Meridia Acquires Mercadona Supermarket In Terrassa

20 April 2016 – Aguirre Newman

The fund manager Meridia Capital Partners has acquired a 2,270 m2 supermarket, leased by Mercadona, in the city of Terrassa, in a deal advised by Aguirre Newman.

The purchase has been carried out through its real estate vehicle Meridia II, which now owns a portfolio of more than 20 supermarkets. Through this operation, Meridia seeks to increase its exposure to the retail sector. Mercadona closed 2015 as the leader of the consumer goods distribution sector, with a market share of 22.7% and a net profit of €611 million, up by 12% compared with 2014.

In 2016, Mercadona plans to invest approximately €650 million, which will be allocated mainly to the opening of 60 new stores, the refurbishment of 35 supermarkets, the continued drive for technological change and the on-going construction of its logistics plants in Abrera (Barcelona) and Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Original story: Aguirre Newman

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bank Of Spain: Default Rate Fell To 10.2% In 2015

22 February 2016 – Cinco Días

The default rate of loans granted by banks, savings banks, credit cooperatives and other financial entities operating in Spain ended last year with another decrease, taking it down to 10.12%, its lowest level since July 2012, compared with 10.35% in November and 12.51% at the end of 2014.

According to the provisional data published on Thursday by the Bank of Spain, this latest decrease in the default rate comes after the cumulative unpaid loan balance in the sector decreased by more than €4,000 million (in December), to €134,327 million, in line with the drop in the total loan balance granted by all of these institutions, which decreased slightly to €1,327 billion, from €1,342 billion a month earlier.

The loan portfolio held by Spain’s financial sector has decreased by just over €53,000 million since the end of 2014, from €1,380 billion, as a result of the deleveraging performed by families and companies alike.

Meanwhile, doubtful debts have recorded a dramatic cut over the last 12 months, falling by €38,276 million from their balance at the end of 2014 (€172,603 million).

Moreover, the aggregate arrears recorded by banks, savings banks and cooperatives, excluding credit institutions (EFCs) also improved at the end of 2015, down to 10.20%, from 10.40% in November and 12.61% in December 2014.

In this case, the balance of doubtful debts also decreased to €1,274 billion, from €1,289 billion a month earlier.

In the case of credit institutions (EFCs), the percentage of bad debts decreased to 7.07%, its lowest level for seven years, since February 2009, after it had remained at 8.69% for three consecutive months.

The loan portfolio of these entities, whose main business is the financing of large consumer goods, such as cars, furniture, electronic goods and appliances, continued to grow, in line with the trend during the year, to reach €39,859 million.

By contrast, unpaid debts decreased to €2,818 million, down from €2,925 million, which allowed the decrease in the default rate.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake