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Sabadell Sells €1,000M NPL Portfolio To Grove & Lindorff

9 May 2016 – Expansión

Banco Sabadell is accelerating the clean up of its balance sheet / Over the last three years, the bank has sold non-performing debt portfolios worth more than €5,300 million.

Banco Sabadell is establishing itself as one of the most active entities in the sale of large debt portfolios, as it continues to clean up its balance sheet. The bank chaired by Josep Oliu has just closed its first major operation of the year, known as Project Corus, involving the sale of €1,000 million in non-performing loans, which it has already fully provisioned. This is the largest portfolio that Sabadell has brought onto the market to date; none of its previous operations have exceeded €800 million.

The portfolio has been acquired by a consortium comprising Grove Capital Management and Lindorff, which have paid around 5% of the global amount of the loans acquired, in other words, around €50 million. This figure will be recorded as pure profit in Sabadell’s income statement.

The Corus portfolio comprises unsecured doubtful loans relating to consumer debt and credit cards. Grove has acquired €800 million of the portfolio, which it will now manage to try to recover the maximum amount possible. The fund is owned by Blenheim Chalcot and Encore Capital Group – one of the largest collection companies in the world – at the end of 2015, it bought another NPL portfolio, containing €400 million in doubtful debts, from Santander.

Background

Meanwhile, the Norwegian company Lindorff has purchased the remaining €200 million of the Corus portfolio. This fund has also just acquired 94% of the real estate company Aktua, which manages homes and debt on behalf of BMN, Ibercaja and Santander.

It is not the first time that Lindorff has acquired assets from Sabadell. In 2014, the company acquired the bank’s debt recovery division for €162 million, and incorporated the workforce into its own business.

Over the last three years, the bank led by Jaume Guardiola has transferred debt portfolios exceeding €5,300 million to clean up its balance sheet. (…).

By amount, Project Corus is the largest portfolio that Sabadell has put up for sale to date, but it will soon be overtaken by Normandy, a portfolio containing €1,700 million of doubtful real estate loans that the bank is currently evaluating.

Meanwhile, Sabadell has already put another operation on the market, known as Pirene and advised by KPMG, containing €460 million of problem assets linked to property developers.

Original story: Expansión (by Sergi Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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