11 April 2018 – El Confidencial
Banco Sabadell is in the running to try to complete its real estate clean-up this year, and to this end, has engaged Alantra to sound out the market to sell two portfolios known as Project Coliseum and Project Challenger, comprising €8 billion in foreclosed assets, which the entity has already started to show to potentially interested parties (…)
This move forms part of the plan designed by the financial institution at the end of last year to remove almost €12 billion in toxic assets from its balance sheet through the sale of a number of portfolios. The first two are already on the market and amount to €3.4 billion, but the main courses are about to be served.
In order to speed up the process, the entity chaired by Josep Oliu has opted to create a portfolio containing mainly Sabadell risk and another, subject to examination by the Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGD), containing properties proceeding from the former CAM, which are protected by the Asset Protection Scheme (EPA).
The first, according to financial sources, is going to comprise a gross volume of more than €5 billion, whilst the second will amount to around half that figure, at just over €2.5 billion, and it will need the approval of the FGD, given that it will have to cover 80% of the losses.
Sabadell closed last year with €8.0 billion in foreclosed assets and €5.7 billion in non-performing loans, according to the real estate exposure data submitted to the CNMV – Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission – and its average coverage ratio currently amounts to 55%.
The large buyers that Alantra is currently sounding out include the major funds that typically participate in these types of operations, such as Apollo, Lone Star, Blackstone and Cerberus, according to the same sources.
This potential divestment joins the two portfolios that Sabadell already has on the market: Project Galerna, which comprises €900 million in non-performing loans; and Project Makalu, comprising €2.5 billion in assets from the former CAM, according to Voz Pópuli. In both cases, KPMG is advising the sales process.
Moreover, as El Confidencial revealed, Solvia, the servicer arm of Sabadell, has decided to join the housing boom and create its own property developer, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobilarios, containing €600 million in land and unfinished developments.
The entity wants to grow this new property developer by signing agreements with different companies, funds and family offices interested in delegating the management and development of its land and developments.
If it manages to bring all of these plans to fruition, Sabadell will follow in the footsteps of Santander and BBVA, which last year completed their real estate clean-ups with the sale to Blackstone and Cerberus, respectively, of the bulk of their toxic properties. That would leave CaixaBank as the last major bank that still needs to make a significant move to comply with the guidelines set by Europe: to remove a decade of crisis from its balance sheet.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake