Blackstone & Santander’s RE Company Hires Liberbank Director

14 February 2018 – Voz Pópuli

Banco Santander and Blackstone are appointing the management team of what is going to be one of the largest real estate real estate companies in Spain. Aliseda, the platform in which the fund owns a 51% stake and the bank holds a 49% share, has hired José Luis Bellosta, a Director of Liberbank until now, as Director General, according to confirmation provided by sources to this newspaper.

Bellosta completes Aliseda’s management team, which is led by Eduard Mendiluce as the CEO. Mendiluce is a former director of Catalunya Caixa and is one of Blackstone’s key people in Spain.

Two General Directorates report into Mendiluce: the one run by Bellosta, which will be responsible for managing the more than €4 billion in real estate assets that Popular (in other words, the Santander Group) still holds on its balance sheet; and the other, led by Enrique Used, whose appointment was revealed by Vóz Populi, which will manage the divestment of the €30 billion transferred to Blackstone – Project Quasar.

It is not the first time that Bellosta has worked under the Santander umbrella. He previously served as Director of the Asset Custody and Back Office Subsidiary of the group chaired by Ana Botín between 2003 and 2009. Subsequently, he worked for six years at Agrupalia before being hired as the CEO of FK2, the operations subsidiary of Liberbank.

In this way, Aliseda’s structure is now ready for the launch of the new divestment plan designed by Mendiluce, whilst it awaits the authorisations that should arrive within the next few weeks.

Blackstone also manages Anticipa, the platform inherited from Catalunya Caixa Inmobiliaria. The fund has decided to not merge the two companies – Aliseda and Anticipa – and so each one will follow its own path.

Meanwhile, Santander also owns 15% of Altamira, the real estate company in which Apollo holds the remaining 85% stake. The bank and the fund held negotiations over a year ago regarding Apollo’s exit, but without success. The new situation could revive that operation.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake