(…) The Restructuring Fund of Spain (Frob) intents to copy the auction scheme of NCG Banco in case of Catalunya Banc. The public fund wants to draw benefit from the great interest of the international investors in Spain to push the asking price up.
To achieve that, it has already began negotiations with some of the principal U.S. investors on the possibility of putting a part of the Catalonian banks´mortgage portfolios up for auction, according to the sources close to the talks.
On the market it is said that the portfolio could reach an amount of 5.500 million Euros, however Frob denies the information. (…).
According to financial sources, among the funds extremely interested in the operation there are Centerbridge, Kennedy Wilson, Värde Partners, Lone Star and Apollo. They are among the biggest companies in the world and have already acquired a few real estate platforms from Spanish banks in last months. (…).
The talks are preliminary in nature. N+1, investment bank responsable for the auction of Catalunya Banc, wishes to look closely into the real interest on the part of investors and then advise the best choice to the Frob.
To Avoid EPA
Together with the possible mortgage portfolio sale, the Frob hopes to put a pressure on the Spanish banks interested in Catalunya Banc´s property in order to avoid the Asset Protection Scheme (EPA in Spain) at the auction. The public fund prefers to sell the entity piece by piece before granting new public aids.
Thanks to the strategy, Frob has already gained 100 million Euros more at the NCG auction. (…).
This time no one expects that all the investors will bid for the portfolio of Catalunya Banc as “they do not have enough capacity to buy a large mortgage portfolio”. Thus, the price for a portfolio of mortgages up-to-date with payments could be much higher compared to the 4% – 5% that the failed mortgages of the bank are valued at.
The transaction would fit very well to some of the foreign investors that have bought real estate platforms from banks in last months: Centerbridge that acquired Aktua from Banesto; Cerberus bought Bankia Habitat; TPG – ServiHabitat from CaixaBank; Apollo – Altamira from Santander; Kennedy Wilson and Värde Partners got Aliseda and reached an agreement about the real estate company of Catalunya Banc.
Together with the mortgage loans, the Frob and N+1 could sell the failed mortgages and other Catalunya Banc´s enterprises. (…).