Cerberus Teams up with Kronos to Bid For Banco Sabadell’s Land Portfolio

19 June 2019 – Eje Prime

Cerberus and Kronos are joining forces in an attempt to acquire Banco Sabadell’s land. They are holding negotiations regarding how they would divide the plots, which are worth around €850 million in total, in the event that the US fund emerges victorious from the bid to acquire Sdin Residencial’s land portfolio.

In theory, Cerberus would hold onto the land that is ready for development as well as those plots already under construction (64% of the total). Meanwhile, Kronos would take ownership of the rest, including the reparcelled and sectorised plots, for which urban planning permission has been granted.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

La Generalitat Resumes the Auction of Various Rental Homes in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat

12 June 2019 – El Confidencial

La Generalitat de Cataluña is resuming the public auction of a rental home portfolio for which it hopes to obtain proceeds €6.2 million, having applied a discount of 20% to the asking price last year (€7.7 million).

The assets in the portfolio are all located in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona) on Calle Ciencies 15-23, next to Plaza Europa and the Gran Vía 2 shopping centre. They comprise 16 homes, 2 commercial premises, 23 parking spaces with storerooms plus 3 terraced single-family homes located in the urbanisation behind that building on Calles Mileva Maric 33 and 49 and Hanna Arendt, 3. In total, the assets have a combined surface area of 2,448 m2 and are leased almost in their entirety, with just one home and the commercial premises vacant.

The assets are owned by Fira 2000, in which the Catalan government holds a 50%, alongside the Town Halls of Barcelona and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

The deadline for bids is 22 July and the online auction will be held on 29 July through Addmeet.  

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Ministry of Defence Puts Several Plots up for Sale in Madrid for €75M

10 June 2019 – Eje Prime

The Ministry of Defence is putting several plots of land up for sale on Calle Isaac Peral, 32, in Madrid, for €75 million. The deadline for bids is 3 September, and the auction will be held a fortnight later.

The plots are for residential use and the largest one has a buildability of 7,462 m2 with an asking price of €6.6 million. The smallest plot has a buildability of 3,000 m2 and an asking price of €2.6 million.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

ZAV to Receive €15.9M from the Sale of an Intermodal Plot for 198 Homes

11 April 2019 – El Periódico 

The company Zaragoza Alta Velocidad is going to receive at least €15,972,060 from the sale of a plot of land in the future AVE neighbourhood. That is the highest price offered in the auction for the plot, known as block 6, which is located next to the Delicias intermodal station in Zaragoza.

Assuming no last minute surprises, the winner of the auction will be the company SPV Reoco 1, which is the firm behind which one of the giants of the residential property sector in Spain likes to hide, namely Aedas Homes. It will be the listed company’s first venture into Zaragoza, although it already has a presence in Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia, amongst others.

Nevertheless, according to sources close to the operation, the auction has not been closed yet, and the other two competing firms Refacleta S.L. and Innovación and Desarrollo Asistencial (de Logroño) are still in with a real chance.

The plot measures 5,821.2 m2 and has a buildability of 27,956 m2, with capacity for 198 flats. Construction on the site, the second real estate development to be built in the AVE neighbourhood, is expected to begin later this year.

Original story: El Periódico (by D. López)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

The Government Puts the Eurocis Complex in Central Madrid up for Sale for c. €196M

16 March 2019 – Crónica Global

The Spanish Government has authorised the sale by public auction of a set of offices, storerooms and garages in central Madrid, known as the Eurocis complex. The complex, which comprises 94 registered assets spanning an office surface area of 45,937 m2, plus 396 parking spaces, 1 commercial premise and seven underground storerooms, is located in the Salamanca district in the block bordered by Calles María de Molina, Núñez de Balboa, General Oraá and Castelló.

The asking price is €196 million and candidates have two months to submit their offers in closed envelopes. Until last year, the complex used to house several departments of the Ministry of Finance, but its urban planning classification means that it could be used for private purposes in the future. The future buyer is expected to completely renovate the building and convert it into modern offices or a large shopping centre.

Original story: Crónica Global 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

A 17,000 m2 Residential Plot Goes Up For Sale in Central Santander

12 February 2019 – Eje Prime

An operation is on the horizon in the heart of Santander. A plot of land spanning 17,000 m2, with planning permission to build homes up to three storeys high, has gone up for auction with a starting price of €1.3 million. The land is owned by a local family, which inherited several plots.

The objective of the sale is to divide the “proindiviso”, given that the land is currently owned by six members of the family and a third party. Nevertheless, an agreement between the owners allows the abbreviated procedure to apply to the auction, in other words, there is no need to set up a compensation board.

The plot, spanning 16,921 m2 and with a buildable surface area of 4,700 m2, is located in the urban centre of Santander, in a growth area next to the El Alisal shopping centre. The urbanisation has almost been finished and there are facilities and transport connections in the vicinity.

Following its publication on the auction website of the Official Gazette of the Mercantile Registry (BOE), interested parties have a period of twenty days to submit offers, after which a period will open for the owners to present the option to improve the bid to third parties.

The land has planning permission to build three-storey blocks with garages and storerooms, as well as a communal area with a garden and swimming pool. The land is valued at €2.15 million, according to an independent expert. That is the de facto starting price, although a discount of 60% has been established thereon. Hence, the minimum price of €1.29 million.

The same family owns another plot very nearby, spanning 9,157 m2, with a buildable surface area of 3,394 m2, which is not adjacent but which is located in the same urbanisation, according to explanations provided by sources speaking to Eje Prime.

Original story: Eje Prime (by I.P.G.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA Sells its Last Large Problem Portfolio to CPPIB

17 December 2018 – El Confidencial

The Canadian fund CPPIB has been awarded BBVA’s last major portfolio of problem assets. The investor, which manages the money of the public pensions in the North American country, is negotiating the final details of its purchase of €2.5 billion in unpaid real estate loans from the Spanish entity, according to financial sources consulted by El Confidencial. BBVA declined to comment.

The sale, framed as Project Ánfora, is going to close within the next few days.

CPPIB has won the bid, fighting off competition from two major US investors: Cerberus and Lone Star. The auction has been coordinated by Alantra and, according to average market prices, must have been closed for a price of around €1 billion.

For BBVA, this same represents almost the conclusion of the clean up of its real estate inheritance. Together with Project Ánfora, the entity, which is still chaired by Francisco González, agreed to sell €12-13 billion in property to Cerberus (Project Marina) a year ago. The final details of that operation are still being closed with the Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGD).

Before the sale of Ánfora and Marina, BBVA had a net real estate exposure of €5.5 billion, based on data as at September 2018. The aim is for the real estate inheritance to be reduced to almost zero by the end of the year.

The Ánfora portfolio also contains refinanced loans amounting to €900 million, a new type of asset in this type of process.

For CPPIB, this is the second batch of problem assets that it has purchased from BBVA this year. It already acquired Project Sintra, containing €1 billion in unpaid loans to property developers.

The Canadian fund broke into Spain a few years ago with the acquisition of Altamira, together with Apollo and the ADIA sovereign fund, the main investor vehicle of Abu Dhabi. CPPIB’s interest in Spanish real estate means that it cannot be ruled out that it will end up being the buyer of Altamira following the current sales process. Large vehicles such as the Canadian one use alternative assets such as properties to diversify their portfolios and reduce their dependence on stock market and bonds.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Fund Centricus Enters the Bid to Buy Solvia

28 November 2018 – Expansión

A candidate with an exotic air about it has entered the auction for Solvia, the real estate subsidiary controlled in its entirety by Sabadell. The fund Centricus, which is headquartered in London but which has several Chinese and Japanese shareholders, has submitted a binding offer to acquire Sabadell’s asset management platform, according to sources familiar with the process.

Official sources at the bank preferred not to comment in this regard. Centricus wants to enter the Spanish market to compete with the large investment funds specialising in asset management, such as two of the other players interested in Solvia: Cerberus and Intrum, formerly Lindorff.

Centricus manages assets worth more than USD 20 billion and has worked together with the Japanese giant SoftBank to raise funds amounting to USD 100 billion at the international level.

Asian alliances

The British fund also recently joined forces with the Chinese companies China Merchants Group and SPF Group to launch a USD 15 billion fund to invest in technology companies.

Centricus, Cerberus and Intrum have all submitted binding offers for Solvia amounting to more than €300 million. According to sources close to the operation, one of the funds has even offered an amount close to the €400 million that Sabadell aspires to receive. The bank has awarded the mandate to divest Solvia to Alantra.

Sabadell activated the sale of its real estate platform after cleaning up €11.5 billion in toxic assets from its balance sheet. At that time, it preferred to not sell Solvia, like the majority of its competitors did, to try to maximise its revenues. The bank considers that the real estate platform has significant latent profits. Cerberus could be the favourite in the contest since it is now holding advanced conversations with the entity.

Natural buyer

The US fund is the “natural” buyer for Solvia, say financial sources. In fact, during the summer, Cerberus acquired two large portfolios of foreclosed properties from Sabadell (Challenger and Coliseum), with a combined gross value of €9.1 billion.

Sabadell wants to sign the sale of the real estate platform before the end of this year to have its balance sheet free of property remnants. Solvia manages 148,000 assets, with a value of more than €30 billion. In parallel, the bank has also placed up for sale its property developer subsidiary, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios. The completion of that operation has been delayed until the beginning of 2019.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Sampedro)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ibosa Offers €33.5M to Acquire Most Sought-After Plot in Madrid

20 November 2018 – El Confidencial

The cooperative managed by Grupo Ibosa, Residencial Shaula Sociedad Cooperativa, has fought off competition from 16 other contenders in the auction for the most sought-after plot of land in Madrid. On the table: €33,510,000, an amount that almost doubles the minimum price of €17 million that the Treasury had set for it.

The cooperative has fought off competition in a tight bid from Desarrollos Los Astros, constituted at the beginning of November, and backed by Grupo Nozar, which placed €32 million on the table, and Arcano, which bid €31.2 million. Nevertheless, those two high offers were unable to compete with Grupo Ibosa, which has a lot of experience in this type of auction.

Expectations were high at Calle Guzmán el Bueno 139, the headquarters of the Special Delegation of the Economy and Finance in Madrid, where the auction was held. At 10am, in a room full with more than 100 people, 17 envelopes were opened containing 17 bids for the most sought-after plot of the year in Madrid. The land was owned by the National Currency and Stamp Factory (Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre), which entrusted its sale to the Heritage Service. The cooperative members will have to make the first disbursement within the next few days, equivalent to 25% of the amount offered, in other words, almost €8.4 million, and then pay the remaining 75% over the coming months, after deducting the deposit paid in order to be able to bid, which amounts to €850,000.

Vía Célere also submitted an offer (€23.7 million), exactly two years after submitting the only offer for another plot of land owned by the Treasury, in the same place, on Avenida Santo Ángel de la Guarda. The company chaired by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado is a familiar face in this type of action. In fact, just a few days after that auction, it was awarded the Adif and Repsol plots in Méndez Álvaro. On that occasion, its bid was also the only one.

In terms of the other names called out in the room, they included traditional property developers such as Ebrosa (€20.53 million), which submitted the most conservative bid; Grupo Premier, which put €25.16 million on the table through the company Cajandral; and Grupo Lar, which bid €30.13 million through Desarrollos Residenciales Madrid Norte. Pryconsa, another of the real estate firms that typically participates in these types of procedures, offered €23.1 million through Cogein, and Renta Corporación, with €22.15 million.

The surprise bidders included Inmo Frieria, a company backed by Manuel Jove, the former President of Fadesa, with a bid amounting to €24.7 million. And the listed company Aedas Homes, which offered €25 million through the company SPV Reoco 1, in its first major auction in Madrid. The long list of interested parties was completed by Global Nostromo (€28.5 million), Golego ITG (€22.12 million), Taz Real Estate (owned by Alza Real Estate, €24 million), Misodi Rent (owned by the Huguet family, with €23.2 million), Torre Rioja Madrid (€25.1 million) and Denoti Investment, a company owned by Irvine Alan Stewart Laidlaw, a British businessman and one of the richest people in the United Kingdom, whose bid amounted to €31 million.

A cooperative wins again

Like happened exactly four years ago, in November 2014, with the auctions of the plots on Raimundo Fernández Villaverde (owned by the Ministry of Defence) and the former metro depots in Cuatro Caminos (owned by Metro de Madrid), it is a cooperative – which saves on the property developer margin – that has managed to put the most competitive offer on the table, to fight off seasoned property developers such as Premier, Pryconsa, Ebrosa and Aedas Homes in a bid that the experts are describing as the auction of the year in Madrid. Not because of its size or its features, but because of its location, just 500m from the Retiro Park, this was one of the most sought-after plots in the capital, and its new owner may build up to 100 homes on its 4,500 m2 – 9,000 m2 of buildable space (…).

The cooperative managed by Grupo Ibosa currently comprises 60 cooperative members and its plans involve the construction of 94 homes. The 4 bedroom homes with two parking spaces and a storeroom will cost between €806,000 and €1,175,000, whilst the 3-bedroom homes will cost between €670,000 and €688,000 (…). The 2-bedroom homes will cost between €490,000 and €498,000, and the 1-bedroom homes will cost between €309,000 and €354,000. The complex will also have a swimming pool, a padel court, a gastroteque, a mini-crossfit studio, a sports pitch, a gym, changing rooms, a spa, a sauna and a jacuzzi.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone & Santander Offer around 16.5 million m2 of Land to c. 30 Developers in Murcia

10 November 2018 – La Verdad

Land is moving in the Region of Murcia. But it is not because of an earthquake. In this case, it is due to a shake-up of the real estate business, launched by the US fund manager Blackstone and Banco Santander, which have put land up for sale, spanning around 16.5 million m2 and located in different municipalities throughout the Region.

Yesterday, around thirty property developers and executives from the sector in Murcia expressed their interest in finding about more about the offer by attending a professional meeting that the firm Aliseda, the former real estate arm of Banco Popular – absorbed by Santander – organised in Murcia, in addition to others that requested information in this regard as they were unable to attend the meeting.

Of the different lots offered, there are plots in Murcia, Cartagena, Águilas, San Pedro del Pinatar, Yecla and Torre Pacheco, amongst other locations. Sources at Aliseda highlight that more than 11 million m2 of the total portfolio comprises buildable land or land under management, which is ready to be built on. And although most of the plots are urban residential, there is also some industrial and hotel land. Similarly, the portfolio includes some buildings and unfinished urban developments due to the effects of the crisis.

The President of the Association of Property Developers from the Region of Murcia (Apirm), José Hernández, acknowledged to La Verdad that “there is interest in the market, and so companies are going to value all of the assets, although evidently, those with greater certainty are arousing the most interest, depending on the profitability involved and taking into account key factors such as location”. He also added that “long-term investments must be taken into account”.

This divestment by Blackstone and Santander (which hold stakes of 51% and 49%, respectively) follows the operation involving Project Origin, also launched last month, comprising the sale of 2.1 million m2 of land all over Spain with an estimated value of more than €500 million, of which the Murcian region accounts for the largest part, almost 290,000 m2, with a value of €43 million. Specifically, that comprises 18 assets, on which 2,651 homes could be built. The peculiarity of this initiative is that the sale process has been organised through an electronic dataroom to which thousands of investors may have access.

In terms of the meeting yesterday, Aliseda’s regional director for Levante, Vicente Brotóns, together with the regional commercial delegate for the land area of the real estate group, Joaquín Ivars, were responsible for showing the entire portfolio to the Murcian business leaders.

Now, it remains to be seen which real offers are going to be confirmed, as well as to check whether they will be formalised immediately, taking into account that the US fund manager, having teamed up with the Spanish bank and created the largest real estate empire in the country, with assets worth more than €20 billion, seems determined to divest its land as soon as possible. “It is clear that they are ruling out developing the land themselves, they are going to limit themselves to managing the plots to sell them”, concluded Hernández.

Original story: La Verdad (by Zenón Guillén)

Translation: Carmel Drake