Cerberus and BBVA Hire Konstantin Sajonia-Coburgo to Head Up Divarian

16 August 2019

The US fund Cerberus and BBVA have hired Konstantin Saxony-Coburg to head up Divarian, the company that they created after Cerberus acquired the bank’s real estate assets. Saxony-Coburg left his position as co-head of investment banking at Barclays Spain last year, where he had worked since 2010. Divarian, owned 80% by Cerberus and 20% by BBVA, has €13 billion in assets in its portfolio.

The North American fund and BBVA opted to merge Divarian with the US firm’s servicer, Haya Real Estate, this year. Haya is responsible for managing and selling all Cerberus’s real estate holdings in Spain, except for its land bank, which is managed by Inmoglaciar.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Jorge Zuloaga

Photo: Cordon Press

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Haya Real Estate Tops Off its Annus Horribilis with Losses of €0.5M

18 June 2019 – El Confidencial

Haya Real Estate suffered an “annus horribilis” in 2018 after it failed to debut on the stock market and was unsuccessful in its efforts to renegotiate its contract with Sareb (discussions are still on-going). Those events were further compounded by the servicer’s recently published results for the year, which saw it record losses of €445,000, compared with a profit of €32.57 million in 2017, despite a 6.7% increase in revenues to €273.7 million.

The losses were caused by several factors, both accounting and operational nature, and would have been even greater had the group not consolidated the results of Haya Titulización, which contributed profits of €1.27 million.

In fact, the real estate servicer platform Haya Real Estate itself recorded losses of €1.7 million in 2018 compared with profits of €20 million last year. They were caused in part by the new contract that the servicer signed with Bankia in 2018, to include BMN’s assets, which involves disbursements and amortisations during the first few years and which have penalised the company in accounting terms. In addition, Haya purchased the company Mihabitans from Liberbank in June 2018.

Specifically, the amortisations of the management contracts of Bankia and Liberbank increased by more than €20 million YoY in 2018, which, combined with the poor performance of other operating costs (they soared by 46% to €92.2 million) meant that the servicer had little chance of repeating its success of 2017.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sareb Offers the Contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat & Solvia to its Rivals

17 June 2019 – El Confidencial

Sareb is on a mission to change its course. According to market sources, the bad bank chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured below) has decided to put its contracts with Altamira (owned by doBank), Servihabitat (Lone Star) and Solvia (Intrum) out to tender two years before their scheduled renewal.

Even though the contracts are not due to expire until the end of 2021, Sareb is putting them out to tender alongside that of Haya Real Estate, which is due to expire at the end of 2019. This represents a boost for Cerberus’s servicer, given that its competitors will now also have to focus on retaining their own contracts rather than just bidding for Haya’s.

In the event that Sareb awards the contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia to other entities, it will have to compensate the servicers since their contracts clearly establish early termination clauses.

Altogether, Sareb is looking at putting out to tender the management of €34 billion in loans and properties that it still has left in its portfolio. The four will have to submit their bids in the next few months, specifying which assets they want to manage and what commissions they will charge.

The largest mandate is that of Haya, which manages assets proceeding from Bankia, which accounted for 37% of the bad bank’s original assets. It is followed by Altamira, which manages the assets proceeding from Catalunya Banc, BMN and Caja 3 (29% of the total); Servihabitat, which manages the assets from NCG Banco, Liberbank and Banco de Valencia (19%); and Solvia,  which manages assets from Bankia (foreclosed), Banco Gallego and Ceiss (15%). Clearly, there is a lot at stake for these servicers.

Original story: El Confidencial (by J. Zuloaga & R. Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Haya Real Estate Looks to Expand into Italy & Greece to Grow its Business

27 May 2019 – Expansión

Haya Real Estate, the servicer controlled by the US investment fund Cerberus, is looking to grow its business. Following its merger with Divarian (formerly Anida), it is now the second largest servicer in Spain, after Altamira, with 1,200 employees and €47 billion in assets under management.

In order to diversify its portfolio, the servicer led by Carlos Abad (pictured above) is evaluating its expansion into Italy and Greece, two emerging markets in which multiple NPL investment and management opportunities are expected to arise in the short term. That would help alleviate concerns over Haya’s future, which currently depends heavily on the outcome of the servicer’s negotiations with Sareb, whose contract is due to expire in December.

The future of Haya Real Estate has been up in the air since its stock market debut was postponed last year. Cerberus has held its stake in the servicer for six years now and is keen to exit soon given that its typical investment rotation period amounts to five years. Following the postponed IPO, the US giant is now holding preliminary conversations with several other investment funds interested in acquiring its stake, but the price will depend on the servicer’s future with Sareb.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Moonlake Capital Launches a Vehicle to Invest €600M in NPLs

27 May 2019 – Eje Prime

Moonlake Capital is going to launch a vehicle to invest €600 million in large portfolios of non-performing loans in Madrid, Barcelona, the Costa del Sol, the Balearic Islands, Valencia and Sevilla.

The new vehicle will operate as a servicer for the fund and so will manage and divest the portfolio of properties that the banks were left with after their owners were unable to keep up the repayments on their mortgages.

As such, the investment group created in 2016 and headquartered in Madrid will enter the market to compete with the likes of Servihabitat, Altamira, Solvia and Haya Real Estate, amongst others.

In parallel, Moonlake is also planning to create a joint venture with an as yet unidentified investor to develop a 2.5 million m2 project in Málaga’s technology park, involving the construction of 5,000 homes, 110,000 m2 of industrial warehouses and 30,000 m2 of commercial premises.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Marta Casado Pla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Cerberus Receives 3 “Low” Offers For its Stake in Haya Real Estate

24 May 2019 – El Confidencial

Cerberus may be forced to revise down its price expectations for the sale of its real estate platform Haya Real Estate. The US fund had been hoping to receive more than €1 billion for the servicer, which is one of the largest in Spain, but so far the offers it has received amount to just €700 million.

There are currently three candidates in the running, namely, the Italian firm doBank, the US fund Centerbridge and the Asian fund Centricus, according to financial sources – all are familiar faces in the Spanish market and are willing to buy the servicer, but not for the asking price.

The reason is that considerable uncertainty exists over the renewal of Haya’s contract with Sareb, despite Cerberus’s efforts to diversify and grow the servicer’s portfolio with purchases such as the Apple Portfolio from Santander last year, and the agreement to purchase and manage almost all of BBVA’s property. Haya also administers assets for Bankia, Cajamar and Liberbank.

Nevertheless, Haya’s main client is still Sareb, for which it manages €21 million in debt and properties, which account for around half of the platform’s assets. That figure will fall to around a third following the agreement with Divarian, formerly Anida (BBVA), but Sareb wants to significantly reduce both the perimeter of management and the fees that it pays Haya, which would hit the servicer’s revenues hard.

As such, the funds in the running to purchase Haya are requesting protection clauses to cover themselves in the event of the various outcomes from the negotiations with Sareb, which are expected to conclude in September. Whether Cerberus will manage to sell its servicer before then remains to be seen.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Jorge Zuloaga & Ruth Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sareb Launches Project Esparta to Shake Up its Servicer Arrangements

17 May 2019 – Cinco Días

Sareb has launched a new operation called Project Esparta, through which it is seeking to turn its existing strategy on its head.

The bad bank’s aims with this initiative are multiple: to create sub-portfolios into which to classify its assets; to renegotiate the contracts with its servicers to recover the services transferred to them; to delay sales and assume the stock of assets to generate added value; to create regional centres; and to equip itself with its own technological infrastructure. The overall objective is to professionalise sales and enhance the value of its assets.

As a result, Sareb is going to start renegotiating the contracts that it has with Haya, Altamira, Solvia and Servihabitat to recover some of the activities assigned to those servicers. Haya’s contract is due to expire on 31 December 2019 and according to the bad bank, it may be renewed in part or in whole, or the portfolio under management may be put up for tender. The contracts with Altamira, Solvia and Servihabitat are due to terminate in 2021.

Haya was hoping to make its stock market debut this year, but it will have to put those plans on hold until its future with Sareb is resolved.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Ricardo Sobrino)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Haya Real Estate Manages the Sale of Bankia’s Branch on Calle Serrano for €59M

6 May 2019 – Eje Prime

Haya Real Estate has managed the sale of Bankia’s former premises on Calle Serrano, 64, to the Prada group for €59 million. The premises have a surface area of 908 m2 and are distributed over three storeys.

Bankia will have to vacate the property within six months of the transaction being formalised and will be replaced by one of the Prada group’s brands: Miu Miu, Church’s, Car Shoe, Prada and Pasticceria Marchesi.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Cerberus & BBVA to Merge Divarian with Haya Real Estate

25 April 2019 – Europa Press

The Cerberus investment fund will merge Divarian, the company that it created with BBVA after buying the bank’s real estate assets, with its servicer, Haya Real Estate, the firm announced. The combined firm will manage the 60,000 most residential properties that the entity sold to the fund. Divarian and Haya’s management and real estate management operations will also merge.

Under the agreement, Haya will have a total of €49 billion of assets under management, consolidating its position as the largest servicer in Spain. Haya currently provides services to Sareb, BBVA, Bankia, Grupo Cajamar and Liberbank, as well as to several institutional funds.

Divarian is 80% controlled by Cerberus, while BBVA holds the rest.

Original Story: Europress Economia

Translation/Summary: Richard D. Turner

Cerberus Puts Haya Real Estate up for Sale for c. €1.2bn

15 March 2019 – Eje Prime

Cerberus had been planning to list Haya Real Estate on the stock market but it suspended that operation in light of the political instability in the country, amongst other reasons. Instead, the US fund has decided to put the servicer up for sale.

The asking price is €1.2 billion and the advisor Rothschild has already made contact with possible interested parties. They include DoBank, which acquired Altamira in January for €412 million; the Swedish company Intrum, which purchased 80% of Solvia in December; and the fund manager Centricus.

Haya’s contract with Sareb is due to expire at the end of this year and the bad bank is understood to be considering not renewing the agreement as part of a wider strategic rethink.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake