16 May 2018 – Expansión
Santander has recorded on its balance sheet its 49% stake in the company that it has created with Blackstone for a value of €1,566 million. The stake has been recognised in the portfolio of investments in joint ventures and associated companies. The bank and the US fund, which controls the remaining 51% of the JV’s share capital, constituted the company on 22 March. The alliance, a conglomerate of companies grouped together under the parent company, Project Quasar Investments 2017, brings together the former real estate portfolio of Popular. It contains gross assets worth €30 billion, which have been appraised at €10 billion net under the framework of the transaction.
Meanwhile, the two partners have now agreed on the configuration of the Board of Directors for the joint venture. The governance body will comprise seven members. In line with the distribution of the share capital and its control of the management of the assets, Blackstone will have a majority of four positions on the Board, including that of Chairman.
Santander will be represented by three directors. One of them is Javier García Carranza, the executive to whom the entity chaired by Ana Botín has entrusted the process to clean up Popular’s balance sheet. García Carranza is the Deputy CEO of Grupo Santander and a member of Popular’s Administration Board, a transition body that will disappear once the legal merger of the two banks has been completed. García Carranza also represents Santander on the boards of Sareb, Metrovacesa and the real estate manager Altamira, amongst other companies.
The other directors linked to Santander that will sit on the Board of the joint venture are Carlos Manzano and Jaime Rodríguez-Andrade, specialists in real estate investments and asset recoveries, respectively.
Meanwhile, Diego San José, Head of Blackstone’s Real Estate division in Spain is going to be the Chairman of the company. Eduard Mendiluce, Jean Francois Bossy and Jean Christophe Dubois are the other directors who have been appointed by the fund.
In order to launch the company, Santander and Blackstone have subscribed a syndicated loan amounting to €7,332 million. Several banks have participated in the loan, which is led by Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and RBS, as well as Blackstone itself, which has contributed €1 billion. The financing has been signed over a 5-year term and matures in 2023.
The sale of Popular’s real estate portfolio and the deconsolidation of the assets have resulted in a 10 point improvement in Santander’s core capital ratio. Its solvency now stands at 11%, the target for 2018.
Original story: Expansión (by M. Martínez)
Translation: Carmel Drake