Cerberus & Oaktree in the Final Round to Buy ‘Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios’

5 April 2019 – Expansión

Banco Sabadell is on the home stretch for the sale of 100% of its property developer, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (SDIn). The funds Cerberus, through its property developer Inmoglacier, and Oaktree have made it through to the final round of the operation, which could be closed within the next few days or weeks.

The consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman has estimated that SDIn’s assets are worth more than €1.3 billion and the entity chaired by Josep Oliu (pictured above) is hoping to record proceeds of around €1 billion from the sale.

The portfolio comprises 270 buildable plots for the construction of around 15,000 homes, half of which are in Cataluña, although it also contains plots in Madrid, Andalucía and Valencia.

It has been reported that two other investment funds may have also been selected for the final round (out of Apollo, Goldman Sachs and CPPIB) but Oaktree is understood to be the favourite. Rothschild is advising the divestment process.

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

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sareb’s Sale of Témpore Enters Final Phase with TPG as the Favourite

28 March 2019 – Cinco Días

Sareb’s sale of its rental home Socimi Témpore Properties is entering the home stretch. The bad bank has selected three candidates to pass through to the final round, all of which are US funds, namely, TPG (Texas Pacific Group), Ares and Round Hill, with the former currently the favourite.

Témpore, which is listed on the MAB, has a market capitalisation of €305 million and, according to the most recent assessment performed by Savills Aguirre Newman, an asset portfolio worth €338 million.

In just over a month, Sareb will announce the name of the winning investor, which will take ownership of the Socimi and its 2,249 residential properties.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A. Simón & P.M. Simón)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Starwood & Carlyle Bid for San Fernando Business Park (Madrid)

11 May 2018 – Expansión

One of the major real estate operations of the year in the office segment is entering the home stretch.

The US fund Oaktree, which engaged the real estate consultancy CBRE to coordinate the sale of San Fernando Business Park, has been receiving binding offers for this office complex, located in San Fernando de Henares, in the east of the Community of Madrid.

The international investors that have expressed their interest in the asset include the investment fund Starwood Capital and the private equity firm Carlyle, both of which have submitted binding offers and so entered the final round of bidding for the business park.

Oaktree acquired the San Fernando Business Park three years ago, when the US fund purchased a portfolio of unpaid debt worth €750 million from the German bad bank FMS Wertmanagement (FMS WM), which included, in addition to the office complex: luxury hotels, such as the Arts Hotel in Barcelona and another establishment in Cascais (Portugal); five shopping centres, including two in Madrid (Plaza Éboli and Heron City Las Rozas); several storeroom buildings; and other residential and industrial assets.

San Fernando Business Park comprises 13 buildings and spans a total surface area of 86,000 m2, as well as 2,500 parking spaces.

Moreover, the business complex boasts 40,000 m2 of green space and recreational areas. San Fernando Business park is accessible directly from the A2, M45 and M50 motorways and its onsite facilities include a gym, banks, a children’s nursery, meeting rooms and an auditorium.

Office market

As we wait to see how the sale of Hispania’s office portfolio pans out, which is worth almost €600 million but which is up in the air due to the takeover bid (OPA) that the US fund Blackstone launched for the Socimi, the purchase of San Fernando Business Park looks set to be one of the most important operations of the year in the office segment.


Last year, investment in the office segment amounted to €2.3 billion, less than half the previous year, due to less activity by the Socimis, a shortage of supply in good locations and the challenge for investors to find the desired returns.

So far this year, investment in the office segment has accounted for 42% of the total transacted volume, reaching €1.72 billion, given that the figure includes Colonial’s takeover of Axiare, which was successfully closed in February and which has caused the investment figure to soar.

More than 600,000 m2 of office space was leased in Madrid last year, which represents the best figure in the last decade, whilst in Barcelona, 345,000 m2 of office space was leased during the same period.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CPPIB Buys €800M RE Portfolio from Sabadell

20 December 2017 – Eje Prime

With year-end just around the corner, the major players in the real estate sector in Spain are putting the pressure on to close operations. Such is the case of Sabadell, which has just sold a portfolio of real estate assets worth €0.8 billion to the Canadian fund Canada Pension Investment Board (CPPIB) for approximately €0.2 billion.

This investment giant, which channels investments worth €210 billion, has won the auction for Project Voyager, through which the entity chaired by Josep Oliu is divesting €0.8 billion in problem loans linked to the construction, SME and hotel sectors, according to Voz Pópuli. The other finalists were Deutsche Bank, Bain Capital and Cerberus.

The completion of this agreement will represent CPPIB’s first investment in Spain; the fund is known for its conservative profile. With this sale, Sabadell will comfortably exceed its annual target of reducing its volume of problem assets by more than €2 billion. As at the end of September, it had decreased the balance by €1.764 billion, to just over €15.5 billion.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Habitat Considers Moving Its HQ To Madrid Due To Cataluña Crisis

7 November 2017 – El Confidencial

The historical property developer Habitat Inmobiliaria is on its way to becoming the next iconic Catalan company to abandon its region of origin in order to avoid the risks associated with the current crisis being caused by the independence challenge. The company’s shareholders, led by Capstone Equities Management, have been discussing the possible transfer of its corporate headquarters from number 458 Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona to Madrid for several weeks now; they want to reduce any risks to the sales plans being developed by its commercial network (in other parts of the country).

The company, founded in 1953, was owned by the Figueras family until November 2015, when it was taken over by Capstone and a group of funds, including Värde, in an operation that included a multi-million debt discount and in which Goldman Sachs and Bank of America also participated. The change in ownership led, in turn, to an about-turn in its management. Rafael del Valle took over the role of President and a significant part of the operations were moved to Madrid, although the registered address of Promociones Habitat, as the company is known formally, was maintained in Barcelona.

Now, the owners have initiated a sales process and the private equity firms Apollo, Oaktree and Bain are all competing in the final round, according to El Confidencial. In this context, the uncertainty generated in Catalaña could give the final push to move, however, the debate is on-going internally, which sources from the real estate company freely admit.

The problem for Habitat is not so much its exposure to the Catalan market itself, but more a question of its image in the commercial network across the rest of Spain. Of the 11 real estate developments that it currently has up for sale, only one is located in Cataluña, specifically, in Cornellà de Llobregat, called Parc de Can Mercader. The rest are located in Madrid (four developments), the Community of Valencia (four), Andalucía (three), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Portugal (one each). In other words, the problem facing the company is the opposition that its products may receive given the fact that it is a Catalan company, a phenomenon that is being seen in other sectors.

If this change of registered address comes about, Habitat will be the second large real estate company to abandon Cataluña for political reasons after the Board of Directors of Inmobiliaria Colonial also decided, on 9 October, to move from Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona to Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Víctor Romero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone & Goldmans Compete For Sareb’s €1,000M Portfolio

16 November 2016 – Voz Populí

Sareb is witnessing a battle between the two largest investors in the world: the fund Blackstone and the investment bank Goldman Sachs. The two US giants are the only two finalists in the largest asset sale launched to date by the Spanish bad bank.

Project Eloise contains 200 unpaid loans to property developers worth €1,000 million. This is the largest sales process launched to date by the company chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured above). After a year without any operations of this kind, Sareb has reactivated the sale of portfolios in an attempt to boost its accounts for the year, following the downturn in revenues during H1 2016. According to several experts consulted, Sareb may obtain obtain between €300 million and €400 million from this sale.

For Blackstone, it would not be the first agreement with the Spanish bad bank. In recent years, the US fund has acquired several portfolios from Sareb, as well as from several Spanish entities. Blackstone manages its Spanish real estate assets through Anticipa Real Estate, the former CatalunyaCaixa Inmobiliaria, which it purchased from the Catalan savings banks before their sale to BBVA.

The CEO of Anticipa, Eduard Mendiluce, said recently in an interview with Efe that Project Eloise was going to be analysed in detail given its significant appeal. This platform already manages around €10,000 million in problem loans and has a stock of 5,000 homes, many of which are structured in Socimis.

Meanwhile, the strategy pursued by Goldman Sachs is more opportunistic. It participates in occasional portfolio sales and often works in partnership with another fund. In the past, the US investment bank has teamed up with the giant TPG, owner of 51% of Servihabitat, the real estate arm of CaixaBank. Nevertheless, in July, it joined forces with another fund, D.E. Shaw, in an operation to purchase assets from the Catalan entity.

Given its scale, Project Eloise was always going to be reserved for large investors only, such as Blackstone and Goldmans. Even so, eyebrows have been raised in the sector over the fact that none of the other (very active) investors in Spain, such as Oaktree, Bain Capital, Bank of America, Apollo and Cerberus, have made it through to the final round.

Key period

Sareb is putting everything on the line with this operation. This company needs to boost its revenues during the last quarter of the year in order to fulfil its commitment of continuing to repay its debt guaranteed by the State. (…).

The company’s sales decreased by 14% during the first half of the year, from €1,628 million during the first half of 2015 to almost €1,400 million between January and June this year. Sareb still owns assets worth €42,487 million and has debt (with the entities that transferred their assets to it) amounting to more than €43,000 million.

The aim of the company is to move both figures close to €40,000 million by the end of the year. To this end, in addition to Project Eloise, it has also put other portfolios up for sale, including Project Antares, containing debt with eight creditors.

Original story: Voz Populí (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deutsche Finalises Purchase Of Diagonal Mar For €505M

11 July 2016 – Expansión

Largest operation in the retail sector for 10 years / The German group has outbid the other candidates, including CBRE, ECE and Henderson.

The process to purchase Diagonal Mar is entering the final stretch. With nothing but the final details left to finalise on what will be the largest real estate operation in the shopping centre segment for ten years, Deutsche Bank has taken the lead by outbidding CBRE Global Investors, ECE and Henderson Real Estate, the other three candidates left in the contest.

Market sources have informed Expansión that Deutsche Bank’s offer, for €505 million, could be signed at the end of this month.

If this operation goes ahead, Northwood Investors will get rid of this property, which it acquired from the Irish bad bank Nama (National Asset Management Agency) in 2013 for €150 million.

Changes of ownership

It is not the first time that this property has changed hands. The real estate company Hines was awarded a mixed use project at the end of the 1990s, which included a residential area, offices, hotels and a large shopping centre with a constructed surface area of 100,500 sqm and a GLA of 87,000 sqm, plus 5,000 parking spaces.

In 2002, the German investment fund Deka paid around €240 million for the property, which it subsequently sold to the Irish investor group Quinlan for €300 million in 2006, in its first operation in Spain. Nevertheless, after the Irish bubble burst, this asset was sold to the banks.

On 7 June, a process was opened whereby investors were invited to submit non-binding offers for the property. 18 offers were submitted in total, including one from the Socimi Merlin (the only Spanish firm to participate in the auction). In the end, only four candidates were selected to go through to the final bid: CBRE Global Investment, ECE, Henderson TH and Deutsche Bank.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake