Galil Capital Raises Financing Worth €4.5M to Continue its Growth

12 July 2018 – Eje Prime

A larger cushion for Galil Capital’s growth plans. The Socimi has signed a double operation to raise more funds. On the one hand, the company has signed a bank loan amounting to €2.5 million and, on the other hand, it has agreed a €2 million loan with its majority shareholder. “With these operations, the company is strengthening its financial capability to fulfil its strategy of new real estate acquisitions and capex projects”, say sources at the company.

The mortgage loan amounting to €2.5 million will have to be repaid in 2038 and has a one-year (repayment) grace period. The agreed interest rate amounts to 2.1% until July 2019 and will revert to Euribor plus 2.1% for the remainder of the period, according to a statement filed by the company with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB). By way of collateral for the loan, Galil has granted a mortgage right over the property that it owns at number 23 Calle Bejar in Madrid.

The loan from the majority shareholder, amounting to €2 million, will have to be repaid in December 2019 and the interest rate, in that case, amounts to 3%. The company is led by Jerry Mandel, a former executive of Merrill Lynch, but the majority shareholder is Gil Avraham Shwed, who controls 54.81% of the share capital.

Galil Capital owns a portfolio comprising six properties, all of which are residential use buildings located in Madrid and Barcelona. The valuation of the six assets amounts to €31.36 million.

The Socimi’s plans when it debuted on the MAB involved carrying out two acquisitions during the course of 2018. Nevertheless, the Socimi has not undertaken any operations during the first half of the year.

The company is looking for residential buildings in Barcelona and Madrid, above all small and medium-sized buildings (with between ten and fifty assets per building), although it does not rule out investing “at least 25% of its funds in commercial assets in Madrid and Barcelona as well as in properties outside of those two cities”.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Quabit Strengthens its Commitment to Cataluña

3 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The Madrid-based firm Quabit is setting its sights on Cataluña. The listed property developer, chaired by Félix Abánades, is going to invest €100 million in the region, where it plans to construct up to 1,000 homes throughout the Barcelona area.

This move, which comes days after the firm approved a €63 million capital increase, forms part of the real estate company’s business plan for 2022. Of the €100 million that it is going to invest in Cataluña, 70% will be spent on the development of around 1,000 homes in the capital. The remaining €30 million will be used to purchase new land in the autonomous region and to build developments in municipalities where it already owns plots.

The company, which owns more than 100,000 m2 of buildable land in Cataluña, has plots on which to build homes in cities as diverse as Granollers, on the outskirts of Barcelona, and Cambrils, the tourist town on the Costa Daurada (Tarragona), according to Expansión.

Abánades has confirmed that, for the time being, the property developer is going to focus on the residential sector. As such, plots in other segments, such as the industrial land that it owns in Reus, will be put up for sale.

Currently, the Catalan market accounts for 12% of Quabit’s total business, a figure that the President and majority shareholder of the company expects to maintain or even increase to 15%.

The property developer’s plans in Spain for 2018 involve the hand over of up to 210 homes, before increasing that figure to up to 900 properties next year. After that, the rate of home handovers will increase to 3,000 units per year from 2020 onwards, according to forecasts shared by Abánades.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Vértice, Led by Daniel Cruz, Abandons Barcelona to Focus on Valencia

3 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Grupo Vértice is leaving Barcelona to focus on Valencia. The property developer is going to centre its investments on the Mediterranean capital under the control of its new majority shareholder, Daniel Cruz. The businessman, which controls 60% of the company, was appointed as the CEO at the end of last year.

The company’s efforts will involve becoming a key player in the Community of Valencia, where it is going to invest €15 million over the next few months. Another important member of the real estate company’s shareholding, its Director-General to date, Antonio Sesé, is going to continue in the company with a minority stake, according to Valencia Plaza.

The reasons why Vértice is going to focus on Valencia include the potential of the residential sector in that city, where may of the entrepreneurs who led the market before the crisis are returning, as well as the socio-political instability that Barcelona is currently experiencing, according to Sesé.

Specialising in the purchase and renovation of residential buildings in poor conditions, Grupo Vértice has already sealed two new investments in Valencia, in the neighbourhoods of El Cabanyal and La Zaidía. The first, involving the renovation of a property containing nine homes and a commercial premise, will involve an outlay of €1.7 million for the real estate company.

Meanwhile, the promotion in La Zaidía, with 27 homes and three commercial premises, will involve an investment of €3.5 million. The company is going to completely renovate the apartment block, in which tenants live under an old rent system. Moreover, Grupo Vértice is currently negotiating three new purchases in Valencia, its new centre of focus.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

APG & Renta Inject Another €253M into their Socimi Vivenio

17 April 2018 – La Vanguardia

The Dutch pension fund APG is going to inject €253 million into the Socimi Vivenio, created together with Renta Corporación, which will contribute another €3 million, after the company already spent around €200 million on the purchase of residential assets in Spain.

Vivenio has recently closed the purchase of three buildings in Madrid – two located in Vallecas and another one in Aravaca – for a combined amount of €76 million, which means that it now has around 1,000 homes under management.

With these operations, the Socimi (Listed Real Estate Investment Company) has invested all of the initial committed share capital, which amounted to €130 million, and is starting a second phase, with a new capital commitment amounting to €253 million, contributed by APG for the most part.

This new capital injection will allow the Socimi to acquire new residential buildings worth up to €400 million, with the focus on Barcelona and Madrid, but without ruling out other Spanish cities, according to a statement issued today.

Vivenio was created less than a year ago and aspires to become a leading Socimi in the residential market in Spain.

The Dutch group is going to continue as the majority shareholder of this vehicle, which will make its stock market debut in 2019, and in which it currently controls around 95% of the share capital.

Renta Corporación holds a 3% stake and the remaining shares are held by minority investors.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Basque Construction Firm Ondobide Buys 3.8% of Quabit for €8M

9 January 2018 – Eje Prime

The Basque construction firm Ondobide is taking positions in the Spanish property development sector. The company has acquired 3.82% of Quabit’s share capital for €8 million, by exchanging the shares for plots of land in its construction company Rayet, according to a statement made by the group to the National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The Basque firm has whereby become the third largest shareholder of the company, after its President, Félix Abánades, and the fund manager Francisco García Paramés, who also acquired 4.93% of the firm in the same capital increase. In the case of the President, by virtue of the capital increase, his stake was diluted to 24% from the 28.63% that he had increased his stake to on the occasion on another capital increase.

Ondobide and Paramés have acquired stakes in Quabit’s share capital as part of the most recent capital increase that the real estate company has undertaken. It issued new shares amounting to €29 million for the express purpose of opening up its equity to new shareholders.

The real estate company undertook this increase and admitted these new shareholders after also making way for minority shareholders through a series of non-monetary capital increases approved in November to close half a dozen operations that involved swapping land for shares.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Hires KPMG to Accelerate Sale of Rental Homes Worth €3bn

29 November 2017 – El Confidencial

Spanish financial entities have put their foot down on the accelerator to remove a decade’s worth of real estate crises from their balance sheets. The starting gun was fired by Banco Santander in the summer, when it transferred 51% of the €30 billion in toxic assets that it had inherited from Popular to Blackstone; and yesterday, another milestone was marked by the agreement announced between BBVA and Cerberus, which will allow the bank to deconsolidate more than €12 billion in foreclosed assets.

The next major step may involve CaixaBank after the entity engaged KPMG to try to accelerate the sale of a significant batch of real estate assets, with a net value of €12.1 billion. Specifically, the professional services firm is already working on organising one or more processes to allow the sale of some of the €3 billion that the bank owns in rental assets, according to sources familiar with the process.

That portfolio contains almost 40,000 units and, if it ends up being sold, will represent one of the most significant divestments made by the entity to date. Sources at CaixaBank acknowledge that they are working with KPMG and admit that one of the services that the firm is rendering “may include the sale of certain foreclosed rental assets” but they point out that it would only for a portion of the aforementioned €3 billion.

The sale to Testa of 135 homes, announced in September, fits within this strategy – a small appetiser ahead of the main course that the bank led by Gonzalo Gortázar really wants to serve. Its efforts are aimed at trying to taking advantage of the excess liquidity held by the large funds and the current attractiveness of Socimis to find an exit for its foreclosed rental assets.

Despite CaixaBank’s interest in reducing its real estate exposure, something that both the Bank of Spain and the European Central Bank are asking the entire sector to do, the entity is choosing to be cautious. It is pushing ahead one step at a time, according to market sources, who say that the bank is working to redefine the future of its whole real estate division.

New route map

CaixaBank’s real estate activity is currently divided into two large subsidiaries, Building Center, the real estate company that owns the bulk of the entity’s foreclosed assets; and Servihabitat, a platform (servicer), in which the bank holds a 49% stake, whilst the other 51% is owned by the fund TPG.

The second company, which has been given the mandate to manage the bank’s properties, but not ownership of them, has just hired Iheb Nafa as its new CEO, to replace Julián Cabanillas. It has also engaged McKinsey and Oliver Wyman to analyse all of its future options; any change would require the firm to reach an agreement with TPG; moreover, that giant may be interested in increasing its stake in Servihabitat.

CaixaBank has net real estate assets amounting to €12.1 billion according to its most recent quarterly report as at 30 September. All of this “property” is included in the area known as Non-Core Real Estate, which generated losses of €330 million during the first nine months of the year. The jewel in that crown is the real estate company Building Center, owner of the majority of the foreclosed assets, whose accounting coverage ratio stands at 49%.

Sources in the sector expect the bank to make its big move within the next year, and for it to be in line with those already made by BBVA and Santander. For the time being, the entity is limiting its expectations to the field of research, by indicating that “KPMG, Oliver Wyman and McKinsey are redefining operating processes to improve logistics and efficiency”.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Ortiz Puts its Socimi up for Sale with Assets Worth €150M

27 November 2017 – El Independiente

The Carpintero family, the majority shareholder of the Socimi Grupo Ortiz Properties, has put the company up for sale, just four months after it started trading on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB). The sales prospectus has been in the offices of potential interested parties for several days now, according to intel gathered by El Independiente.

The company, which has real estate assets worth more than €150 million and a capitalisation of €74 million, owns 100,000 m2 of space for rent, with a 96% occupancy rate.

Most of the assets, equivalent to 97% of their value, are located in Madrid, and they generate aggregate net rental income of €6.9 million. The residual part of the portfolio is located in Asturias and Guadalajara.

The intention of the Carpintero family is to continue as a shareholder of the company, by holding onto around 30% of the share capital.

The company is led by Juan Antonio Carpintero (pictured above), President of Grupo Ortiz and Chairman of the Socimi’s Board of Directors, alongside his children María and Carlos Carpintero, Raúl Arce as the CEO of the construction company and Carlos Cuervo-Arango Martínez, a former director of Zeltia.

According to the company’s own reports, the market value of the assets owned by Grupo Ortiz Properties amounts to €150 million. Of those, its office buildings account for €67.1 million; its homes and apartments another €70.7 million; its warehouses €3.6 million; and its other premises and parking spaces €8.7 million.

In the documentation prepared for its debut on the stock market, Grupo Ortiz Properties described the nature of the property sector at the moment. “The real estate market is entering an attractive point in the cycle in light of the improvement being seen in the main macroeconomic indicators, such as consumer confidence, employment, interest rates, exports/imports, the industrial production index, the reactivation of the second-hand residential market – they are all signs of the economic recovery and of the start of a change in the cycle”.

The Socimi highlights that its “management strategy is based on long-term leases to solvent tenants (both economically and professionally) in order to ensure long-term sustainability and the ability to obtain an attractive return in exchange for the risk assumed”.

Original story: El Independiente (by Ana Antón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Wellington Management Buys 8.5% Of Neinor Homes

19 September 2017 – Expansión

The US fund Wellington Management has entered the share capital of Neinor Homes by purchasing an 8.53% stake in the property developer. The estimated value of that percentage amounts to around €126 million, on the basis of current market prices.

In this way, Wellington is one of the investors that has acquired some of the shares in Neinor that were put up for sale by its majority shareholder, Lone Star, last week. The fund took the decision to sell a 27% stake in the company through an accelerated placement process, for a figure of around €394 million.

As a result of the deal, Wellington Management has become the second largest shareholder in Neinor Homes, behind only Lone Star, which has decreased its stake to around 13%, compared to the 40% share that it controlled when it listed the company on the stock market in March.

Original story: Expansión (by Jesús de las Casas)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Morgan Stanley Joins Forces With Gestilar To Build 1000+ Homes

15 September 2017 – Expansión

A new alliance between international funds and Spanish real estate companies has been forged in the market. This time, the stars are the fund Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing and the Madrilenian property developer Gestilar.

Created in 2009 by Javier García-Valcárcel (pictured above), the real estate company specialising in residential property development has become a leading player in the north of Madrid, following the construction and completion of more than 800 homes in just four years. With García-Varcárcel as the sole shareholder, the company launched the so-called Project Orizone, with the aim of finding a strategic partner. Through a process led by A&G, more than a dozen international funds interested in the project were invited to participate, and in the end, the winner was the fund owned by Morgan Stanley.

“The investor was looking for a partner in Spain and after a year of negotiations, we have reached an agreement. We were never looking for a corporate operation but rather a strategic partner to work with over the next four or five years”, explains Javier García-Valcárcel, President of Gestilar.

The agreement between the fund and the real estate company has materialised in the creation of a joint venture, in which the former will hold a majority stake of the share capital, whilst Gestilar will take care of searching for the land and of the construction and sale of the homes. “The objective is to launch 14 or 15 new projects, with around 1,000 homes”, said the executive.

Currently, Gestilar has a portfolio of 1,000 homes under development, which will generate revenues of €500 million for the company. Its land portfolio has involved investment of more than €350 million.

After closing the agreement with Morgan Stanley, Gestilar has already selected three plots of land to contribute to the joint company, to which it will also incorporate new assets soon, says its President.

“Although our current developments are located in Madrid and Cataluña, following the agreement with Morgan Stanley, we could increase our activity right across Spain”, explain sources at the company.

This is not the first time that the real estate company has reached an agreement with a fund to invest jointly in housing. Nevertheless, on this occasion, it is a long-term alliance for more than one development.

Return to Spain

The agreement between Gestilar and Morgan Stanley represents the return of one of the investors that backed the Spanish real estate market most heavily before the burst of the bubble.

In this way, in 2006, the American fund announced that it had €1,000 million proceeding from various funds to invest in real estate assets in Spain.

As part of its commitment to this market, Morgan Stanley launched a joint venture with another real estate group Lar (managers of the Socimi Lar España). In February 2005, the fund joined forces with the real estate company owned by the Pereda family to construct shopping centres and holiday homes on the coast. In 2009, they closed that company after investing in 5 holiday home projects (comprising more than 1,500 units) and ten shopping centres.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Seeks Advisors For Aelca’s IPO

28 August 2017 – Expansión

The US fund, which has already hired an underwriter for the stock market debut of its other property developer, Vía Célere, has asked for proposals from investment banks and advisors to list the company Aelca on the stock market.

A new real estate company is getting ready for its stock market debut. After the successful IPO of Neinor Homes, the first property developer to debut on the stock market in Spain in almost a decade, several companies in the sector have placed their focus on the stock market.

The latest company to join the party is Aelca. The Madrilenian property developer, or more specifically, its majority shareholder, the US fund Värde Partners, has invited the main investment banks and advisory firms to submit their respective proposals to support the debut of the company on the stock market, according to sources in the sector.

Founded in 2012 by Javier Gómez (pictured above right) and José Juan Martín (pictured above left), Aelca owns a portfolio that is currently worth €650 million. In June 2016, Värde acquired 75% of the property developer from the construction group Avintia. The remaining stake is held by the two founding partners, who serve as the senior executives of the real estate company.

The first round of contact with the possible underwriters was made at the end of July, with the aim of the debut taking place in 2018.

Ahead of that, Värde wants to list another property developer on the stock market: Vía Célere, in which it holds a 51% stake. The US fund has already chosen Credit Suisse, Jefferies-Arcano and CaixaBank to lead that placement, which could materialise this year, whereby taking advantage of the high degree of interest that exists in investing in Spanish real estate.


Like in the case of Vía Célere, the US fund will try to grow Aelca as much as possible before its debut on the stock market, with the aim of achieving the maximum return. Värde paid €50 million for 75% of the company, an investment that it will easily recover through the placement.

In total, since acquiring its stake in Aelca’s share capital, Värde has spent €200 million on land purchases, according to its founders in an interview with Expansión in April.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake