Värde Partners, a leading global alternative investment firm, today announced that one of its portfolio companies, Vía Célere, has issued the first green bond by a residential real estate developer in the Euro market.
Vía Célere is the largest homebuilder in Spain by units delivered in 2020, with a deep residential land bank in key markets across Iberia.
The 5-year ?300 million 5.25% high yield bond issued at par received strong demand from international investors. It was issued in accordance with the Green Bond Principles, as published by the International Capital Market Association, and reviewed by Sustainalytics, the independent global provider of ESG and corporate governance research and ratings.
The successful bond issue diversifies Vía Célere's funding sources and supports its growth strategy in the Iberian market. The proceeds will be used, among other things, to fund cash on balance sheet and re-finance existing indebtedness, each in connection with the construction of energy efficient residential buildings in Vía Célere's portfolio across Iberia. The developments must meet the green bond's eligibility framework by achieving an Energy Performance Certificate rating in the top 15% of local housing.
"This is an important milestone for Vía Célere and reinforces the company's commitment to create more sustainable housing, with greater energy efficiency and reduced carbon footprint," said Tim Mooney, Partner and Global Head of Real Estate at Värde. "Through the lifespan of our investment, we have worked closely with Vía Célere to put in place a robust governance framework, strengthen the management team and enhance the company's operating model."
Vía Célere had a strong year in 2020, despite the challenges caused by Covid-19. The company led the Spanish residential market, delivering 1,932 homes, 65% more than in 2019, and has already sold 78% of the units to be delivered in 2021. 88% of developments currently under construction have Energy Performance Certificates rated A or B, with buildings emitting 89% less carbon dioxide emissions than the minimum requirement under Spanish regulations. Vía Célere continues to maintain a robust balance sheet with low leverage and high interest coverage.
Background to Värde's investment in Vía Célere
In 2014 Värde began buying the debt of Grupo San Jose (GSJ), a large, publicly listed Spanish construction company and real estate developer that was in distress following the long-term impacts of the global financial crisis on the Spanish housing market.
Between December 2015 and July 2017 through a series of restructurings, acquisitions and capital increases, Värde ultimately took control of GSJ's real estate development business and executed a reverse merger with Vía Célere, a smaller Spanish residential developer that Värde had acquired separately. By 2019, following the acquisition of land bank assets from Aelca - a real estate developer and asset manager - Vía Célere had established itself as Spain's largest homebuilder.
About Värde Partners
Värde Partners is a leading global alternative investment firm with roots in credit and distressed. Founded in 1993, the firm has invested $75 billion since inception and manages more than $14 billion on behalf of a global investor base. The firm's investments span corporate and traded credit, real estate and mortgages, private equity and direct lending. Värde employs more than 300 professionals worldwide with offices in Minneapolis, New York, London, Singapore and other cities in Asia and Europe. For more information, please visit www.varde.com.
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