Nothing he does goes unnoticed. The businessman Trinitario Casanova (Orihuela, 1964) feeds his legend on the basis of controversial operations and staged sensationalist away from the ways of other lords of the brick. Founder of Grupo Baraka, is the architect of some of the most controversial real estate transactions of the last two years, such as the sale of the Spain Building, whose signature came dressed as a bullfighter, and the entry into the Operation Chamartín, to distribute "justice to a thousand families to which BBVA has turned its back".
Before he had made his fortune with brick, especially in Murcia, and had already had to respond to justice. He was sentenced to a fine of 108,000 euros for spreading rumors in 2008 of an OPA at Banco Popular to increase the price of the shares. In addition, he has pending cases in the court for alleged tax fraud at the time he was the owner of the Hispania group. Your fortune does not appear in the list Forbes, but it is more than enough for the recent purchase of a house in La Moraleja for just over 12 million euros, or to treasure very expensive cars: it has a Bentley, a Ferrari, a Rolls-Royce. In addition, this man accustomed to dealing with the scandal is a lover of fashion, football (he was president of the Águilas), the rancheras (he is going to record the second album) and, above all, his family.
In the real estate sector he has been baptized as the king of express value or pitch. He says he does not feel identified with these labels, although they do not bother him either. Because Casanova buys and sells assets, even at five minutes. He learned it very early, when at 21 he made his first operation acquiring 22 parking spaces in Beniaján (Murcia). They cost four million pesetas (24,000 euros). "The place went out to 1,200 euros and I said: 'This is very cheap.' It went very well and I started to have the bug." Much earlier, when I was 16, I already bought and sold, although it was about oranges and lemons. "My origins began with my father buying citrus fruits in the fields of Orihuela that were sold in the market."
In all these years he has learned that time is the worst enemy and the best ally. He plays with the short term like nobody. A couple of hours after having bought the Spain Building to the Chinese Wanda group for 272 million euros, Casanova sold it to the Riu hotel chain. He never made public by how much. They were 300 million euros. It did not matter that the businessman from Oriola did not have his own funds – he is not a friend of external financing – to take over the purchase, as it was rumored, because without leaving the notary he got rid of the asset. What did he do with that surplus value? "To invest it again, I do not remember what, it would be to buy another site, another building or business premises".
That express operation was the germ of the first judicial fights between Riu and Baraka. "We sold for 300 when we could have sold for 350 million, because in the pact it appears that Riu sold me the commercial premises in 140 million, otherwise I would have sold it more expensive because it had higher offers, but I accepted because our main interest was to stay with the locals and that's why we put an economic price, Riu has behaved very badly because Corpfin Capital has appeared, which offers 20 million more than me and they start signing with them. " Today, these premises, which total 15,000 square meters, are worth much more, so they would be a temptation for resale. Even so, Casanova says he wants to have them in heritage to rent. What operators? "I will not know until the judicial process is resolved, I'm not as crazy as Corpfin, who is already saying that he is in negotiations." For Casanova the most serious thing is that since Corpfin is a Socimi, the money of thousands of investors is at stake. "The money is not from Mr. Javier Basagoiti and he can not deceive the market by saying that he has bought some premises when they are in a trial and Baraka is the one that holds that right".
The Casanova and Riu families are involved in another judicial process for rehabilitation works of the Spain Building. Casanova denounces that Riu has saved 12 million euros in the structural reinforcement of the building and that the architect Luis Galiano has been forced to resign. Although the first battle has been won by Riu (the suspension of the works has been lifted), "we have another trial on April 24 where it will be clarified". And he asks: What architect leaves a work like the Edificio España for his own taste? None. "They have put it against the sword and the wall."
To make matters worse, last year the businessman landed on the also controversial Operation Madrid Nuevo Norte (formerly Chamartín), of which he says he is in love. He has purchased the rights of reversion to a thousand families. "With this operation, which will reach 400 million, these families will charge for the land that was expropriated more than two decades ago." For now, "our investment is 50 million, between what families have charged, projects and lawyers" He knows he takes a risk: "If I lose, I lose everything; and if I win, each one has a winning lottery tenth. "Including him.
The battle with DCN (San José and BBVA), owner of a large part of the land, is presumed to be long and bloody. Casanova affirms that the law is on his side: "The ruling says that when the land is disaffected the right of reversion will come into force." And, again, he assures that if he wins he will not resell the land (1.2 million square meters). "There we will promote offices, homes and hotels." These two projects do not keep him awake – only the health of his family – but they do concentrate their greatest efforts.
Baraka It invoiced 502.5 million euros in 2017 and achieved a profit of 16.6 million. The debt almost touched 56 million. The group operates in homes (promotes between 100 and 120 units a year at prices between 80,000 and more than one million euros), hotels, commercial parks, urban developments, logistics and apartment rentals. The group, with more than 300 employees, have had their eye on some of the funds operating in Spain. It does not give names. "They have proposed to associate us, but we want to maintain our business independence", says Casanova, who criticizes the slowness of the Administration to develop soils, believes that there is no bubble, how bad is the extreme right as the extreme left and that the He asks if he intends to get involved in politics, he replies energetically: "God forbid!"