Friday, July 1

The founder of the largest Spanish distillery creates his venture capital fund after selling his company for 320 million

The Cantarero family, founders of Alvinesa, are looking for alternatives to grow your assets after selling part of the largest Spanish distillery to the British manager Intermediate Capital Group (ICG). For this, through the company Alambique Inversiones, they have launched a new venture capital fund that will be managed by Renta 4, as El Periódico de España has learned. This investment vehicle will not follow a typical venture capital fund scheme, which is characterized by taking shares in companies directly, but will take positions in different venture capital managers in order to avoid having a large exposure to a single one firm. In this way, the Cantarero family will diversify their investments, reducing the risks involved in directing their capital to a single management team.

The launch of this venture capital company just a few months after Alvinesa, the company founded in 1993 by the Cantarero, changed its reference shareholder. Since 2017, the largest Spanish distillery was controlled by Artá ​​Capital (at that time still in the hands of the March family), which launched a process to sell its stake at the end of 2019. However, the rapid evolution of the coronavirus pandemic it delayed the sale until it started again at the end of 2020. Last March, after a tough auction between different venture capital investors, Artá ​​sold its stake to the British ICG for 320 million euros.

This fund has a long history in Spain, which has materialized in well-known investments such as the Vitaldent or Konecta clinics, the old Santander call centers. After this transaction, the Cantarero remain in the shareholding as partners of ICG. Despite being the largest distillery in Spain, Alvinesa has been working for years diversifying its business and its products are currently used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, for animal nutrition, as well as for oenology. Located in Daimiel (Ciudad Real), the company has registered strong growth in recent years, largely driven by its deep commitment to R & D & i, and already has a presence in 16 countries. Your gross operating profit (ebitda) amounts to 25 million euros.

The bet of great fortunes

The start-up of Alambique Inversiones reflects how large wealth companies are increasingly attracted to the world of venture capital, which currently provides them with higher returns than more traditional assets such as real estate, as well as the volatility provided by financial markets. . In addition, when structuring these investments, the choice of the figure of the venture capital company (SCR) is not accidental, as it provides a series of interesting tax advantages for this profile of investors. For example, they have exemptions to correct double taxation (the investees of the funds already pay their corresponding taxes) or a 99% exemption, somewhat less frequent in Spain.

In fact, venture capital companies have become the new refuge for high net worth in recent months, also driven by a tightening of the taxation of other better-known figures such as the sicavs, which from next January 1 will have to demonstrate which are made up of 100 partners who contribute at least 2,500 euros each if they want to keep their taxation reduced to 1%. Otherwise, they will have to pay 25% of the results in corporation tax. This has set off the alarm bells among Spanish private banks, which often recommended these large estates to take advantage of the tax benefits offered by the sicavs.

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Now, as different financial sources have explained to this newspaper, they are working to find alternatives such as creating networks of investors to bring them together under the umbrella of the same sicav and be able to take advantage of reduced taxation. However, the great winner in this context has been venture capital, which has become one of the most desired alternatives by these investors, also encouraged by private banks, which in recent years have worked to democratize access to venture capital . To do this, they have created specific vehicles to invest in varied assets such as renewables, infrastructures or student residences, at a time when the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) wants to lower the minimum investment ticket to 100,000 euros.

In this way, the Cantarero family joins a long list of large estates that set up their own venture capital company that is later managed by a third party. In it, well-known names appear such as Manuel Lao (founder of Cirsa), Cosentino, Carulla Font (owners of Gallina Blanca or Avecrem), Lorenzo Fluxá (owner of Camper and 30% of the Iberostar hotel company) or Rafa Nadal (who participates in Mabel Capital, the investment firm of Abel Matures and Manuel Campos). Other famous businessmen such as the Abelló family, the Marches or Alicia Koplowitz are also added to these great assets, who invest directly through their investment holding companies.

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