Fiscal year 2019 was a year of transition for Torreal. He went from a 2018 of record profits in 10 years to the fact that at the start of 2020 the historic Juan Abelló bequeathed the baton of family businesses to his son Miguel Abelló. Thus, it closed 2019 with a profit of 31 million, a profit 91% lower than the 355.7 million of the buoyant 2018.
This large decrease is explained by the absence of large operations, according to Torreal’s annual accounts filed with the Mercantile Registry. In 2018, the sale of 20% in Saba to Criteria – for which it received around 90 million – and that of 22.5% in Imagina to the Chinese group Orient Hotai for around 430 million euros catapulted the result. Figures that refer to the firm’s golden years, such as the sale of Airtel to Vodafone.
In 2019, however, the numbers were more modest. Revenues were 64.4 million, compared to 370.6 million the previous year. As the company itself indicates in its annual accounts, these revenues correspond to dividends collected from three of its subsidiaries. Specifically, Torreal SCR (the venture capital company registered with the CNMV and with which it holds most of its financial investments), Inversiones Fersango (a company dependent on two of its sicavs, Arbarin and Inversiones Naira) and the investee BDTCapitalPartnersOAK.
Not only is 2019 not a year for Torreal to collect benefits from its investees, but it has had to make contributions. According to what is collected in the 2019 accounts, it has made two contributions to its venture capital manager in the form of capital increases. The first, made in June of last year, was 132 million. And in December it injected another 25 million more. He has also made contributions to other group companies, such as Miralver or Desarrollo Industrial y Servicios.
Invest the profits
Before that, Nueva Compañía de Inversiones (the Abelló holding company, from which they control all these companies) signed another capital increase in the management company of private equity, Torreal SCR, for 57 million. Thus, Torreal SA’s stake in this firm has been reduced to 86%.
In short, 2019 was a year in which Torreal opted more to invest the gains of the previous year than to continue collecting profits. Together with KKR, Artá, J Safra Group and Altamar, it launched a bid for Telepizza for more than 400 million. He also agreed to buy Germaine de Capuchini together with Acon.
All of this has not been an obstacle for the private equity It has been one more year a lucrative business for the Abelló family. its holding, Nueva Compañía de Inversiones, has pocketed a dividend from Torreal SA of 21 million euros. The amount is also much lower than the one pocketed in 2018, which was 280 million.
In 2019, and given the decline in profits from last year, it is an extraordinary dividend that has been charged against the firm’s reserves. Thus, the net worth stands at 1,710 million, slightly below the 1,750 million a year ago.
All this took place in the process of succession in Torreal. Juan Abelló, 78 years old and with a long business career, decided in February of this year to hand over the presidency of the family businesses to his son, Miguel Abelló Gamazo, and remain as mere honorary president. Abelló Gamazo had held the position of executive vice president, created for him expressly in recent years. Now Juan Abelló’s wife, Anna Gamazo, will hold this position.
- Cannabis. One of Torreal’s most controversial bets in recent years is Linneo Health, a company dedicated to the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes. He established this company in 2016 together with the British fund GHO, to which Alcaliber sold his opiate business.
- Gyms Another of the jewels in Torreal’s crown is Ingesport, a company dedicated to managing gyms like the GoFit chain. It shares the shareholding with Mutua Madrileña.
- Industry. One of Torreal’s last operations was the purchase together with Peninsula Capital –the fund managed by Borja Prado– and TowerBrook of Aernnova, the aeronautical parts manufacturer. The company is valued at about 1 billion.