Varde Said to Buy Banco Popular’s 25% Stake in Builder San Jose

U.S. private equity firm Varde Partners LP agreed to buy Banco Popular Espanol SA’s 25 percent stake in San Jose Desarollos Inmobiliarios to gain control of the Spanish property developer, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Minneapolis-based Varde will pay 90 million euros ($100 million) for the holding, which will increase its stake to 51 percent, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Varde will then carry out a 60 million-euro capital increase in San Jose to finance the construction of 1,500 homes across Spain, they said.

Officials at Varde in Minneapolis and at Banco Popular in Madrid weren’t immediately available to comment on the transaction.

Varde’s blueprint for San Jose signals reflects the changing sentiment toward Spain’s residential property market, which is recovering from a six-year slump. San Jose will build in areas where stock is being depleted, the people said. Home sales surged 17 percent in June from the year earlier, the biggest gain since March 2014, the National Statistics Institute said Wednesday.

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