Ministry of Defence Puts Several Plots up for Sale in Madrid for €75M

10 June 2019 – Eje Prime

The Ministry of Defence is putting several plots of land up for sale on Calle Isaac Peral, 32, in Madrid, for €75 million. The deadline for bids is 3 September, and the auction will be held a fortnight later.

The plots are for residential use and the largest one has a buildability of 7,462 m2 with an asking price of €6.6 million. The smallest plot has a buildability of 3,000 m2 and an asking price of €2.6 million.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Aedas, Neinor & Merlin Properties Put €1bn on the Table for Sabadell’s Land

29 January 2019 – OK Diario

Banco Sabadell has now opened the sales process for Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios, its real estate developer, for which the entity expects to obtain €1 billion. To date, the entity chaired by Josep Oliu has already sent the teaser to almost 30 interested parties. But there has been an important development, and that is that it is not only the typical funds that tend to participate in these types of auctions that are interested in the company, property developers are also keen, including Neinor, Aedas and Merlin Properties.

It is worth remembering that when Sabadell decided to sell Solvia, it separated the house-sale business and the real estate development business into two different companies with the aim of achieving a better offer. The land, which is owned by the second firm, forms part of the bank’s balance sheet and that is what is now up for sale.

According to sources speaking to OK Diario, the deadline for non-binding offers will finish in March; it will be after that when Banco Sabadell will start to receive binding offers. Sources in the know indicate that the operation will be closed in the second quarter. And, moreover, in addition to the aforementioned property developers, funds such as Cerberus, De Shaw, Blackstone, Värde, Apollo and Oaktree have also received the teaser (…).

The main plots of land owned by Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios are in Madrid, Barcelona and several places along the Mediterranean Coast. The portfolio includes plots that the buyer will have to reclassify in order to be able to sell, resell or transform them, as well as plots that are ready for development. It is precisely in those assets that so many property developers have expressed their interest.

Banco Sabadell obtained a profit of €138 million from the sale of 80% of Solvia, its real estate subsidiary, to Lindorff, a company that belongs to the Intrum AB group, for €300 million. With that operation, Sabadell, which has retained ownership of the remaining 20% stake in Solvia, achieved a positive impact on its Common Equity Tier 1 (“fully loaded”) capital ratio of 15 basis points.

The completion of that operation, which is subject to obtaining the corresponding authorisations, is also scheduled for the second quarter of 2019 (…).

Original story: OK Diario (by Borja Jiménez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Pryconsa, Ibosa & Vía Célere Bid for Sought-After Plot in Madrid

7 November 2018 – El Confidencial

It is the most important land auction of the year in Madrid. Not because of its size or its characteristics, but because of its location: just 500 m from the most iconic park in Madrid, the Retiro, in the heart of the Spanish capital.

The star is the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (the National Currency and Stamp Factory), which is the owner of almost 4,500 m2 of buildable land, with a buildability of 9,000 m2, where almost one hundred homes may be built, and whose divestment has been entrusted to the services of the Ministry of Finance.

The minimum price that it expects to obtain for the land is €17 million, nevertheless, given its location, and in light of the huge shortage of buildable land in the centre of the Spanish capital, and therefore, of new build developments, the experts consulted by El Confidencial do not rule out that the final figure could reach twice that.

The plot, which has been in disuse for more than 30 years, has sparked enormous interest from buyers and has generated great excitement in the neighbourhood. According to information gathered by this newspaper, some of the interested parties that have participated in the auction – the deadline for the submission of bids ended on 6 November – include a cooperative managed by Grupo Ibosa, Pryconsa and Vía Célere – all of whom are typical players in this type of auction – although the same sources also talk of at least half a dozen offers. To be able to bid, the interested parties had to submit a bond amounting to €853,000 – equivalent to 5% of the asset value.

