Haya Prepares to Make Redundancies After its Contract with Sareb was Reduced

20 January 2020 – Expansión

Haya Real Estate, the servicer owned by the US fund Cerberus, is preparing to make redundancies after the scope of its contract with Sareb was reduced at the end of last year. The extent of the cuts are not yet clear but Haya, which employs more than 1,200 people, will begin conversations with the unions this week.

Following the renegotiation of its contract with Sareb, Haya now manages a portfolio of loans and properties worth around €8.4 billion for the bad bank, which is 30% smaller than before. Moreover, the servicer will now be remunerated by Sareb on a success fee basis, i.e. on the basis of the number of homes it sells.

Haya is the first of the 4 servicers to renegotiate its contract with Sareb. The other operators, Solvia, Altamira and Servihabitat, will all see their contracts come up for renewal in 2021.

Meanwhile, Cerberus has been trying to exit Haya, which it has owned for 6 years, first by listing it on the stock market and then by selling it, but neither approach has proved successful.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Sampedro and R. Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Copernicus Hires Ex-Altamira CEO Andrés Cerdán

21 September 2019 – Andrés Cerdán, who was previously the CEO of Altamira Asset Management, has joined Copernicus as CEO, according to market sources.

Cerdán had led Altamira since 2010 but decided to decamp after the firm was acquired by DoBank, a European firm controlled by Fortress, for about €360 million.

Copernicus, founded in 2013 by José Nestola, manages about €9 billion in NPLs and real estate assets for banks.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Agustín Marco

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Sareb Opens Bidding to Other Servicers After Low Bids from Haya, Solvia, Altamira and Servihabitat

30 July 2019

Sareb has notified the four servicers that manage its €34 billion in real estate loans and assets that it will open up bidding on its management contracts to other potential bidders, after having received a round of offers that it considered insufficient. Haya Real Estate (Cerberus), Servihabitat (Lone Star), Solvia (Intrum) and Altamira (doValue) have been servicing the bad bank’s assets until now. Sareb mandated DC Advisory to manage the process as the bank looks to reduce the size of the commissions it has been paying to the four firms.

DC Advisory and Sareb have reportedly been in contact with smaller, specialised firms such as Hipoges, Finsolutia and Copernicus. The decision is a message to the four current servicers, letting them know that they may lose out on future contracts unless they improve their bids. Sareb is considering dividing some sections of its portfolio by geographical location, reducing the number of managers in each and streamlining its operations.

The process – known as the Project Esparta – sent shudders through the servicing sector and was a factor in the postponement of Haya Real Estate’s IPO last year.  Haya currently has the largest mandate, servicing 37% of the bad bank’s assets (2014). Altamira, in turn, manages 29%, while Servihabitat has 19% and Solvia 15%.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Jorge Zuloaga

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. Turner

Sareb Offers the Contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat & Solvia to its Rivals

17 June 2019 – El Confidencial

Sareb is on a mission to change its course. According to market sources, the bad bank chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured below) has decided to put its contracts with Altamira (owned by doBank), Servihabitat (Lone Star) and Solvia (Intrum) out to tender two years before their scheduled renewal.

Even though the contracts are not due to expire until the end of 2021, Sareb is putting them out to tender alongside that of Haya Real Estate, which is due to expire at the end of 2019. This represents a boost for Cerberus’s servicer, given that its competitors will now also have to focus on retaining their own contracts rather than just bidding for Haya’s.

In the event that Sareb awards the contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia to other entities, it will have to compensate the servicers since their contracts clearly establish early termination clauses.

Altogether, Sareb is looking at putting out to tender the management of €34 billion in loans and properties that it still has left in its portfolio. The four will have to submit their bids in the next few months, specifying which assets they want to manage and what commissions they will charge.

The largest mandate is that of Haya, which manages assets proceeding from Bankia, which accounted for 37% of the bad bank’s original assets. It is followed by Altamira, which manages the assets proceeding from Catalunya Banc, BMN and Caja 3 (29% of the total); Servihabitat, which manages the assets from NCG Banco, Liberbank and Banco de Valencia (19%); and Solvia,  which manages assets from Bankia (foreclosed), Banco Gallego and Ceiss (15%). Clearly, there is a lot at stake for these servicers.

Original story: El Confidencial (by J. Zuloaga & R. Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Haya Real Estate Looks to Expand into Italy & Greece to Grow its Business

27 May 2019 – Expansión

Haya Real Estate, the servicer controlled by the US investment fund Cerberus, is looking to grow its business. Following its merger with Divarian (formerly Anida), it is now the second largest servicer in Spain, after Altamira, with 1,200 employees and €47 billion in assets under management.

In order to diversify its portfolio, the servicer led by Carlos Abad (pictured above) is evaluating its expansion into Italy and Greece, two emerging markets in which multiple NPL investment and management opportunities are expected to arise in the short term. That would help alleviate concerns over Haya’s future, which currently depends heavily on the outcome of the servicer’s negotiations with Sareb, whose contract is due to expire in December.

The future of Haya Real Estate has been up in the air since its stock market debut was postponed last year. Cerberus has held its stake in the servicer for six years now and is keen to exit soon given that its typical investment rotation period amounts to five years. Following the postponed IPO, the US giant is now holding preliminary conversations with several other investment funds interested in acquiring its stake, but the price will depend on the servicer’s future with Sareb.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Moonlake Capital Launches a Vehicle to Invest €600M in NPLs

27 May 2019 – Eje Prime

Moonlake Capital is going to launch a vehicle to invest €600 million in large portfolios of non-performing loans in Madrid, Barcelona, the Costa del Sol, the Balearic Islands, Valencia and Sevilla.

The new vehicle will operate as a servicer for the fund and so will manage and divest the portfolio of properties that the banks were left with after their owners were unable to keep up the repayments on their mortgages.

As such, the investment group created in 2016 and headquartered in Madrid will enter the market to compete with the likes of Servihabitat, Altamira, Solvia and Haya Real Estate, amongst others.

In parallel, Moonlake is also planning to create a joint venture with an as yet unidentified investor to develop a 2.5 million m2 project in Málaga’s technology park, involving the construction of 5,000 homes, 110,000 m2 of industrial warehouses and 30,000 m2 of commercial premises.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Marta Casado Pla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sareb Launches Project Esparta to Shake Up its Servicer Arrangements

17 May 2019 – Cinco Días

Sareb has launched a new operation called Project Esparta, through which it is seeking to turn its existing strategy on its head.

The bad bank’s aims with this initiative are multiple: to create sub-portfolios into which to classify its assets; to renegotiate the contracts with its servicers to recover the services transferred to them; to delay sales and assume the stock of assets to generate added value; to create regional centres; and to equip itself with its own technological infrastructure. The overall objective is to professionalise sales and enhance the value of its assets.

As a result, Sareb is going to start renegotiating the contracts that it has with Haya, Altamira, Solvia and Servihabitat to recover some of the activities assigned to those servicers. Haya’s contract is due to expire on 31 December 2019 and according to the bad bank, it may be renewed in part or in whole, or the portfolio under management may be put up for tender. The contracts with Altamira, Solvia and Servihabitat are due to terminate in 2021.

Haya was hoping to make its stock market debut this year, but it will have to put those plans on hold until its future with Sareb is resolved.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Ricardo Sobrino)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Cerberus Puts Haya Real Estate up for Sale for c. €1.2bn

15 March 2019 – Eje Prime

Cerberus had been planning to list Haya Real Estate on the stock market but it suspended that operation in light of the political instability in the country, amongst other reasons. Instead, the US fund has decided to put the servicer up for sale.

The asking price is €1.2 billion and the advisor Rothschild has already made contact with possible interested parties. They include DoBank, which acquired Altamira in January for €412 million; the Swedish company Intrum, which purchased 80% of Solvia in December; and the fund manager Centricus.

Haya’s contract with Sareb is due to expire at the end of this year and the bad bank is understood to be considering not renewing the agreement as part of a wider strategic rethink.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sareb Hires DC Advisory to Overhaul its Servicer Contracts

15 March 2019 – El Confidencial

Sareb is determined to change track. The entity chaired by Jaime Echegoyen  (pictured below) has taken the decision to cut back the contracts that it currently has with its servicers (Haya, Altamira, Solvia and Servihabitat), in an overhaul of the work that is currently carried out by those platforms.

The timing is perfect, given that Haya’s contract is due to expire at the end of this year and the rest of the agreements mature in 2021. To this end, the bad bank has engaged the advisory firm DC Advisory (previously Montalbán) to help it redefine the servicers’ contracts. The business generates commissions of around €100 million per year.

Sareb is keen not to renew the existing contracts with lower commissions but rather to design a completely different model with new conditions and perimeters. The options range from assuming more of the work itself in-house to organising the out-sourcing of the portfolios by region.

The pressure is on for Sareb to divest its assets given that the entity itself has an expiry date and the current climate is ideal for undertaking operations.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde & J. Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CPPIB Awards Altamira the Mandate to Manage BBVA’s Former €1.5bn Portfolio

1 March 2019 – Voz Pópuli

The Canadian pension fund (CPPIB) has delegated the management of the Ánfora portfolio, purchased from BBVA, to the servicer Altamira, according to financial sources consulted by this newspaper. Altamira has declined to comment on the reports.

It is a striking decision given that the fund decided to sell its stake in the servicer to DoBank in January, along with Apollo.

Between them, the two funds used to own 85% of Altamira. Santander owns the remaining 15%, although that stake could also end up being sold to DoBank. This operation shows that the Canadian fund continues to trust in Altamira, despite its exit from the company.

Agreement with BBVA

BBVA signed an agreement to sell the aforementioned loan portfolio, which mainly comprises mortgage loans (primarily doubtful and non-performing loans) with a live balance of approximately €1.49 billion to CPPIB in December. That operation formed part of the bank’s strategy to reduce its exposure to real estate risk to a minimum.

In the last two years, BBVA has closed a series of operations that form part of that real estate strategy, including the transfer of its real estate business in Spain to Cerberus, which was announced in November 2017 and closed last October.

The acquisition of 100% of the share capital of the servicer has been valued at €412 million in business value terms, according to Oliver Wyman, strategic advisor to the operation.

Altamira offers NPL services, including the sale, development and administration of real estate assets, advisory services and portfolio administration activities. In 2017, it had a market share of 15% in Spain, with assets amounting to more than €140 billion and a workforce of 2,200 employees.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by David Cabrera)

Translation: Carmel Drake