Large Funds Get Involved in Popular’s Criminal Lawsuit

31 January 2018 – Expansión

The large funds Pimco, Anchorage, Algebris and Cairn are participating in the criminal case that the Spanish High Court is investigating against the former directors of Popular.

These funds, which lost almost €850 million following the resolution of the bank, have appealed the resolution decision taken by the Single Resolution Board (JUR) before the European Court of Justice and the resolution of the Frob before the Spanish High Court. Specifically, Anchorage, Algebris and Ronit have appealed to the European Court of Justice and Pimco, Anchorage, Algebris, Ronit and Cairn have appealed to the Spanish High Court.

On 4 October 2017, judge Fernando Andreu admitted for processing the first lawsuits against the former directors of Popular and PwC. Most of them are focused on the capital increase made in 2016 and against Ángel Ron and his Board for improper management, falsification of documents and misappropriation. Lawsuits have also been filed against Emilio Saracho and the management of the most recent executive team.

The debtholders are being represented in Spain by Andersen Tax & Legal and SLJ Abogados and in the EU by Quinn Emanuel.

Richard East, Managing Partner at Quinn Emanuel, explains: “The plaintiffs filed serious accusations that the Spanish High Court has agreed to investigate. The funds want to be informed and to collaborate in this investigation to determine the existence of falsehoods in the process”.

Original story: Expansión (by Mercedes Serraller)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Has Invested €800M In Spain’s RE Sector Since 2013

1 March 2017 – Eje Prime

Värde’s latest acquisition, Vía Célere, is going to be incorporated into the plans that the group has for Dospuntos, through which it intends to invest €2,000 million over the next six years, buying up land and building homes.

The US firm Värde Partners has set itself the goal of revolutionising the real estate business in Spain. Following its purchase of the real estate property developer Vía Célere earlier this week, the company has now invested more than €800 million in the real estate business in Spain. Since its arrival in the country in 2013, the fund has closed multiple operations, such as the purchase of Banco Popular’s real estate fund and the acquisition of assets in Madrid and Barcelona. Now, Värde Partners is taking another step forward in its objective to redraw the property developer map in Spain.

Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Minneapolis (USA), Värde Partners invests its capital all over the world, through multiple strategies. (…). The group works with a wide range of assets and regional headquarters in Minneapolis, London and Singapore. It also has secondary offices in other cities around the world, including Barcelona.

Värde Partners is an alternative investment fund manager, with more than $10,000 million in assets under management and more than $50,000 million invested around the world. (…).

In December 2012, the investment fund fired the starting gun on its investments in Spain by joining forces with Anchorage to formalise the purchase of five buildings in Madrid and Barcelona for €100 million. Under the name Operation Copernicus, this package of assets used to belong to the former German bank Eurohypo, but was put up for sale in conjunction with the real estate company Monteverde. (…).

Then, during 2013, on its path to seek out good opportunities in the real estate business in Spain, Värde Partners seduced Banco Popular into the purchase of Aliseda for €815 million, together with Kennedy Wilson. The alliance formed by the two groups competed with lower offers from other groups such as Fortress, Willbur Ross and Lone Star.

After two years organising its business portfolio in Spain, Värde Partners finally took control of San José Desarrollos Inmobiliarios, where it already owned almost 25%. The US fund purchased Banco Popular’s 25% stake for €90 million, which allowed it to take ownership of 51% of that firm’s share capital.

From its newfound position of power, Värde Partners immediately carried out a €60 million capital increase, a move aimed at propping up the company and laying the foundations necessary to start building homes. In this way, Värde Partners prepared the basis of what would later become Dospuntos.

More recently, Värde has closed its last two purchases in Spain just a few months apart. In 2016, the group acquired the property developer Aelca from the Avintia group for €50 million. Meanwhile, it announced on Monday, that it is going to take control of Vía Célere for €90 million.

In this way, Vía Célere will form part of the plans that the group has for Dospuntos, through which it intends to invest €2,000 million over the next six years (…). The company already owns a vast land bank on which it plans to build more than 7,000 homes. In addition, the company wants to continue expanding its stock of land. In this way, its business plan for 2016-2021 includes new acquisitions with the aim of creating “the best land portfolio in Spain”.

Following its purchase of Vía Célere, Värde will integrate this real estate company into Dospuntos, which will operate under the Vía Célere trading name and which will have a land portfolio measuring more than 1 million m2. (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Finalises Its Purchase Of Residential Property Developer Aelca

9 May 2016 – El Confidencial

Värde Partners is getting ready to become the largest player in the property development business in Spain. After acquiring 51% of Aliseda, the real estate arm of Banco Popular; having purchased San José Desarrollas, the residential branch of the Galician construction company…and in the middle of negotiations to buy a share of La Finca, the US fund is now one step away from another big trophy.

According to three sources, Värde has made the best offer to acquire Aelca, the property developer that the Avintia Group has put on the market and in which a large group of foreign funds have expressed interest. Amongst them, Castlelake and Värde stand out, although the latter is the only one that has reached an agreement in principle.

With the caution that must be maintained until the operation is definitively closed, which could happen before the end of the month, Värde is taking another step forwards in its strategy to become one of the largest real estate groups in Spain. It has been committed to the market since the darkest days of the crisis, as it demonstrated four years ago, when it joined forces with Anchorage to purchase five premium buildings in Madrid and Barcelona, which previously belonged to Monteverde.

A year later, came the acquisition of Aliseda for €815 million, a deal that allowed it to take over the management of mortgage loans with a net value of €9,350 million and foreclosed assets worth another €6,500 million. In addition, that purchase, which it undertook together with Kennedy Wilson, helped to heal the wound opened with CX Inmobiliaria, the platform owned by Catalunya Caixa, with which it had reached an agreement for almost €30 million, but which broke down at the last minute.

The story goes on, because thanks to the acquisition of San José Desarrollos alone, Värde Partners expects to construct 1,500 homes across Spain in the short term, numbers that will increased even further if it manages to acquire Aelca, a young property developer, which has great appeal thanks to its strong presence in areas where the residential sector is recovering the most in Madrid, such as Aravaca, Boadilla del Monte and the Madrilenian neighbourhood of Las Tablas.

Värde’s commitment to the real estate business has led it to invest more than €1,000 million in the acquisition of Aliseda and San José Desarrollos alone, two sides of the same coin, given that as well as managing and selling the assets of the company that it shares with Popular, the fund is particularly interested in fully benefitting from the expected recovery in the residential market through its own property developer, as it is showing with its frenetic activity in these businesses.

By contrast, Värde is exiting its positions in the shopping centre segment, as it demonstrated in February with the sale of the Mallorcan Festival Park outlet, and in July 2015, with the sale to Lar of three large retail outlets in the Parque Comercial Galeria de Pamplona.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Perella, Pimco & Anchorage Vie For the 200 Castellana Building

26/02/2014 – El Confidencial

Irrational. The real estate market is experiencing the greatest activity rebound in years. The most vivid emotions are brought about by the sale of the building at 200 Castelllana Street, a property situated in the north of Madrid, formerly belonging to Reyal-Urbis. Even 22 investors took part in the bidding in the first stage of non-binding offers. Funds Pimco, Perella and Anchorage made it to the final bidding.

International investors are yearning for entering the Spanish real estate market, especially after the price corrections reaching -50% (…).

During one month only, CB Richard Ellis and Knight Frank received 22 offers for the building that includes four products: offices, trading zone, a parking lot and a five-star hotel. The property is less than one year old and yet has not got 100% occupancy rate. (…).

The auction became the talk of the town for the bidders are debuting on the Spanish market. On the one hand, there is the opportunistic fund Anchorage that bought buildings Eurohypo/Monteverde in Madrid and Barcelona within the Copernicus Project. On the other hand, we find the U.S. funds Perella Weinberg Partners and Pimco. The lattest has just joined shareholders of the recently listed Socimi of Grupo Lar.

The bidding´s organizators managed to establish the price at treshold of €150 million promised to the building´s banking holders (Bankia, Sabadell, Santander, BBVA and Caixa). In truth the price is set a long way behind the €320 million invested in the property in the boom times by developer Rafael Santamaria, chairman of Reyal Urbis, currently put up for auction as well. (…).



Original article: El Confidencial (Carlos Hernanz)

Translation: AURA REE

Investors in search of bargains.

KKR, Centerbridge, Cerberus, Lone Star, Apollo, Blackstone, Colony Capital or Green Oak. Their names sound more and more often in Spain, as the list of international funds interested in finding a real estate bargain continues growing. The traditional Spanish venture capital is out of the equation, not only due to lack of cash, but also because of the legal limitations to invest in this kind of assets. Only certain firms, such as Atitlan, from the Roig family, or Altamar have the possibilities of participating in the real estate sector.

These great funds have nearly 13.000 million Euros to invest in Spain and a great part of this capital is for the real estate sector that is now considered a priority. Nevertheless, the search for assets is very specific.”The foreign investors focus on a liquid and good quality product, preferably in rent; the search for high profits implies important discounts, which reduces the volume of operations”, Jesús Conde, partner in the real estate department at Baker & McKenzie.

The operations in the sector depend on the market of each asset. In the residential one, “the foreign funds are waiting for Sareb to organize and package the portfolio of the nationalized banks, so as to offer then a very reduced price for a set of assets with a similar level of liquidity and risk, with discounts of up to 90% of the original valuation”, Eduard Saura, managing partner of the financial assessment company Accuracy, explains.  In his opinion, the Anglo Saxon opportunistic funds are the ones keeping an eye on these assets.

This expert considers there is less interest on the segment of shopping malls. However there are still operations. For example, the bid organized by Morgan Stanley for the three malls that its fund Msref has in Spain was attended by many funds that are not present in the country. Only foreign funds have reached the final stage: Bau Post, Drago Capital and the one that is best positioned, Incus Capital.

At the end of the year, another foreign investor made its debut in Spain: the North American Autonomy, which acquired two buildings in the business park Omega, in Alcobendas (Madrid). In Barcelona, other funds, this time European ones, Värde and Anchorage, took part in the Operation Copernico, with the acquisition of five buildings in the centre of the Catalan capital and in Madrid for around 100 million Euros.

If the first ones to arrive to Spain were the Anglo Saxon funds, in the last few months other funds with a Latin American origin, have arrived to the market with a lot of liquidity. “Up to now, the Latin American capital fled the volatility of its countries and bet on the United States to invest. Now they are searching in Spain”, Francisco Machón, in charge of Investments of BNP Paribas Real Estate, assures. One example is the tycoon Carlos Slim, who acquired six months ago properties from CaixaBank for more than 400 million Euros, or the acquisition of a building in Recoletos street, closed last week, by a Latin American family.

“The investors are much more active, although they search for an adjustment in prices in view of the uncertainty of the awaited flow of cash for the next three years”, Javier García-Mateo, in charge of Real Estate at Deloitte, declares.

Source: Expansión