Cerberus Negotiates To Buy At Least 51% Of BBVA’s RE Risk

14 November 2017 – Expansión

Cerberus and BBVA are moving forward with their conversations. The US fund is negotiating to buy at least 51% of the bank’s real estate risk. Financial sources indicate that BBVA is weighing up whether to sell a majority stake in Anida, the bank’s real estate manager, or to structure the deal around a newly-created company.

BBVA’s real estate activity is grouped around Anida. The bank is one of the few that still retains full control over its real estate business.

The operation with Cerberus would follow the model adopted by Santander for the deconsolidation of Popular’s real estate risk. In fact, some sources indicate that Cerberus decided to intensify its negotiations with BBVA after missing out on the bidding for Popular’s toxic real estate; it fell at the first hurdle.

The two entities have been holding negotiations since the summer and, according to sources, the parties are going to set the perimeter of the operation on the basis of the price that the fund is willing to pay.

For the time being, Cerberus has already made it known to investors that the negotiations are very advanced. Those sentiments were expressed by the representatives of the asset manager Haya Real Estate, a subsidiary of Cerberus in Spain, during the road show that they held recently with investors in London to issue €475 million in guaranteed bonds, according to sources in the know.

The operation to deconsolidate some of BBVA’s real estate risk is expected to be closed this year.

BBVA’s gross real estate exposure in Spain amounted to €17,774 million as at September. The entity had an average coverage ratio of 56% at that date, and so the net risk stood at €7,828 million. The entity has reduced its net exposure to property by 23.3% since the end of 2016.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Sampedro)

Translation: Carmel Drake