Cerberus Prepares for Haya’s Stock Market Debut After the Summer

9 February 2018 – Cinco Días

Metrovacesa achieved it on Tuesday, despite problems to cover supply and the nefarious stock market session that it suffered. The large Spanish property developer, which abandoned the equity market in May 2013, made its return last week. It hasn’t exactly eased the way for the upcoming debuts of Vía Célere, owned by the fund Värde, or the Socimi Testa. But it hasn’t made a total hash of it either.

In this way, the US fund Cerberus is in the process of contracting the banks that will handle the debut its Spanish real estate servicer subsidiary on the stock market. The aim is for that firm to be listed from September. The entities that are on the list of candidates have already done their calculations and are citing a valuation for the company, albeit preliminary, of around €1.2 billion. The aim is to place between 35% and 50% of Haya Real Estate’s capital at this stage. A spokesman for the company declined to comment on this information.

The company, which was created in October 2013, manages property developer loans and foreclosed real estate assets from Bankia, Sareb, Cajamar, Liberbank, BBVA and other financial institutions, worth €39.88 billion at the end of September 2017.

The process of going public is the logical next step, after Haya placed €475 million in high yield bonds in November, with ratings of B3 (Moody’s) and B- (S&P). In other words, in the junk bond range, six levels below investment grade.

The underwriters of that debt, which matures in 2022, were Santander, Bankia, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. And they sold it with considerable success. Despite its credit rating, the firm pays an annual return of just over 5% for that liability.

Haya, led by Carlos Abad Rico (formerly of Canal + and Sogecable) offers services across the whole real estate value chain, but it is not a property developer. Rather, it manages, administers, securitises (…) and sells real estate assets such as homes and offices, but it does not own any of the properties.

Bankia Habitat was the seedling of Haya, and it has grown in line with the need by the financial sector to get rid of assets linked to property. One of Haya’s key businesses is the management of loans linked to the real estate sector. It advises on loans and guarantees, recovers debt and converts loans into foreclosed real estate assets.

The other major part of its revenues stems from the recovery and management of properties through their sale or rental. Haya employs 680 professionals and has a sales network of 2,400 brokers. The value of its property developer debt portfolio amounts to €28.7 billion and its real estate asset portfolio amounts to €11.2 billion. Moreover, Haya is going to bid to manage the assets sold by BBVA to Cerberus in November. Haya’s current shareholder acquired 80% of the BBVA’s portfolio of real estate assets, amounting to around €13 billion, for €4 billion (…)

Consolidation

The Spanish banks’ other real estate management companies are waiting for Cerberus to make the first move, according to financial sources. Haya will open the door to the stock market for them if everything goes well or it will serve to consolidate the sector, both here and in Europe.

There are three high profile players on the list. Servihabitat, which manages assets amounting to around €50 billion and which belongs to the fund Texas Pacific Group (TPG), which has held a 51% stake since September 2013, when CaixaBank sold it that percentage; the bank still holds onto the remaining 49%. Altamira, owned by Santander (15%) and the fund Apollo (85%), which also handles assets worth around €50 million in Spain. The volume managed by Solvia, owned by Sabadell, amounts to around €31 billion.

Moody’s warns that the business of Haya Real Estate, the largest company in the sector in Spain, depends on the economic performance of the company and the renewal of its current management contracts. Specifically, one of the most important, with Sareb (…), signed in 2013, is due to expire in December next year.

In terms of its strengths, the ratings agency indicates Haya’s extensive knowledge of the market and its high margins. The firm’s gross operating profit (EBITDA) during the first nine months of last year amounted to €89.8 million, with net income (the amount really invoiced by the company) of €165.8 million.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Pablo Martín Simón and Laura Salces)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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