2 March 2016 – Expansión
Project Pegasus / The Norwegian group is in exclusive negotiations to acquire the platform that manages homes and RE debt on behalf of BMN, Ibercaja and Santander.
Centerbridge and Lindorff are negotiating the details of one of the largest corporate transactions in Spain so far in 2016. The US fund has selected the Norwegian group as the main candidate to acquire the real estate platform Aktua, a former subsidiary of Banesto, whose asking price amounts to just over €200 million, according to several financial sources.
Aktua currently manages homes and real estate debt for Santander, BMN and Ibercaja. Aktua reached an agreement with the Aragonese group just over a month ago, which has somewhat delayed the sale of the management platform.
The sources consulted explained that the main terms of the agreement have now been established, but the fine print may take a few more days to finalise before signing.
In this way, Lindorff has beat off the other two finalists in the process, known as Project Pegasus: the US fund Apollo, the owner of Altamira; and the private equity firm Activum. The investment banks Bank of America and Barclays are acting as advisors to the operation.
The Norwegian group has been operating in Spain for eight years now, although to date, it has focused on the management of unsecured loans. Within this market, Lindorff acquired the collection subsidiaries of Santander, Banco Sabadell and BMN. The acquisition of Aktua will allow the firm to enter a new business segment with higher returns.
Aktua was founded in 2008 and currently employs 400 professionals working in 24 offices. Following the purchase of Gestión de Inmuebles Salduvia, from Ibercaja, it now manages more than 42,000 real estate assets, worth over €8,000 million. (…).
According to the latest available accounts, Aktua earned almost €5 million in 2014 and generated an EBITDA of €8.5 million. The forecasts from the advisors to the sale predict that the firm will generate EBITDA of between €40 million and €50 million in 2015.
According to data at the Commercial Registry, Centerbridge owns a 83% stake in Aktua’s capital, Santander owns 6% and the company’s managers own 11%. The latter group includes the CEO and former Director of Banesto, Enrique Dancausa. (…).
Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga and D. Badía)
Translation: Carmel Drake