August 13, 2020

The Värde fund merges Vía Célere and Aelca to create the largest real estate developer in Spain | living place



The American investment fund Värde Partners wants to create a giant of real estate development in Spain. The company announced today its plans to merge its two real estate developers, Vía Célere and Aelca. In this way, Vía Célere will acquire the assets, both land and developments, of Aelca and will become the largest residential real estate developer in Spain, reaching an asset volume of 2,203 million euros.

Although the company has not specified it, the agreement already signed will generate a group with a joint land portfolio of nearly three million square meters with the capacity to build more than 24,000 homes. The corporate operation, pending approval by the competition authorities, will result in a group with one of the largest land portfolios in Spain, just behind Metrovacesa, with the capacity to build some 40,000 homes. But far ahead of its other competitors: Neinor Homes and Aedas Homes, with land to promote 14,500 and 13,500 homes, respectively.

The objective of the American fund, the main shareholder of both companies, is that Vía Célere does not need to buy land to achieve its objectives in the short term and can focus solely on building homes. The new company will have the capacity to deliver an estimated 2,000 homes in 2019 and 5,000 homes in 2021. Värde will own 75% of Vía Célere's shares, while the rest of the minority shareholders (Marathon, Attestor, BAML, Barclays, DB and JPM), will have the remaining 25%. The company will also have a significant diversification in its asset portfolio, with 38% of them in Madrid, 20% Malaga, 11% Barcelona, ​​9% Seville, 5% Valencia, and 17% in other provinces of the rest of Spain. .

The operation has not caught by surprise in the real estate sector, which has long spoken of the need for large promoters to study mergers to get more land. Shareholder funds are driving the concentration of a highly atomized sector and Värde Partners is the best proof. The five largest promoters in Spain build 6% of homes in the country, something very different from what happens in most of Europe: in France they promote 42% of homes and in Great Britain 39%, according to a recent report of Deloitte. "We are totally committed to residential development in Spain. The Spanish construction market remains fragmented and needs further consolidation by operators that provide scalability and a history of deliveries that comply with established times and budgets, "explains Francisco Milone, director of European Real Estate in the press release. Värde Partners.

With this union, the new resulting company will not only lead the Spanish residential market, but will also facilitate the way for society to make the leap to the parquet, given the amount of land available. Quoting was among Vía Célere's plans for the first quarter of the year, but finally it could not have been due to financial and political instability and investors' lack of appetite for more Spanish brick.

Värde, which reinforces its commitment to Spanish brick, is the majority shareholder of the two real estate companies. In 2016 the investment fund bought Aelca for 50 million euros. A year later, Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado, president of Via Celere, sold his company created in 2007 to the Värde fund for 90 million euros and merged with Dospuntos, the property developer resulting from the restructuring of the San José Group. Vía Célere will continue with Gómez-Pintado to the front. Värde is not the only opportunistic fund that moves the strings of Spanish brick. Lone Star controls Neinor and Castlelake does the rpopio in Aedas Homes.

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