Banco Sabadell Sells Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios to Oaktree for €882 Million

5 August 2019

Banco Sabadell has agreed to sell its developer, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (Sdin), to the US-fund Oaktree. The sale, which includes a significant stock of land holdings, closed for 882 million euros and will generate an accounting gain of 23 million euros.

Sabadell split Sdin Residencial from the larger Solvia Real Estate before its sale to the Swedish group Intrum.

With this deal, Sabadell has practically eliminated toxic assets from its balance sheet, selling more than €12.5 billion in non-performing assets over the last year.

Thanks to the sales, Sabadell will now have a Tier 1 Common Capital Ratio of 11.6%, up from 11.2% in June. The bank hopes to reach 12% in 2020.

Original Story: Expansión – Sergi Saborit

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

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

Sabadell Completes the Sale of its Platform Solvia to Intrum

24 April 2019 – Cinco Días

Banco Sabadell and Intrum have definitively closed the operation whereby the entity chaired by Josep Oliu has sold 80% of its real estate platform Solvia to the Swedish group, more than four months after it was initially announced, having obtained the corresponding approvals.

The operation values 100% of the company at €300 million and so Sabadell will receive €240 million for the 80% stake, an amount that may increase by another €40 million depending on the evolution of the business.

The bank will record a gain of €138 million as a result of the sale and its capital ratio will improve by 15 basis points.

The entity is also waiting to complete the sale of its property developer Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (SDIn) during the next quarter. The funds Cerberus and Oaktree have made it through to the final round of that operation, according to sources.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A. G.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

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

Sabadell Delays Completion of ‘Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios’ Sale until May

28 February 2019 – El Confidencial

Banco Sabadell is finalising the sale of land from Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (SDIn) to complete its real estate divestment process with prices of between €900 million and €1.1 billion. The process began with more than 20 funds and property developers expressing interest. Analysts forecast that the Catalan entity will record gains of more than €200 million.

To this end, the bank chaired by Josep Oliu (pictured above, left), has already prepared a timetable. The entity has delayed the deadlines because it has taken longer than expected to receive some of the signed confidentiality agreements (NDAs). Now, the interested parties will have until 30 March to analyse SDIn and submit non-binding offers. The deadline for the subsequent period for the submission of binding offers will be 17 May.

In this way, Sabadell will have the second half of May to accept the winning bid, and then receive the corresponding authorisations to complete the divestment before July (…).

Analysts expect that the operation will be executed in the region of €1 billion, with a discount of 30% on the net asset value. Even so, that would result in capital gains from profits of more than €200 million, according to a report by Alantra, to which this newspaper has had access. In this way, the maximum quality capital ratio (CET1 fully loaded) would move towards 12%, approaching the 12.5% that the bank has set itself as a target for 2020 in its strategic plan. In December, the ratio amounted to 11.1%, well below the 12.8% from the previous year following the sale of toxic property and the problems with the integration with TSB.

The land has been valued at €1.3 billion by Savills Aguirre Newman and by the property developer SDIn itself (…).

Candidates include funds and property developers. Market sources point to Cerberus, Oaktree and Neinor homes as some of the leading contenders. The operation will require the buyer to become one of the largest real estate players in Spain (…).

In December, Banco Sabadell agreed the sale of its property developer Solvia to the Nordic fund Intrum for €300 million. Intrum is listed on the Stockholm stock exchange and is the owner of Lindorff and Aktua in Spain (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Óscar Giménez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Unicaja Considers the Sale of a Large RE Portfolio in 2019

12 February 2019 – Expansión

Unicaja accelerated the clean up of its balance sheet during the course of 2018. The Málaga-based entity decreased its volume of non-performing assets by 22%, in such a way that it is now close to the reduction objective it established in its latest strategic plan for 2020. That is according to the figures provided by the bank itself during the presentation of its results for last year.

The entity chaired by Manuel Azuaga (pictured above) ended 2018 with a volume of non-performing assets (NPAs) amounting to €3.6 billion, of which €1.7 billion were foreclosed assets and €1.9 billion were non-performing loans.

In five years, the bank has reduced its toxic legacy by 51% or more than €3.8 billion. Unicaja’s commitment to investors was to bring its exposure to problem assets down below the €3.5 billion mark before the end of 2020. The rate of sales of small NPA portfolios has allowed it to get ahead in the calendar that it established in its strategic plan. But the entity will continue its clean up.

The heads of Unicaja have reported their intention to continue with small portfolio sales during 2019. Moreover, they do not rule out carrying out the sale of a large portfolio in order to segregate a majority of the non-performing exposure, in a similar way to what most of the Spanish banks have been doing over the last two years.

Unicaja’s decision to carry out a massive property sale will depend, like in other cases, on the discounts that the entity will have to apply to its portfolio. The NPAs of the Malagan bank have an average coverage level of 57%, which means that a discount of a similar percentage could be applied to the book value without resulting in accounting losses for the entity this year.

High asset quality

Unicaja is, together with Abanca, the only Spanish bank entity that still retains ownership of its servicer, the real estate subsidiary through which it sells its homes and commercial premises.

The recent decision by Sabadell to sell 80% of Solvia to Intrum followed other previous operations that have seen the Spanish banks undoing their positions in the property segment, including the sale of Servihabitat to Lone Star by CaixaBank, and of Aliseda to Blackstone by Santander.

Beyond Unicaja’s plans for its property, the entity has been recording a positive trend in terms of the quality of its assets for several years now. The net inflows of problem loans have registered eight consecutive quarters of decreases, and between September and December, they recorded the largest decrease in the bank’s historical series.

Since 2014, Unicaja’s default ratio has also decreased by almost half: from 12.6% recorded in December 2014, the Málaga-based entity has managed to clean up its balance sheet to bring the rate of toxic loans down to just 6.7%.

Original story: Expansión (by Nicolás M. Sarriés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Puts its Property Developer Subsidiary Up For Sale with Assets worth €1.2bn

5 February 2019 – La Vanguardia

Banco Sabadell announced on Tuesday that it is putting its subsidiary Solvia Desarollos Inmobiliarios up for sale. The property developer owns assets worth around €1.2 billion. The assets are mostly plots of residential land, located in prime areas of Madrid, Barcelona and other major cities, as well as 130 work-in-progress real estate developments.

Less than a week ago, the President of Banco Sabadell, Josep Oliu, announced at the presentation of last year’s results that “we are going to continue with our asset divestment policy”. On this occasion, Sabadell has chosen the investment bank Rothschild, according to the relevant fact sent to the CNMV, to circulate the sales prospectus amongst possible buyers. According to market sources, large funds such as Blackstone, Cerberus, Värde and Oaktree, amongst others, may be interested in buying the company.

The entity, led by Francisco Pérez, has around 40 employees, who will also exit Sabadell’s orbit. The sales process may last six months. Firstly, the candidates will have to submit offers and then a competitive process will be carried out.

This sale is running in parallel to the sale of 80% of the real estate manager Solvia. In theory, an agreement has been reached to sell that firm to Lindorff Holding Spain, which belongs to the Swedish fund Intrum, for €300 million. That price may increase by an additional €40 million if certain conditions established in the sales agreement are fulfilled.

Original story: La Vanguardia (by Conchi Lafraya)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Puts ‘Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios’ Up for Sale

19 January 2019 – El Periódico 

Banco Sabadell has launched the sales process of Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (SDIN), the company that owns the bank’s land and which carries out its real estate development projects in Spain. On Friday, the entity placed the sales brochure for the firm in the hands of possible buyers, including international real estate funds, such as Cerberus, Blackstone, Värde and Oaktree, amongst others, according to confirmation provided by real estate sources. The process, regarding which the bank itself has declined to comment, could go on until April. The time necessary for buyers to express their interest and conduct analysis of the company for sale.

The process to sell the development company is beginning just a month after the bank chaired by Josep Oliu completed the sale of 80% of its servicer – real estate manager – to Lindorff Holding Spain, a company that belongs to the Swedish fund Intrum, after it fought off competition from the funds Cerberus and Centricus, which were also bidding for the real estate subsidiary. In that operation, Solvia was valued at €300 million. The price corresponded to 80% of the stake in the company, which could be increased by a maximum amount of €40 million if certain conditions, relating to the performance of some of Solvia’s lines of business, are met. The completion of the operation is scheduled for the second half of 2019.

Maturity period

SDIN is in the maturity period for its sale, according to sources familiar with the operation. The firm has a stock of more than 300 buildable plots, which are worth around €1.2 billion and has almost 130 developments underway across different parts of Spain, with more than 5,000 homes under construction. The size of the portfolio of SDIN, which is led by Francisco Pérez (pictured above), places it in the second league in the sector ranking, just behind the listed property developers, led by Metrovacesa, Neinor, Aedas and Vía Célere. Only Sareb has more assets (…).

Original story: El Periódico (by Max Jiménez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Apollo Negotiates the Sale of Altamira to Dobank (Fortress) for €500M

21 December 2018 – El Confidencial

The sale of Altamira, the historical real estate arm of Banco Santander, is facing its most decisive moment. The Italian group Dobank has positioned itself as the primary candidate in recent days to purchase the platform owned by Apollo and Santander, amongst others, by submitting an offer for between €500 million and €550 million, according to financial sources consulted by El Confidencial.

The offer is somewhat lower than Apollo and its other two partners in Altamira’s share capital, the Canadian pension fund CPPIB and the Abu Dhabi fund ADIA, had expected. Between the three of them, they control an 85% stake, whilst the remaining 15% is in the hands of Santander.

The shareholders engaged Goldman Sachs to coordinate the sale with the aim of obtaining proceeds of €600 million. Nevertheless, the lack of competition has decreased the price in recent weeks. The deal was also influenced by the withdrawal of Intrum, which decided not to buy Altamira after winning the bid to acquire Solvia, according to the same sources.

That price difference means that Apollo and Goldmans are taking their time over the completion of the operation. Apollo, CPPIB and ADIA paid €664 million for the 85% stake in the real estate firm back in the day. Despite that, they do not have to reach that figure to recover their investments, given that they have received various dividends in recent years that compensate their profitability figures.

Dobank is the Italian platform owned by Fortress, the US fund that used to operate in Spain in the recovery of financial assets, through Paratus, Geslico and Lico Corporación.

The platform has been interested in entering the Spanish market for a while and regards Altamira as the ideal partner, given that it is the property manager that has been the most committed to internationalisation. It already operates in Portugal, Cyprus and Greece and the next major market into which it wants to expand is Italy.

Santander has not yet decided what it will do with its 15% stake in Altamira, whether to sell it together with the stakes of the other shareholders or to hold onto it to retain some control over the future of the platform, which still manages some of its assets.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Apollo’s Sale of Altamira Enters the Home Stretch with DoBank & Intrum as Favourites

17 December 2018 – La Información

The market for servicers is still in a spin and, following the sale of the majority of Solvia last week, now it is Altamira’s turn. According to assurances provided to La Información by sources close to the process, the US fund Apollo is facing the home stretch of the operation, which is expected to close within the next few days. Of the offers received by the US entity, those submitted by the Italian entity DoBank and the Swedish firm Intrum, have managed to make it through to the final found.

In fact, according to the same sources, it is DoBank, the former UniCredit Management Bank, that has the upper hand, in a transaction that is being led by Goldman Sachs. Currently, the entity is the largest owner of doubtful loans in Italy, and so its experience with this type of company is more than clear. Moreover, the most recent major operation that it carried out was in Greece, with the acquisition of a portfolio of non-performing loans in the Hellenic country worth €2 billion.

In total, the Italian firm currently manages more than €77 billion in loans and has agreements with most entities in its home country. For that, it employs a workforce of almost 1,200 and works with 1,600 external collaborators.

Apollo engaged Goldman Sachs last summer to carry out the sale of its servicer but after months of offers – including from Haya and Cerberus – it has decided to select the aforementioned two entities for the final round. The US fund has decided to take advantage of the good times in the market to divest and obtain profits after four years at the helm of Altamira (…).

Apollo acquired the servicer in January 2014 after paying €664 million in exchange for the 85% stake that it currently owns. Its primary function is based on the recovery management of loans from banks and the management and sale of properties proceeding from that activity. In 2017, the last year for which data is available in the Mercantile Registry, Altamira had more than 500 employees and generated an annual turnover of more than €300 million.

This servicer has become one of the major managers of financial and real estate assets in the country, with more than €53.8 billion in assets and more than 82,000 properties. Its main clients include its shareholder Banco Santander, and Sareb (…).

Intrum has already purchased 80% of Solvia

In the event that the tables turn and it is Intrum that ends up acquiring Altamira, it would be the second operation by the Swedish firm in one week. On Friday, Sabadell announced the sale of 80% of Solvia Servicios Inmobiliarios to Intrum for €300 million, whereby converting the fund into one of the new property giants (…).

The sale of Altamira by Apollo would serve to further close the door to Spain for the Americans. Since the sale of Evo Banco in September – the fund’s other major project in the country – to Bankinter, speculation has been rife regarding Apollo’s withdrawal from the Spanish market (…).

Original story: La Información (by Lucía Gómez)

Translation: Carmel Drake