German Bad Bank Finalises Sale Of Spanish Assets To Oaktree

8 May 2015 – Cinco Días

Over the next few weeks the German bad bank is expected to sell the assets that it owns in Spain. FMS Wertmanagement expects to sell the so-called Gaudí portfolio, which contains properties in Spain and Portugal, in a single transaction to Oaktree.

“Now is the time to sell the whole portfolio”, said José Holgado yesterday, Commercial Director of FMW Wetmanagement, at the Spanish real estate market’s second investment forum, which was held yesterday as part of SIMA (Salón Inmobiliario Internacional de Madrid or Madrid International Real Estate Fair). Holgado estimated that the value of the portfolio amounts to almost €900 million, although that is the nominal value, which will be reduced during the final negotiations.

The German entity, created in 2010 with assets from the nationalised Hypo Real Estate bank, operates in the same way as Sareb, the Spanish bad bank. Although the nominal value (of the portfolio) is almost €900 million, it is understood that these non-performing loans and assets have lost value since the start of the housing crisis, therefore they will be sold at below market prices, in the same way as (the assets sold by) the Spanish Sareb. Moreover, since (the portfolio is being) sold on a wholesale basis, the cost will also decrease.

Although several funds have valued FMS Wertmanagement’s portfolio, in the end it will be the Californian fund Oaktree, owner of Panrico, which takes over the Gaudí portfolio, subject to the negotiation of the final details. One of the most significant assets in the portfolio is the luxury Hotel Arts de Barcelona, a five star property managed by Ritz-Carlton. This complex was acquired by several buyers in 2006, including one company that was linked to the Singapore fund GIC. The German bank Hypo Real Estate was one of the entities that granted loans (to it). Once HRE was nationalised, part of the unpaid, syndicated debt was transferred to FMW Wertmanagement.

Other funds

According to the specialist publication CoStar, in addition to Oaktree, the portfolio also sparked interest from other funds including Cerberus Capital Management, Orion Capital Managers and Colony Capital. That publication estimates that the final price of the transaction will amount to approximately €500 million.

The sale of the Gaudí portfolio, which is being managed by Cushman & Wakefield, comprises 16 loans in Spain and two in Portugal. According to sources close to the transaction, Oaktree would immediately acquire another five star hotel in Cascais (Portugal), five shopping centres, four office blocks, 17 industrial storerooms, as well as several other residential and industrial assets.

The shopping centres include the MegaPark in Barakaldo (Vizcaya), Heron City de Las Rozas and Plaza Éboli, both in Madrid.

According to Holgado, FMW Wertmanagement commenced operation holding debt from assets worth €175,000 million, of which €100,000 million have now been sold. The director of the German bad bank said that now is the right time to sell given the significant liquidity in the market.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA Seeks Buyers For 14 Hotels

13 April 2015 – El Confidencial

The hotels are located all over Spain – in Lloret de Mar, Jaén, Benidorm – but according to sources, some of them have been closed.

This is not a transaction involving debt with hotel collateral, but rather the sale of the assets themselves, of their flesh and bones, of their cement and brick. BBVA has hung a “For Sale” sign over fourteen hotels that have been sitting on its balance sheet since various non-performing loans were foreclosed, according to a number of sources. Aguirre Newman has received the sales mandate, but neither the consulting firm or the bank have wanted to make any declarations in this regard. The transaction has been dubbed Project Othello.

The hotels in question are located all over the Spanish peninsular – in Lloret de Mar, Jaén, Benidorm – but according to various sources, some of them are currently closed, with the consequent saving in terms of management and operating costs – the payment of salaries, for example.

BBVA’s decision to put these assets up for sale comes at a time when investors’ appetite for Spanish assets is growing rapidly, thanks to confidence in the growth of the Spanish economy, the record number of foreign visitors to our country, as well as legal certainty.

There is activity in the real estate market, and specifically, within the hotel segment. In 2014, transactions with a value of €1,080 million were closed, representing an increase of 37% over 2013, and twice the figure recorded in 2012, according to data from the consulting firm Irea. It represented the third highest investment volume in the last twenty years, only behind €1,095 million in 2007 and €1,780 million in 2006, an exceptional period for the sector.

Nevertheless, hotel experts consider that it is unlikely that BBVA will find a single buyer for all of these hotels; instead they think that the most likely option is that the entity will end up selling the assets individually to private investors.

BBVA’s is not the only hotel transaction currently on the market. In addition to the sale of these assets, other entities are also negotiating the sale of various debt portfolios that are secured by hotels as collateral. Such is the case of Bankia’s Project Amazona, worth €400 million, secured by around fifty hotels and Project Gaudí, a portfolio of real estate loans worth €750 million, held by the German “bad bank”, which at the time was used to buy the Hotel Arts in Barcelona. Likewise, the experts do not rule out the creation of hotel Socimis over the next few months, following in the footsteps of Hispania and Barceló.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Elena Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Oaktree Enters Exclusive Negotiations On Project Gaudi For c.€500m

13 April 2015 – CoStar Finance

Oaktree Capital Management has entered exclusive negotiations with FMS Wertmanagement for the predominantly Spanish Project Gaudi commercial real estate loan portfolio for a price thought to equal just over €500m, CoStar News has learned.

Negotiations are ongoing and the Board of FMS Wertmanagement is still to approve the sale, but Colony Capital, the second finalist, is no longer in the running to acquire the bad bank’s prospective maiden European NPL.

Project Gaudi, named after the legendary Catalan architect, has an unpaid balance of €740m, and is expected to trade at around 68 cents in the euro.

Cerberus Capital Management and Orion Capital Managers made up the top four, as revealed by CoStar News at the turn of the New Year.

Project Gaudi loan portfolio, which is being sold by Cushman & Wakefield’s Corporate Finance team in London, is comprised of 18 loans with broadly an equal split of performing, sub-performing and non-performing loans.

Project Gaudi, comprised of 16 loans secured by Spanish assets and two loans secured by Portuguese commercial properties, includes:

  • two five-star hotels in Barcelona and Cascais;
  • five shopping centre and leisure centres;
  • four business parks in Madrid and Barcelona;
  • a portfolio of 17 self-storage assets; and
  • several residential and industrial development sites.

The marquee asset in Project Gaudi is the 483-bed Hotel Arts in Barcelona (pictured), managed by Ritz-Carlton.

A consortium comprised of Host Hotels & Resorts, Dutch pension fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and Jasmine Hotels Pte, an affiliate of Singapore sovereign wealth fund’s GIC Real Estate paid €417m in July 2006 for Hotel Arts, which at the time was the largest ever single-asset real estate transaction in Spain.

FMS Wertmanagement, founded in 2010 after the German government nationalised Hypo Real Estate, brought the Project Gaudi loan portfolio for sale in October.

The four second round finalists all placed bids above 60 cents in the euro, which reflects a price of €444m or above.

First round bidders included Davidson Kempner in a joint venture with Värde Partners, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, Marathon Asset Management, Sankaty Advisors, BAML, Colony Capital, Starwood Capital, Apollo Global Management and Lone Star.

FMS Wertmanagement had as much as €13.4bn in remaining commercial real estate loans, as at the end of 2013, including €5.8bn of German loans, €1.8bn of US loans, €1.7bn worth of UK commercial real estate loans and €0.8bn and €0.6bn of loans secured by assets in France and Netherlands, respectively.

Spain has returned to economic growth in 2014 following seven difficult years of rising unemployment, salary deflation and depressed consumer spending.

But an increase in business activity has led to unemployment reducing and consumer confidence has reached its highest level since 2001 with improvements in disposable income and recovering house prices reinforcing this optimism.

All parties declined to comment.

Original story: CoStar Finance (by James Wallace)

Edited by: Carmel Drake