The financing matters are still pending but, if nothing goes wrong, the investment fund Apollo will close the most important acquisition in Spain. The firm with headquarters in New York has won the auction on Altamira Real Estate, the real estate division of Banco Santander, committing to pay nearly 700 million Euros. Official sources have declined any comments, as the final price is still subject to finance matters.
After a process of less than three months, Santander is again the first institution to get rid of its real estate business (development and management of assets). The existing interest in the market encouraged the bank presided over by Emilio Botín to hire PwC to manage the sale after the summer. As in other auctions of financial or real estate assets, those interested in the operation were the same great investors.
At the end, Apollo signed last Friday the letter of intentions which grants exclusivity over the other contestant, Centerbridge (owner of Aktua, the former recovery company from Banesto), in order to finalize the investment. The funds like Cerberus (Bankia Habitat) and Starwood did not reach the final stage, as they were worse than the main offers, after including real estate assets, as well as the management contract of the properties, operative structure and staff included.
Should this operation be completed, Apollo would become one of the most active investors in the market. At the beginning of the crisis, the NY firm landed in our country with the acquisition of different portfolios of consumer credits from Bank of America. Later, its managers succeeded in the acquisition of EVO Bank, the banking business of Novagalicia Banco developed under that brand outside Galicia, Asturias and Leon, for an amount around 60 million Euros.
Right now, the type of assets is rather different. Altamira Real Estate is one of the biggest real estate companies in the market. In April 2012, the institution with headquarters in Boadilla del Monte merged its subsidiary with Mesena, the specialized unit from Banesto, creating a giant that manages properties (under construction or finished) with a value of more than 3500 million Euros. (…)
Once this was carried out, it was necessary to enhance the commercial capacity of the subsidiary. For this reason, Santander extended the auction campaign until the end of the year, through Altamira´s web, for a catalogue of 5000 properties, garage spaces, storage rooms or offices. This aggressive selling strategy has made it possible to sell 11800 properties during the first nine months of the year.
Source: El Confidencial