Blackstone Vies For CatalunyaCaixa Inmobiliaria

25/03/2014 – Expansion

The sale of Catalunya Banc´s real estate platform welcomed an unexpected guest: Blackstone, one of the largest investment and advisory firm in the world. The U.S. company is negotiating in extremis possibility to take part in the transaction, even if the acquisition process transferring the firm to Magic Real Estate is to be concluded in several days.

As a result, Blackstone will participate in the bidding for CatalunyaCaixa Inmobiliaria together with Magic as a co-investor or a financial partner. The platform manages €8.7 billion worth of toxic real estate assets. Still, it seems that Blackstone will not be included in the purchase documentation.

The U.S. fund sees its own property management company in Spain in the operation object, that would allow it to buy real estate owned assets and credit portfolios from banks.

Blackstone has shown extraordinary interest in the Spanish property market recently. Last year, the fund bought around 2.000 subsidized houses from the City Council of Madrid for €128 million and 600 houses of this type more from Sareb, included in the “Dorian Project”. Moreover, Blackstone is looking closely at Realia and the Eurohypo credit portfolio sales.

This is the second time Catalunya Banc attempts the sale of its real estate branch as last year two funds (Kennedy Wilson and Värde Partners) breached the purchase agreement (…).

The bank put CatalunyaCaixa Inmobiliaria up for sale once more. The transaction involves the platform, its staff (about 300 employees) and a 10-year management contract.

Magic Real Estate has been the favourite since the sale had begun. (…) The company manages assets valued at €2.6 billion. It is planning to launch Inversiones Tree, administering 1.000 BBVA´s offices, as its own Socimi. (…).



Original article: Expansión (Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: AURA REE