March 6, 2017 / 10:31 AM / a year ago

REFILE-Spain's Neinor Homes says to proceed with stock flotation

(Corrects day of week in first paragraph)

By Sonya Dowsett

MADRID, March 6 (Reuters) - Spanish house builder Neinor Homes said on Monday it intended to list up to 60 percent of its share capital on the Spanish stock exchange, using the proceeds to pay off debt and buy land.

Neinor, which is based in Bilbao in northern Spain and is backed by U.S. private equity firm Lone Star, is buying land for developments in areas with high demand for housing including Madrid, Barcelona and the Basque Country.

“The company has met with investors over the last two months and received solid expressions of interest, reflecting the vision investors have for Spain and the recovery of the Spanish real estate sector,” Neinor said in a statement.

Residential construction in Spain is coming back to life, with foreign investment pouring into developments in Madrid and Barcelona, nine years after a property crash that devastated the economy and financial system.

Private equity firms have become the country’s new developers, looking to make a profit on residential building as Spain enters its fourth year of economic recovery.

The deal, which Neinor expects to generate up to 100 million euros ($106 million), is the second Spanish stock market listing announced this year after security services company Prosegur IPO-PROS.MC said on Thursday it would list its cash-in-transit subsidiary on March 17.

Lone Star bought the property management arm of unlisted Spanish bank Kutxabank and about half the real estate assets on its books in December 2014.

Since then, the real estate management platform Neinor has more than doubled its land bank by investing in land that already has permits for construction. It has 161 developments and more than 9,000 homes on its books.

Neinor hopes to sell between 3,500 and 4,500 houses per year by 2020. It will have to invest up to 350 million euros per year on land to obtain this target, it said on Monday.

Neinor has implemented a U.S.-style homebuilding operation where buyers reserve homes off-plan with a small deposit. Once up to 30 percent of apartments are pre-sold, building starts. Keys are handed over to the new owners about two years later. The average price of houses sold is about 300,000 euros, the company said in a statement.

Citigroup and Credit Suisse are acting as joint bookrunners. Santander, BNP Paribas and J.P. Morgan are also book runners on the deal. Investment bank Lazard is advising. ($1 = 0.9436 euros) (Reporting by Sonya Dowsett, editing by Louise Heavens)

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