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Santander sells its real estate company Altamira to the Apollo fund for nearly 700 million Euros.

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

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