Overview – JUNE
Distressed debt accounted for the lion’s share of deals in June, by volume as well as by number. In addition, other, not insignificant operations were closed in the hotel, retail and residential sectors.
CaixaBank stole the show with the transfer of €6.7 billion in toxic assets and its servicer Servihabitat to a new joint venture that it is creating with the US fund Lone Star. The deal sees the Catalan entity follow in the footsteps of its rivals Banco Santander and BBVA, which created JVs for a similar purpose last year with Blackstone and Cerberus, respectively. CaixaBank had only just taken back full control of its servicer on 8 June, after disbursing €176 million to buy back the 51% stake that it had sold to another US investment fund, TPG, five years ago.
Also in the major league, BBVA sold a €1 billion portfolio of development loans to the Canadian pension fund CPPIB and Cerberus continued its attack on the Spanish distressed debt market with the acquisition of a €650 million NPL portfolio from CaixaBank for €200 million. Moreover, Sabadell sold a €900 million an unsecured NPL portfolio (Project Galerna) to the Norwegian fund Axactor.
With the thermometers rising across the country, many eyes were on the hotel segment, with NH Hotels hitting the headlines for the second month in a row. In June, the Thai hotel chain Minor acquired HNA’s 26.5% stake in NH Hotels for €622 million, which, together with the 10.22% stake that it already owned, takes Minor’s stake above the 30% threshold that will force it to launch a takeover bid for NH once the acquisition has been formalised (mid-September). Also in the hotel segment, Grupo Hotusa purchased Hotel Eurostars Gran Valencia from Atitlán for an undisclosed sum and Deloitte published a report predicting that 173 new hotels will open in Spain between now and 2021.
Meanwhile, in the retail sector, Intermediate Capital Group and Inmobiliaria Armuco teamed up to acquire 6 supermarkets from the retailer Eroski for €105 million in a sale and leaseback transaction; the Socimi Ores, jointly owned by Bankinter and Sonae Sierra, purchased 4 retail premises from the retail giant Inditex for €12.5 million, along with 2 other retail premises from an unknown vendor for €8.7 million; and RTC Grupo Inmobiliario bought the former Lluro de Mataró cinema in Barcelona for €10 million, which it is going to convert into apartments.
In the residential sector, Thor Equities completed its purchase of Gran Vía 30 from Angelo Gordon for €75 million; Renta’s Socimi Vivenio bought 3 residential complexes in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia from an unknown vendor for €31 million; Catella Asset Management Iberia acquired 3 residential assets in Navarra from a local property developer for €26 million; Teleno purchased a residential building in Madrid for €16 million; and the Socimi Vbare ventured outside the Spanish capital for the first time with the acquisition of 14 residential assets in Málaga.
In Madrid, Habitat acquired 6,600 m2 of residential land in Collado Villalba, where it is going to build a 79-home development and Twin Peaks acquired a prime plot in Pozuelo de Alarcón from Banco Santander. Meanwhile, the property developer Kronos Homes purchased 2 plots of land in Barcelona where it is going to build 1,800 homes in total and Quabit Inmobiliaria started work on the construction of 700 new homes in Guadalajara.
In the office segment, the Moya Yaldi family purchased a 40% stake in the Río 55 Business Park office complex in Madrid for €70 million and the Town Hall of Barcelona sold Mediapro’s headquarters in Barcelona to a Luxembourg-based fund for an unknown sum. Also in Barcelona, Iberdrola Inmobiliaria acquired the former headquarters of the pharmaceutical group Esteve, which it also plans to convert into residential properties.
All in all, a busy end to the first half of the year, as the Spanish economy continues to grow from strength to strength (according to the Bank of Spain, GDP is on track to rise by 2.7% this year) and some semblance of political stability begins to find a footing.