31 August 2017 – Voz Pópuli
KKR and Cabot Financial are competing in one of the processes that has generated the most excitement amongst overseas funds in recent months. The two Anglo-Saxon investors are the finalists in the bid to acquire Hipoges, a platform created at the end of 2008 by former directors of Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that went bankrupt in September of that year.
The platform is controlled by Cerberus, with a 40% stake, and by its CEO, Juan Francisco Vizcaíno, who owns 18.3%. It is not clear how much of the company is up for sale, although the various sources consulted by this newspaper explained that the initiative to launch the sales process has been taken by the directors. The final price of the transaction could amount to €25 million.
The bid is being led by Alantra as an advisor and funds such as Bain Capital have participated in it, in addition to Cabot and KKR.
Hipoges has a presence in four countries, although most of its business is concentrated in Spain. In total, it administers almost €8,000 million for 22 clients, above all overseas opportunistic funds and financial institutions.
The platform advises investors regarding the acquisition of portfolios and the subsequent management of the assets acquired. Hipoges is responsible for administrating debt, filing claims to recover it, going to court and in the event that a property is repossessed, managing and selling it. It also competes with the major real estate companies, such as Haya Real Estate, Altamira, Servihabitat, Aktua, Aliseda, Solvia and with other independent firms such as TDX, Finsolutia and Copernicus.
Of the €8,000 million that it administers, 72% are unpaid loans granted to property developers and mortgages. The remainder are loans to SMEs (14%), consumers (12%) and invoices (2%).
By entering this process, KKR wants to take another step forward in its real estate strategy in Spain. After purchasing a portfolio of mortgages from Abanca – formerly NCG Banco – the North American fund is negotiating the acquisition of a platform that will allow it to continue gaining experience in the property sector.
Meanwhile, Cabot is another of the foreign groups that is most committed to the purchase of banking assets. It arrived in Spain in 2015 with the acquisition of Gesif and is hoping to enter the real estate business with Hipoges.
Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)
Translation: Carmel Drake