Eight groups are bidding for the real estate division of Catalunya Banc

 Catalunya Banc advances in its restructuring plan. After announcing it will get rid of the network of branches it has outside Catalonia, the nationalized institution has put on sale its real estate division, where more than 200 people are currently working. The investment bank N+1 is acting as an advisor for the operation.

Eight international firms have informed the bank presided over by Adolf Todó of their interest in the acquisition of the management platform, with a broad experience in the sector, with a sale of 8683 homes in 2012. The operation is still in a preliminary level, and now Catalunya Banc needs to start a negotiation with each of the firms and international funds that bid for CX Inmobiliaria. Sources within the institution do not want to give details on the names of those interested, but the sector assures that Fortress, Apollo, Cerberus and Centerbridge are looking at this type of operations.

CX Inmobiliaria is lead by Eduard Mendiluce and is currently centered in managing the assets transferred by the bank to Sareb, for 6708 million Euros, even though they were valued at 16496 million Euros in its balance. This broad difference, plus other restructuring costs, caused the bank to close 2012 with losses of 11856 million Euros, although the institution hopes to return to profit this year.

After the operation with Sareb, the real estate assets are now only 1,9% of the total assets of the bank, opposite to a ration within the sector of 9,3%. These are properties valued in less than 100.000 Euros.

In 2012, Catalunya Banc obtained 1500 million Euros with the sale of 7275 properties and the lease of another 1408 properties, which meant an increase of 35% in reference to the previous year. Most sold properties were in Catalonia, Valencia, Andalusia and Madrid.

The management company of the bank has been the most active one this year in selling assets in the hands of Sareb. CX Inmobiliaria has already sold 220 properties from Sareb, has leased 573 properties and 5000 square metres of office space in Madrid and has sold a plot of 6200 square meters in Barcelona.

With the placing of its real estate division on the market, Catalunya Banc joins other institutions that have decided to get rid of a business they no longer consider strategic. Bankia has done the same with Bankia Habitat, with more than 500 professionals. NCG Banco is following the same strategy and is negotiating the sale of its subsidiary and the outsourcing of the service with a staff of 900 workers. (…)

Source: Expansión