Sells A Plot Of Land In Madrid To Ibosa For €30M

19 September 2016 – Real Estate Press

The land, which is located in the triangle between the M-11, the A-1 and Avenida de Manoteras, has a surface area of 7,000 sqm and a buildable area of 17,000 sqm. Ibosa is willing to pay €30 million for the plot.

Ibosa plans to construct a 75m tall 20-storey tower on this land, as well as two blocks of flats that will contain more than 130 homes.

In this way, Oncisa has liquidated all of its land on Isla Chamartín, where, in 2011, it sold another plot to Levitt for €27.5 million. That was subsequently acquired by Merlin Properties, which has recently started to construct an office block on the site, due to be completed during the first half of 2018.

The land is attractive due to its proximity to the city’s financial district as well as to the services in some very established neighbourhoods, such as Pinar del Rey and the PAUs of Sanchinarro and Las Tablas, where the supply of new homes and land is practically non-existent.

The operation, which according to market sources has been brokered by CBRE, is proof once more of the renewed investor and property developer appetite for well-appointed plots of land in areas where demand for housing is strong. In fact, it is one of the most important land transactions in the market in recent months and the most significant so far this year.

This project will represent a boost for the area, which is in the middle of a recovery in terms of both sales and prices. It is an area where there is a shortage of product and which is free from the urban planning and legal problems that are burdening its neighbour Valdebebas.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Levitt to Raise New Office Building Nearby Properties Sold to Merlin

10/10/2014 – Mis Oficinas

Real estate group Levitt is going to construct an office building on a plot acquired from Oncisa for €27.5 million.

The new property will stand in the same area where the office units sold by the firm to Socimi (a Reit vehicle in Spain) Merlin Properties for €130 million not long ago, are located.

Levitt is specialized in construction of first class offices and residential housing developments.

 

Original article: Mis Oficinas

Translation: AURA REE