Sabadell Wants to Sell Its 13% Holding in Metrovacesa Worth €54 Mn

11/09/2014 – El Economista

Metrovacesa is struggling for survival and in the meanwhile its shareholders prepare their leave. The latest to announce the intention to shed the stake was Banco Sabadell, owning 13% of the groups share capital valued at around €54 million.

The real estate company is held in majority by five big banks: Santander holds 36%, BBVA 18%, Popular 12%, Bankia 19% and Sabadell 13%.

Bankia, urged by Brussels to sell off all industrial holdings has been the last to put the stake up for sale, together with a 24.95% holding in Realia and 1% in Mapfre.

In February, the entity gave a mandate to Credit Suisse to sell the stake in Metrovacesa but the process is not expected to conclude before the end of the year.

Sabadell yet has to make a decisive move and one option is to wait until Bankia finds an investor and place its share together with the other banks.

Metrovacesa itself is trying to beat the indebtness. The last step was the sale of a 26.7% stake in its French branch Gecina for nearly €1.55 billion to a group of international buyers and investment funds, such as Blackstone and Invanhoé Cambridge, Crédit Agricole or Norges Bank. Gecina owns a property portfolio mainly consisting of offices and student dormitories situated principally in Paris and representing a worth of €10.7 billion.

The amount obtained from the share transfers was enough to pay 30% of the firms debt totalling at €3.5 billion. By the end of 2014, Metrovacesa shall redeem €234 million, whereas the next year another €200 million in loans reaches its maturity. Then, €577 million must be paid in 2017, €58 million in 2018 and from 2019 on there comes the real challenge because it is the deadline for a €1.1 billion due amount.

To satisfy the indebtness, the realtor disposes of a series of proceeds from its property division including nine retail parks, another commercial project in Reus, twelve hotels, thirty office buildings in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as seven housing developments and 1.700 garage spaces.

One of the projects of Metrovacesa that have been halted due to the recession was the Torre Madrid tower. Inside the property, the real estate company sells best quality luxury penthouses and apartments with swimming pools and gym areas. By April, Metrovacesa earned €8.28 million from the sales.

Original article: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: AURA REE