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Alpha Bank and Fortress are close to sealing NPL sale deal

Alpha Bank and Fortress are close to reaching an agreement for the purchase and sale of a portfolio of corporate NPLs with real estate securities (Neptune project).

The two sides are said to have agreed on the basic terms of the deal and, unless something changes, the SPA purchase agreement is expected to be signed within the next 10 days.

The tender started about a year ago and Fortress became the preferred investor last December.

The arrival of the pandemic and its restrictive measures resulted in discussions starting from almost zero point and changes in the transaction taking place. Reportedly, the perimeter of the portfolio for sale has been differentiated, while the price from Fortress is expected to be paid in instalments.

For this reason, Alpha bank asked for a a third-party bank with a high credit rating, a request that was accepted by Fortress.

Despite the changes in perimeter and price, the transaction is expected to be capital-neutral for the bank.

The completion of the Neptune project will allow the bank to focus on the demanding NPLs securitisation transaction with the simultaneous sale of Cepal, having previously been entrusted with the servicing of all the bank’s NPEs.

According to the schedule, the submission of non-binding bids will take place on June 29. The investors that will pass to  the second phase will evaluate the portfolio and submit binding bills at the end of September.

The new Cepal business plan, which is also the “heart” of the transaction, has been available on the Virtual Data Room since last week.

This is the first large-scale transaction since the pandemic and Alpha bank is optimistic that it will attract high interest rates, as the sale of 80% of Cepal comes with €27 bn under servicing.

The NPL management department of Alpha Bank, along with its 800 employees will be carved-out of the bank and transferred to Cepal.

Previously, Cepal will have acquired the 60% of its share capital from Centerbridge and the company will be “endowed” with a servicing contract for all of Alpha Bank’s NPEs in Greece.

The listed company will be transformed into Holding, in order to suffer the damage of securitisation while almost all banking activities will be contributed to a new banking company (new Alpha Bank).

Original Source: Euro2day

Adaptation/Summary: Kiki Athanasiadis

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