Sareb Puts Spain’s Largest Ever NPL Portfolio Up For Sale

7 November 2017 – Voz Pópuli

Sareb wants to star in the largest sale to date of non-performing loans in Spain. The company chaired by Jaime Echegoyen has put a portfolio of unpaid loans worth €2,600 million up for sale, according to financial sources consulted by Vozpópuli. It hopes to sell the portfolio before the end of the year and since it contains NPLs that are recognised off-balance sheet, all of the consideration paid will correspond to profits.

This operation has been baptised as Project Dune and is being advised by KPMG. Until now, the largest sale of an unsecured non-performing loan portfolio was completed by BBVA in 2014, when it sold a portfolio worth €1,700 million to Deutsche Bank.

Non-performing loans are credits that have been written off by the banks, which remove them from their balance sheets after recognising 100% provisions against them. In the case of Sareb, they are what is known in the market as mortgage tails: essentially, they are loans that remained uncollected following the execution of a real estate loan. These loans are purchased by opportunistic funds at significant discounts, of between 95% and 97%, which try to recover the maximum amount by taking the debtors to court. Since they are fully provisioned, the entire amount that Sareb receives from this sale will be recognised as profits.

Project Dune actually comprises two sub-portfolios: Pilat, containing 2,261 unsecured non-performing loans to 1,500 small- and medium-sized property developers, worth €2,442 million; and Kirbus, containing 115 loans secured by real estate, with a combined nominal value of €176 million.

In this way, the second sub-portfolio has almost 1,000 properties as collateral, of which around half are apartments, located primarily in Barcelona, A Corñua and Madrid. Half of the Dune portfolio is located in Cataluña, the Community of Valencia and Aragón.

On the basis of the prices that tend to be paid in this market, Sareb could end up generating revenues/gross profits of between €125 million and €175 million from this sale, depending on the degree of interest that the portfolio sparks amongst the funds and the level of competition between them.

Project Dune is not the only deal that Sareb has underway since it also has other portfolios worth more than €1,000 million on the market. The largest process currently in progress is known as Project Inés, containing €400 million, whose purchase is being finalised by Deutsche Bank. The bad bank typically uses these types of operations towards the end of the year to balance its budget and generate higher revenues to allow it to pay off some of its debt.

This sale is being coordinated by the prestigious portfolio team at KPMG, led by Carlos Rubí. Most of the team came from PwC and joined the firm in 2014.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lindorff Finalises Purchase Of Aktua For €200M

2 March 2016 – Expansión

Project Pegasus / The Norwegian group is in exclusive negotiations to acquire the platform that manages homes and RE debt on behalf of BMN, Ibercaja and Santander.

Centerbridge and Lindorff are negotiating the details of one of the largest corporate transactions in Spain so far in 2016. The US fund has selected the Norwegian group as the main candidate to acquire the real estate platform Aktua, a former subsidiary of Banesto, whose asking price amounts to just over €200 million, according to several financial sources.

Aktua currently manages homes and real estate debt for Santander, BMN and Ibercaja. Aktua reached an agreement with the Aragonese group just over a month ago, which has somewhat delayed the sale of the management platform.

The sources consulted explained that the main terms of the agreement have now been established, but the fine print may take a few more days to finalise before signing.

In this way, Lindorff has beat off the other two finalists in the process, known as Project Pegasus: the US fund Apollo, the owner of Altamira; and the private equity firm Activum. The investment banks Bank of America and Barclays are acting as advisors to the operation.

The Norwegian group has been operating in Spain for eight years now, although to date, it has focused on the management of unsecured loans. Within this market, Lindorff acquired the collection subsidiaries of Santander, Banco Sabadell and BMN. The acquisition of Aktua will allow the firm to enter a new business segment with higher returns.

Aktua was founded in 2008 and currently employs 400 professionals working in 24 offices. Following the purchase of Gestión de Inmuebles Salduvia, from Ibercaja, it now manages more than 42,000 real estate assets, worth over €8,000 million. (…).

According to the latest available accounts, Aktua earned almost €5 million in 2014 and generated an EBITDA of €8.5 million. The forecasts from the advisors to the sale predict that the firm will generate EBITDA of between €40 million and €50 million in 2015.

According to data at the Commercial Registry, Centerbridge owns a 83% stake in Aktua’s capital, Santander owns 6% and the company’s managers own 11%. The latter group includes the CEO and former Director of Banesto, Enrique Dancausa. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga and D. Badía)

Translation: Carmel Drake