Doors are opened to the sale of properties in Spain.

International investors in risk real estate assets are searching for operations in Spain, and this raises hopes that the market has reached its inflexion point after the creation of the bad bank in order to clean all consequences of a construction bubble that has lasted a decade.

The sale planned by Sareb, the bad bank created by the Spanish state, of a portfolio of properties, mainly in the regions of Andalusia and Valencia, has captured the interest of venture capital firms. It is understood that the U.S. funds Apollo, Lone Star and Blackstone are included.

“It seems just the right moment”, a person close to the buyers declares. “There have been no operations up to now, but this should open doors to many transactions”.

The bad bank should raise at least 200 million Euros, while funds should make their offers at the end of this week, according to sources involved in the process.

Sareb´s strategy is to sell assets as soon as possible, with the objective of establishing a minimum level of prices for other investors thus contributing to a recovery of the real estate sector. Investment bankers established in Spain have noticed an increase of the interest of international investors that search for real estate assets since the beginning of the year.

Investors have been looking for opportunities in Spain for years, but the venture capital funds and the investors specialized in risk properties have been frustrated by the lack of opportunities and affordable objectives. Nevertheless, the creation of Sareb last year in order to acquire seized properties with a value of 90.000 million Euros has allowed Spanish banks to get rid of numerous properties, increasing the hopes that the dying national market might be unblocked.

In relation to this, Sacyr, the indebted construction company that was included in Ibex 35, has started negotiations with Lone Star, the venture capital group, to sell its real estate subsidiary Vallehermoso for a symbolic sum if the investor agrees to assume its debt of 1200 million Euros.

Those aware of the negotiations declared that they were in a preliminary stage and that it was not probable that an agreement would be reached in the next few months.

Sacyr, that suffered great losses after an inappropriate investment in the oil company Repsol, has fought to reduce its debts after the implosion of the real estate bubble devoured its national construction business.

Both sides declined any statements on these negotiations, but Sacyr assured that the company was searching actively for ways of reducing its debt and that it considered the sale of assets. (…)

Source: Expansión