13 November 2017 – El Confidencial
It has taken Trinitario Casanova more than a year to make his move since he became a landowner in Valdebebas, one of the main areas of development in the north of Madrid. But in the end, he has acted and he has done so with one of the new stars in the market, the joint venture created by Gestilar and Morgan Stanley. The parties are currently finalising an agreement, which, if nothing goes wrong, will be signed this week and which will result in the sale of all Casanova’s residential plots.
It was in the spring of 2016 when the owner of the Baraka Group purchased Parque Empresarial El Olivar, a company owned by the Cort Lagos family. With it, he acquired 114,000 m2 of land, spread over eight residential plots, plus one for industrial and commercial use that by itself measured 46,000 m2.
Since then, Casanova has been focused on removing the company from the bankruptcy situation that it fell into four years ago and which had reached the liquidation phase when Baraka appeared. This objective was achieved on 27 September, when the Mercantile Court number 5 of Madrid resolved “to declare the reactivation of the dissolved company Parque Empresarial del Olivar”, according to the ruling to which El Confidencial has had access.
With this sentence in his hand, Trinitario has been able to sit down and negotiate, with ease, to sell the three residential plots that he still owns in Valdebebas, given that the other five were auctioned off before Baraka managed to purchase Parque Empresarial and were pre-awarded to Grupo Amenábar and Premier. The party chosen by the businessman as the new owner of his land is the joint venture that Gestilar and Morgan Stanley have created.
The property developer owned by the García-Valcárcel family has been analysing these plots in Valdebebas for a while, and other giants, such as Castlelake, the fund behind Aedas Homes, had also expressed their interest in the past. The negotiations accelerated following Parque Empresarial’s exit from bankruptcy and last week, they managed to reach the point of agreement, according to the sources consulted.
As El Confidencial revealed, Gestilar and Morgan Stanley have constituted a joint venture, which they plan to endow with €100 million, whose vocation is to acquire plots of land over the next four or five years. They plan to build around 1,000 new homes thereon, a figure that equals the entire portfolio that Gestilar currently has under development.
An important portion of this plan may be achieved only with the success of the operation in Valdebebas, one of the most sought-after areas in Madrid, and therefore in all of Spain, but also one of the areas most affected by legal uncertainty. For years now, the courts have been ruling against the way in which this development has been carried out, which has forced licence granting processes to be suspended on several occasions.
Trinitario Casanova, who took on the debt of Parque Empresarial when he acquired the entity, will continue to be present in the development, as he will retain control of the 46,000 m2 industrial and commercial plot, where he wants to boost the activity of his construction company Trabis, an aim that is always behind the real estate movements of the Baraka Group.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake
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