For the time being, Grupo Ibosa’s plans for the plot include the construction, on a cooperative basis, of 94 homes with between one and four bedrooms with a swimming pool, padel court, spa, and jacuzzi, as well as a multi-use sports pitch, gym, minibox or crossfit room and a Finnish sauna; all those facilities are lacking in the vast majority of developments in the neighbourhood.

In fact, the project that is constructed on this site will be the only new-build development in the area. Ibosa’s plans include prices of almost €5,500/m2 per home, above the prices that are currently being paid in the area in the second-hand market, which stand at around €4,500/m2. Thus, for example, a new-build home measuring 160 m2 would cost around €828,000.

Both Grupo Ibosa and Pryconsa have starred in some of the most high-profile operations in the capital over the last five years. The most recent, for example, was signed by Pryconsa. The property developer chaired by Marco Colomer, one of the survivors of the crisis with more than five decades of history under his belt, submitted the only bid – amounting to €19.7 million – for the former bus depots of the Municipal Transport Company (Empresa Municipal de Transportes or EMT) of Madrid in the Buenvista neighbourhood (Carabanchel). Moreover, just a year ago, Pryconsa and Realia Business were awarded two plots of land in Madrid by the Ministry of Defence.

Meanwhile, Vía Célere, just two years ago, was awarded a plot by the Ministry of Finance on Avenida Santo Ándel de la Guarda (…).

In this case, the bid envelopes will be opened within the next few days at the Madrid office of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Could Receive up to €400M for Solvia

24 October 2018 – Expansión

Change of tack for Sabadell. The bank has put Solvia up for sale, its real estate subsidiary, which it owns in its entirety, to try to earn €400 million, according to sources familiar with the process. Sabadell has awarded the mandate to sound out offers to Alantra, although other investment banks may also be advising the entity. Sources at the bank preferred not to comment in this regard.

Sabadell has activated the sale of Solvia three months after cleaning up its balance sheet to remove €11.5 billion in toxic assets. At that time, it decided to go against the trend in the sector and not divest its real estate platform, taking advantage of the sale of the portfolios.

Sources at the entity defend that the real estate platform holds significant latent value.

Other sources in the sector estimate that a reasonable price that the bank could obtain for divesting this asset is €200 million. That figure is equivalent to four times its EBITDA, a reference that the market has used for the sale of the property management arms of Servihabitat (CaixaBank) and Aliseda (Popular).

Sabadell’s strategy of separating the sale of the two portfolios from that of Solvia is to maximise revenues.

As is typical in these types of transactions, the final price will depend on whether the management of future toxic loans, known in the financial jargon as NPLs, are included in the sale.

Appetite

Alantra has already received interest from three opportunistic funds. One of the best positioned is Cerberus, according to various financial sources. In fact, the US fund acquired two large portfolios of foreclosed properties (Challenger and Coliseum) from Sabadell in the summer, with a combined gross value of €9.1 billion.

The US fund’s Spanish platform, Haya Real Estate, could gain muscle with the operation to accelerate its plans to debut on the stock market. And it could also benefit from important synergies, given that it already manages almost €40 billion in assets.

Sources at the sector also point to Intrum, the new brand that the Norwegian fund Lindorff is operating under, following its merger with the Swedish firm Intrum Justitia, and a new international player that wants to enter the European market with this operation, whose name has not been revealed.

In theory, the deadline for firm bids for Solvia, through binding offers, will close this month. Nevertheless, Sabadell is already holding very advanced negotiations with a single fund to sign the sale of Solvia, according to sources in the know. Sabadell has been weighing up the sale of its real estate platform for months. Jaime Guardiola, CEO of the bank, admitted at the beginning of the year that it was considering putting it on the market in light of the appetite from the funds for real estate and these platforms.

Solvia manages 148,000 assets, with a value of more than €30 billion. Since 2015, the company has focused on the marketing of new build developments and has put more than 10,000 homes on the market. It has 36 franchises and 18 own centres, which together make 54 offices located all over Spain (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Sampedro & S. Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Reuben Brothers Edge Ahead in the Bid for Santander’s Ciudad Financiera

22 October 2018 – Eje Prime

The Reuben brothers are in pole position in the race for Santander’s Ciudad Financiera. Their company, Reuben Brothers, has submitted the best offer for the headquarters that the Botín family’s bank owns in Boadilla del Monte (Madrid).

The other two companies bidding in the operation, which is reportedly worth around €3 billion, are AGC and Banco Santander itself. Those three players are the only ones that submitted bids for the Ciudad Financiera on Friday, the deadline for the submission of final offers.

The sale of Santander’s headquarters is part of the insolvency proceedings in which the former owner of the asset, Marme Inversiones, is immersed. The brothers Simon and David Reuben, with the support of JP Morgan, have sent the highest bid to the court, followed by AGC and Santander, according to Vozpópuli.

The envelopes are going to be opened between Wednesday and Thursday of this week, nevertheless, the sale could still be postponed for a little longer by the courts. Not in vain, the Santander Group claims that it has the right of first refusal in the operation, which means that it could improve on the offer that emerges victorious from the bid this week. Neither the Reuben Brothers nor AGC consider that the bank holds this option; they argue that this matter was already resolved during the bankruptcy proceedings.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Funds Bidding for Sabadell’s RE Have Until 27 June to Submit Their Offers

24 June 2018 – La Vanguardia

The deadline for the finalist funds to submit their bids to be awarded Banco Sabadell’s four portfolios comprising problem assets, whose combined value amounts to almost €11 billion, will close definitively on Wednesday, 27 June, the date on which the entity will have to choose the winners, according to sources close to funds consulted by Europa Press.

The entity chaired by Josep Oliu is looking to divest its Challenger and Coliseum portfolios, which amount to around €7.5 billion and comprise foreclosed assets (REO) and Makalu and Galerna, worth €2.5 billion and €900 million, respectively, comprising non-performing loans (NPLs).

Nevertheless, according to explanations provided by market sources, Sabadell is only going to be able to deconsolidate the largest portfolio from its balance sheet this year, the so-called Challenger portfolio (worth around €5 billion). The others will have to wait as they need to receive the green light from the Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGD) since the properties that constitute them proceed from the former CAM – Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo – a process that could take months (…).

The main international funds specialising in distressed debt and assets in risk of default are bidding for these portfolios. They are proposing significant discounts to their nominal values and their recoveries depends on the guarantee or collateral.

The strong investor appetite for Sabadell’s toxic property comes in a context in which political uncertainty is continuing to rage on the Old Continent. Cerberus, Blackstone, Lone Star and Oaktree are some of the finalist funds to be awarded the first two portfolios, whilst Deutsche Bank, Bain Capital, Oaktree and CPPIB are going to compete for the assets in the other two, according to sources at the funds and banks, speaking to ‘El Confidencial’ and ‘Vozpópuli’.

Significant reduction in real estate exposure

With the deconsolidation of its largest portfolio alone, Sabadell’s real estate exposure would fall below the €10 billion threshold, whilst the sale of all four portfolios would reduce its balance to around €4 billion, according to the accounts published by the bank for the first quarter of 2018. Thus, once the transactions have been completed, Sabadell’s accounts will have a much healthier balance sheet.

As at 31 March 2018, the entity had €14.9 billion in problem assets, which represented a decrease of 17.6% compared to the end of the same period a year earlier, when the figure amounted to €18.1 billion. The coverage ratio of the problem assets amounted to 55.2%, after applying IFRS 9, with a doubtful coverage ratio of 56.6% and a foreclosed asset coverage ratio of 53.7%. Similarly, the ratio of net problem assets over total assets stood at 3.1% (…).

A source of liquidity for the banks

In this way, Banco Sabadell is following in the footsteps of other entities such as Santander, BBVA and CaixaBank in the reduction of its heavy backpack of toxic assets, which the financial crisis left on their balance sheets (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander Mulls Over €15 Bn Popular Property-Asset Sale

16 June 2017 – Bloomberg

Banco Santander SA is testing investor appetite for soured loans and repossessed property assets with a face value of as much as €15 billion ($16.8 billion), in a sign that the company is racing ahead with its plan to clean up Banco Popular Espanol SA’s balance sheet, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

Santander acquired the assets when it bought stricken lender Popular last week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The Spanish bank is also preparing the sale of commercial property assets valued at as much as €500 million, the people said.

Spain’s biggest lender paid 1 euro for Popular in a sale brokered by European regulators after it suffered a run on deposits. Santander said it would raise €7 billion in capital to shore up Popular’s balance sheet and embark on a rapid sale of its property. Popular has €29.8 billion of property assets and soured real estate loans, according to a presentation on Santander’s website.

Real estate assets that may be sold include Popular’s new headquarters and the Beatriz building in Madrid, whose tenants include KKR & Co., the people said. Also on the block are 1,000 rented homes, plots of land and offices in Madrid and Barcelona, two of the people said.

Santander Chairman Ana Botin told Bloomberg TV last week that her plan to turn around Popular includes the goal of selling at least half of Popular’s real estate assets in the next 18 months. Popular’s troubles reached a crisis point as doubts about the scale of its real estate losses scared away would-be buyers and its plunging share price made raising capital impossible.

The proposed sales are separate from a process Popular had in place before it was taken over to divest a €480 million batch of non-performing loans backed by 16 hotels across Spain, the three people said. The deadline for bids for those loans was June 9.

Original story: Bloomberg (by Sharon R Smyth and Estebán Duarte)

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Reyal Urbis Faces Key Week In Its Effort To Avoid Liquidation

29 May 2017 – Expansión

Reyal Urbis is facing a key week for determining whether or not it will receive sufficient backing from its banks and creditors to allow it to emerge from the bankruptcy in which the real estate company has been immersed since 2013 and whereby avoid liquidation.

The deadline for the creditors of the company, which is controlled and chaired by Rafael Santamaría, to communicate whether or not they accept the debt payment plan proposed by the firm, is this Wednesday 31 May.

The Tax Authority is one of Reyal Urbis’ largest creditors, given that the company owes around €400 million to the public purse, as well as to Sareb and the main financial institutions.

In the event that the real estate company does not obtain sufficient backing from its creditors, it would be forced to file for liquidation. That would constitute the second disappearance of a large real estate company after Martinsa Fadesa’s demise.

Reyal Urbis owes debt amounting to €3,572 million to the banks alone, and at the end of the first quarter of this year, it reported negative equity of €3,436 million.

The plan through which the company hopes to ensure its viability involves agreeing a unilateral payment plan with the Tax Authorities, different from the one offered to the other creditors.

The real estate company is proposing paying off the debt it owes to the financial institutions using real estate assets, an offer that, given the depreciations in values, would represent a discount (on the debt).

Overcoming paralysis

By emerging from bankruptcy, Reyal is also looking to overcome the paralysation that it has been immersed in for the last four years, during which time it has not constructed a single home and has barely managed to sell any assets or manage the hotels for rent in its real estate portfolio, covering 123,000 m2.

In this way, at the end of 2016, the company reported losses of €155 million, similar to the previous year.

In addition, Reyal Urbis’ bankruptcy procedure has been delayed, given that, at the end of 2015, Commercial Court number 6 in Madrid rejected the proposed agreement that had been presented by the company at the beginning of that year. After appealing to the Provincial Court, the real estate company managed to get the proposal agreed and processed more than a year later, at the beginning of 2017.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gov’t To Extend Suspension Of Evictions For Vulnerable Families

6 February 2017 – RTVE

Last Wednesday, the Minister for the Economy, Luis de Guindos, announced that the Government will extend the moratorium that prevents families in vulnerable situations from being evicted from their primary residences. The moratorium was due to expire on 15 May this year and its extension had also been requested by the Socialist Party.

“Yes, we will do so again now (extend the moratorium), like we did in 2015. We are open to negotiations”, said De Guindos, after confirming that 24,000 families have now benefitted from this measures, which favours certain groups.

The Minister was responding to questions from the Socialist congresswoman María del Mar Rominguera (…), who asked him about the Government’s intention to extend the deadline for the suspension of evictions of the most vulnerable families from their homes.

De Guindos said that the Government has protected the people who have suffered the most during the economic crisis and pointed out that some of the measures undertaken in this regard, such as the Code of Good Practice and the Social Housing Fund, approved by the Government, have benefitted more than 76,000 vulnerable families.

Evictions from primary residences have decreased by almost 30%

De Guindos said that the Government is willing to continue with these actions because they are having a “positive” effect, although he pointed out that the most recent statistics indicate that evictions from primary residences have decreased by around 30% “and that is a result of the economic recovery”.

De Guindos insisted that the creation of employment is what will confirm the economic recovery, given that “it is not only a matter of establishing palliative measures, although they are also important”.

“If employment improves in Spain, if there are increasingly more possibilities, if we increasingly see that house prices are not collapsing, we will see how situations involving evicted families will become increasingly marginal”, he said.

The PSOE supports the extension

Meanwhile, the Socialist congresswoman said she appreciated the fact that the Government has extended the moratorium for anti-evictions, which was due to expire in May (…).

The PSOE had requested an extension of the moratorium, four years after it first came into force. Nevertheless, De Guindos did not specify how long the moratorium would be extended for. (…).

Original story: RTVE 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Finance Auctions Off 34 Buildings In Community Of Madrid

30 August 2016 – Expansión

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance has announced the public auction of 34 properties owned by the Central Government in Madrid capital and in another nine municipalities across the Community of Madrid, according to a statement published today in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

The properties comprise urban buildings and land in the centre of Madrid as well as in the municipalities of Galapagar, Torrelodones, Somosierra, Boadilla del Monte, Chinchón, Loeches, Tres Cantos, Valdemoro and Estremera.

Bids will be submitted in sealed envelopes and the amount of the guarantee will be 5% of the value of the assets, according the statement made in the BOE by the Delegation for Economic Affairs and Finance in Madrid.

The period for the submission of bids will open tomorrow and will end on 20 October, with the sealed envelopes being opened on 3 November.

In the capital, the properties located in the following places will be auctioned off: Calle General Varela, 21-23; Calle Almagro, 28; Calle Monte Esquinza, 41- ground floor; Calle Cervantes, 6; Calle la Oca 15, ground floor, right; the plot of land on the corner of Avenida Santo Ángel de la Guarda and General Cadenas Campos 19, as well as plots in the APR Calle Cantalejo, in the UNP Ciudad Aeropuertuaria de Valdebebas, in the UZP Ensanche de Vallecas and in the PAU de Carabanchel.

The urban plot on Avenida Santo Ángel de la Guarda, which has a surface area of 3,173.81 sqm and a constructible area of 11,230.15 sqm, has the highest appraisal value (€17.18 million) of all of the assets in the portfolio.

It is followed by the buildings on Calle General Valera de Madrid, valued at €5.9 million and Calle Almagro, worth €3.18 million, whilst in the municipalities, the most valuable building is a rural property in Valdemoro, measuring 46,999 sqm, worth more than €3.4 million, as well as a plot of land in Tres Cantos, valued at €3.2 million.

Those interested in participating in the auction must provide the information detailed in the tender specification document, and may request information about the properties from the State’s Real Estate Service from the Treasury’s delegation on Calle Guzmán el Bueno, or through the Ministry’s website www.minhap.gob.es.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake