Solvia Acknowledges That it Will Have to Generate Value from Solvia “Sooner or Later”

27 July 2018 – La Vanguardia

The CEO of Banco Sabadell, Jaime Guardiola, has acknowledged that “sooner or later”, he will have to generate value from Solvia, highlighting the “great job” that the entity has done and how “proud” he feels of the servicer.

That was according to the bank’s most senior executive at the presentation of Sabadell’s half-year results, where he reported that the entity has recorded a net profit of €120.6 million, down by 67.2% compared to the same period a year earlier, due to the provisions recognised as a result of the reduction in problem assets and the migration costs of the platform of TSB, its British subsidiary.

“Solvia not only serves assets on the bank’s books but also those of other clients such as Sareb. Beyond its financial value, it has a great industrial value, with some great professionals with a very different profile from those in the banking sector”, he specified.

In Guardiola’s opinion, Solvia is one of the bank’s entities that has done “a great job”, and so if at any time this value were to be realised and recognised, then selling the asset could become an option, although currently, it contributes in a positive way to Sabadell’s accounts.

Recently, the entity chaired by Josep Oliu disposed of four portfolios comprising problem assets with a gross value of €12.2 billion, which were awarded to the funds Axactor, Cerberus and Deutsche Bank, together with Carval.

The day on which it announced the sale of the largest batch of assets, worth €9.1 billion, Sabadell reassured the market that Solvia would continue to form a critical part of the bank and would continue to provide integral management services of the real estate assets subject to the operation on an exclusive basis.

Original story: La Vanguardia 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Changes Afoot: Sareb Considers Modifying the Management of its €35.5bn Portfolio

29 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The bad bank is rethinking its future. The company is analysing the possibilities that the current servicer market offers it in terms of restructuring the approximately €35.5 billion that it has on its balance sheet in a completely different way. The objective of the move, according to sources close to the group, is to generate more profitability.

When at the end of 2014, the bad bank launched the so-called Project Ibero, it awarded the management of its portfolio to four servicers: Haya Real Estate, Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia, and it distributed the work between the entities, according to El Economista.

Now, the company is analysing what would be the most efficient way of segmenting the assets, and the possibilities that it is considering include the option to “regionalise” the portfolio by geographical area. Likewise, it could organise its catalogue by asset type, given that more sophisticated operators now exist that were not on the scene in 2014, and they specialise by market segment focusing on areas such as logistics, retail and hotel.

In the review of its new strategy, the entity chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured above), is also considering bringing some of the management activity in-house, like it has been doing to date with the large bankruptcy cases, such as for example Martinsa Fadesa. Another example is the property development department, for which it is now looking for an industrial partner, in a process that includes finalists of the calibre of Vía Célere, Aedas Homes and Aelca.

The first contract that Sareb has started to review, which expires at the end of 2019, is the portfolio currently in the hands of Haya Real Estate, with a net value of around €12.5 billion at the end of 2017. The next contracts are not due to expire until 2021, since the duration of the agreements that Sareb signed range between five and seven years from the date they entered into force.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Logic Spain KCRE Buys 15,252m2 Logistics Platform

30 March 2017 – Mis Naves

The company Logic Spain KCRE, a joint venture created by Brunswick Invest (the main investment arm of Brunswick Real Estate), the international real estate group Grosvenor, and the Spanish investment company Kefren Capital, has completed the acquisition of a logistic platform located in La Bisbal de Penedés (Tarragona).

The platform was constructed in 2005 on a plot of land measuring 25,000 m2. The total constructed surface area is 15,252 m2, including almost 500 m2 of office space and it is leased to Applus Idiada, a subsidiary of the Applus group and market leader in the design, engineering, testing and provision of homologation services for the automobile industry.

The logistics platform is located 5 minutes from the intersection of the AP-2 (Madrid-Barcelona) and AP-7 (Mediterranean Corridor) motorways and is 40 minutes from the port of Barcelona and 20 minutes from the port of Tarragona. The industrial estate where the warehouse is located has direct access to the Applus Idiada test circuit, where the company carries out its vehicle trials and tests.

Logic Spain KCRE is led by the real estate asset manager Kefren Capital Real Estate (KCRE) and has been advised by Bufete Buigas on the legal-side and by Mace regarding technical matters. The operation has been financed by Kutxabank.

JLL advised the vendor during the process.

The logistics platform in La Bisbal represents Logic Spain KCRE’s second investment. The entity plans to invest more than €100 million in logistics assets in the Spanish market. Kefren Capital Real Estate will take responsibility for managing the assets in order to generate value using its extensive experience in the sector.

Original story: Mis Naves

Translation: Carmel Drake

AEW Europe Opens Office In Madrid

30 January 2017 – Investment Europe

Property manager AEW Europe has opened an office in Madrid following its acquisition of four assets in Spain for €153m over the last couple of years.

AEW Europe has made these acquisitions for several core and value add funds and mandates. The real estate manager’s assets under management in Spain have reached €343m and the firm has set itself an AUM target of around €500m over the next few years.

AEW Europe has appointed Carsten Czarnetzki as Head of Spain. In this role, he will oversee the company’s investments and asset management in the country. He will retain his role of portfolio manager of the Europe Value Investors fund.

Based in Madrid, Czarnetzki will report to Russell Jewell, Head of Private Equity Funds at AEW Europe.

Original story: Investment Europe (by Adrien Paredes-Vanheule)

Edited by: Carmel Drake

EQT To Sell Parkia To First State For €300M+

24 June 2016 – Expansión

The Nordic fund EQT has brought forward the process to select offers for the purchase of its 66.8% stake in Parkia, one of the leaders in the Spanish car park market. According to sources, the likely buyer is the Australian fund First State. The consideration paid could amount to more than €300 million for 100% of the company.

EQT, advised by BBVA, may announce the completion of the operation today. Parkia’s other shareholder is Mutua Madrileña, which controls 33.2% of the car park company. The Spanish insurance company may also sell its stake to First State if it considers the price to be attractive enough. According to the terms of the bid, interested parties must submit two offers: one for the shares owned by EQT and another for 100% of the company.

After undertaking a preliminary process to select certain bids a few weeks ago, several groups passed through to the final round. As well as First State, the other finalists included Saba, Empark, Indigo (controlled by the fund Ardian) and Interparking. Provided there are no last minute changes, EQT will opt to award the shares to the Australian fund. In theory, the definitive deadline for the receipt of offers had been extended until the middle of July, but EQT decided to bring forward the transaction.


Throughout the sales process, interested investors have indicated a valuation range for the whole company of between €300 and €350 million, which represents between 15x and 17x of forecast EBITDA for 2016 (c. €20 million).

First State is known in Spain because it acquired a stake in the Galician regasification firm Reganosa which had belonged to the savings banks. First State is the asset management arm of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, one of the largest banks in Australia. The sale of Parkia represents a turning point in the car park sector, which has received renewed interest from investors thanks to improvements in activity.

Original story: Expansión (by C. M. / D. B. / M. P. L.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Solvia In Talks To Sell 1,700 Square Meters Of SAREB Offices In Colón 1

12 February 2016 – Expansion

Solvia, the real estate division of Banco Sabadell is negotiating the sale of 1,700 square meters of office space in the building located at number 1 of Valencia´s Colon street, one of the main shopping streets of the capital. The property is part of the 42,900 assets portfolio coming from SAREB whose management was awarded to the company just over a year ago as part of the first phase of Proyecto Íbero. The Real Estate Company has set a price of 2,000 € per square meter, market sources suggest.

The ground floor and first two floors of the building are at present held by El Corte Ingles, while the upper floors have professional offices and several corporate headquarters. The site managed by Solvia has 1,700 square meters on the fourth floor.

Asked about this, Solvia told this newspaper that the property has already drawn the attention of some investors of Asset Management profile, interested in acquiring assets and make them profitable. Since last year, the Real Estate Co. has focused its strategy on the management of these assets. In fact, it notes that 36% of its customers are already investors of this type, which are gradually gaining ground due to completed home sales.

The portfolio awarded to Solvia in which this asset is included is formed by properties coming from Bankia as well as loans and property acquired from Banco Gallego and Banco Ceiss. More than 33,000 of the nearly 43,000 assets in the portfolio are properties.

At the time of transfer to SAREB, assets were valued at EUR 7,000 million, according to the methodology established by the Central Bank of Spain. They are mainly located in Madrid, Valencia, Catalonia, Galicia and Castilla-Leon.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Xavi Moret)

Translation: Aura Ree


Aliseda Refinances Bank Debt To Lower Costs

15 December 2015 – Expansión

Loan / Popular, Bankia, Santander and Sabadell are leading a five-year syndicated loan to the real estate management company, amounting to €450 million.

Cheaper debt and new money to manage its needs over the next few years without any hardship. Resources are cheap at the moment, banks are willing to lend and companies are taking advantage of the environment to line their pockets and face up to the recovery. Few companies are letting the opportunity pass them by and Aliseda is not one of them.

The real estate services company, owned 51% by Värde Partners and Kennedy Wilson and 49% by Banco Popular, has just closed a five-year financing agreement that reflects all of the benefits of the new lending era in Spain. Eight banks have put €450 million on the table, in a syndicated loan that has two objectives.

The first is to refinance the €350 million debt that Aliseda took on when Popular sold the management of its real estate assets to two funds specialising in the subject. That financing agreement was signed at the end of 2013 and the interest that the firm paid on it was in line with market rates at the time. It is true that it wasn’t the worst time to be raising funds (the lows of the crisis and the credit freeze had already passed), but nor was it the best time.

Since then, Aliseda has been trying to refinance its loan (…). The financing granted in 2013 did not mature until 2018, but the company has decided to repay it early and replace it with a new lower-cost product. The result is a loan, due to mature in 2020, for which it will pay an interest rate of 350 basis points above Euribor, according to market sources, which represents a decrease with respect to its previous rate, given that the final cost will amount to approx. 3.5%.

New money

The second objective for the company, which manages loans granted to real estate developers and construction companies, as well as the assets foreclosed by Popular (its total portfolio amounts to €30,000 million) was to raise new funding. And it has achieved it.

And Aliseda is exceeding its objectives for asset sales this year; it had accumulated €1,588 million of divestments by the end of the third quarter. The goal for 2015 is to reach €2,000 million, although the company expects to exceed that threshold.

But Aliseda does not want to continue only with the management and sale of Popular’s assets; rather it is looking for new business lines and projects for the future. As such, it has decided to promote its own homes. And for that, it needed this additional funding.

Eight banks have provided the money. Naturally, Popular has led the loan and is the entity providing the most funding, although Bankia, Santander and Banco Sabadell have each signed a tranche amounting to more than 10% of the syndicated balance. BBVA is providing a very similar stake, along with Bankinter, whilst ING and Crédit Agricole are taking on smaller exposures.

Six of these banks were involved in the original financing agreement in 2013; only CaixaBank has left the original group; meanwhile, Bankia and ING have taken their place as new lenders.

Original story: Expansión (by Inés Abril)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Popular Sells Its Portuguese RE Manager For €72M

7 August 2015 – Expansión

Banco Popular is replicating the model it adopted for Aliseda in Portugal. The entity chaired by Ángel Ron has decided to sell a majority stake in its real estate and debt management company in the neighbouring country. Popular closed the operation on 9 June by selling the business to Quarteira, a company owned by funds of the US firm Carval, for €72 million.

The Spanish entity will maintain a 20% stake in the new company – Recovery to Business (Recbus) – which will take over the management of the real estate assets of the Portuguese banking subsidiary.

This operation has generated capital gains of €69.5 million for Popular: €55.6 million from the sale of the 80% stake in Recbus to Carval and €13.9 million from the revaluation of its retained 20% stake.

Sources at the Spanish entity stress that this transaction is positive for two reasons, since: “it makes the most out of the management of the real estate business in Portugal, benefitting from the experience of the partner”; and “it allows Banco Popular Portugal to focus on its traditional commercial banking activity”.

This agreement replicates the deal that the bank reached with Värde Partners and Kennedy Wilson at the end of 2013, when it sold a 51% stake in Aliseda for €810 million.

The growth of Aliseda

Aliseda is currently in an expansion phase after earning €68 million last year. Its shareholders – Värde, Kennedy and Popular – have signed an agreement to increase its capital, to repay debt.

Aliseda Inmobiliaria recorded revenues of €1,127 million during the first half of the year, according to Efe. The company sold more than 6,400 properties and hopes to generate record breaking revenues of €2,000 million in 2015.

Last year, the company sold more than 8,600 assets.

Of the assets sold, 44% were new build properties, 26% were second hand….and 14% were land.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Arcano Launches Its First RE Investment Fund

29 July 2015 – El Economista

Arcano, one of the most active players in the asset management sector (with private equity funds of funds and funds with loans for companies, with €3,000 million of managed or advised assets) has decided to launch a third business line: investment in all kinds of real estate assets.

According to José Luis del Río (pictured above), CEO of Arcano Real Estate, the first fund will have a budget of €200 million. “We hope that, a year from now, once we have completed the fund raising process, we will have more overseas investors than domestic. For our first partial close in July, we have secured commitments amounting to €50 million, of which three quarters have been pledged by Spanish players. We wanted to start by inviting local investors as we have been working with them for many years”.

Arcano has created an integrated team, comprising seven property management professionals, to evaluate its investments. They are looking to benefit from opportunities in a sector that is currently undergoing a strong recovery after eight years of falling prices.


“We want to differentiate ourselves from the large international funds that focus on securing the lowest possible prices, and from the socimis, which are paying over the odds in some cases as they seek to secure rental income to pay their shareholders. We want to add value and through that, build the return for the fund. We will not act in an opportunistic way”.

Between 50% and 70% of our investment will be focused on the residential market. From the development of land in good locations, in cities or on the coast, in conjunction with real estate developers, to the renovation of buildings. “Local developers will be our partners, not our competition”, explains Del Río, who has 25 years of experience in the sector, first as Head of Real Estate at AB Asesores, then at Morgan Stanley (which acquired AB) and subsequently at N+1, where he was the Director of Real Estate until 2011.

We will differentiate ourselves by entering operations that require investment and specialist management, such as the transformation of buildings to change their use, for example from a hotel to an office. “Provided these changes of use are already approved, we will not have to assume any urban planning risk”, says the Director.

In terms of regions, the team will focus primarily on Madrid and then on the coast, Bilbao and Sevilla for residential assets. For offices, it will look only at Madrid and maybe Barcelona; and for hotels and shopping centres, it will consider the whole country. Finally, for logistics assets, it will analyse Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Valencia. “We will be a very small and very RE-focused fund. And we will work quickly. We will close the first transactions before the end of the year, possibly in Madrid”. The average ticket will be between €5 million and €25 million.

Original story: El Economista (by Carlos Pizá)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Altamira Obtains More Than €500M Of Financing

16 June 2015 – Expansión

Altamira Asset Management has just signed an agreement with a syndicate of 12 domestic and international banks to renew its financial structure and obtain financing of more than €500 million.

This operation forms part of the company’s strategy for growth and diversification, as it aims to position itself as one of the major independent and multi-client operators in the sector for the management of financial and real estate assets.

In fact, Altamira has just begun the process to migrate assets with a total value of €29,000 million from Sareb into its portfolio.

The portfolio awarded to Altamira for seven years comprises 44,000 properties and loans (to property developers) originated by Catalunya Caixa, BMN and Caja 3, for which Sareb disbursed around €14,000 million. By taking on these assets, Altamira doubled the value of its portfolio of assets under management and became the industry leader with a portfolio of total assets that exceeds €55,000 million.

Compared with a year ago, the company has increased its volume of assets under management by 113% and has started to manage portfolios from six different clients. In summary, it has significantly grown and diversified its client portfolio.

Santander closed the sale of 85% of Altamira to the US fund Apollo in January 2014, for €664 million. The bank retained the remaining 15% stake in the asset manager.

The operation involved the transfer of 500 employees from Santander to the new Altamira platform, although the annual accounts for 2013 only reflected the movement of 272 people: 183 from Santander, 60 from Altamira Santander Real Estate, 7 from Reintegra and 22 from Elerco.

Apollo hired the former Director General of Citi, Julián Navarro to lead this project; he joined Altamira as the CEO. The presidency is reserved for Andrés Rubio, the partner assigned by the US firm to design the strategy in Spain. This banker has led transactions such as the purchase of Evo Banco and Altamira.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake