JB Capital Teams Up With A Fund To Buy Up Mortgages

22/12/2014 – Expansión

JAVIER BOTÍN’S COMPANY / Savia, a subsidiary of JB Capital, and US investor Axonic finalize purchase of Celeris’ foreclosed assets and mortgages.

Javier Botín enters the housing market. Savia Asset Management, a subsidiary of its holding financial entity –JB Capital Markets–, completed purchase of about 60 million euros in assets remaining in Celeris, the financial company which created ten savings banks in 2006, according to financial sources consulted by Spanish economic newspaper, EXPANSIÓN.

Advisor of Santander and President of Botín Foundation, Javier Botín has partnered in this operation with a new fund that landed in Spain: Axonic Capital. This American investor relies on assets estimated at $2.4 billion (€1.95 billion). Its founder and head is Clayton DeGiacinto, Goldman’s ex-vice president of the fixed income, currency and raw materials division.

The Celeris operation might not be the only one for Savia and Axonic to close jointly in the coming weeks: sources from the financial sector indicate that they will be among the final bidders for any doubtful lenders’ portfolios on sale – CaixaBank, Sabadell, SAREB, and BMN.

Javier Botín’s company has specialized in brokerage of financial transactions between the Spanish banking sector and international investment funds, mainly American ones. Before Axonic, Savia has worked with D. E. Shaw, Marathon, Perry Capital and York Capital, among others.

For portfolios of defaulted and doubtful loans, Savia invests jointly with foreign investors. Javier Botín’s company has participated in purchasing loans of CaixaBank, BBVA, Ibercaja, Popular, BMN and Bankia, estimated at over 5 billion euros.

Real Estate Turn

The loans purchased over the last two years have been mostly bad consumer debt. Now Savia is shifting its focus on real estate assets.

Furthermore, Celeris’ portfolio is comprised of 860 assets, half of which prime mortgages and the rest sub-prime real estate. These loans and real estate assets were estimated to be worth roughly 120 million euros, which is why Savia and Axonic will purchase them at a discount of slightly more than 50%.

The purchase does not entail a provision of financial services, which Celeris abandoned last year.

This financial institution was created in 2006 by ten banks led by CCM and Caixanova, which had an ambitious growth plan based on credit cards, car loans and mortgage refinancing. CaixaBank, Ibercaja, BBVA, BMN, Ceiss, Liberbank, Abanca and Bankia are currently having a stake in it.

In 2013, Celeris sold its portfolio of consumer loans, with the workforce included, to the Pepper and Goldman fund.

Original article: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Aura REE