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

De Agostini Makes its Debut in Spanish Real Estate through DeA Capital

10 April 2019 – Voz Pópuli

The De Agostini group has announced its decision to make its debut in Spain and Portugal, where it will operate through DeACapital Real Estate Iberia.

The firm has been constituted as a joint venture, owned 72% by the Italian group DeA Capital S.p.A. and 28% by the local management team, led by Koldo Ibarra as the CEO.

The new company will primarily invest in offices and logistics assets across the Iberian peninsula.

DeA Capital S.p.A. is currently the largest Alternative Asset Management platform in Italy with assets under management worth €11.2 billion.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Alberto Ortín)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Catella Invests €200M in Housing in Spain & Enters the Nursing Home Segment

4 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Catella is growing its portfolio in the Spanish market. The Iberian subsidiary of the company’s fund manager, Catella Asset Management Iberia, is starting the year with plans to strengthen its position in all areas of the residential segment: from the traditional market, where it now has a portfolio comprising 1,000 homes, to alternative assets such as student halls and nursing homes for the elderly, a segment that it is planning to enter in Spain.

In Spain, the German manager owns a portfolio worth €250 million in assets under management distributed across Madrid, Barcelona and Pamplona. Most of its portfolio comprises residential rental assets, according to explanations provided by Eduardo Guardiola, Director and Partner of Catella Asset Management Iberia, speaking to Eje Prime.

The company currently has 1,000 homes under management in the Spanish market and its objective for this year is to add another 1,000 units, with an investment of around €200 million.

Catella also wants to strengthen its position in one of the fashionable residential segments: that of student halls. The manager has a fund that specialises in that market, through which it first entered Spain in 2017 with the purchase of an asset in Pamplona (…).

The company is planning to invest between €30 million and €60 million in such assets this year, with the aim of adding three or four new residences in the Spanish market.

The latest asset that Catella is backing are nursing homes for the elderly. The manager has just entered that segment in France, where it purchased six homes for €130 million two weeks ago.

“It is a very fragmented sector that is tending towards consolidation”, said Guardiola. “There are many owners who are also operators, who are now planning to sell their properties to focus on operations, and that opens up an opportunity for those of us who are searching for property”, said the executive (…).

They are non-medicalised assets, for non-dependent people, which include some services within the rental price as well as other ad hoc provisions (…).

Catella Asset Management also operates in the retail segment with retail parks and shopping centres, “provided they have a management component” (…).

Catella Asset Management specialises in the investment and management of real estate assets throughout the whole cycle, until exit. The company purchases existing assets as well as turnkey projects from property developers. In Spain, the group also operates its other line of business, that of real estate consultancy.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Iria P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Azora Launches a Vehicle to Invest €250M in Last Mile Logistics Hubs

9 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Azora is launching itself into the last mile logistics sector. The real estate manager has launched a vehicle to invest €250 million in premises located in the centre of cities with the aim of facilitating urban distribution and responding to the boom in e-commerce.

According to the company’s plans, the first investments will take place during the first quarter of this year. Azora will be responsible for the vehicle and will hold a minority stake in it. Meanwhile, the consultancy firm CBRE will be responsible for designing it and for supplying the real estate services, according to Expansión.

Until now, Azora and CBRE have identified almost thirty assets that fit their investment objectives until 2021. Currently, both companies are holding negotiations to purchase those properties, which include disused furniture stores, parking lots, dealerships, workshops and shopping centres inside the M-30 in Madrid and within Las Rondas in Barcelona. The properties must also have a surface area of more than 800 m2.

The assets will subsequently be leased to major logistics operators and to other transport companies, as well as to merchants and distribution companies under long-term lease contracts.

With more than €4.5 billion in assets under management, Azora is continuing to back the real estate sector after breaking its alliance with Hispania. Since then, the company has taken advantage of its experience in the sector to back the residential rental segment through the creation of a joint venture with CBRE Global Investment and Madison to achieve a portfolio of 10,000 homes within the next few years.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Apollo Sells Altamira to DoBank (Fortress) for c. €500M

31 December 2018 – Expansión

Apollo has sold its 85% stake in Altamira Asset Management to doBank, a firm constituted by the US fund Fortress. Market sources state that the operation amounted to around €500 million.

Expansión revealed in October that Apollo had engaged Goldman Sachs to sell the servicer that manages the real estate assets of Santander and Sareb for around €600 million.

Altamira has assets under management amounting to approximately €55 billion and operates in Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece. The company’s estimates indicate that it will obtain revenues of around €255 million in 2018 and an operating profit before amortisation (EBITDA) of €95 million.

Altamira’s main value stems from the long-term contract that it holds with Santander, as well as the management of Sareb’s assets (the latter account for almost 30% of the total value of its assets under management).

At the moment, Sareb is analysing whether or not to renew its contracts with all of the servicers with which it works, but Altamira has been diversifying its client base for months, incorporating domestic and international players alike.

Apollo in Spain

During the last quarter of 2018, Apollo Global Management has exited two of the major investments that it has made in Spain over the last four and a half years: Evo Banco and Altamira.

Despite that, Fred Khedouri, a senior partner at Apollo, President of the Investment Committee of the European Principal Finance Fund and President of the Board of Altamira, has already told Expansión that the European Principal Finance Fund III is “going to invest in Spain”, with almost USD 5 billion at its disposal.

Original story: Expansión (by D. B.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Apollo’s Sale of Altamira Enters the Home Stretch with DoBank & Intrum as Favourites

17 December 2018 – La Información

The market for servicers is still in a spin and, following the sale of the majority of Solvia last week, now it is Altamira’s turn. According to assurances provided to La Información by sources close to the process, the US fund Apollo is facing the home stretch of the operation, which is expected to close within the next few days. Of the offers received by the US entity, those submitted by the Italian entity DoBank and the Swedish firm Intrum, have managed to make it through to the final found.

In fact, according to the same sources, it is DoBank, the former UniCredit Management Bank, that has the upper hand, in a transaction that is being led by Goldman Sachs. Currently, the entity is the largest owner of doubtful loans in Italy, and so its experience with this type of company is more than clear. Moreover, the most recent major operation that it carried out was in Greece, with the acquisition of a portfolio of non-performing loans in the Hellenic country worth €2 billion.

In total, the Italian firm currently manages more than €77 billion in loans and has agreements with most entities in its home country. For that, it employs a workforce of almost 1,200 and works with 1,600 external collaborators.

Apollo engaged Goldman Sachs last summer to carry out the sale of its servicer but after months of offers – including from Haya and Cerberus – it has decided to select the aforementioned two entities for the final round. The US fund has decided to take advantage of the good times in the market to divest and obtain profits after four years at the helm of Altamira (…).

Apollo acquired the servicer in January 2014 after paying €664 million in exchange for the 85% stake that it currently owns. Its primary function is based on the recovery management of loans from banks and the management and sale of properties proceeding from that activity. In 2017, the last year for which data is available in the Mercantile Registry, Altamira had more than 500 employees and generated an annual turnover of more than €300 million.

This servicer has become one of the major managers of financial and real estate assets in the country, with more than €53.8 billion in assets and more than 82,000 properties. Its main clients include its shareholder Banco Santander, and Sareb (…).

Intrum has already purchased 80% of Solvia

In the event that the tables turn and it is Intrum that ends up acquiring Altamira, it would be the second operation by the Swedish firm in one week. On Friday, Sabadell announced the sale of 80% of Solvia Servicios Inmobiliarios to Intrum for €300 million, whereby converting the fund into one of the new property giants (…).

The sale of Altamira by Apollo would serve to further close the door to Spain for the Americans. Since the sale of Evo Banco in September – the fund’s other major project in the country – to Bankinter, speculation has been rife regarding Apollo’s withdrawal from the Spanish market (…).

Original story: La Información (by Lucía Gómez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor Wants Sabadell’s Land & so is Competing with the Large Funds to Buy SDIN Desarrollo Inmobiliario

17 December 2018 – Voz Pópuli

The bidding for the land owned by Sabadell’s property developer, SDIN Desarrollo Inmobiliario, is going to start in a matter of days and none of the funds wants to miss the party. Everyone has their own interest, but there are some who may bid more strongly than others due to their close relationship with the bank. But this time, they will not be alone.

Neinor Homes wants to take a seat at the negotiating table, according to sources familiar with the operation speaking to Voz Pópuli. The property developer led by Juan Velayos is interested in obtaining the land that Sabadell owns in Madrid and Barcelona. The market classifies the plots as very good. Neinor has not made any comments in this regard.

Oaktree is also going to join the bidding – it has been a familiar face in Sabadell’s recent operations. The fund is very interested in acquiring SDIN Desarrollo Inmobiliario’s land. The plots have been valued at €1.3 billion, according to reports by El Confidencial, which have been confirmed by this newspaper.

Sources familiar with the operation have explained that the fund has a lot of interest after the joint venture that it formed with the group this summer to buy land from Iberdrola.

Cerberus

The third candidate in discord is another old hand: Cerberus. The giant also wants its share of the pie. The acquisition of the property developer Inmoglacier could be related. If it is successful with this operation, the fund could create a new “giant”, which would fulfil all of the requirements to debut on the stock market.

The bidding is expected to begin before the end of the year. It could even start this week but could also be delayed due to technical reasons (…). The intention is for this operation to be closed by the end of the first quarter of 2019 or the beginning of the second.

This operation will begin after Sabadell sold its servicer for €300 million to Intrum on Friday. Solvia has more than €30 billion in assets under management and has sold more than 94,000 properties in recent years.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by David Cabrera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cerberus, Intrum & DoBank Bid to Acquire Altamira

15 November 2018 – El Confidencial

There is still an appetite for the servicers’ business. The sale of the 85% stake that Apollo owns in Altamira is making its first cut of candidates, with some of the most high profile investors in the segment amongst the finalists. According to financial sources, the fund Cerberus (Haya Real Estate), the Swedish firm Intrum (Nordic Capital) and the Italian firm DoBank (Fortress) are the candidates that have progressed in the process, which is being coordinated by Goldman Sachs, and which was relaunched after the summer following months on the table.

Other players in the sector interested in Spain are also in the process, both at the domestic and European level. One of those new candidates is the US firm Davidson Kempner, which has a portfolio of USD 30 billion under management and with interests in the transformation of toxic assets in the United Kingdom and Ireland, according to sources involved in the operation.

Apollo is willing to take advantage of the hunger for this type of vehicle to make gains, although it does so after four years at the helm of the servicer and having not been awarded any of the large real estate portfolios that the banks have sold (Santander to Blackstone, BBVA to Cerberus, CaixaBank to Lone Star and the Sabadell-Solvia process, in whose final stretch it is not participating). In fact, this divestment comes after Apollo’s manager for the last few years – Andrés Rubio – left the fund.

The price of the management platform could reach €1.5 billion (debt included), a business for which Apollo paid €664 million in January 2014 in exchange for an 85% stake (the remaining 15% is still owned by Banco Santander). The agreement comprised the management of toxic assets (recovery of loans and sale of properties) until 2028, although the transformation of that perimeter has led to a change in the management conditions (commissions) and to the repayment of a €200 million dividend.

Altamira has assets under management amounting to more than €50 billion, compared with €26 billion in 2014, and a portfolio comprising more than 82,000 properties at the end of 2017, making it the largest servicer in operation in Spain. In addition to its contract with Santander, it also manages assets for Sareb (which account for 30% of its portfolio) and for third parties – international investors, financial institutions, family offices and institutional clients – as a result of the international expansion plan launched in 2017.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Carlos Hernanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Negotiates the Purchase of 37 Logistics Centres from Neinver for €290M

22 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Blackstone is on a mission in the Spanish logistics sector. The US giant is finalising the purchase of 37 logistics centres that the Spanish group Neinver and the Californian fund Colony Capital own in the country, which span a total surface area of 261,000 m2, for €290 million.

In this way, Neinver, owned by the businessman José María Losantos, and Colony will put an end to an alliance that was created in 2015 to invest €200 million over the medium term in properties relating to the logistics sector in Spain, according to reports from Expansión.

For Blackstone, the operation represents a new boost to its investment strategy in Spain, where it already owns a portfolio worth more than €22 billion. The fund has managed to convert itself into the largest owner of real estate in the country with operations in the residential, hotel and logistics sectors.

In terms of this latest segment, the group already owns 1 million m2 of industrial space in Spain, through Logicor, in which it retains a 10% stake. In July, Blackstone purchased Lar’s logistics portfolio for €120 million, its first major industrial acquisition in the country.

Meanwhile, Neinver divides its activity between investment in land and logistics warehouses and the management of 19 outlets. The group carries out its activity in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, France, the Czech Republic and Poland. Moreover, Colony Capital is a US company specialising in real estate operations with USD 44 billion in assets under management.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

CPPIB, doBank & Haya Compete for Altamira

14 November 2018 – Cinco Días

The sector of real estate servicers for assets proceeding from the banks is in flux. The latest process in the market to catch the attention of major funds and operators in the sector involves Altamira, the firm controlled by the manager Apollo, which owns 85% of the company, and Santander (15%). The first entity to make a major bid has been its competitor Haya Real Estate (owned by Cerberus), as published by Cinco Días on 8 November. That offer has now been joined by one from CPPIB, the Canadian Pensions Fund and one of the largest investors in the world.

Another player interested in Altamira Asset Management, according to financial sources, is the Italian firm doBank, formerly UniCredit Credit Management. That listed entity is controlled by Fortress. It is the largest doubtful loan manager in the transalpine country. Meanwhile, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is a fund that manages the pensions of 20 million Canadian people, with assets worth €245.7 billion.

Altamira was created by Santander as a servicer for its toxic assets linked to property. In 2013, the bank sold 85% of the entity to the US fund for just under €700 million. Five years later, the manager from New York, which has not managed to star in any of the major bank portfolio purchases, has decided to exit the company. The amount of the operation, a sales process that has been entrusted to Goldman Sachs, is expected to exceed €600 million.

Altamira has become one of the large managers of financial and real estate assets in Spain, with a total volume of assets under management of €53.8 billion compared with €26 billion at the end of 2014, and with more than 82,000 properties, on behalf of around fifteen clients.

In recent months, there has been significant movement in the shareholders of these servicers, in large part linked to the sale of the bank portfolios. If Cerberus, through Haya, manages to acquire Altamira, it will be the third entity that the US fund controls, after Haya and Divarian (formerly Anida, linked to BBVA). The idea of the fund is to integrate it with Haya to relaunch that firm’s debut on the stock market, as reported by this newspaper. Blackstone, in turn, controls Aliseda (previously owned by Popular) and Anticipa. Lone Star acquired Servihabitat (formerly owned by La Caixa) this summer, and Sabadell has also put Solvia up for sale, another servicer that also interests Cerberus.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz & Pablo Martín Simón)

Translation: Carmel Drake