Junta de Andalucía Sells 45,000 m2 of Land in Jaén for €3.8M

8 January 2018 – La Vanguardia

The four offers that were submitted relating to the sale of the properties owned by the Junta de Andalucía, which the Ministry of Development and Housing convened in 2017 through the Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation in Andalucía (AVRA), have allowed it to award plots with a total surface area of 45,780 m2 for a value of €3.89 million in the province of Jaén.

The Minister for Development and Housing, Felipe López, stressed that most of the public land that has been sold in the province has been assigned for industrial use. “This is allowing us to contribute to boosting the economy and to creating jobs in the towns in which the plots are located, through the companies that are opening facilities on those plots”, he said on Monday in a statement.

He underlined the importance of this initiative, promoted by the Junta, with the aim of placing public assets at the disposal of the business community to boost the development of new projects and business initiatives that foster economic activity and employment.

The industrial plots sold in the province of Jaén during 2017 are mainly located in the towns of Alcalá la Real, whose Los Llanos del Mazuelo industrial estate recorded a significant increase in activity last year, and Martos, on the Cañada de la Fuente industrial estate.

Plots were also disposed of in the ZI-2 production area of Torredonjimeno, on the industrial estate on the Carretera de Los Arquillos, in Villacarrillo; in Los Rubiales (Linares) and on the Los Retiros industrial estate, in Huelma.

Moreover, other premises, parking spaces and storerooms were awarded in several towns in the province of Jaén, including in Andújar, Cazorla and Jaén, which generated revenues amounting to €385,061.

Most of the plots of land sold were owned by the Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation in Andalucía, which, according to López took the decision to make land sales one of its strategic lines at the beginning of this legislature, after that activity had slowed down in previous years, during the toughest period of the crisis.

By contrast, some of the awarded plots belonged to the Junta de Andalucía, which engaged AVRA to manage its assets.

The Board said that the decision to recover this activity was taken in light of the fact that the markets are starting to show signs of recovery in terms of real estate activity and “with the aim of obtaining revenues to allow us to resume other activities pertinent to the Agency, such as the promotion of social housing for families with housing needs and scarce or no possibilities of accessing a home in the private rental market” (…).

The land sale activity resumed by AVRA at the beginning of this legislature has permitted the award of almost 300,000 m2 of land allocated to different uses for a total amount of €50.7 million over the last 3 years (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia To Sell 50% of Torre Iberdrola (in Valencia) to Atitlán

5 December 2017 – Intereconomía

Bankia has let its arm be twisted in the largest real estate operation in Valencia. The legal battle for Torre Iberdrola has been resolved through an out-of-court agreement.

Bankia is going to sell 50% of Torre Iberdrola to Atitlán and withdraw its claims against the sale of the property to the family. The financial institution chaired by José Ignacio Gorigolzarri is thereby allowing Iberdrola to do business with the Valencian Montoro family after divesting the 10% stake that it still held in Oceanic Center.

At the beginning of May, Iberdola completed the sale of the 50% stake that it held in the retail, hotel and office complex Aqua Multiespacio. The operation was closed for a much lower price than initially estimated: €61.5 million compared to €90 million.

The tower is owned by the company Oceanic Center and is home to the Aqua shopping centre and the Valencian headquarters of Iberdrola. The Montoro family has now purchased that 50% stake and has whereby acquired a majority share of the complex since it holds a majority stake in the remaining 50%. Bankia’s stake was a minority and it had been opposed to it. The sale of the 50% stake generated €17 million for Iberdrola.

The Montoro family closed the purchase through the companies Invesmon3 Ziel, Azzofinanz and Blanal Inversores. The operation has been settled for an amount that was 31.66% lower than initially expected. This operation directly affects Bankia and the Ferrando family, which formed part of the 50% that has not been sold. Both opposed the direct purchase by the Montoro family and announced actions to prevent the purchase from materialising. Nevertheless, the Montoro family imposed its majority stake in the company and gave the go-ahead for the operation to be closed.

This war is not new, in fact, it goes a long way back. The trio formed Navisa, a company that owns 50% of the shopping and hotel centre, where the majority of the capital was owned by the Montoro family, which now owns the majority of the complex, leaving the financial institution with a minority stake and without the right to veto new decisions. Bankia’s strategy was that the Montoro family would have a majority stake, but Bankia would increase its weight together with the Ferrando family. Nevertheless, Bankia has definitively disposed of its stake (almost 10% of Navisa), which has passed into the hands of Juan Roig’s son-in-law and his partners in NAU, the Ferrando and Quesada families, according to El Confidencial.

In this way, an out-of-court agreement has been reached with the Montoro family and the legal case has been terminated. It is not the only battle in the courts between Iberdola and Bankia. The power company chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán brought a lawsuit against Bankia for its debut on the stock market. There is €70 million at stake, although a judge has already dismissed Iberdrola’s claim; they are now waiting for the appeal ruling.

Original story: Intereconomía

Translation: Carmel Drake

Igsa Made €16.1M Net Profit on Sale of Hotel NH Center de Valencia in 2016

5 December 2017 – Valencia Plaza

Inmobiliaria Guadalmedina SA (Igsa) closed 2016 with revenues of €36.8 million, a figure that was almost identical to the amount recorded in the previous year, according to the annual accounts filed by the company in the Mercantile Registry.

Nevertheless, the firm did see a significant change in its profits, which rose from €2.7 million in 2015 to €12.8 million last year. According to explanations provided by Enrique Ballester’s company in its annual accounts, that difference was due to “the sale of a hotel that the company had leased as well as to the sale of several offices”.

The hotel in question was the Hotel NH Center de Valencia, located next to the Nuevo Centro shopping centre. That property was divested during the first quarter of 2016 for an amount that the real estate company did not disclose on its balance sheet.

“We have recognised a net profit of €16.1 million and the reversal of an impairment associated with the properties amounting to €399,000”, reports the company. In other words, Igsa sold the hotel and the aforementioned offices for €16.1 million more than the price at which it had recognised them on its balance sheet.

The hotel has 192 rooms, including 20 superior category rooms, a couple of junior suites and one suite, according to details provided by the hotel chain on its website.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Project Eloise: Sareb Sells NPL Portfolio To Goldman Sachs

23 December 2016 – Debtwire

Sareb has selected Goldman Sachs as the winner for non-performing loan portfolio Project Eloise, in what is the largest transaction so far for the Spanish bad bank, said a person familiar with the situation.

The final gross book value of the portfolio is EUR 600m, the person said. Launched in the fall/autumn, initially the portfolio had a gross book value of over EUR 1bn, as first reported by this newswire. The size changed during the binding process.

Blackstone was the other bidder selected for the binding phase of the process.

The bad loans of the portfolio are backed by residential assets located across Spain. Sareb has been advised by Evercore.

The deal is still pending subject to signing of the contract, but the goal remains to close by year end, the person familiar with the deal said.

The transaction marks a turning point for Sareb, which had focused on sales of small portfolio until now; in 2015, it closed transactions for approximately EUR 520m.

When it was established, Sareb received EUR 50.8bn in assets to dispose off within 15 years. By December 2015, the portfolio had been reduced to EUR 42.9bn, according to its latest report.

Original story: Debtwire

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Fortress Puts Its ‘Paratus’ Platform Up For Sale

29 May 2015 – Expansión

Project Coast / Fortress wants to dispose of one of its platforms, with 40 employees and a portfoliol of loans and homes amounting to €700 million.

(Photo: Michael Novogratz, Director at Fortress Investent Group)

Fortress, one of the first opportunistic funds to arrive in Spain has put up the ‘for sale’ sign over part of its business in Spain. The US fund has announced the disposal of its distressed debt management platform and of a portfolio of loans and homes amounting to almost €700 million.

The possible sale comes at a time when international investors are reviewing their strategies in Spain following the results of the regional and local elections. Even so, sources close to the transaction indicate that this deal was launched long before the election results were announced and that the fund remains firm in its commitment to Spain.

The investor has taken the decision after it completed the purchase of Lico Leasing from savings banks last year, with 500 employees and assets worth €600 million.

Former GMAC

Following this purchase, Fortress wants to sell its Paratus platform. The firm originated from General Motor’s former financing arm, GMAC. After being rescued by the US Government in 2008, GMAC – currently known as Ally Financial – sold its European business to Fortress, which represented the fund’s first foray into Spain. The fund started to purchase non-performing loan portfolios in Spain in 2009, and ended up managing a portfolio amounting to €4,000 million.

The opportunistic fund has engaged N+1 to advise on the sale of Paratus; several weeks ago the consultancy firm distributed information to potential investors regarding the so-called Project Coast. Following the first phase of the process, this week N+1 will announce which funds and platforms will go through to the final phase, which is expected to close at the beginning of July.

According to sources in the financial sector, this transaction is primarily targeted at overseas funds that want to establish a base in Spain. Investors such as Elliot – with Gesif -, D.E. Shaw – with Multigestión – and Cerberus – with Gescobro – have closed similar deals in recent years.

According to the information distributed by N+1, Paratus currently manages four asset portfolios and has two service contracts, which in total correspond to assets under management amounting to almost €1,000 million. The sale also includes the current team, comprising 43 professionals.

Almost €700 million of the loans and homes managed by Paratus will be transferred into the hands of the buyer. Of those, €426 million are unsecured loans without any kind of collateral; €152 million are loans secured by 866 properties; and another 500 homes are worth just over €100 million. Most of the real estate exposure is located in Cataluña, Andalucía and Valencia.

New strategy

Following this sale, Fortress will focus its strategy in Spain on Lico Leasing and on its subsidiary Geslico – where it recently undertook an ERE –, which render similar services to those offered by Paratus. Through Lico, the fund has a banking licence as a financial credit establishment, which was granted by the Bank of Spain in December 2014.

Fortress has altered its strategy in Spain after its failed attempts to buy a real estate subsidiary, such as Altamira and Aliseda, and to enter Sareb’s capital.

Following those endeavours, it completed its largest purchase in Spain, by purchasing debt in Realia amounting to €440 million, and since then, it has acquired small real estate portfolios and participated in the financing of indebted companies.

The fund in Spain is led by the banker José María Cava, founder of Gladia Capital and a former director of BBVA.

Original story: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake