Tuesday, July 5

The founders of the Pachá group create Samasthiti to invest in venture capital

The Urgell family, founders of the famous Grupo Pachá, seeks alternatives to grow its assets. To do this, it has launched a vehicle to invest in venture capital through society Samasthi, which will be managed by Arcano Capital Partners, as you have learned THE PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA. 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 signature (fund of funds).

Specifically, this investment vehicle will look for opportunities in European and North American funds dedicate their resources to unlisted companies. In this way, the Urgells will diversify their investments, reducing the risks involved in allocating their capital directly to a single management team. The Samasthiti society, named after a yoga asana (posture), is chaired by Iría Urgell Calderón, daughter of the founder of Pachá, while he appears as a director, as recorded in the Mercantile Registry. The fund has just received approval from the CNMV, the stock market regulator.

The launch of this venture capital company (SCR) comes four years after the Pachá Group, founded in Sitges (Barcelona) in 1967, will change owner. In 2017, the creator of this famous nightlife group sold 100% to a consortium of investors led by the North American Trilantic Capital Partners, a fund created by former Lehman Brothers executives, by 350 million euros. The Spanish management companies MCH Private Equity and GPF Capital also participated in this transaction, advised by Alantra, which kept a minority stake. His plan was to provide the company with enough financial lung to expand your business internationally while expanding the group’s businesses.

In this sense, Pachá focuses its activity on three areas: nightlife (it has five discotheques), restoration (owns five restaurants) and thematic accommodations (add four hotels). Regarding the international business, since the entry of venture capital it has opened in one of the European cradles of nightlife, Mykonos (Greece) and they plan to export their brand to other cities such as Dubai or Miami. In addition, they have introduced different changes in the business model of the company and in its management, such as the signing in 2019 of the British Nick McCabe, who has since served as CEO of the group. This well-known businessman was previously number one in Hakkasan, an internationally known leisure group that became famous in the Spanish press for a scandal with the former president of Cepsa, Sheikh Khaden Al Qubaisi.

Bet of the great patrimonies

Samasthiti’s startup reflects how Large estates 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, since provides a number of interesting tax advantages for this investor profile. 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 firms have become the new refuge of the high patrimonies in recent months also driven by a tightening of the taxation of other more well-known figures such as the sicavs, which from next January 1 will have to prove that they 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 banking, which in recent years has 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.

Thus, The Urgell 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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