Cerberus Sees Five More Years Of Portfolio Sales In Europe

9 May 2016 – Expansión

The largest opportunistic fund thinks that the market will remain active in Europe for another five years. That was the view, expressed last week, by the Head of the US fund Cerberus, the investor that has acquired the most toxic debt from banks and governments in Europe.

“I expect the opportunity to buy doubtful loans to last for at least another five years. In baseball terms, we are still in the early innings”, said John Snow (pictured above), the co-founder and CEO of Cerberus.

Last year, according to Bloomberg, the fund invested €28,000 million in debt in Europe, including Northern Rock mortgages, which were sold by the British Government.

Cerberus is also one of the most active international investors in Spain.

In recent years, it has acquired two platforms, which themselves buy problem assets from banks: Haya Real Estate, the former Bankia Habitat, for the management of real estate assets; and Gescobro, for the management of unsecured debt.

In Spain in recent years, besides these two platforms, Cerberus has also acquired AyT, the securitisation fund manager owned by Ahorro Corporación and Cecabank; Cimenta2, the real estate arm of Cajamar; and the firm Patron Properties.


The fund relies on several high profile advisors for its strategy in Spain, including Juan Hoyos Martínez de Irujo, the former President of McKinsey España; Francisco Luzón, the former CEO of Santander; Manuel González Cid, the former Financial Director of BBVA; Francisco Lamas, a former Director at McKinsey; and José María Aznar Botella, the son of the former President of the Government.

Cerberus came close to signing one of the largest deals in Spain last year. The US fund offered Bankia just over €2,000 million for a 75% stake in its foreclosed assets, as part of Project Big Bang, which was eventually suspended by the entity chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Z.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CecaBank Building For Sale

11 February 2016 – Misoficinas.es

According to El Mundo, last January started the sale process of  CecaBank offices.

El Mundo published in its website elmundo.es that the Cecabank building was for sale and according to the sales schedule, which the said media has been able to access, March 14 has been fixed as the date for submission of indicative tenders,11 April as the deadline for providing the binding tenders and 25 of that same month the date for the execution of the private contract, to ​​be able to complete the transaction in July.

The office building, located at number 37 Avenida de Bruselas in Madrid, in the district of Guindalera, at the eastern end of the Salamanca district, covers an area of ​​20,000 square meters distributed in nine floors and two basements, and is located on a 3,924 square meters plot.

The true appeal of the operation is that the property is allowed, in addition to its use as offices, to a change to residential use, so it could accommodate between 120 and 150 homes, depending on whether the new owner demolishes the current building or maintains its structure.

The sales process has started without a minimum selling price fixed  and none of the analysts consulted by the newspaper dares to give a figure of what could be paid for this asset.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Aura Ree

The March Family & GreenOak Compete To Buy Ahorro Corp’s HQ

13 April 2015 – Expansión

The financial group has given investors two weeks to submit their final bids. The leading candidates are the March (family), GreenOak, Colonial and Infinorsa.

Ahorro Corporación has prompted a new battle for real estate in the business district of Madrid. And it is proving to be the winner. The financial group is now on the home stretch in the sale of its headquarters, located on Paseo de la Castellana, 89; and the offers received to date have far exceeded the company’s initial expectations. The bids received are approaching €140 million, almost 50% higher than the price offered two years ago (€90 million – €100 million).

Ahorro Corporación and its advisor Aguirre Newman, have now made a shortlist of three candidates to buy the property. According to sources consulted, the investors with the strongest bids are Corporación Financiera Alba, controlled by the March (family), the fund GreenOak, the investor group Infinorsa – which owns Torre Europa – and the real estate company Colonial.

The improved macroeconomic environment (in Spain) and the war waged by these investors to acquire the main properties in Azca, have led to the rise in property prices. The over-supply of funding has also led to greater competition.

The price offered (€140 million) is at the high end of the consideration sought by Ahorro Corporación. Nevertheless, market sources say that the price may decrease slightly – to around €130 million – once the binding offers, which must be submitted in a couple of weeks, have been finalised. Ahorro Corporación has extended the initial deadline due to a request for new information from the interested parties.

100% occupancy rate

The financial group purchased the property from Banco Zaragozano in 2003 for €93.5 million. The building has a surface area of 20,000 square metres, spread over 14 floors and 530 parking spaces. As well as Ahorro Corporación itself, the building’s tenants include Sareb, the French opticians Alain Afflelou and Deloitte. The ground floor of the building is leased to restaurant chains including Lateral, Maki, Wagaboo and New York Burger. The building was constructed in 1977 and refurbished in 2008.

This is not the first battle between real estate investors in recent months. In January, BBVA sold the Torre Ederra, on Paseo de la Castellana, 77 – also in the Azca financial district – for €87 million. On that occasion, the real estate company GMP beat Infinorsa in the final round.

The sale of its headquarters is just another one of a number of divestments undertaken by Ahorro during its redefinition process, which KPMG is advising.

Over the last year, the financial entity has carried out transactions such as the sale of its fund manager, ACGestión to Abanca; the transfer of its infrastructure funds to GEDCapital; and the sale of its securisation manager, Ahorro y Titulización (AyT) to Haya Real Estate, owned by Cerberus.

The group is continuing to focus on its strategic businesses, namely fixed income and equity brokerage and advisory services.

Ahorro is focused on the international diversification of its business in the face of the disappearance or absorption of its former shareholders and clients – the savings banks – by other financial groups.

This group will have to face the remodelling of its shareholder base in the short-medium term, given that some of its shareholders, such as Bankia, will be forced to exit. Other shareholders that holds stakes in the group include: Cecabank, CaixaBank, Kutxabank, Liberbank, BMN, Ibercaja, Unicaja, Abanca, BBVA, Sabadell, Ontinyent and Pollença.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ahorro & Cecabank Sell AyT to Cerberus

13/11/2014 – Expansion

Savings banks Cecabank and Ahorro Corporación have transferred their two 50% shares in their securitization fund manager to Cerberus.

Ahorro y Titulización (AyT), the bought-out firm, manages 172 securitization funds. Precisely, Haya Real Estate, an arm of Cerberus, put its signature at the deal which provides it with its own securitization fund in Spain, suitable both for own and the third parties’ investments.

The transaction is a part of Ahorro Corporación‘s non-core asset divestment plan, involving changes in stake-holding to give a way out to such big entities as CaixaBank or Bankia which, due to having absorbed small savings banks, have no interest in staying in it.

Besides, Ahorro Corporación is currently in talks with Abanca (former NCG Banco) on the sale of its investment fund. Also, the company ponders options on what to do with its real estate arm, AC Patrimonio Inmobiliario. It can convert it into a Socimi, liquidate the €100 worth of assets inside the vehicle, or sell it to a foreign investor. Other entities decided to dispose of similar type of funds, like Bankia closing its vehicle’s asset transfer to Goldman Sachs.

The goal of Ahorro Corporación has been set to focus on advisory and intermediatory services (AC Financiera SV, accounting for two-thirds of its revenues), including those provided to foreign investors, as well as finding new partners to enter its stake. CecaBank, BMN, Kutxabank, Unicaja, Ibercaja Liberbank and Abanca presently hold shares in Ahorro Corporación.


Original article: Expansión (by Elisa del Pozo), full: Orbyt (by J. Zuloaga & E. del Pozo), pp 17

Translation: AURA REE