La Caixa postpones the sale of 12000 properties, but continues with Servihabitat.

La Caixa has decided to postpone the sale of 12000 properties to qualified investors and funds specialized in this type of assets, as pointed out by sources within the real estate sector. They maintain the sale of 51% of its properties managing company Servihabitat.

The explanation given to those investors interested in the operation was “that it has dissociated the sale of properties” from the sale of 51% of the managing company.

Sources of La Caixa have declined making any comments. Other sources within the real estate sector point out that the funds interested in the operation have been informed that the sale of 12000 properties has been postponed, but that it can reactivate any moment.

The retirement of the offer has caused a certain discomfort among the funds interested in the sale. First of all, because it was an important operation, of around 1500 million Euros.  And also, because it is not the first time Spanish banks turn back in this type of transactions. Banco Santander did exactly the same last year.

La Caixa joined both operations in order to make them more attractive, but now has decided to leave the package of properties aside and continue with Servihabitat.

The big discounts demanded by the so called vulture funds are one of the reasons banks are postponing this kind of operations. It might be interesting to wait for a recovery of the real estate market and those banks which are strong enough such as Banco Santander or La Caixa prefer to resist than to sell cheap.

The properties put up for sale by La Caixa were first residences, in perfect condition and located in Spain, basically in Madrid, Barcelona and other capitals. Therefore, they were prone to benefit from a possible reactivation.

Servihabitat´s operation does continue. La Caixa already has binding offers and it would be possible to close the operation in the next few months, according to real estate sources. Among those interested were Blackstone, Lone Star, Apollo, Cerberus, Centerbridge, JB Capital Markets, Pimco and Savia Assets, among others.

As for Servihabitat, the final price will depend on how the managing company is valued and the earning it may obtain with the sale of properties, as Servihabitat manages the properties of the company Building Center, the real estate company of La Caixa, as well as all assets within LaCaixa.

Sources within the sector agree that the management agreement is attractive for investors, as it includes the recovery of mortgages, foreclosures and sale of awarded properties, with an important volume in commissions on a portfolio of more than 1300 million Euros, regardless of whether the institution sells at a loss.

Source: El Confidencial

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