Urbas To Carry Out €2.2M Capital Increase & Appoint 3 New Directors

29 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Urbas is ploughing ahead. The real estate group’s Board of Directors is going to propose a €2.19 million capital increase to its General Shareholders’ Meeting through the offsetting of loans, as well as the appointment of three new independent directors, according to a statement filed by the company with Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The maximum amount of the capital increase will be €2,198,705.17, and the Board will be able to execute it for a maximum period of twelve months, following its approval, on one or more dates. Given that it is a capital increase involving special compensation and not a monetary contribution, preferential subscription rights will not apply.

The company’s shareholders will also vote for the re-election of the companies Robisco Investment and Quamtium Venture as members of the Board of Directors on a proprietary basis; they currently serve as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the company, respectively.

In addition, Urbas will propose the appointment of three new independent directors to fill three existing vacancies. The new board members in question are Adolfo José Guerrero Hidalgo, Pablo Cobo del Moral and Ignacio Sáenz de Santamaría Vierna.

The General Shareholders’ Meeting is scheduled to be held on 29 June. The company’s annual accounts will also be submitted for approval on that date, along with the Directors’ Report, the Report on the Remuneration Policy of the Board of Directors and the re-election of  Baker Tilly Fmac as the auditors of the accounts for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Témpore Properties Appoints Directors & Finalises its IPO

6 March 2018 – Expansión

Témpore Properties, the Socimi created by Sareb, has started the countdown to its debut on the stock market. It will make the leap within the next few weeks, possibly before Easter, once the bureaucratic procedures have been completed. It will list on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), like the vast majority of the 50 Socimis whose shares already trade on the stock market.

The company has been created with a selection of 1,500 assets, of which 1,383 are urban residential properties that generate returns of 3% per annum. The remainder are storerooms and garages. The combined value of the assets amounts to €175 million. Témpore’s size places it in the low-medium bracket in the sector, excluding Socimis backed by family capital. Its perimeter may be increased depending on the needs of Sareb, which has been backing property development in recent times. “Other Socimis do not have that option”, explain sources at the bad bank.

Azora is the manager of the Socimi and Renta 4 and Clifford Chance are advising the IPO process.

Yesterday, the Board of Témpore Properties held its first meeting after approving agreements relating to the entity’s internal operation and the listing process. The Socimi is chaired by Juan Ramón Dios Rial, Director of Real Estate Development and Promotion at Sareb. During the course of his career, Mr Dios has held various positions at TSB Bank, Citigroup, General Electric Capital Bank and Barclays España.

The Board of Directors comprises five members: three independent directors, one executive director and one proprietary director. They are Juan Ramón Dios, Nicolás Díaz Saldaña, Socorro Fernández, Rafael de Mena and Galo Juan Sastre.


Témpore Properties is going to be led by Nicolás Díaz Saldaña, who has been the Director of Rental Mangement at Sareb until now. He will serve as the CEO and will sit on the Board as an executive director. Previously, he worked at BBVA, was Director of the International Team at Metrovacesa and CEO of the French Socimi Gecina. The company’s Finance Director is going to be Pelayo Barriga, who has been performing the same role at Sareb until now.

With Témpore Properties, the managers of Sareb are intending to open a window into the rental market, which is proving more profitable than property sales in certain segments. Moreover, through this route, the bad bank is going to be able to access new private capital and slightly reduce its high level of indebtedness.

By law, Socimis are obliged to remunerate their shareholders, and so Sareb can expect to receive dividends from Témpore.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Lander)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Popular Puts €500M Distressed Asset Portfolio Up For Sale

21 April 2017 – El Mundo

Banco Popular, the Spanish entity that is under the most pressure from the ECB to accelerate the cleanup of its balance sheet, is starting to debut on the wholesale market, in search of investors interested in its portfolios of distressed assets. The entity has committed to eliminating €15,000 million from its balance sheet by 2018, which represents almost half of its total risk.

The latest move has been to put a portfolio of distressed assets up for sale, amounting to €500 million. The portfolio is sparking potential interest amongst funds that specialise in buying portfolios at low prices to generate returns from them later through the recovery of their value or their resale. Banco Popular told this newspaper that it does not have any portfolios of that kind up for sale and that it only publicises such operations once they have been completed, however, two financial sources consulted separately, confirmed otherwise.

The portfolio up for sale is the largest, by volume, that the entity has marketed since it began its timid cleanup process at the end of 2016. In January, whilst the entity’s former Chairman was in the middle of being replaced, Popular sold a portfolio of debt, amounting to €200 million and secured by hotel assets. It also placed a €400 million portfolio, secured by homes, parking spaces and storerooms. The purchasers in those cases were the investment funds Apollo and Blackstone, respectively.

The sense in the financial markets is that this move by Banco Popular will be the first of many whereby the entity will try to offload new portfolios of assets in order to fulfil the “ambitious and realistic” strategies that the regulators have been requiring of it since 20 March to clean up its balance sheet and achieve the established capital and risk coverage ratios.

Changes in the sector

In fact, Popular is far from the only entity to be placing portfolios of this kind on the market. So far this year, entities such as Bankia, Sabadell, Deutsche Bank and BBVA have placed €1,600 million with specialist funds such as Blackstone, Grove and Oaktree. (…).

Original story: El Mundo (by César Urrutia)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Oceanwood Becomes NH Hoteles’ 2nd Largest Shareholder

29 April 2016 – Expansión

The British fund manager Oceanwood Capital Management has strengthened its shareholding in NH Hoteles to obtain a 10% stake in the hotel chain, whereby overtaking the second largest shareholder, Hesperia, which holds a 9.1% stake. Oceanwood has informed the market that it owns 10% of the share capital, split between shares (8.746%) and financial instruments (1.254%), compared with the 7.58% stake that it held before. According to the latest data from the CNMV, the group has 350 million voting rights, which are worth more than €1,510 million, at market prices.

In addition, the co-Chairman of NH Hoteles, José Antonio Castro, the Chairman of Grupo Inversor Hesperia, has reported the purchase of 130,000 indirect shares with a unitary value of €3.60, which represents a total price of €468,000. Castro acquired these shares at a 20% discount with respect to yesterday’s closing price.

Of the twelve members that currently sit on the Board of Directors of NH Hoteles, besides the CEO, who serves as an Executive Director, there are four representatives from HNA, two from Hesperia, one from Oceanwood and four independent directors. Moreover, at its next general shareholders’ meeting, NH Hoteles will propose the appointment of Taisa Markus as an Independent Director, and so the Group’s Board will once again comprise 13 members.

HNA continues growing

Meanwhile, the main shareholder of NH Hoteles, the Chinese group HNA Group, with a 29.5% stake, has agreed to buy the hotel business of Carlson Rezidor, the thirteenth largest hotel chain in the world by size, according to the Hotels ranking and the owner of brands such as Radisson, Park Inn and Park Plaza.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Testa Becomes A Socimi & Puts Its Residential Portfolio Up For Sale

29 September 2015 – Expansión

The real estate company Testa is making progress with its integration with the Socimi Merlin Properties. Yesterday, the company held an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to approve a change in the corporate structure of the real estate company into a listed real estate investment company (Socimi).

The decision comes after an agreement was made between Sacyr and Merlin in June to sell Testa for €1,793 million. Currently, the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente (pictured above) controls 77% of Testa’s capital and is expected to own 100% of the shares before the end of June 2016.

The Socimi-conversion will apply (retrospectively) from 1 January 2015, which means that Testa may benefit this year from the tax advantages afforded to this kind of company, although they have yet to be quantified.

At the meeting yesterday, the shareholders approved the appointment of Ismael Clemente as a Director of Testa; he currently also serves as the Chairman and CEO of Merlin Properties. In addition, Miguel Ollero, a Director of Merlin, was also appointed as an independent Director of Testa, following the resignation of Juan María Aguirre Gonzalo.

Following the entry of these two new Directors, Testa’s governing body comprises seven members, including the Chairman, Fernando Rodríguez Avial and the CEO, Fernando Lacadena.

Once the purchase of the whole company has been completed, the two companies will merge into a single Socimi. The new Merlin Properties will have assets worth around €5,000 million.

Having taken control of Testa, the Directors of Merlin have decided to divest the real estate company’s residential portfolio, which contains around 1,500 homes. They have engaged two consultancy firms to coordinate this process, which is expected to begin within two weeks.

Potential purchasers of the portfolio include other Socimis and investment funds.

In addition to the sale of this package of properties, which generates annual rental income of €10.5 million, Merlin has also announced that it will sell the portfolio of hotels currently owned by Testa, before the end of the year.

Merlin’s shares closed trading on the stock exchange yesterday at €10.72 per share, up 0.33%, taking its market capitalisation to €3,461.3 million, whilst the market capitalisation of Testa is €2,055.5 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Romana Resigns As Chairwoman Of Sareb And Is Replaced By Echegoyen

27 January 2015 – Expansión

The Chairwoman of Sareb (the so-called ‘bad bank’), Belén Romana, voluntarily resigned from her post on Monday and the number two at the company, Jaime Echegoyen, the current CEO, has taken over as the Chairman of the entity.

Echegoyen was appointed on Monday by unanimous vote at an extraordinary meeting of the Board of Directors.

The Board considers that Echegoyen “is the right person to lead Sareb through this new phase, given his capacity for leadership, his experience and his professional and human qualities”.

Meanwhile, the body said that it regrets the personal decision taken by Belén Romana and highlighted the excellent job she has done as the head of the company. “Without her dedication, vision and leadership, it is hard to imagine how a few simple paragraphs in the BOE would have been transformed into the robust business reality that Sareb has become today”, it said.

The company recalls that in the two years since its creation, Sareb has fulfilled the initial objectives that the Chairwoman set out and has contributed “significantly” to the restructuring of the financial sector, the reactivation of the real estate market and the change in perceptions of international investors about the Spanish economy.

“Sareb has evolved from being a project agreed with the international authorities in the context of the clean-up of the banking sector, to become a fully operational company, which has generated turnover of almost €9,000 million during the period”, it added.

Furthermore, since Romana has been in office, Sareb has sold nearly 24,000 properties and has repaid 11% of its initial debt. “All of this has resulted in a saving of €7,400 million for taxpayers”, highlights the note.

New phase

Sareb will now be led by Echegoyen and “will collaborate with professional service-minded managing agents that have a strong alignment with the company’s interests. All of this will allow it to take full advantage of the incipient recovery in the Spanish real estate sector”, the company explained in a statement.

The new Chairman also thanked the board for the confidence it has placed in him: “I am fully committed to the new responsibilities I am taking on and am convinced that Sareb will continue to fulfil its mandate, as it has been doing to date”, he said.

Echegoyen, who has extensive experience in the financial sector, was appointed CEO of Sareb in February 2014. Under his leadership, the company has adopted a new organisational structure and has chosen new operators to manage its portfolio over the next few years. Before joining Sareb, he was CEO of Bankinter and Head of Barclays in Spain and Portugal.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake