Blackstone Launches Large Sale of Buildable Land After Acquiring Aliseda

6 September 2018 – El Confidencial

It was just a matter of time. Aliseda, the servicer of Banco Popular, now controlled by Blackstone (51%) and Santander (49%), is starting the school year by looking for buyers for 270 residential plots and work in progress developments, with a total buildability of more than 2 million m2, distributed throughout Spain.

It is the most important land sale currently underway in Spain and, unlike what is happening in other areas of the market, it will not involve a block sale of assets, but rather possible interested parties may acquire each plot individually, which will allow for the entry of local property developers into a market that has been dominated until now by large property developers and investment funds.

The assets are located in 43 Spanish provinces. They consist of 231 plots in total, mainly buildable plots or plots under development, and 39 projects in progress. Many of the sites are located in Galicia, Levante, Costa del Sol and the Canary Islands; the latter market has been especially active in recent months.

“Unlike other sales processes, the operation that Aliseda is now putting on the market allows investors the possibility of submitting an offer for any of the plots independently, which means that they can structure the perimeter that best suits their needs and investment criteria. In this way, both local property developers, as well as institutional investors will have the opportunity to participate under equal conditions”, says Adolfo Blázquez, Director of Land at Aliseda.

Local developers and national developers looking to grow in volume and build large developments may bid for the plots, as may institutional investors looking to buy large blocks of buildable land – a scarce and very sought-after asset, especially in the hottest markets of Madrid, Barcelona and the islands.

Meanwhile, Samuel Población, National Director of residential and land at CBRE, the exclusive consultancy firm selected to launch the sales process, says that “the shortage of buildable land in the Spanish market has become one of the great barriers for property developers. Thus, the activation of residential land sale processes, such as this operation by Aliseda, places prime raw material on the market, which will gradually start to satisfy the high demand that currently exists”.

The process began on 7 September, with access being granted to information about the assets, and will go on until December with the closure of selected bids.

In March, the US fund and Banco Santander created Proyecto Quasar Investments, the holding company that groups together the real estate portfolio of Banco Popular and the marketing platform Aliseda. Blackstone controls the majority of the capital in the new company and also takes care of its management, led by Eduard Mendiluce, the CEO of the company. Mendiluce is also the most senior executive of Anticipa, the other large real estate firm that the fund owns in Spain and the former head of Catalunya Caixa Inmobiliaria.

Original story: El Confidencial

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone & Santander’s RE Company Hires Liberbank Director

14 February 2018 – Voz Pópuli

Banco Santander and Blackstone are appointing the management team of what is going to be one of the largest real estate real estate companies in Spain. Aliseda, the platform in which the fund owns a 51% stake and the bank holds a 49% share, has hired José Luis Bellosta, a Director of Liberbank until now, as Director General, according to confirmation provided by sources to this newspaper.

Bellosta completes Aliseda’s management team, which is led by Eduard Mendiluce as the CEO. Mendiluce is a former director of Catalunya Caixa and is one of Blackstone’s key people in Spain.

Two General Directorates report into Mendiluce: the one run by Bellosta, which will be responsible for managing the more than €4 billion in real estate assets that Popular (in other words, the Santander Group) still holds on its balance sheet; and the other, led by Enrique Used, whose appointment was revealed by Vóz Populi, which will manage the divestment of the €30 billion transferred to Blackstone – Project Quasar.

It is not the first time that Bellosta has worked under the Santander umbrella. He previously served as Director of the Asset Custody and Back Office Subsidiary of the group chaired by Ana Botín between 2003 and 2009. Subsequently, he worked for six years at Agrupalia before being hired as the CEO of FK2, the operations subsidiary of Liberbank.

In this way, Aliseda’s structure is now ready for the launch of the new divestment plan designed by Mendiluce, whilst it awaits the authorisations that should arrive within the next few weeks.

Blackstone also manages Anticipa, the platform inherited from Catalunya Caixa Inmobiliaria. The fund has decided to not merge the two companies – Aliseda and Anticipa – and so each one will follow its own path.

Meanwhile, Santander also owns 15% of Altamira, the real estate company in which Apollo holds the remaining 85% stake. The bank and the fund held negotiations over a year ago regarding Apollo’s exit, but without success. The new situation could revive that operation.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake