9 May 2016 – Expansión
The largest opportunistic fund thinks that the market will remain active in Europe for another five years. That was the view, expressed last week, by the Head of the US fund Cerberus, the investor that has acquired the most toxic debt from banks and governments in Europe.
“I expect the opportunity to buy doubtful loans to last for at least another five years. In baseball terms, we are still in the early innings”, said John Snow (pictured above), the co-founder and CEO of Cerberus.
Last year, according to Bloomberg, the fund invested €28,000 million in debt in Europe, including Northern Rock mortgages, which were sold by the British Government.
Cerberus is also one of the most active international investors in Spain.
In recent years, it has acquired two platforms, which themselves buy problem assets from banks: Haya Real Estate, the former Bankia Habitat, for the management of real estate assets; and Gescobro, for the management of unsecured debt.
In Spain in recent years, besides these two platforms, Cerberus has also acquired AyT, the securitisation fund manager owned by Ahorro Corporación and Cecabank; Cimenta2, the real estate arm of Cajamar; and the firm Patron Properties.
The fund relies on several high profile advisors for its strategy in Spain, including Juan Hoyos Martínez de Irujo, the former President of McKinsey España; Francisco Luzón, the former CEO of Santander; Manuel González Cid, the former Financial Director of BBVA; Francisco Lamas, a former Director at McKinsey; and José María Aznar Botella, the son of the former President of the Government.
Cerberus came close to signing one of the largest deals in Spain last year. The US fund offered Bankia just over €2,000 million for a 75% stake in its foreclosed assets, as part of Project Big Bang, which was eventually suspended by the entity chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri.
Original story: Expansión (by J. Z.)
Translation: Carmel Drake