Angel Cano’s Firm to Market Flats in Benidorm’s Giant In Tempo

4 October 2018

The proptech firm Sonneil will market 270 flats, seeking clients for the tallest residential building in Spain.

After years of paralysis, the tallest residential building in Spain, at 192 meters, will begin work on its last phase of construction, while starting sales of its 270 flats. The SVP fund (which owns the property) has commissioned the real estate company Sonneil, owned by Ángel Cano, the former CEO of BBVA, to sell the apartments on an exclusive basis. Sales are expected to begin shortly, the proptech firm announced on its website.

Sonneil is a proptech, which apply information technology to real estate transactions, based in Alicante. Its founder is Alfredo Millá, an ex-executive at Solvia, Sabadell’s servicer. Juan Pedro Moreno, president of Accenture; Albert Ribera, founder of Trovit; and the lawyer Juan Busquets are partners.

Last year, Sevenzonic, run by several former executives at BBVA, including Ángel Cano, and Javier Rodríguez Zapatero, former general manager of Google in Spain and president of the ISDI business school, also invested in the company. Sevenzonic was founded to invest in new technology companies.

The real estate agency Sonneil has not revealed any potential prices or the date that sales will begin. This firm is highly focused on international clients looking for coastal housing in Spain. More than 60% of the buyers it attracts are foreigners, mainly Belgians, Nordics, Dutch and Germans.

As a proptech company, Sonneil uses hyper-segmented online marketing tools segmented by client type, through social networks, Google Ads and web positioning. The real estate company seeks to reduce the number of intermediaries that act in a sale, especially in the case of international clients, becoming a single agent.

Construction on the building began in 2007. Its developer, Olga Urbana, was declared insolvent in 2014. Sareb (the bad bank of the Spanish government,) became its main creditor, selling the debt to SVP Global last year. The American fund took over the project and announced its intent to finish construction on the skyscraper, which has been paralysed for years.

Original Story: Cinco Días – Alfonso Simón Ruiz

Translation: Richard Turner

A Turning Point for the In Tempo Building in Benidorm

1 June 2018 – Diario Información

The In Tempo building in Benidorm is starting a new phase and putting an end to the previous phase that was fraught with economic and legal problems. The new company that acquired the property from the bad bank  Sareb has now received the green light to finish the construction work and start marketing the homes in the tallest residential building in Europe given that it has been officially granted all of the construction permits. In addition, the property developer behind the tower block, the company Olga Urbana, has also ceased to exist.

Just three days ago, the Town Hall of Benidorm, through a decree from the Councillor for Urban Planning, Lourdes Caselles, to which this newspaper has had access, approved the issue of the transfer of the urban planning licence that was previously held by Olga Urbana SL, the property developer behind the project, to the new company that owns the building, Teach Spire SLU.

That licence was granted to the former company in 2006 for the construction of a building comprising 269 homes, 398 parking spaces and 133 storerooms (…). The same decree also covers the transfer of the construction project from the former company in favour of the new owner. With this step, the new company now has all the rights and obligations in place resulting from the transfer of the licences.

Now, the new company has the green light to finish the construction work. The new owner of the In Tempo building in Benidorm, the firm SVP Global, forecasts that the property will become a reality within 12 months and that it will be able to start marketing the 269 homes before the summer, according to a statement issued in April.

In the autumn, the Company for the Management of Assets proceeding from the Restructuring of the Banking System (Sareb) sold the property’s debt to SVP Global for more than €60 million. The bad bank had been left with a loan amounting to €108 million five years ago albeit secured by the tallest building in the Community of Valencia.

The project, which was first approved almost a decade ago, has a 93% completion rate and what has been built is in a good condition despite the fact that the construction work was suspended four years ago after the Alicante-based property developer Olga Urbana filed for bankruptcy (…).

Not only has a chapter been closed for In Tempo in terms of the building permits, but also, the property developer Olga Urbana has also ceased to exist following its bankruptcy. The Official Gazette of the Mercantile Registry (Borme) of Alicante published the inscription of the dissolution of the company yesterday, issued by Mercantile Court number 1 in Alicante, a process that was started in 2014, according to the publication (…).

Original story: Diario Información (by A. Vicente)

Translation: Carmel Drake

SVP Global Buys Defaulted Mortgage Associated With In Tempo Skyscraper

7 November 2017 – Expansión

The investment fund SVP Global has reached an agreement with Sareb to buy the defaulted debt associated with the In Tempo skyscraper, the largest residential building in Benidorm. According to financial sources consulted, SVP Global has purchased a package of debt worth around €110 million, secured by the second tallest residential property in the EU, whose property developer, Olga Urbana, has filed for creditors’ bankruptcy.

It is one of the largest debt operations associated with a single real estate asset in Spain. SVP Global is a fund specialising in this type of operation and has around $6,900 million under management through its various vehicles. The In Tempo building is an unfinished project (although more than 90% of the construction work has been completed) measuring 192m tall and containing 47 floors for residential use.

The construction of In Tempo has given rise to a long-standing legal dispute. After launching the development of the tallest residential property in Europe in 2006, its property developer Olga Urbana had planned to finish the work in the middle of 2009. But, with the outbreak of the real estate crisis, the building work ended up being subjected to continuous delays and obstacles due to problems with the construction companies and suppliers. Although the construction work continued, in a fashion, under the control of Caixa Galicia, which financed the development with a €100 million loan, the financial crisis put an end to the construction work, which was never finished.

In 2012, the loan from the former savings back was transferred to Sareb, which at the end of 2014 and in the absence of an agreement between Olga Urbana’s shareholders, decided to enforce the creditors’ bankruptcy, with a total debt of €137 million. As part of that process, the judge approved the auction of the almost-finished building with a value of just over €90 million. Nevertheless, the offers were very low and so Sareb decided to exercise its preferential right to take ownership of the property.

Original story: Expansión (by C. Morán and A. C. Álvarez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Is Awarded The Kronos Building In Benidorm

26 April 2017 – Valencia Plaza

Sareb, also known as the “bad bank”, has taken ownership of one of the tallest skyscrapers in Benidorm (the fifth tallest to be precise), as well as in all of Spain. As such, Sareb currently has 136 homes up for sale of varying types and sizes in the Kronos building: from the 1st floor to the 38th. It is a 41-storey tower, which was conceived as a luxury residential property, where the building does not even occupy 20% of the plot. The remainder comprises common and recreation areas, including two swimming pools, one for adults and one for children, a gym, football pitch, padel and tennis court, as well as extensive green areas.

The building was constructed by the Valencian property developer Grupo García Ojeda, which dodged several bankruptcy proceedings as well as it could during the first few years of the crisis. Sareb rescued nine savings banks, including properties and loans to property developers. The second was the operation through which the “bad bank” was awarded the asset, according to Alicante Plaza, whose debt belonged to one of the companies in the Grupo García Ojeda. (…).

Construction of the property began in 2005 and although the keys were handed over three years later, most of the homes remained unsold a decade later. The asking prices are not the cheapest, according to real estate sources consulted. The apartments have 1, 2 and 3-bedrooms and the smallest properties are going for at least €97,176, according to Grupo Ferrer Albors Real State and Activium. The latter has also put up a sign on the side of the building to advertise the price of the 1-bedroom homes. Even so, the figures are well below those achieved before the crisis, despite the fact that these homes are new and have never actually been lived in.

Sareb’s interest in tall buildings in Benidorm is not unique to Kronos. It is also looking to take over In Tempo, the unfinished skyscraper, which, unless the judges make a ruling to the contrary, will be awarded to the bad bank, presumably, for its subsequent sale.

Original story: Valencia Plaza

Translation: Carmel Drake

In Tempo: Bankruptcy Administrator Rules In Favour Of Sareb

17 January 2017 – El Mundo

The bankruptcy administrator of Olga Urbana, the property developer of the In Tempo skyscraper in Benidorm, whose future is being decided by the courts, is clear in its findings: neither Abanca (previously Caixa Galicia) nor Sareb (the bad bank) were administrators of the bankrupt company and therefore, neither of them were responsible for the management that led the company to suspend its payments after it accumulated debt amounting to €137 million.

In this way, the position of the bankruptcy administrator, Antonia Magdaleno, who has presented her conclusions about the In Tempo case before the Mercantile Court of Alicante, which is instructing the process, represents a lifeline for the interests of Olga Urbana’s major creditors, above all for Sareb, which is hoping to repossess the property and subsequently sell it to recover some of its debt, which amounts to around €107 million.

Magdaleno considers…that Sareb’s debt should be ranked as special privilege, which would place it at the front of the queue when it comes to receiving proceeds once the building is sold. By contrast, the small creditors, who initiated this bankruptcy proceeding, maintain that Abanca and Sareb did act as administrators of In Tempo’s developer, and therefore that their loans should be considered as subordinated, which would force them to the back of the queue when it comes to receiving any proceeds, whereby allowing the other creditors to recover their loans first.

Magdaleno reminded the Court that construction of In Tempo, the tallest residential skyscraper in Spain, was suspended in 2010 by which point Olga Urbana had used up the entire loan – amounting to €90 million – granted to it by Abanca, something which the small creditors deny. This group of creditors (the construction company Kono, Isidro Bononat – a shareholder of Olga Urbana – and the architect Roberto Pérez Guerras) say that Magdaleno’s investigations have not been independent. (…).

Sareb, which took over the loan that Abanca had previously granted to Olga Urbana, maintains its claim against the Attorney General’s office in which it accuses Olga Urbana of “alleged diversion of funds and company links between owners and administrators of the company and some of their own contractors and suppliers”. The entity calculates that €23 million was diverted.

Similarly, the bankruptcy administrator argues that the fact that Sareb requested the necessary bankruptcy of Olga Urbana “does not represent another example of the bad bank’s involvement in the administration of the business, but rather represents a standard option open to all creditors when a Board of Directors is not fulfilling its duties”. Magdaleno is categorical in this respect. “There is no proof whatsoever that allows us to conclude that first Abanca and subsequently Sareb, carried out any functions akin to those of a real company administrator”. The judge will have the final word.

Original story: El Mundo (by F.D.G.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb & Olga Urbana’s Small Creditors Await “In Tempo” Court Ruling

2 December 2016 – El Mundo

The small creditors of Olga Urbana, the bankrupt property developer responsible for the In Tempo skyscraper in Benidorm, are continuing their battle with Sareb regarding the future of the controversial building.

As the company’s main creditor, the bad bank is looking to be awarded ownership of the iconic block and whereby recover some of the €100 million that it is owed by the development company; meanwhile, a group of creditors, comprising the construction company Kono; the former administrator of the bankrupt company, Isidro Bononat; the architect Robert Pérez Guerras, and the owners of one of the homes sold, Laura and María Pelayo, are trying to stop Sareb’s plans and avoid the entity from being first in line to collect its debt, given that such an arrangement would prevent them (and all of the other creditors) from recovering any funds.

Their objective is to force Sareb to get to be back of the queue when it comes to collecting its debt, given that the company was the administrator of Olga Urbana, and therefore, all of the business management duties lay with the bad bank.

Commercial Court number one in Alicante, which is instructing Olga Urbana’s bankruptcy proceedings, will have to take the final decision in this regard.

If the judge considers that Sareb was the administrator of Olga Urbana, then its loan will be classified as subordinated in the bankruptcy ranking, and therefore, Sareb would be one of the last entities to recover its funds. Furthermore, it would not be allowed to foreclose the property via the fast track, and so the small creditors would be able to recover their debts first; however, if the judge ends up ruling that Sareb was not the administrator of Olga Urbana, then the bad bank would have free rein to hold onto In Tempo (which has an appraisal value of €90 million), sell it and offset some of the liabilities that are currently weighing it down.

The conflict is now only pending the final ruling. The hearing was held at the end of October and the parties have presented their findings.

The small creditors insist that since the end of 2009, the construction work was supervised and led by Caixa Galicia (subsequently called Abanca) and then by Sareb (December 2012), when it took on a loan amounting to €103 million that Abanca had granted to Olga Urbana to build the tallest residential tower in Spain.

In parallel, Sareb has filed a claim against the Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the existence of alleged irregularities in the management of Olga Urbana, citing that “economic harm” has been caused amounting to €23 million.

Sareb argues that, amongst the irregularities identified, it has found “alleged diversion of funds and company links between the owners and administrators of Olga Urbana and some of its own contractors and suppliers. (…).

Original story: El Mundo (by F. D. G.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Setback For Sareb: Suspension Of “In Tempo” Foreclosure

24 October 2016 – El Mundo

The soap opera involving In Tempo, the tallest residential building in Spain, continues. And the latest episode represents a real setback for Sareb, the main creditor of Olga Urbana, the company that went bankrupt after constructing the famous skyscraper in Benidorm.

Commercial Court number 1 in Alicante, which is handling Olga Urbana’s bankruptcy, has suspended the foreclosure of the property, which, in theory, was going to be awarded to Sareb, after it submitted the only and highest bid, amounting to €58.5 million. The judge has ruled in favour of the appeals submitted by Olga Urbana’s smaller creditors against the aspirations of the bad bank, which had been hoping to take over the building after it spent the summer contending that it had submitted the only official bid.

Nevertheless, according to the ruling dated 13 October, the magistrate considers that In Tempo cannot be awarded until the bankruptcy incidents that are affecting the process have been resolved. As soon as firm rulings have been issued regarding these incidents, the foreclosure will be approved, but not before. This represents a serious setback for Sareb: it had planned to foreclose the 190m tall building and then resell it,  whereby recovering some or all of its debt, which amounts to €108 million in total.

The bad bank will now have to wait until the bankruptcy incidents have been legally resolved. The claims have been filed by Olga Urbana’s small creditors, who consider that the liquidation plan would be harmful for them, given that, in their opinion, they would not recover any of their debt; these companies maintain that Sareb should not hold preferential creditor status, which gives it the right to recover its debt first.

According to these creditors (which include the construction company Kono, the arquitect Robert Pérez Guerras and the former administrator of Olga Urbana, Isidre Boronat), Sareb was an administrator of Olga Urbana and therefore, is responsible for the creditor bankruptcy of the company, which went bust at the end of 2014 with liabilities amounting to €137 million.

The creditors argue that the bad bank should be the last party to recover its money (…). In this way, the small creditors would recover their money before Sareb.

Given that this question has not been decided yet, the judge handling the bankruptcy has opted to wait for clarification as to whether Sareb is a preferential creditor or not, because a premature foreclosure could affect the interests of the other creditors. Meanwhile, Sareb maintains that the foreclosure of the building, which has been valued at €90 million, forms part of the liquidation plan, and would not be harmful to the other creditors.

Original story: El Mundo (by F. D. G.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Will Take Ownership Of The ‘In Tempo’ Skyscraper In Benidorm

25 August 2016 – El Economista

The In Tempo skyscraper in Benidorm is the tallest residential tower in Spain and the second tallest in Europe, however, it is proving difficult to find an investor willing to pay the asking price. The property is weighed down by debt amounting to €100 million, which is in the hands of Sareb, but is reportedly worth around €90 million.

According to the newspaper El Confidencial, none of the offers for the skyscraper, which has been on the market since the end of last year, have exceeded €60 million. For this reason, Sareb has not waived its right to submit a higher offer to take over the asset, in an operation that would form part of the liquidation process of its current owner and developer, the company Olga Urbana.

According to online media, the bad bank has confirmed this information, however, “they assure that they have not yet received the asset foreclosure notice from the judge”.

The 52-floor building, which is 189m tall and contains 300 apartments is a symbol of the real estate bubble. Once the judge has authorised the award of the asset to Sareb, the bad bank could begin a new sales process involving negotiations with the two funds that have already expressed interest in the property.

Although construction work is still underway and the degree of completion ranges between 83% and 97%, apartments in the skyscraper are being sold for between €190,990.80 and €1.6 million, according to the online portal Idealista.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake