Cerberus Hires Local Executives to Hunt Down Last RE Jewels in Spain

12/11/2014 – El Confidencial

Due to the business volume they have to cope with in the country, more and more vulture funds decide to hire local directors. The last one to perform that was Cerberus that outsourced its real estate business management to Jorge Sena (Gesnova), a veteran from the sector who will now join the team of Canadian Brian Betel, the CEO of the U.S. company that entered Spain four years ago.

The changes in Cerberus take place in an unusally active moment on the market. While Sareb is at the verge of awarding its REO asset management (Project Ibero) with a part of it already granted to Solvia (Banco Sabadell), funds continue to strive at various asset types (debt, real estate, housing developments, residential, management, etc.) to create small empires able to compete with Socimis, Spanish counterparts of REIT firms (e.g. Merlin, Hispania, Lar or Axia) or the property managers which got over the recession.

Mr. Sena will now on be responsible for the position of Cerberus and its Haya Real Estate at the bidding of Sareb, as well as at the tender of Realia for which the fund shall raise €1 billion for a capital increase conditioning refinancing of the €3.5 billion debt of the firm.

In the meanwhile, Cerberus keeps on adding more and more Spanish real estate assets to its portfolio. The latest buyout of Sotogrande for €200 million from NH Hoteles and similar transactions are no novelty for the new director who gained his experience as an advisor for international investors at Elitia Real Estate, controlled by private equity fund Advent.

The agreement with Jorge Sena completes the list of executives hired by Cerberus for its affiliate Haya Real Estate, reverberating with names like Juan Hoyos (ex-McKinsey), Manuel Gonzalez Cid (ex-BBVA), Francisco Luzon (ex-Banco Santander) or Jose Maria Aznar Botella (Poniente Capital).

Monthisa Names a CEO

Monthisa, one of the crisis survivors, also placed a bet on hiring top-line experts. Founded by Santos Montoro, the developer named Javier Catena its new general director. Prior to joining the company, the executive worked for Drago Capital, Knight Frank, Inmobiliaria Chamartín, Promodeico and Carrefour.

Lately, Monthisa has allied with opportunistic fund HIG and bought an asset portfolio from Sareb, Spain´s bad bank, including 1.000 dwellings and 740 garage spaces for €100 million.


Original article: El Confidencial (by Carlos Hernanz)

Translation: AURA REE