Stoneweg is the Favourite to Acquire Atlético de Madrid’s 3rd Plot in Operación Calderón

31 May 2019 – El Economista

Earlier this week, it was announced that Azora, one of the largest rental home managers in the country, is set to buy two of the three plots that Atlético de Madrid has up for sale as part of Operación Calderón. Now, it has been revealed that the favourite in the running to acquire the third plot is the real estate firm Stoneweg, founded by Jaume Sabater and Joaquín Castellví.

Stoneweg will reportedly team up with a partner for the operation and will to dedicate the plot to rental homes. These types of projects are gaining weight in the capital in light of the high demand in the market, which has caused prices in some areas to soar. In fact, Azora is also planning to dedicate some of its two plots to rental housing.

Stoneweg is an expert in the rental home market with a portfolio of 10,000 rental units in the USA. In Spain, the firm operates through Stoneweg Living and has 10 developments in Barcelona, 9 in Madrid and 7 in various locations along the coast.

It is understood that Atlético de Madrid wants to complete the sale of all three plots before the end of June, as the club’s year-end is 30 June. The proceeds will represent a significant capital injection, which will allow AM to pay off some of its debt and buy more players over the summer.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Stoneweg Invests €200M in Financing of Real Estate Projects

31 August 2018 – El Economista

Last year, the Spanish-Swiss platform Stoneweg, led in Spain by Joaquín Castellví, launched its alternative financing division, to which it has already allocated €200 million to support the development of around 40 real estate projects.

The company headquartered in Geneva (Switzerland) has also raised another €100 million to finance new developments, in which it participates up to a maximum of 60 per cent of the debt.

With the creation of this new line of business, the firm was one of the first to enter the alternative financing market in Spain, a market in which the number of players is growing gradually.

The role that Stoneweg takes in the financing of projects is prior to that of the banks, given that the firm enters in the initial phase of developments, before there is a high level of pre-sales or when a project involves a plot of land that is not yet buildable. For that reason, its financing is more expensive than that offered by the banks, but it provides investors with the opportunity to enter more projects and whereby take full advantage of the upwards cycle currently underway.

Once the developments progress and achieve the parameters requested by the banks, the developers typically cancel the bridge financing in order to resort to traditional means.

In the case of Stoneweg, 50 per cent of the projects in which it has participated to date have been residential, whilst the other half have involved hotels and offices. One of the most significant alliances was closed at the end of last year with Ayco, which subscribed a financing line with an initial drawdown amount of €13 million.

Property developer role

This line of business comes in addition to the firm’s role as a direct investor in the real estate market, where the company has disbursed almost €700 million in recent years. In this way, the firm has starred in one of the largest ever operations in the office market in Barcelona, with the development and subsequent sale of the Luxa Complex in the 22@ district.

The company is continuing to look for opportunities in that segment, both in the Catalan capital and in Madrid, although, currently, housing accounts for the majority of its portfolio, given that it has around 2,000 units under development at different stages.

Through its residential firm Stoneweg Living, the platform has now handed over 150 units and in June, it finished its first development in Madrid, Alfonso X, located in the neighbourhood of Chamberí. Moreover, it recently started work on its first high-end development in the Maresme area of Barcelona, in which it is going to invest around €19 million.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Stoneweg to Sell more than 300 Homes to a single Investor for €200M

13 April 2018 – Expansión

The Swiss fund Stoneweg is finalising the sale of a batch of three large residential developments located in Cataluña and Madrid, which have sparked interest from several international funds and a handful of property developers. The three developments, which contain more than 300 homes, are worth around €200 million.

They are the three largest developments of the almost thirty residential projects that Stoneweg is promoting in Spain through its subsidiary Stoneweg Living. Two of them are located in Cataluña and one in Madrid and, although in theory, they were designed to be sold, on an individual basis, to end users, the significant interest that the Spanish residential sector has sparked amongst investors has led to a change of plan.

In this way, Stoneweg has combined its three largest developments and is going to sell them as a single lot, with the idea that the buyer will incorporate them into its real estate portfolio and put them on the rental market. Although several overseas investors have expressed their interest in the package, the most advanced negotiations are the ones being held with a German institutional fund, according to sources speaking to Expansión.

Stoneweg was created in 2015 by the former team of the real estate division of the private bank Edmond de Rothschild and by the founding partners of CBRE in Switzerland. It is chaired by the former President of the Executive Committee of Edmond de Rothschild, Claude Messulam, and two Spaniards sit on the management board: Jaume Sabater, as the CEO and Joaquín Castellví, as the Director of Investments and Acquisitions. Since 2015, it has invested more than €500 million in the promotion of offices and residential buildings in Spain. Recently, it moved its headquarters from Barcelona to Madrid and expanded its offices in the Spanish capital to make space for its growing workforce.

The sale of this package of more than 300 homes is another example of the interest that the residential rental market is sparking in Spain. This business, which has just a few strong operators, is gaining strength in the capital. The professional rental home market in Spain is very fragmented. Testa owns a portfolio of 10,700 homes and is preparing its stock market debut. Another player is the manager Azora, which is also preparing its debut on the stock market, and Fidere – Blackstone’s Socimi – which made its stock market debut in 2015 with 2,688 social housing properties purchased during the crisis.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés and Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake