Santander Matches the Reuben Brothers’ Bid to Acquire the Ciudad Financiera

13 February 2019 – Voz Pópuli

Santander has matched the bid presented by the Reuben brothers for the Ciudad Financiera, in a new attempt to neutralise the offensive by the British investors to acquire its headquarters in Boadilla del Monte (Madrid).

On Tuesday, the bank chaired by Ana Botín presented a preferential acquisition right against the bankruptcy of Marme – the previous owner of the Ciudad Financiera –in the commercial court of Madrid, having set aside €20 million to be able to carry out the acquisition, according to sources familiar with the process. The operation is valued at around €3 billion.

Spain’s largest bank considers that it has the option of resorting to a preferential acquisition right, established in the lease contract for the Ciudad Financiera, signed on 30 December 2008 between Marme and Santander Global Facilities.

Bankruptcy process

Nevertheless, during the bankruptcy process that has resulted in the sale of the Ciudad Financiera, the administration appointed by the judge warned that the aforementioned right could not be exercised in order to “not obstruct the liquidation of the assets any further”.

Judge María Teresa Vázquez Pizarro, from Commercial Court number 9 in Madrid, said that the purpose pursued with the transfer of the Ciudad Financiera determines “that the lessee’s right of preferential acquisition cannot be accepted, given that the interest in the continuity of the business activity prevails over any rights recognised to third parties”.

The deadline for Santander to exercise its preferential acquisition right expires in the middle of this month (…).

Last November, the bankruptcy administration announced that the Reuben brothers had submitted the highest bid for the Ciudad Financiera, exceeding even the offer presented by Santander, a decision ratified this year by the court.

Santander warned that the offer from the British investors – one of the top 100 wealthiest families in the world – should not be accepted, highlighting the corporate network that they had set up for the operation, which includes several companies registered in tax havens.

Moreover, the Spanish bank has agreed the purchase with the main creditor banks of Marme – Caixabank, ING, Natwest Markets (previously The Royal Bank of Scotland), Bayerische Landesbank, and HSH Nordbank- of their debt. Through that, it has managed to obtain the support of those entities for its intentions and they have sent letters to the mercantile court defending the purchase of the Ciudad Financiera by Santander.

The breach of the preferential acquisition right by Marme carries a fine of €500 million, and the retraction of the sale to a third party, according to the terms of the contract signed by Marme and Santander, say the sources consulted.

The same sources indicate that this fine could be supplemented by another penalty amounting to €750 million if the suitability test is not fulfilled; in total, a fine amounting to €1.25 billion that Santander hopes will serve to ensure that the Reuben brothers reconsider their strategy

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Alberto Ortín)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Rayet’s Plan To Emerge From Bankruptcy

16 April 2015 – Expansión

The parent company of the real estate group, Rayet, has sold its 1.36% stake in Quabit, as part of its feasibility plan to emerge from the bankruptcy process, which now has the support of 71% of its creditors. Rayet filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2012 with debt of €600 million.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Reyal Urbis Offers Its Banks 20% Of The Debt It Owes Them

13 February 2015 – Expansión

The listed real estate company Reyal Urbis will submit its payment proposal today to allow it to overcome the bankruptcy process in which it has been immersed for two years now.

The real estate company controlled by Rafael Santamaría will offer its creditors, which include entities such as Santander, Banco Popular and RBS, as well as Sareb and ICO, a haircut of 80% of the debt and the payment of the remainder through the transfer of assets.

The real estate company filed for bankruptcy in February 2013, after a string of up to four refinancing processes. According to the bankruptcy report, the company has a debt of €3,978 million, an equity deficit of €2,878 million and assets amounting to just €1,474 million. After selling off various iconic assets, such as the ABC Serrano and Castellana 200 shopping centres, both in Madrid, and the Diagonal Port Hotel in Barcelona, Reyal and its creditors have been working together to distribute the rest of its assets, in the form of lots, which will be awarded through a draw.

The tax authorities

The proposal for an 80% haircut will not apply to all of the creditors, since the real estate company will propose a different offer to the Tax Authorities.

Reyal Urbis will offer to pay the Public Administration the full amount it owes in cash (€400 million) over the long term, say sources close to the process.

Creditors have until 13 March to accept or reject Reyal Urbis’ proposal. If it does not obtain the agreement of the entities, the real estate company will end up with a small lot of assets and a manageable debt.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake