17 October 2017 – Voz Pópuli
Sareb is at a critical point in one of its most important transactions of the year. The bad bank is negotiating with Deutsche Bank regarding the sale of the largest portfolio it has brought onto the market in the last 12 months. The portfolio in question is Project Inés and it was initially worth €500 million, but its final perimeter will amount to €400 million, according to financial sources consulted by Voz Pópuli. Oaktree and Bank of America also participated in the bid until the final round, but their offers were lower than Deutsche Bank’s bid. Sources at Sareb declined to comment.
Those three international investors were the final candidates after dozens of other funds interested in the operation fell by the wayside. One of the last candidates to be ruled out was KKR.
The portfolio comprises unpaid loans secured by residential assets in Madrid, Cataluña, Andalucía and Zaragoza. The inclusion of assets in Cataluña, despite everything that is currently happening in that autonomous region, caused many of the funds to hesitate and deduct value from their bids, according to the financial sources consulted by this newspaper.
These types of operations are key for Sareb to accelerate the rate of asset sales, given that it has been given the mandate of divesting €50,000 million of problem assets within 15 years; that period started at the end of 2012. The latest figures show that the cumulative divestment to the end of 2016 amounted to almost €10,000 million, leaving a balance of €40,134 million on the books.
Project Inés is not the only operation that Sareb has underway. It has also put a portfolio worth €400 million on the market through an online platform for funds. On the portal, investors can bid for loans on an individual basis (Project Dubai), like they did with Haya Real Estate last year.
Moreover, it has just put another portfolio, known as Project Tambo, on the market through CBRE. That portfolio contains non-performing loans to property developers, worth €300 million.
Sareb normally accumulates lots of operations of this kind at the end of the year. In 2016, it sold seven portfolios after the summer, for a total combined value of almost €1,300 million. The largest portfolio was Project Eloise, which was awarded to Goldman Sachs.
Deutsche Bank and Bank of America are two regulars in these types of operations. In fact, the German bank already acquired two small portfolios from Sareb at the end of last year, known as Project Sevilla and Project Marina, for a combined total of €160 million.
Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)
Translation: Carmel Drake