Vía Célere and AELCA merge creating development powerhouse

Photo of the city of Alicante, where AELCA currently has two ongoing residential developments.


A decade after the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression, Spain’s residential recovery is concentrated in big cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, as well as the coastal areas like Alicante, Malaga and the Balearic Islands which enjoy a flux of foreign capital. Nevertheless, Spain continues to have roughly half a million new unsold homes, mainly in rural areas.

Värde Partners has announced that its Via Célere residential property development subsidiary in Spain is acquiring the land bank of Aelca, a property developer founded in Madrid at the end of 2012 by Jose Juan Martin and Javier Gómez.

Värde-controlled Dospuntos acquired Vía Célere for €90 Million in 2017 and following the merger it will have a land portfolio of over 1,000,000 square meters and the capacity to develop over 26,000 homes. The merged entity will focus on providing integrated services in the residential sector as well as strengthening its industrialization and energy efficiency processes. The resulting company will operate under the trade name of Vía Célere.

According to Michael Stothard of the FT, Spanish developers «once built more residential homes every year than the rest of western Europe combined, fuelled by cheap debt». As a result, and following the bankruptcies of property giants like Reyal Urbis and Martinsa Fadesa (one of the biggest bankruptcies in Spanish history), the Spanish homebuilding market remains fragmented and there is potential for further consolidation.

According to Hector Serrat, a managing director at Värde Partners “Via Célere is remarkably well positioned to focus exclusively on building an impressive portfolio of best-in-class homes and flats as it will not need to purchase a single plot of land to hit its delivery targets over the next three years.”

Värde Partners is a $12 billion global alternative investment firm that employs a credit-oriented, value-based approach to investing across a broad array of geographies, segments and asset types, including real estate, corporate credit, mortgages, specialty finance, transportation and infrastructure. The firm sponsors and manages a family of private investment funds with a global investor base that includes foundations and endowments, pension plans, insurance companies, other institutional investors and private clients. Now in its third decade, Värde employs 250 people with main offices in Minneapolis, London and Singapore and additional offices including Madrid and Barcelona.

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