20 April 2015 – Expansión
97% of the plan has been completed / In two years, the entity has transferred 200 investments, 130 real estate companies and 80 loan portfolios, amounting to more than €15,000 million.
Over the last two years, Bankia’s divestment team has had to go to the notary’s office every other day. The intense activity in terms of the sale of investments and loan portfolios has resulted in 400+ transactions since 2013 and the entity is now close to fulfilling the mandate imposed on it by Brussels.
In total, Bankia has transferred 200 financial and industrial investments; 130 real estate companies; and 80 problem loan portfolios, according to sources close to the entity.
Thus, Bankia has already exceeded the target it was set of divesting more than €50,000 million non-strategic assets – by the end of 2014, the figure was close to €59,000 million – but not all of the companies that were agreed as part of its rescue have been transferred. 3% of the plan agreed as part of the rescue still needs to be completed.
In this final sprint, which Bankia has until 2017 to complete, the entity will have to sell off dozens (tens) of real estate and industrial companies, many of which have filed for liquidation and have hardly any value.
Over the last two years, the team at Bankia, led by the Director of Investments, Manuel Lagares, has earned the respect of foreign investors by closing the sale of portfolios worth €10,000 million and financial and industrial investments, worth €5,500 million.
Although Bankia was forced to make these divestments, the funds value the fact that it is one of the few entities that has not held back from sales processes and that it stands out as one of the best entities to have adapted to demand. Thus, overseas investors recognise that one of the first doors that they call at upon arriving in Spain is that of the bank chaired by José Ignacio Gorigolzarri (pictured above), as well as those of Sareb and the Frob.
Although Bankia has now almost completed its divestment plan, the entity continues to be very active in the market, as it seeks to improve its balance sheet and free up non-productive assets.
Some of the largest transactions conducted by the team at Bankia include the sales of its shares in: Iberdrola, which it sold for €1,500 million; Mapfre, for which it obtained €1,250 million; IAG, for which it earned €675 million; and Indra, which it transferred for €337 million.
Recently, the entity had decided one of the great real estate battles in recent years, which involved Realia, where it agreed to sell its 25% stake to Carlos Slim. It may also decide to transfer its stake in Globalvia soon, for which it is negotiating, together with FCC, with the Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
Another transaction in the pipeline involves the sale of City National Bank of Florida, its North American subsidiary, which is pending authorisation by the Federal Reserve.
Together with its investments, Bankia has also transferred lines of business such as its asset manager, which was acquired by Cerberus; and Bankia Bolsa, which it transferred to GVC.
Original story: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)
Translation: Carmel Drake