The hedge fund Elliot already has an operational base in Spain. This U.S. vulture fund, one of the most active ones in Spain in the last few months, has closed the acquisition of the recovery platform Gesif. The operation, closed in October, allows Elliot to have a local team to carry out new acquisitions in the next few months. The fund has analyzed the acquisition of NCG, although it will finally not participate in the bid.
Gesif is one of the five biggest companies within the recovery sector, with more than one million of default credits and 230 employees. Until now it was in the hands of several partners, like Daniel Villalba, a former member of the board at Abengoa and Vueling; and Melania Sebastián, a former executive at Caja Madrid, who will continue in the managing team. Gesif has grown at a faster pace since the recruit of Gonzalo Elejabeitia – a former executive at Vesta and Appollo – in charge of increasing the business with foreign funds. Elliott is one of the main funds in the world, with assets for more than 22.000 million Dollars. Its founder, the controversial Paul Singer, considered the creator of the vulture funds, has followed the operation closely. Sources within Elliot explain that the objective of the operation is to “increase the acquisition of portfolios and offer a service to other funds”.
Elliot had already entered the Spanish market: it acquired 1000 million Euros in default credits from Bankia and 300 million Euros in default credits from Santander. In all, Elliot would have paid around 50 million Euros for both portfolios.
The vulture funds have three ways to enter the Spanish market:
1) From their headquarters in London or through a Spanish freelance, who charges for every closed operation.
2) By hiring a local management company, such as Gesif, in order to recover the maximum amount of default credits.
3) Through the acquisition of a Spanish firm, as Elliot has done or as the Norwegian Lindorff did with Reintegra, from Santander, or the German GFKL with Multigestión. This option means a greater bet for the country.