Isolux Agrees To Sell Its Parking Lots To Oak Hill

5 June 2017 – Expansión

On Friday, Isolux took some important steps in its plan to reduce to the maximum the damage caused by its delicate corporate situation. On the one hand, the company’s Board of Directors, chaired by Nemesio Fernández-Cuesta, formulated the accounts for 2016, which saw it record losses of €1,332 million, after the entity recognised provisions and adjustments amounting to €2,853 million.

On the other hand, the company reached a preliminary agreement with the investment fund Oak Hill to transfer it the entire car park business. Sources at the company indicated that the investor held an option to execute a loan of up to €100 million granted in 2015. In theory, Oak Hill’s option was limited to, approximately, half of the business of Isolux Aparcamientos. However, the company and fund have reached an agreement for that option to be extended to include 100% of the subsidiary, in an operation that could see Isolux record revenues of €10 million and deconsolidate debt of €200 million.

The Spanish group first closed an agreement with the fund Oak Hill Capital Partners to jointly develop the business back in 2015. The investment fund undertook to inject €100 million into the company, in the form of a loan allocated entirely to expand the portfolio of assets. In exchange, Isolux granted Oak Hill an option to acquire a stake in the car park subsidiary from 2019 onwards.

Oak Hill’s arrival in 2015 ended a period of uncertainty for this branch of Isolux’s activity, which had been declared available for sale after other attempts to form strategic alliances had failed. At the beginning of 2013, the Spanish group signed a preliminary agreement with the French fund Edifice Capital to invest €150 million between 2013 and 2014. The resources were going to be used to purchase new car parks, with the aim of reaching 50,000 rotating spaces. However, in a surprise move, the French firm did not keep its word and withdrew from the project.

In the meantime, Isolux is pushing ahead with the rest of its divestments, the most high-profile of which is its exit from the transmission lines in Brazil.

On Friday Isolux approved the accounts for 2016, after postponing their formulation on four other occasions, and it did so to coincide with the new process that has been launched to restructure the group and avoid bankruptcy. “The Board of Directors considers that, with the right financial support, Isolux constitutes a viable business project,” said the Board of Directors of the company, which needs new funding and credit lines to ensure its survival.

Feasibility plan

Sources at the company indicate that the auditor, PwC, has not included any qualifications in its report, but that it has included paragraphs to emphasise the link between the operation of the company and the success of Álcarez & Marsal’s feasibility plan. This plan involves segregating the engineering business from the other LoBs and looking for a partner to inject money into the new company, with a portfolio of healthy contracts worth around €1,000 million. The solution requires the support of the plan’s current creditors/shareholders. The group is waiting for a response from Bankia and CaixaBank.

Original story: Expansión (by C. Morán)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lindorff Acquires 94% Of Aktua For €331M

3 May 2016  – Expansión

Santander retains a 6% stake / The fund Lindorff has acquired the real estate platform, along with its 400 employees and network of 20 offices from Centerbridge.

Lindorff is redoubling its commitment to Spain and, specifically, to the real estate sector. Yesterday, the fund reached an agreement with Centerbridge and the other shareholders to acquire 94% of Aktua, the platform that manages homes and debt from BMN, Ibercaja and some from Santander. According to reports by the Norwegian group, the operation is worth €313 million, including deferred and contingent payments. Santander will retain the remaining 6% stake.

Founded in 2008, the former real estate arm of Banesto, now has more than 400 employees and a network of more than 20 offices located all over the country. Following the purchase of Gestión de Inmuebles Salduvia, formerly owned by Ibercaja, the entity went onto manage more than 42,000 real estate assets, worth more than €8,000 million.

Centerbridge acquired the company from Santander’s subsidiary in 2012 for €100 million. The fund owned 83% of the capital, 6% belonged to Santander and the remainder, 11%, was shared between its own managers, including the CEO and former director of Banesto, Enrique Dancausa.

The company generated an operating profit of €38 million in 2015. “Spain is an important growth market for Lindorff”, said Klaus-Anders Nysteen, the CEO of Lindorff. “The operation provides us with a solid platform in the market for managing foreclosed assets, incorporating new capacities to achieve higher growth in the non-performing mortgage debt sector in Spain, and subsequently in other markets”, added Nysteen.

The purchase price and refinancing of Aktua’s debt will be financed by capital investment from Lindorff, as well as through the renewal of its credit lines, to reach €195 million.

Original story: Expansión (by J.Z. and D.B.)

Translation: Carmel Drake