Unicaja Takes In €20 Million Through Sale of Land

26 March 2018

Unicaja, the Malaga-based bank, is accelerating its sale of the real estate assets it was forced to take on during the financial crisis. Last year it sold a portfolio of land, reducing its holdings of foreclosed assets by one hundred million euros, and reported a gross profit, due to the transaction, of 20 million euros, according to a report.

In addition, Unicaja reached an agreement last year with the Norwegian fund Axactor to create two joint ventures and de-consolidate more than 4,000 foreclosed assets (in lieu of debt payments) valued at €252 million. The Nordic fund paid Unicaja between 150 million and 200 million euros in the transaction, according to knowledgeable sources. One of these companies will take control of 3,035 of Unicaja’s foreclosed assets, and the other will take on a further 1,034 foreclosed assets from España Duero. Axactor will control 75% of both, while the remaining 25% remain with the Unicaja group.

Unicaja’s real estate management platform, called GIA, will manage the properties. The majority are located in Andalusia and Castilla y León, where the two institutions are based.

The transaction has not had a significant impact on its financial statements, according to the report.

Property assets

In total, the Unicaja group, including its subsidiary España Duero, reduced its volume of unproductive assets by 21% last year. In absolute terms, €1.201 billion in toxic assets left its balance sheet. Such loans to developers and real estate assets generate many expenses and no income, reducing profitability.

Unicaja earned 138 million euros last year, 2.5% more than in 2016. The level of balance sheet provisions related to real estate stands at 64%, one of the highest in the sector. Its delinquency rate stands at 8.7%.

The bank has a market value of €2.225 billion. Investors who took part in its IPO in June 2017 have seen their initial investment go up by 23% in nine months.

Original Story: ProOrbyt Expansion – R. Lander / R. Sampedro

Translation: Richard Turner

UBS Finalises Purchase of Torre Titán from España-Duero for €50M

29 December 2017 – Voz Pópuli

UBS is on the verge of closing one of the largest real estate operations of this year-end. The Swiss entity is negotiating the purchase of one of the two Titán towers, owned by Banco Ceiss (España-Duero), a subsidiary of Unicaja. The sale is in its final phase and could be closed within the next few days, for more than €50 million, according to financial sources consulted by Vozpópuli.

The final consideration may even reach €55 million, which is exactly the price that España-Duero paid Nozar for the tower in 2008. That acquisition caused a great deal of controversy at the time to the point that some of the former directors of Caja Duero were subjected to investigations, but the case was archived in the end.

The Titán towers are two 13-storey buildings constructed by Nozar in 2008. One of them is owned by Invesco (which acquired it in 2011 for €40 million) and leased to the state-owned firm Adif. The other one is owned by España-Duero and it not only houses the headquarters of Unicaja’s subsidiary but is also home to Nozar and Enagás.

Ceiss continues

This process has been led by Irea, according to El Economista, and two other consultancy firms, Knight Frank and Aguirre Newman, have also been involved, in the search for tenants for the 30,000 m2 of available space. The useful surface area for offices is 10,722 m2.

According to sources close to the operation, España-Duero is expected to commit to continue to occupy the offices. The entity is in the middle of a merger with Unicaja, after the Malagan entity acquired the 12.5% stake that it did not own in the subsidiary from the Frob.

During the IPO in the middle of this year, the heads of Unicaja expressed their intention to merge the two companies (Unicaja and Banco Ceiss). As such, observers in the market speculate that Torre Titán will serve as the new headquarters for the central services team in Madrid.

The sale of Torre Titán will be added to the list of divestments that the Unicaja Banco group has been carrying out in recent weeks. Earlier this month, it sold a portfolio of foreclosed assets to the fund Axactor, as this newspaper revealed.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake