Santander Transfers Land Worth €4bn to a Newly Created Land Manager

18 March 2019 – Cinco Días

Santander is making history once again. The entity has created a company to which it is going to transfer all of the land proceeding from its exposure to property, which has a gross book value of around €4 billion (and a net value of around €2 billion).

The purpose of this new vehicle, known as Landmark Iberia, will be to advance with the urban planning procedures required to generate value from these plots and to continue selling the land, with the ultimate goal of selling the whole company if an attractive offer is received.

Landmark is not like any of the bank’s previous projects given that it is not a servicer. Its job is to generate value from the plots that it receives from Santander – it is the first entity of its kind in Spain.

The operation forms part of the group’s overall strategy to reduce its exposure to real estate, in accordance with the instructions of the Bank of Spain. Last year, Santander decreased the value of its exposure by 55.9% in gross terms to €15.1 billion, according to the entity’s annual accounts, thanks to its operations with Blackstone (project Quasar) and Cerberus.

Landmark will likely become the largest landowner in the country, alongside other major companies in the sector such as the property developer Metrovacesa and the fund Cerberus.

Original story: Cinco Días 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

EC Approves Sale of 80% of BBVA’s RE Arm to Cerberus’s Subsidiary

9 April 2018 – El Mundo

On Monday, the European Commission authorised BBVA’s sale of 80% of its real estate business to a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management (Cerberus) after concluding that the deal would not represent any problems in terms of competition in the market given the “limited” overlap in terms of the activities of the two entities.

The bank chaired by Francisco González (pictured above) announced an agreement at the end of November by virtue of which it would transfer 80% of its real estate business to the US fund Cerberus for a price of approximately €4 billion.

Specifically, BBVA and Cerberus agreed to create a joint venture for the real estate business in Spain.

The real estate business referred to in this agreement comprises around 78,000 real estate assets with a gross book value of approximately €13 billion, as well as the assets and employees necessary for the management of the business. The whole business has been valued at approximately €5 billion.

The services of the EU’s Competition Authority examined the operation through the simplified procedure, which is reserved for less problematic cases.

In the words of the bank when the operation was announced, the agreement with Cerberus is an “opportunity” to take advantage of the experience of an industrial partner who is an expert in the management and sale of real estate assets and to benefit from the strong outlook of the Spanish economy.

Original story: El Mundo 

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