Ghelamco has to sell buildings due to debts, having already sold 320 million euros in real estate in less than a year

Ghelamco has to sell buildings due to debts, having already sold 320 million euros in real estate in less than a year
Ghelamco has to sell buildings due to debts, having already sold 320 million euros in real estate in less than a year

Business is going badly for Ghelamco, the real estate company of the Gheysens business family. To pay off debts, the developer has already sold 320 million euros worth of real estate last year. That writes The time. The company will also have to sell additional real estate in the next 18 months to pay off the remaining debts.

“As a significant portion of the property portfolio is reaching the end of its development cycle, the group is currently faced with a temporarily limited cash and liquidity position.” This is stated in Ghelamco’s annual report, which the company published last week.

READ ALSO. This man is Paul Gheysens’ tormentor: “The fact that I could never show my report to my mother scarred me for life”

The real estate company recorded a net loss of 32 million euros in 2023. That loss is largely due to a write-down following a lost lawsuit over the Eurostadium in Brussels. Ghelamco did make a profit in the second half of last year. The company has assets of over 1 billion euros, but has seen its net financial debt rise to 1.34 billion euros in recent years.

The company is still in financial difficulties. In addition to the high debts and rising interest rates, Ghelamco also saw its financial costs rise sharply. 895 million euros in short-term debts expire this year. According to Ghelamco, 350 million euros of this has been covered.

To sell

The company is now trying to overcome its financial hangover by selling a lot of real estate. The annual report also mentions “a broad group of assets that are eligible for sale in the next 18 months”.

Last year, properties and land were sold for 320 million euros. Owner Paul Gheysens is withdrawing from the luxurious ski village of Courchevel, among other things. He already sold a chalet there for around 15 million euros and now the Pomme de Pin hotel has also been sold for 62 million euros.

READ ALSO. How Paul Gheysens sees his dream project being jeopardized by yet another disappointing judge’s ruling

Ghelamco also concluded many sales deals in Belgium. Three buildings will be sold next year: the Nexus data center in Zellik (55 million euros) and the Antwerp office buildings Nova One (41 million euros) and Copernicus (36 million euros). These sales should help Ghelamco to reduce their debt ratio from 59 percent in the coming months.

If those sales are not enough to help the company financially recover, Ghelamco will take “alternative measures”. “This situation indicates the existence of a material uncertainty regarding the group’s ability to continue operations,” the group said. The company is therefore not planning any expenditure or sudden purchases with an immediate cash outflow over the next 18 months.

Owner of Ghelamco, Paul Gheysens, is not alarmed by the annual report. “Few companies have such a portfolio of ‘high standard’ projects in which there is a lot of interest today,” said a response. “Thanks to the level of finishing and the strong rental, we can now valorize this.” In addition to Ghelamco, Gheysens also owns Antwerp football club and the media company Medianation, which have also been in the news with financial troubles in recent months.

READ ALSO. Stop saying ‘KAA Gent Arena’ or ‘Ghelamco Arena’: owner Sam Baro pays 1 million euros per year for this new stadium name

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Ghelamco sell buildings due debts sold million euros real estate year


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