21 December 2018 – El Confidencial
The sale of Altamira, the historical real estate arm of Banco Santander, is facing its most decisive moment. The Italian group Dobank has positioned itself as the primary candidate in recent days to purchase the platform owned by Apollo and Santander, amongst others, by submitting an offer for between €500 million and €550 million, according to financial sources consulted by El Confidencial.
The offer is somewhat lower than Apollo and its other two partners in Altamira’s share capital, the Canadian pension fund CPPIB and the Abu Dhabi fund ADIA, had expected. Between the three of them, they control an 85% stake, whilst the remaining 15% is in the hands of Santander.
The shareholders engaged Goldman Sachs to coordinate the sale with the aim of obtaining proceeds of €600 million. Nevertheless, the lack of competition has decreased the price in recent weeks. The deal was also influenced by the withdrawal of Intrum, which decided not to buy Altamira after winning the bid to acquire Solvia, according to the same sources.
That price difference means that Apollo and Goldmans are taking their time over the completion of the operation. Apollo, CPPIB and ADIA paid €664 million for the 85% stake in the real estate firm back in the day. Despite that, they do not have to reach that figure to recover their investments, given that they have received various dividends in recent years that compensate their profitability figures.
Dobank is the Italian platform owned by Fortress, the US fund that used to operate in Spain in the recovery of financial assets, through Paratus, Geslico and Lico Corporación.
The platform has been interested in entering the Spanish market for a while and regards Altamira as the ideal partner, given that it is the property manager that has been the most committed to internationalisation. It already operates in Portugal, Cyprus and Greece and the next major market into which it wants to expand is Italy.
Santander has not yet decided what it will do with its 15% stake in Altamira, whether to sell it together with the stakes of the other shareholders or to hold onto it to retain some control over the future of the platform, which still manages some of its assets.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Jorge Zuloaga)
Translation: Carmel Drake