The list of candidates to acquire the real estate subsidiary of Santander is getting smaller. The bank presided over by Emilio Botín has named four funds which will have total access to Altamira´s data and that will compete to manage the properties of the group during the next ten years. They are Cerberus, Apollo, Centerbridge and Starwood, according to sources close to the operation.
The first three, all US funds, were in all the bets to reach the stage of the binding offers.
The surprise has come with Starwood, the biggest international venture capital fund – owning all assets of the hotel chain with its name – which had not landed in Spain yet. And according to financial sources, it is here to stay, as its offer was the most generous one from the four submitted.
The other three candidates are veterans in the Spanish market. Cerberus did not want to lose this operation, as it would mean becoming the biggest real estate management company in Spain, after Sareb. The US fund has recently acquired the management of Bankia´s properties, after acquiring its real estate company for 90 million Euros. To join Altamira and Bankia Habitat would mean the leadership in Spain.
Apollo also has a lot to lose in this operation. After the acquisition of Evo Banco and Finanmadrid, this fund only misses a real estate division to be a baking competitor in Spain.
On the other hand Centerbridge would also take a leap after acquiring Aktua, the property management company of Banesto, last year. This fund is one of the most active ones in Spain.
Once the four final contestants are chosen, these will have nearly a month to analyze the operation in detail and present the final offers. The operation will be closed in December, as Santander wishes to complete this disinvestment before the end of the year.
The operation, known as Bison Project, includes the real estate management platform, with its 250 to 300 workers, and an exclusive contract for the sale of properties for 10 years. (…)