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 & Oaktree in the Final Round to Buy ‘Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios’

5 April 2019 – Expansión

Banco Sabadell is on the home stretch for the sale of 100% of its property developer, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (SDIn). The funds Cerberus, through its property developer Inmoglacier, and Oaktree have made it through to the final round of the operation, which could be closed within the next few days or weeks.

The consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman has estimated that SDIn’s assets are worth more than €1.3 billion and the entity chaired by Josep Oliu (pictured above) is hoping to record proceeds of around €1 billion from the sale.

The portfolio comprises 270 buildable plots for the construction of around 15,000 homes, half of which are in Cataluña, although it also contains plots in Madrid, Andalucía and Valencia.

It has been reported that two other investment funds may have also been selected for the final round (out of Apollo, Goldman Sachs and CPPIB) but Oaktree is understood to be the favourite. Rothschild is advising the divestment process.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Sampedro and S. Saborit)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Aedas, Neinor & Merlin Properties Put €1bn on the Table for Sabadell’s Land

29 January 2019 – OK Diario

Banco Sabadell has now opened the sales process for Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios, its real estate developer, for which the entity expects to obtain €1 billion. To date, the entity chaired by Josep Oliu has already sent the teaser to almost 30 interested parties. But there has been an important development, and that is that it is not only the typical funds that tend to participate in these types of auctions that are interested in the company, property developers are also keen, including Neinor, Aedas and Merlin Properties.

It is worth remembering that when Sabadell decided to sell Solvia, it separated the house-sale business and the real estate development business into two different companies with the aim of achieving a better offer. The land, which is owned by the second firm, forms part of the bank’s balance sheet and that is what is now up for sale.

According to sources speaking to OK Diario, the deadline for non-binding offers will finish in March; it will be after that when Banco Sabadell will start to receive binding offers. Sources in the know indicate that the operation will be closed in the second quarter. And, moreover, in addition to the aforementioned property developers, funds such as Cerberus, De Shaw, Blackstone, Värde, Apollo and Oaktree have also received the teaser (…).

The main plots of land owned by Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios are in Madrid, Barcelona and several places along the Mediterranean Coast. The portfolio includes plots that the buyer will have to reclassify in order to be able to sell, resell or transform them, as well as plots that are ready for development. It is precisely in those assets that so many property developers have expressed their interest.

Banco Sabadell obtained a profit of €138 million from the sale of 80% of Solvia, its real estate subsidiary, to Lindorff, a company that belongs to the Intrum AB group, for €300 million. With that operation, Sabadell, which has retained ownership of the remaining 20% stake in Solvia, achieved a positive impact on its Common Equity Tier 1 (“fully loaded”) capital ratio of 15 basis points.

The completion of that operation, which is subject to obtaining the corresponding authorisations, is also scheduled for the second quarter of 2019 (…).

Original story: OK Diario (by Borja Jiménez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell & CaixaBank in the Top 5 European Ranking of Toxic Asset Sales in 2018

29 January 2019 – Expansión

CaixaBank starred in the fourth largest toxic asset sale operation in Europe in 2018 whilst Sabadell starred in the seventh largest. And they were not the only transactions that the two entities undertook (…). In fact, both banks feature in the list of the Top 5 entities in Europe by volume of toxic asset portfolio sales last year, according to data collected by the analysis firm specialising in debt Debtwire.

All of that, despite the fact that Spain’s two largest banks, Santander and BBVA, had a much quieter 2018 than 2017, when the former undertook the largest sale of toxic assets in the country’s history, with the transfer of assets with a nominal value of €30 billion inherited from Popular to Blackstone. Meanwhile, BBVA placed part of its real estate business in the hands of Cerberus that same year.

Last year, Sabadell and CaixaBank took over the baton. The bank chaired by Josep Oliu is the Spanish entity that recorded the largest toxic asset sales in 2018, divesting assets with a nominal value of €12.6 billion. That figure placed it fourth in the ranking, behind only the Italian entities Monte Dei PAschi, Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Banco BPM.

Meanwhile, CaixaBank (…) was the fifth most active bank in the ranking, with toxic asset sales of €12.1 billion, just behind Sabadell.

Together with contributions from the other banks, with Bankia and Santander in high-ranking places, the Spanish sector divested toxic assets worth €43.2 billion in 2018, compared with €51.7 billion in 2017, which represented a decrease of 16%.

Nevertheless, neither CaixaBank nor Sabadell managed to keep Spain at the top of the podium of countries that divested the most toxic assets last year. Italy is the new leader with NPL sales of €103.6 billion (…).

In Spain, the loans and foreclosed assets divested by the banks are now in the hands of Cerberus and Lone Star, primarily, the two funds that purchased the most in Spain last year, with €15.8 billion and €13 billion, respectively.

Well behind them in the ranking is Axactor, which is typically more interested in smaller operations. And Blackstone, which was out of the ranking last year, after starring as the absolute leader in 2017, thanks to the operation that it closed with Santander, according to the report from Debtwire, which takes into account all transactions exceeding €100 million (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Inés Abril)

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

Sabadell Set to Sell €10bn of Toxic RE in June After Receiving Deluge of Binding Offers

25 May 2018 – El Confidencial

Banco Sabadell has entered the home stretch of its mission to sell all of its toxic property, a rapid process that is expected to be completed in June. The entity has received a deluge of binding offers for the four portfolios that it currently has up for sale – Coliseum, Challenger, Makalu and Galerna – which have a combined gross value of more than €10 billion.

The first two portfolios contain foreclosed assets (REOs) and include Cerberus, Blackstone, Lone Star and Oaktree as potential buyers (in the final round); meanwhile, the other two portfolios comprise secured loans with real estate collateral (NPLs) and their potential buyers include Deutsche Bank, Lone Star, Bain Capital and Oaktree, according to confirmation from several market sources.

These proposals are now with the Steering Committee, which means that, once that body has given its verdict, the process will be passed to the Board of Directors, chaired by Josep Oliu (pictured above, right), which is the body that has to ratify the name of the winner.

In theory, this ruling is going to be issued within a matter of weeks, in June and, in any case, before August. Sources at the entity have declined to comment on either the finalists or the calendar.

Portfolios and the FGD

Having chosen the names of the winners, Sabadell will be able to close the sale of Challenger, the largest of all of these portfolios, with a gross volume of almost €5 billion; it is the only one that does not need approval from the Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGD), given that all of the assets contained therein come from the Catalan entity itself.

By contrast, the €2.5 billion in properties that comprise Coliseum come from the former entity CAM – Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo – and, therefore, need to be approved by the FGD, since it would have to cover 80% of the losses. The same applies to Makalu (€2.5 billion in loans) and Galerna (€900 million).

The need to receive this approval means that it is likely that the entity will have to wait until next year to deconsolidate all of these toxic assets, although it will be able to sign a sales agreement conditional upon that authorisation, like BBVA did in the case of the sale agreed with Cerberus last year to transfer all of its property, some of which is also subject to the FGD’s approval.

By contrast, this year, Sabadell could remove almost €5 billion in the form of Challenger from its perimeter, a step forward in terms of fulfilling the requirements of the European Central Bank (ECB), which is putting pressure on Spanish entities to remove the impact of a decade of real estate crisis from their balances sheets.

Solvia is being left out of the sale

At the end of the first quarter, the entity held €14.9 billion in problem assets, down by 17.6% compared to a year earlier, with an average coverage ratio of 55.2% (56.6% for doubtful debt and 53.7% for foreclosed assets), a percentage that serves as a reference for the funds when calculating their offer prices.

With the sale of all of these portfolios, the entity would reduce its real estate exposure to less than €5 billion.  Since the beginning of the crisis, that exposure has been managed by Sabadell’s own servicer: Solvia.

Some of the finalist funds had asked the entity to include Solvia in the transaction, according to Voz Pópuli, but in the end, that possibility has been ruled out by the bank, as it considers that the valuation of its asset manager is higher than the price that would be offered by funds.

In addition, as El Confidencial revealed, the servicer has created its own property developer, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios, which has €1,252 million in managed assets and which is also finalising an agreement with Oaktree to create a joint venture promoter.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Earns €35M From the Sale of its Last 11 Hotels

15 May 2018 – La Vanguardia

Banco Sabadell has definitively completed its divestment from the hotel business by selling off the last of the establishments that did not form part of the package acquired by Blackstone last year. Overall, the bank chaired by Josep Oliu has recorded income of around €35 million from the sale of 11 medium-sized establishments in different parts of Spain. The last one to be sold is the Barceló Estepona, which has been acquired by Hotusa.

In that case, the financial entity has sold the ownership of the property in which the hotel is located. In the majority of cases, the establishments were managed by a specialist company. All of the hotels were left over from the real estate crisis. Sabadell ended up taking ownership of them in recent years in lieu of payments for the debts that their owners had taken out and which they could not repay. In other cases, they were the direct result of mortgage foreclosures for non-payment.

In recent months, the bank led by Jaume Guardiola has been considering several alternatives for its hotel portfolio, including a possible stock market debut. In the end, the entity opted to sell most of the assets owned by the company HI Partners to Blackstone last year. The 11 establishments that were left out of that operation are the ones that have just been sold. In the operation with Blackstone, the bank obtained gains (extraordinary profits) of €55 million from proceeds of €630.7 million. In that deal, it sold establishments such as the ME Sitges Terramar, the Hilton Sa Torre in Mallorca and the Axel Hotel in Madrid to the international fund.

In addition to the Barceló Estepona, the bank has also just divested the following hotels: Barcelona Gate, Margas Golf, Cunit and La Selva. Most of the establishments sold in this final phase were not beachfront properties, nor were they large. Other properties sold recently include the Asta Regia Hotel Jerez de la Frontera acquired by Hotusa, the Aparthotel Augusta in Boí Taüll bought by Kesse Invest, the Balt Hotel Spa in Gijón purchased by Artiem, the Barceló Oviedo acquired by Barceló and the AC Lleida bought by AA Hoteles.

In parallel, the bank is continuing with the process to divest a large proportion of its non-hotel real estate assets that also resulted from the real estate crisis, including those inherited from the now extinct entity CAM. The bank has launched the sale of toxic assets amounting to €10.8 billion through a number of separate operations. It is a significant amount with respect to the €13.5 billion in assets that the bank had registered on its balance sheet at the end of last year.

The CEO Jaume Guardiola also announced last month during the presentation of the entity’s quarterly results that the entity is analysing the future of its real estate subsidiary Solvia. “When there is an opportunity to create value”, it will be sold, explained the director (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia (by Eduardo Magallón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Cuts its Property-Related Losses by 50% in Q1 2018

3 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Sabadell’s real estate weighs down on its income statement by half as much as it did a year ago. The bank’s losses resulting from the property business decreased from €161.1 million to €84.8 million in just one year, according to figures published by the bank at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

The division of the financial entity that manages its property (the Asset Transformation Unit) recorded a negative result but gave the bank reason to hope. Sabadell justified the improvement to the increase in the gross margin on real estate, which rose by 57%, to €30 million, as well as to the 50% decrease in provisions and the impairment of the portfolios, with respect to the opening quarter of 2017.

Moreover, the bank is continuing to work on cleaning up its balance sheet of toxic assets. Its latest move in this regard involved the launch of a sales process for a real estate portfolio worth €7.5 billion, for which several funds are already bidding. Three of them, Cerberus, Blackstone and Lone Star, have been testing the water with the entity by suggesting that the operation, which is expected to be closed in the summer, should also include its servicer Solvia.

In this sense, during the first quarter, Sabadell increased its coverage ratio over doubtful debt in its real estate business from 56.7% to 62.7%. Thanks to that, the bank is able to apply higher discounts on the sale of its portfolios without having to incur losses that would negatively affect its income statement. Currently, the portfolio of inherited real estate assets that the entity chaired by Josep Oliu still maintains is worth almost €12 billion.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankinter Continues to Fatten Up its New Hotel Socimi Atom

3 April 2018 – El Español

After the success of Ores, the shopping centre Socimi managed by Sonae Sierra and whose ownership Bankinter shares with the insurance company Mapfre, the bank has recently constituted another real estate investment company as an alternative way for its most select clients to generate greater returns from their wealth (…).

The company is called Atom. Another Socimi that, with a share capital of almost €25 million, started work three months ago from offices leased to it by the bank in the La Finca Business Park, in the Madrilenian suburb of Pozuelo de Alarcón.

No date set for its stock market debut

Although at first, the possibility was considered that Atom would make its stock market debut during the first quarter of 2018, that decision has now been delayed. “No date has been set for the stock market debut. It could happen at any time. In a matter of weeks or months”, say sources at the bank led by Dolores Dancausa (pictured above), the CEO (…).

Bulky portfolio in just 3 months

Nevertheless, and unlike Ores – which made its debut on the MAB on 22 February 2017 without a single asset in its portfolio – Atom is going to start its stock market life with a bulky portfolio of assets. In just three months, it has acquired around 20 hotel establishments.

The last six – including the Hotel Rey Don Jaime de Valencia- were incorporated at the end of March, when the Socimi took advantage of an asset divestment by the private equity firm Atitlán, led by Aritza Rodero and Roberto Centeno, the son-in-law of the President of Mercadona, Juan Roig. Atom added 900 bedrooms to its portfolio through that operation.

Although it has not been disclosed, sources in the sector consulted by this newspaper indicate that the other hotels acquired by Atom could be the 11 establishments that Banco Sabadell left out of the operation, closed in October, in which the entity chaired by Josep Oliu sold the hotel management platform HI Partners to the fund Blackstone for almost €631 million.

Whilst in the case of Ores, Bankinter engaged Sonae Sierra as a specialist shopping centre manager, for Atom, it has empoyed Global Myner Advisors Hotels Capital Invest (GMA-HCI), a company led by Víctor Martí Gilabert, which has proven experience in the management of hotel assets (…).

Atom’s Board

In addition to Martí Gilabert, on the Board of Atom – which is chaired by Eduardo Ozaita, who was recently appointed the Director General of the Commercial Bank of Bankinter, switching roles with Fernando Moreno, who has moved to lead Business Banking –  sits Esther Colom García, who has been hired as the Legal Counsel of the new Socimi (…).

Together with Ozaita, on Atom’s Board as Bankinter’s representative is its Director of Investment Banking, Jaime Íñigo Guerra, who also sits on the governing body of the Socimi Ores. Atom’s Board is completed by Antonio Riestra and Ignacio Díaz, the sole administrator of Otels Hospitality Services.

In theory, the idea being proposed by Bankinter is for Atom to make its debut on the MAB with a portfolio of hotels worth around €200 million, with two-thirds of the establishments located in holiday environments and the remaining one-third located in strategic urban nuclei.

The split of Atom’s share capital will be similar to that of Ores

To raise this share capital, Bankinter has committed to contributing around €20 million, the manager GMA-HCI around €10 million, and other institutional investors another €30 million. Most of the money, around €120 million, will be provided by Bankinter’s own private banking clients. The minimum investment per client will be €200,000, up to a maximum of 15% of each individual’s financial wealth.

Bankinter wants Atom to have a similar shareholder structure to that of the Socimi Ores, in which the financial institution holds a 10% stake (7.48% through the parent company and 2.54% through Línea Directa), the insurance company Mapfre holds 6%, the Castellón based companies Corporación Juan Segarra and Inmuebles Gil Comes hold 5% each, and the manager Sonae holds 3.75%. The remaining 70% is owned by Bankinter’s private banking clients.

Original story: El Español (by Juan Carlos Martínez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Project Makalu: Sabadell Puts €2.5bn Portfolio Up For Sale

21 March 2018 – Vozpópuli

Banco Sabadell is stepping on the accelerator to complete its balance sheet clean up as soon as possible. After months of negotiations with the Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGD), the Catalan entity has decided to place on the market its first large portfolio proceeding from CAM’s Asset Protection Scheme (EPA). In this way, it has distributed information to investors about Project Makalu, comprising €2.5 billion in assets from the former Alicante-based savings bank, according to financial sources consulted by Vozpópuli.

This operation comprises foreclosed assets and unpaid loans from companies and individuals covered by the EPA. It follows another portfolio that has been on the market for a few days, Project Galerna, comprising €900 million in non-performing loans.

KPMG is advising Sabadell on both operations, which together comprise assets and loans worth €3.4 billion.

The group chaired by Josep Oliu has been negotiating with the FGD for months to try to kick-start these operations. The aim is that they will be followed by two more portfolios taking the total value of the assets for sale to €12 billion and whereby reset the entity’s real estate calculator. The issue is not simple because the sale of these loans may generate a hole for the Fund that would impact the State deficit.

Strategic plan

The Catalan entity announced at the recent launch of its strategic plan in London that it maintains the objective of reducing its exposure to problem assets at a rate of €2 billion per year. With the sale of Project Makalu alone it would more than exceed that goal.

The bank held €15.2 billion in problem assets at the end of 2017, but the forecasts indicate that that figure will fall below €9 billion by 2020: €4 billion in doubtful loans and €5 billion in foreclosed assets. And that is without taking into account the divestments that are now being worked on with the FGD.

Project Makalu is the fourth largest portfolio of problem assets ever to be put up for sale by a Spanish bank, behind only Popular’s Project Quasar, amounting to €30 billion, purchased by Blackstone; BBVA’s Project Marina, amounting to €13 billion, acquired by Cerberus; and Project Hercules, amounting to €6.4 billion in mortgages from Catalunya Banc, which was bought by Blackstone.

Meanwhile, Project Galerna is similar to Project Gregal, which Sabadell sold less than a year ago to three funds: Grove, D. E. Shaw and Lindorff. That portfolio comprised loans linked to consumers, without real estate guarantees, which had already been fully written off, and so all of the proceeds from the sale were recorded directly as gains.

Precedents

Besides Gregal, Sabadell closed two other major operations last year: Normandy, comprising €950 million in property developer loans, which was acquired by Oaktree, and which also proceeded from CAM’s EPA; and Voyager, comprising €800 million, which was purchased by the largest pension fund in Canada.

The latest operation launched by Sabadell joins others recently placed on the market by Sareb, BBVA, Cajamar and Kutxabank.

Original story: Vozpópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake