Sareb Close to Awarding €8-Billion Contract to Service Real Estate Portfolio

21 October 2019 – Sareb has chosen two finalists to vie for the management contract for €8 billion in loans and real estate: Haya Real Estate, controlled by Cerberus, and Servihabitat, by Lone Star. The bad bank expects to award the contract, which is the largest currently on the market, within the next few weeks. The existing contract, with Haya RE, is set is expire, which led Sareb to seek to reduce its costs.

Sareb opted in the spring of this year to place the contract on the market again, to lower its associated costs. Principally, the firm is looking to pay less in management fees, while paying more for successful sales and placements. Until now, the bad bank has been paying roughly €100 million per year in fees.

Four other groups had been vying for the contract: DoValue’s Altamira AM, Intrum’s Solvia, Finsolutia, and Hypoges. However, three other contracts, currently with Solvia, Altamira and Servihabitat, are set to expire in 2021.

At the same time as Sareb is looking to reduce its fees, the contract, known as the Project Esparta, includes the bad bank taking on more responsibility for the assets. The change has reduced the size of the portfolio in play from about €11 billion (at net book value) to roughly €8 billion now. The new servicer’s activities will be limited to selling or renting any properties, while Sareb will take on many of Haya RE’s previous duties.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Jorge Zuloaga & Ruth Ugalde

Photo: EFE / Emilio Naranjo

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Unicaja Negotiates The Sale Of Its RE Arm With Haya & Apollo

29 December 2016 – Vozpópuli

(…). In recent months, the Málaga-based entity has accelerated the divestment of its investment companies to make some cash ahead of the challenges that it faces over the coming months. First came the sale of Iberdrola and now, Unicaja is in advanced negotiations to sell its real estate arm to Haya Real Estate, the platform owned by the US fund Cerberus in Spain, or Altamira, owned by Apollo (85%) and Santander (15%), according to financial sources consulted by Vozpópuli. Sources at the entity say that the final decision has not been taken yet.

Through this operation, Unicaja wants to replicate the sales carried out by the large banks in 2014: Santander with Altamira, CaixaBank with Servihabitat and Popular with Aliseda. Through those deals, the banks recorded combined profits of more than €2,000 million.

It is critical that the Málaga-based entity generates profits at the moment for two reasons: the tax blow that it is going to suffer, due to the upcoming rise in Corporation Tax (CT); and the need to accumulate capital to pay back the public aid it received for Banco Ceiss (€604 million), over the next year; it has asked Brussels for more time in this regard. This would be an alternative solution to the entity’s debut on the stock market and would allow it to repay the contingent convertible bonds (CoCos) from the Restructuring Fund (Frob), which is what Ibercaja has done; yesterday, that entity repaid €163 million to the public fund. With this, the former savings banks avoid the blow for their shareholders that a debut on the stock market in the current environment would mean, although that comes at the price of them not being able to get rid of their shares.

Subsidiary up for sale

In the case of the real estate arm, the name of the subsidiary that Unicaja is negotiating the sale of is: Gestión de Inmuebles Adquiridos (GIA). It is a platform that administrates and sells the group’s foreclosed residential assets, and it has around 40 employees. It recorded turnover of €108 million in 2015, up by 5% compared to a year earlier.

Overall, GIA lost €114 million last year, because Unicaja recognised its real estate provisions in that company. In theory, this operation would only involve the sale of the management of the assets, not their title, although a small portfolio of around €50 million could also form part of the sale, according to sources close to the deal.

The entity, led until this year by Braulio Medel (pictured above, who continues to control the Foundation that owns 90% of the bank), does not have one of the largest exposures to property in the financial sector. It has foreclosed assets with a net value of €1,051 million, according to the figures as at June, which include provisions, meaning that they have a combined appraisal value of €2,690 million. (…).

The market also expects Unicaja to get rid of some of its other stakes, such as Deoleo, in which it holds a 10% shareholding and Reyal Urbis, in which the Foundation controls just over 4%. (…).

Original story: Vozpópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb’s Expanded Rental Portfolio Now Contains 4,558 Properties

15 November 2016 –

Sareb expanded its portfolio of rental properties during the first half of the year, from 3,831 buildings at the end of 2015 to 4,558 at the end of June 2016.

According to the so-called bad bank’s half year report, 3,900 of the properties are residential assets and 675 are dedicated to tertiary use. (…).

With this boost to its rental strategy, Sareb is looking to increase the value of its rental properties with a view to their possible sale. This would allow it to recover its costs in the case of sub-optimal buildings by exiting from them.

To create this portfolio, Sareb has defined the perimeter of the assets in this category, something which will help the servicers – Altamira, Haya RE, Servihabitat and Solvia – market them for rent and, in some cases, make them attractive for sale.

Avoid defaulted payments

Subsequently, the bad bank conducts a tenant selection process, for rental purposes as well as for sales, with the aim of finding people who will allow them to reduce their defaulted payments to a minimum.

Sareb explains that homogenous selection criteria are applied by all of the servicers to guarantee the rents and, in the event of divestment, an appropriate valuation of the “live” lease contracts.

The so-called bad bank has also identified several housing developments that are pending completion or renovation, andit has approved, or is in the process of analysing, their completion. “The aim is to rent those properties out in order to avoid impairment, cover costs and facilitate their future sale”, says the bank.

During the first six months of the year, Sareb also tried to recover “overdue rents corresponding to valid contracts” with the aim of improving revenues and/or taking over the properties for their subsequent sale.

Original story:

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Will Receive €177M From Its Asset Managers In June

16 June 2015 – Cinco Días

Haya, Solvia, Altamira and Servihabitat must pay Sareb €177 million before 30 June 2015 to make good the total amount (€588.6 million) that they agreed to pay as a deposit for taking over the management of the bulk of the bad bank’s assets. The asset transfer has already been completed in the case of Sabadell’s platform and will be completed this year for the remainder.

Sareb is immersed in the so-called “Project Híspalis”, the transfer of the management of 169,461 assets worth €48,200 million to four real estate platforms, which won the tender opened by the bad bank last December to professionalise the marketing of its assets.

The four platforms are: Solvia, the real estate arm of Banco Sabadell; Haya Real Estate, the platform created by the fund Cerberus to manage the property portfolio that it was awarded by Bankia; Altamira, in which the fund Apollo holds a 85% stake following its purchase from Banco Santander; and Servihabitat, the real estate arm of CaixaBank, in which the fund TPG holds a 51% stake. On the basis of the commercial agreement signed, these four firms must pay Sareb €177 million before the end of the month.

This is the last outstanding payment of the total amount (€588.6 million) that the four platforms agreed to pay Sareb as collateral for the contract awarded. The asset managers will recover these funds, together with the commission agreed, as they begin to fulfil the sales objectives that were set.

The four companies had already paid €411.85 million by the end of last year and according to Sareb’s annual accounts, they must pay “the outstanding amount no later than 30 June 2015”. Although this income would represent a significant boost to Sareb’s results, which has recorded losses in each of the last two years and is awaiting (the publication of) an accounting circular, the company has stated that it will set this income aside given that, sooner or later, it will have to return it.

The assets transferred have more than four million documents associated with them and involve the hand over of 352,000 keys – a complex operation involving 200 people from Sareb and one thousand people from the management platforms. Hence the handovers are happening progressively and, according to sources close to the process, will not be completed until at least the autumn and in some cases, until the end of the year.


Original story: Cinco Días (by Juande Portillo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia Habitat Returns To Profitability Thanks To A Tax Credit

26 January 2015 – Expansión

Bankia has cleaned up its real estate subsidiary with a fund contribution and a tax credit. The application of deductions for deferred taxes allowed Bankia Habitat to emerge in 2013 (the latest data published by the entity) from the losses it had recorded in previous years.

The real estate company recorded losses before tax of €86 million, which were offset by the application of deferred taxes amounting to €383 million, taking the net profit of the company to €297 million, compared with a loss of €1,347 million in 2012. This result offset losses recorded in previous years. Furthermore, Bankia Habitat reversed certain asset impairment losses amounting to €68 million, to take the total cumulative profit for the year to €350 million.

In parallel, Bankia restored the equity balance of its subsidiary by completing two debt-relief transactions, whereby injecting €700 million and €606 million of its own funds into the real estate subsidiary. This inflow of €1,306 million allowed the group to rebalance the company’s equity. Its own funds amounted to €995 million at the end of 2013, compared with a negative figure of €607 million a year earlier.

Bankia Habitat has accounted for a credit amounting to €596 million, demandable by the Public Administration, for deferred tax assets arising from losses, according to its audit report for 2013. Bankia Habitat’s total deductions pending offset amount to €221 million at the individual level and €2,451 million at the consolidated level.


These amounts have been generated since 2004, although the bulk was recorded between 2008 and 2012. The timetable for realising the outstanding deductions finishes in 2013 and is conditional upon the company generating profits.

Bankia Habitat was the focus of many of Bank’s solvency problems. The solution began with the transfer of some of its assets to Sareb at the end of 2012, for a consideration of €1,250 million. The bank signed an agreement with Haya to manage the marketing of the Group’s properties.

Original story: Expansión (by E. del Pozo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Picks Haya, Servihabitat, Altamira to Service Its €41.6 Bn Worth of Assets

19/12/2014 – Expansion

The bad bank of Spain moves on to outsourcing its major loan and property portfolio management and awards Cerberus, Apollo and TPG with the remaining three lucrative contracts, including 126.000 real estate assets valued jointly at some 41.2 billion euros.

The portfolios, forming Ibero Project, have been specifically given to Haya Real Estate (Spanish arm of Cerberus), Servihabitat (controlled by TPG) and Altamira (85%-owned by Apollo).

The winners will administer and sell the soured assets transferred to Sareb by various banks.

Full management will be ceded on Januay 1st 2015 for a term of five to seven years. Likewise, Sareb will receive around 600 million euros as a warranty for the asset management.

About a month ago, Solvia (Banco Sabadell) was awarded one of the four contracts, compound of 42.900 assets worth 7 billion euros in total.


Original story: Expansión

Translation: AURA REE

Ahorro & Cecabank Sell AyT to Cerberus

13/11/2014 – Expansion

Savings banks Cecabank and Ahorro Corporación have transferred their two 50% shares in their securitization fund manager to Cerberus.

Ahorro y Titulización (AyT), the bought-out firm, manages 172 securitization funds. Precisely, Haya Real Estate, an arm of Cerberus, put its signature at the deal which provides it with its own securitization fund in Spain, suitable both for own and the third parties’ investments.

The transaction is a part of Ahorro Corporación‘s non-core asset divestment plan, involving changes in stake-holding to give a way out to such big entities as CaixaBank or Bankia which, due to having absorbed small savings banks, have no interest in staying in it.

Besides, Ahorro Corporación is currently in talks with Abanca (former NCG Banco) on the sale of its investment fund. Also, the company ponders options on what to do with its real estate arm, AC Patrimonio Inmobiliario. It can convert it into a Socimi, liquidate the €100 worth of assets inside the vehicle, or sell it to a foreign investor. Other entities decided to dispose of similar type of funds, like Bankia closing its vehicle’s asset transfer to Goldman Sachs.

The goal of Ahorro Corporación has been set to focus on advisory and intermediatory services (AC Financiera SV, accounting for two-thirds of its revenues), including those provided to foreign investors, as well as finding new partners to enter its stake. CecaBank, BMN, Kutxabank, Unicaja, Ibercaja Liberbank and Abanca presently hold shares in Ahorro Corporación.


Original article: Expansión (by Elisa del Pozo), full: Orbyt (by J. Zuloaga & E. del Pozo), pp 17

Translation: AURA REE

Cerberus Hires Local Executives to Hunt Down Last RE Jewels in Spain

12/11/2014 – El Confidencial

Due to the business volume they have to cope with in the country, more and more vulture funds decide to hire local directors. The last one to perform that was Cerberus that outsourced its real estate business management to Jorge Sena (Gesnova), a veteran from the sector who will now join the team of Canadian Brian Betel, the CEO of the U.S. company that entered Spain four years ago.

The changes in Cerberus take place in an unusally active moment on the market. While Sareb is at the verge of awarding its REO asset management (Project Ibero) with a part of it already granted to Solvia (Banco Sabadell), funds continue to strive at various asset types (debt, real estate, housing developments, residential, management, etc.) to create small empires able to compete with Socimis, Spanish counterparts of REIT firms (e.g. Merlin, Hispania, Lar or Axia) or the property managers which got over the recession.

Mr. Sena will now on be responsible for the position of Cerberus and its Haya Real Estate at the bidding of Sareb, as well as at the tender of Realia for which the fund shall raise €1 billion for a capital increase conditioning refinancing of the €3.5 billion debt of the firm.

In the meanwhile, Cerberus keeps on adding more and more Spanish real estate assets to its portfolio. The latest buyout of Sotogrande for €200 million from NH Hoteles and similar transactions are no novelty for the new director who gained his experience as an advisor for international investors at Elitia Real Estate, controlled by private equity fund Advent.

The agreement with Jorge Sena completes the list of executives hired by Cerberus for its affiliate Haya Real Estate, reverberating with names like Juan Hoyos (ex-McKinsey), Manuel Gonzalez Cid (ex-BBVA), Francisco Luzon (ex-Banco Santander) or Jose Maria Aznar Botella (Poniente Capital).

Monthisa Names a CEO

Monthisa, one of the crisis survivors, also placed a bet on hiring top-line experts. Founded by Santos Montoro, the developer named Javier Catena its new general director. Prior to joining the company, the executive worked for Drago Capital, Knight Frank, Inmobiliaria Chamartín, Promodeico and Carrefour.

Lately, Monthisa has allied with opportunistic fund HIG and bought an asset portfolio from Sareb, Spain´s bad bank, including 1.000 dwellings and 740 garage spaces for €100 million.


Original article: El Confidencial (by Carlos Hernanz)

Translation: AURA REE

Haya Real Estate Markets 40.000 Properties Through Its Website

18/09/2014 – El Pais

The real estate manager of Bankia, Bankia Habitat, has been acquired by Cerberus. Now, the U.S. fund presents its new branch, Haya Real Estate which lists all reposssessed assets inherited from the bank, as well as some toxic assets of Sareb and Cajamar at

In total, there are 40.000 properies up for sale. Dwellings represent great majority of the foreclosures, however also rentals, lands, plots and loans may be browsed through.

Haya Real Estate has launched a campaing for those who look for their first house called Pisoterapia (Home-therapy), offering promotions in the Valencian Community, Murcia, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

In July, the servicer sold 1.415 houses. At the end of the first quarter, the value of the managed property showed €32.7 billion in real estate and loans. Since its creation in September 2013, Haya has marketed 6.500 dwellings for the total of €2.4 billion, out of which amount €1.7 billion proceeds from sales transacted during the first half of 2014.

The platform hires 600 salesmen in 20 own centers and 9.100 sales points.


Original article: El País

Translation: AURA REE

Haya Real Estate Appoints Francisco Luzon Its Executive

9/09/2014 – Cinco Dias

Haya Real Estate, Spanish leader in the REO assets management, has just named Francisco Luzón as one of the executives forming its administration board.

Mr Luzon is going to join five other high-profile directors: Juan Hoyos (executive chairman), Francisco Lamas (chief executive officer), Jose Maria Aznar Botella, Cees Maas and Pieter Korteweg.

Francisco Luzon is a Spanish financial sector veteran and one of the best known executives in the Southern American banking field. Over the 40 years of his professional experience, Mr Luzon held office of the CEO of BBVA and of the head of Santander in Latin America.

He is also a member of the Latam Airlines Group and the Willis Group.

In turn, Haya Real Estate has been created by U.S. fund Cerberus. In May last year, the company inherited assets with a face value of €32.7 billion through absorption of the property servicing platform of Cajamar. Haya RE sells 45 units per day on average.


Original article: Cinco Días (by Angeles Gonzalo Alconada)

Translation: AURA REE