Sareb Will Receive €177M From Its Asset Managers In June

16 June 2015 – Cinco Días

Haya, Solvia, Altamira and Servihabitat must pay Sareb €177 million before 30 June 2015 to make good the total amount (€588.6 million) that they agreed to pay as a deposit for taking over the management of the bulk of the bad bank’s assets. The asset transfer has already been completed in the case of Sabadell’s platform and will be completed this year for the remainder.

Sareb is immersed in the so-called “Project Híspalis”, the transfer of the management of 169,461 assets worth €48,200 million to four real estate platforms, which won the tender opened by the bad bank last December to professionalise the marketing of its assets.

The four platforms are: Solvia, the real estate arm of Banco Sabadell; Haya Real Estate, the platform created by the fund Cerberus to manage the property portfolio that it was awarded by Bankia; Altamira, in which the fund Apollo holds a 85% stake following its purchase from Banco Santander; and Servihabitat, the real estate arm of CaixaBank, in which the fund TPG holds a 51% stake. On the basis of the commercial agreement signed, these four firms must pay Sareb €177 million before the end of the month.

This is the last outstanding payment of the total amount (€588.6 million) that the four platforms agreed to pay Sareb as collateral for the contract awarded. The asset managers will recover these funds, together with the commission agreed, as they begin to fulfil the sales objectives that were set.

The four companies had already paid €411.85 million by the end of last year and according to Sareb’s annual accounts, they must pay “the outstanding amount no later than 30 June 2015”. Although this income would represent a significant boost to Sareb’s results, which has recorded losses in each of the last two years and is awaiting (the publication of) an accounting circular, the company has stated that it will set this income aside given that, sooner or later, it will have to return it.

The assets transferred have more than four million documents associated with them and involve the hand over of 352,000 keys – a complex operation involving 200 people from Sareb and one thousand people from the management platforms. Hence the handovers are happening progressively and, according to sources close to the process, will not be completed until at least the autumn and in some cases, until the end of the year.


Original story: Cinco Días (by Juande Portillo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Servihabitat Makes Profit Of €82M In First Year With TPG

19 May 2015 – Expansión

Manages assets worth €60,000 million / The platform owned by TPG and CaixaBank is starting to selling homes from Sareb (which the bad bank inherited from Abanca) and wants to be an active player in M&A activity in the sector.

Servihabitat has closed its first year as an independent entity of CaixaBank with a positive balance and the aim of leading the M&A activity in the real estate platform sector in Spain. The property management firm – which is jointly owned by TPG (51%) and the Catalan group (49%) generated revenues of €212 million in 2014 and an EBITDA of €82 million.

The CEO, Julián Cabanillas, explained that these figures are “considerably higher” – by 25% in the case of revenues – than last year but are not comparable, since Servihabitat was incorporated as a radically new company in 2014. It went from being the owner and manager of real estate assets – foreclosed assets and loans from CaixaBank – to being only the manager of the assets.

Cabanillas highlights that the entry of TPG into the platform’s share capital “opened us up to the market and allowed us to have multiple clients”. In fact, during the last year, Servihabitat has reduced its dependency on its second shareholder to 60% of its assets under management, primarily thanks to the contract awarded by Sareb.

The platform was one of four that won portfolios – together with Haya Real Estate, Altamira and Solvia – for the management of assets from Sareb. This year, Servihabitat has been responsible for managing properties and loans from Abanca – formerly NCG -, Liberbank and Banco de Valencia.

It already administered Banco de Valencia’s assets following the acquisition of the former subsidiary of Bankia. The platform is in the process of migrating the rest of the properties and loans, and in fact, it started to sell homes from the former NCG two weeks ago. The remainder of the real estate loans from the Galician savings banks will be in its system by the summer, and the homes and loans that Liberbank transferred to Sareb, by the end of the year. According to Cabanillas, the transfer of the assets from Sareb is happening in an “ideal” way. “We have a lot of experience in this kind of process” adds the CEO.

Including these assets under transfer, Servihabitat now manages almost 200,000 homes and real estate loans, whose gross book value amounts to almost €60,000 million.

Together with the assets from CaixaBank and Sareb, Servihabitat has also started to administer homes and loans from funds, such as Elliott and from family offices.

Lines of business

To continue growing as an independent platform, Cabanillas is evaluating new lines of business, such as asset management (the construction of large buildings, commercial and hotel developments). Currently, Servihabitat is active in the following areas: the management of homes and loans; advising investors; rental; and the development and management of land.

Another one of the axis of the platform’s strategic plan is the possibility of forming part of the consolidation that the sector is expected to undergo over the next few months, which companies such as Altamira, Haya Real Estate, Aktua and Anticipa, amongst others, will participate in. Cabanillas does not rule out making any purchases to gain “efficiency” but he doesn’t expect that any transactions will be closed until 2016.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Solvia Plans To Purchase Other RE Platforms

27 March 2015 – Expansión

The real estate platform expects to hire 200 people this year / Banco Sabadell is giving greater autonomy to its subsidiary, Solvia, which has taken a big step forward after being awarded the management of 42,900 assets by Sareb, worth €11,500 million.

Banco Sabadell wants to covert Solvia into a leading player in the Spanish real estate sector. The entity has proposed that it lead the consolidation process that the servicers in the market are expected to undergo (in the coming months and years). Servicers are the asset management platforms that were created in Spain following the burst of the real estate bubble and the restructuring of the financial sector. These companies were created as “bad banks”, in which entities placed the (distressed) assets that were accumulating on their balances sheets. In recent years, almost all of the financial institutions have opted to sell all or part of their platforms to specialist funds. Nevertheless, Sabadell has chosen to retain full ownership of Solvia and to promote its growth to the maximum.

“Solvia is the only servicer whose capital is held 100% locally; it is supported by a committed shareholder, a strong brand and an excellent system and team of professionals”, says Miguel Montes, CEO of Sabadell and the head of the real estate company.

As one of the winners of the contract to manage some of Sareb’s portfolio, Solvia now manages assets amounting to €34,000 million, with a portfolio of 135,000 units. Of this, €25,000 million relate exclusively to property and the remaining €9,000 million relate to loan portfolios.

Potential IPO

According to Montes, Solvia will grow through the purchase of new product portfolios and the acquisition of other platforms, since some of them have been left with small portfolios. “In Spain, there will be a consolidation (of the number of players) in the servicer market. Solvia will opt to purchase (some of its smaller competitors) to increase its size. We think that this is a business that is worth investing in”, he assures.

According to the director, if it grows in size, Solvia may consider an IPO. “Now is still not the right time to list the company on the stock exchange; before considering that, Solvia must establish itself as an independent multi-client servicer, but the stock exchange is not the only alternative, there are other options”, he says.

To accelerate growth and facilitate its ability to work with all kinds of external clients, Sabadell has decided to grant Solvia maximum independence, by providing the entity with the resources and structure necessary to operate autonomously. Thus, the company will depend increasingly less on the bank’s central services and will have its own management team. As such, it has launched a serious offensive to attract talent and recruit experienced professionals.

Solvia closed 2014 with a workforce of 240 people and this year expects to hire 200 more, to take its total number of employees to 440.

The real estate company recently hired Francisco Pérez – former director of the real estate developer Vertix – as the regional director in Cataluña. To strengthen its office in Madrid, it has hired Javier Román Palero from the fund Apollo.

The majority of the properties that Solvia manages following the award of Sareb’s portfolio, which in turn came from Ceiss, are located in the central region of Spain. Under project Ibero, Solvía also won the management of properties from Sareb that had previously belonged to Banco Gallego and Bankia. In total, 42,900 units with an original value of €11,500 million, although Sareb purchased them for €7,000 million. “We have completed the migration of the portfolio of assets that came from Ceiss and Banco Gallego; the migration of the properties from Bankia will be completed in May”, explains Montes.

To strengthen its autonomy, Solvia is expected to adopt a brand that differentiates it from Sabadell. In fact, at its regional headquarters in Barcelona, it already has a sign that does not include the letters “B” or “S” in the logo, which identify the bank.


In parallel, Solvia has relocated some of its team to Alicante, where it has opened the registered headquarters of the property marketing platform. “In 2014, Solvia sold 16,200 units for €2,750 million. None of the banks sold as much as us”, highlights Montes.

In parallel to the sale of properties from the portfolio, Solvia’s other main business line is the direct development of newly built homes on land that it owns. “We have 1,400 homes under construction” – he says – “and we expect an annual production of one thousand newly-built homes”. According to the director, Solvia has already sold several entire developments. “The number of “off-plan” sales that we are recording is spectacular”, he notes.

Montes says that Solvia’s business is “strategic” for Sabadell, since it will allow the entity to harness the potential being offered by the change in the cycle of the Spanish real estate sector. “Instead of leaving it for someone else to do, we are willing to invest and work hard in this business to leverage the potential value of the real estate market”. He argues.

Solvia has also started to sell land, a market that was completely paralysed until now.

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit/S. Arancibia)

Translation: Carmel Drake