Citi Seeks New Shareholders For Uro Property

20 May 2016 – Expansión

Uro Property, the Socimi that owns a quarter of Santander’s branch network in Spain, may see a change in its shareholders in the coming months. The company that holds 84% of its share capital, Ziloti Holdings, has given Citi a mandate to study possible shareholder changes.

This mandate comes in the face of interest from some of the current shareholders to exit the company, given that they were forced to acquire shares in the first place when their debt was converted into capital in 2014.

The main shareholders of Uro Property – both through Ziloti and otherwise – are Santander, with 22.7%; Atisha Holding, the former Sun Group, with 18.9%; Phoenix Life Assurance, with 14.6%; CaixaBank, with 14.5%; BNP Paribas, with 9.2%; and other private investors and international entities.

Citi will mainly look for investors amongst the large pension funds, insurance companies and investment funds.

The departure of the shareholders was vetoed until March under an institutional agreement reached following the recapitalisation of Uro.

The renewal of the shareholder base is one of the outstanding milestones for the company, which owns 755 Santander branches in Spain. It refinanced its debt last year and cancelled a swap, whereby reducing the financing costs of its €1,300 million debt from 6% to 3.35%. Last year, the Socimi sold 381 branches to Axa for €308 million, recording a capital gain of €27 million.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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