Blackstone & Santander’s RE Company Hires Liberbank Director

14 February 2018 – Voz Pópuli

Banco Santander and Blackstone are appointing the management team of what is going to be one of the largest real estate real estate companies in Spain. Aliseda, the platform in which the fund owns a 51% stake and the bank holds a 49% share, has hired José Luis Bellosta, a Director of Liberbank until now, as Director General, according to confirmation provided by sources to this newspaper.

Bellosta completes Aliseda’s management team, which is led by Eduard Mendiluce as the CEO. Mendiluce is a former director of Catalunya Caixa and is one of Blackstone’s key people in Spain.

Two General Directorates report into Mendiluce: the one run by Bellosta, which will be responsible for managing the more than €4 billion in real estate assets that Popular (in other words, the Santander Group) still holds on its balance sheet; and the other, led by Enrique Used, whose appointment was revealed by Vóz Populi, which will manage the divestment of the €30 billion transferred to Blackstone – Project Quasar.

It is not the first time that Bellosta has worked under the Santander umbrella. He previously served as Director of the Asset Custody and Back Office Subsidiary of the group chaired by Ana Botín between 2003 and 2009. Subsequently, he worked for six years at Agrupalia before being hired as the CEO of FK2, the operations subsidiary of Liberbank.

In this way, Aliseda’s structure is now ready for the launch of the new divestment plan designed by Mendiluce, whilst it awaits the authorisations that should arrive within the next few weeks.

Blackstone also manages Anticipa, the platform inherited from Catalunya Caixa Inmobiliaria. The fund has decided to not merge the two companies – Aliseda and Anticipa – and so each one will follow its own path.

Meanwhile, Santander also owns 15% of Altamira, the real estate company in which Apollo holds the remaining 85% stake. The bank and the fund held negotiations over a year ago regarding Apollo’s exit, but without success. The new situation could revive that operation.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Altamira Appoints Vicente Aliño As Its New Director Of RE

1 June 2016 – El Mundo

Altamira Asset Management has hired Vicente Aliño (pictured above) as its new Director of Real Estate and member of the Board of Directors, as part of its commitment to strengthen its real estate business, according to a statement issued by the company.

The Group has explained that Aliño’s main challenge will be to lead the strategy, management and organisation of the entire real estate division, focusing on fulfilling the ambitious targets set by the company’s clients in the departments that make up the area.

Over the last 15 years, the new director has held different roles on Grupo Lar’s management team and he has extensive experience in the real estate sector, having served as the Group’s regional manager for Levante, leading the opening and development of the real estate business in Mexico and taking charge of the Group’s financial management.

Similarly, over the last six years, Aliño has worked as the group’s CEO in Brazil, where he defined the strategy, analysed investments and developed the business in the country.

In addition, the company explained that this appointment reinforces Altamira’s commitment to the real estate business.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Oceanwood Becomes NH Hoteles’ 2nd Largest Shareholder

29 April 2016 – Expansión

The British fund manager Oceanwood Capital Management has strengthened its shareholding in NH Hoteles to obtain a 10% stake in the hotel chain, whereby overtaking the second largest shareholder, Hesperia, which holds a 9.1% stake. Oceanwood has informed the market that it owns 10% of the share capital, split between shares (8.746%) and financial instruments (1.254%), compared with the 7.58% stake that it held before. According to the latest data from the CNMV, the group has 350 million voting rights, which are worth more than €1,510 million, at market prices.

In addition, the co-Chairman of NH Hoteles, José Antonio Castro, the Chairman of Grupo Inversor Hesperia, has reported the purchase of 130,000 indirect shares with a unitary value of €3.60, which represents a total price of €468,000. Castro acquired these shares at a 20% discount with respect to yesterday’s closing price.

Of the twelve members that currently sit on the Board of Directors of NH Hoteles, besides the CEO, who serves as an Executive Director, there are four representatives from HNA, two from Hesperia, one from Oceanwood and four independent directors. Moreover, at its next general shareholders’ meeting, NH Hoteles will propose the appointment of Taisa Markus as an Independent Director, and so the Group’s Board will once again comprise 13 members.

HNA continues growing

Meanwhile, the main shareholder of NH Hoteles, the Chinese group HNA Group, with a 29.5% stake, has agreed to buy the hotel business of Carlson Rezidor, the thirteenth largest hotel chain in the world by size, according to the Hotels ranking and the owner of brands such as Radisson, Park Inn and Park Plaza.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

NH’s Minority Shareholders May Ask To Join The Board

29 May 2015 – Expansión

29 June / The agenda for NH’s shareholders’ meeting does not currently include the appointment of any new directors. UBS now holds a 4.36% stake.

In the interests of progress in terms of corporate governance and to increase transparency, many listed companies, including the NH Hotel Group, are adapting their corporate bylaws to the new Capital Company Act. Thus, NH will include a item on the agenda of its shareholders’ meeting, which will be held on 29 June, about the reasonable balance of its board of directors, whose composition should reflect the relationship between the stable and free-floating capital.

In fact, the composition of NH’s board of directors has sparked unrest amongst the fund managers and minority shareholders due to the hotel group’s decision to not cover the two vacant positions left by Intesa Sanpaolo, when it sold its shares, by independent directors. Yesterday, their fears were confirmed. The agenda for the shareholders’ meeting includes the ratification of two directors – Francisco Román as an independent director and Ling Zhang as a representative of HNA, the majority shareholder of NH – and the renewal of two other directors – José María López-Elola, as an independent director and José Antonio Castro, as a representative of the Hesperia Group. There was no mention of any new appointments.

NH’s board comprises 11 people in total: four representatives of HNA – which holds a 29.5% stake -, two from Hesperia – with a 9.09% stake -, three independent directors, the CEO – Federico González Tejera – and the Chairman – Rodrigo Echenique-, who continues in the role despite the exit of Banco Santander, the shareholder that he previously represented.

Nevertheless, the composition of the board may change in the short term. The 8.56% stake held by Santander was distributed amongst three (fund) managers, which already held stakes in NH: BlackRock, Oceanwood and Henderson. The first two now hold more than 7.5%. The funds, which have shared their concerns about the reduction in (the size of) the board with NH, will request their own inclusion on the board of directors and their request may be discussed at the shareholders’ meeting. According to the bylaws, shareholders that represent at least 3% of the share capital have five days following the announcement of the shareholders’ meeting to request the inclusion of one or more items on the agenda.

Meanwhile, UBS now owns a 4.36% stake. On 21 May, the Swiss bank purchased 9.13 million shares from Santander for €46.57 million.

The Chairman

Rodrigo Echenique received €300,000 in 2014. This year, he will receive €200,000, i.e. 33% less.


Federico González Tejera, the CEO, earned €1.62 million (in 2014), up 34%. His variable salary amounted to €788,000.

The other board members

In addition to Echenique and Tejera, the 16 people that held positions on the board in 2014 received €692,000 in total.

Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Properties’ Director Matthew Glowasky Resigns

13 March 2015 – Expansión

Yesterday, the Socimi Merlin Properties notified the CNMV of the resignation of Matthew Glowasky as a member of the Board of Directors. Merlin informed the regulator that the resignation, effective as of yesterday, was due to the fact that the individual in question wants to pursue other professional projects.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake