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Norwegian Group Axactor Buys Geslico From Fortress

13 May 2016 – Expansión

On Wednesday, the US fund Fortress signed the sale of Geslico, the recovery firm of the former savings banks, to a new player in the Spanish market, the Norwegian group Axactor.

Through this agreement, Fortress has almost completely withdrawn from the financial sector, where it now only owns Lico Leasing. The opportunistic fund decided to backtrack because of the administrative obstacles that it came up against when it tried to take control of the savings’ banks financial company – 15 months. In recent months, it has also sold part of the stake that it held in Paratus, the former financing arm of General Motors, GMAC, to the British firm Cabot Financial.

The acquisition by Axactor represents the arrival of another Norwegian specialist firm in Spain. The financial crisis that the Scandinaivan countries experienced in the 1990s forced them to specialise in this type of business, something that they are now taking advantage of in the face of the accumulation of troubled banking assets in markets such as Spain.

Alongside Axactor, Lindorff has been one of the most active players in Spain in recent years. In fact, Axactor’s team in Spain originated in Lindorff, with executives such as Juan Manuel Gutiérrez Alcubilla (pictured above, right), the former Finance Director of Lindorff, now leading Axactor as the Country Manager.

Through the purchase of Fortress’ stake, Axactor España hopes to generate revenues of more than €40 million in 2016, compared with €10 million in 2015. The Norwegian group will employ a workforce of almost 500 people, more than twice the current number, across 9 operating centres. In addition, the operation will allow it to increase the volume of debt under management to €3,600 million. This investor has purchased portfolios from Oaktree – a Bankia portfolio – and York – from Ibercaja – in recent months. The advisors to this operation were N+1, on the side of Fortress and KPMG, on the side of the Norwegian group.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Z.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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