Cerberus and Tilden Park Each Look to Acquire Lezama Portfolio

4 December 2019 – Cerberus and Tilden Park are vying to acquire Kutxabank’s last large portfolio of bad debts. The two investment funds are looking to buy €400-million portfolio of non-performing loans, called Lezama. Kutxabank’s sale would put its NPL-ratio at less than 2.5%.

The acquisition would be Tilden Park’s first in the Spanish market. Josh Birnbau, a former executive at Goldman Sachs, founded the firm after he became famous for taking a large bet against sub-prime mortgages, one that earned his former company €2.277 billion.

Original Story: Eje Prime

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Following Blackstone, Cerberus, Lone Star and Bain Plan to Launch Socimis

7 February 2019

Major investment funds have taken over billions of euros of real estate from the banking sector in recent years and are now planning their exit strategies. Some funds, such as Cerberus, Bain Capital and Lone Star intend to follow in Blackstone’s footsteps, considering the creation of socimis with a portion of their assets, various sources in the sector told the Economista.

The sources stated that some funds’ plans are further advanced than others, already at the point where they are analysing the size of the portfolios which they may transfer to the market through this type of listed vehicle. They held out the possibility that one or more of the new socimis may premiere before the end of the year.

Under this formula, the funds would increase their investments’ liquidity, taking over from other more core investors, with a longer-term profile and more moderate levels of profitability.

The three funds’ future socimis would focus on the residential rental housing market with a model based on largely dispersed units since the apartments they acquired from the banks generally fit such a profile.

Major operations

Cerberus earned its place on the podium as one of the most significant real estate investors in Spain, just behind Blackstone. The fund, based in New York, was one of the first to arrive in Spain during the real estate crisis, between 2010 and 2012, and since then it has been taking positions in almost every sector of the property market through Haya Real Estate , the developer Inmoglaciar, the real estate agency Housell and Gescobro.

In November 2017, it bought 80% of BBVA’s real estate business, which had a gross value of some 13 billion euros. The transaction was the second largest portfolio operation ever concluded in the history of Spain, behind Blackstone’s acquisition of Banco Popular’s toxic assets from Banco Santander. Cerberus has also been increasing its portfolio of NPLs and REOs with other smaller operations such as CaixaBank’s Agora project, Sabadell’s Challenger and Coliseum portfolios and BBVA’s Jaipur Project, among others.

On the other hand, Cerberus is in the race to acquire Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios, a developer that owns a portfolio of land valued at about €1 billion.

Lone Star is also analysing the possibility of launching a socimi with a portion of the properties it acquired during its flagship operation in Spain when it bought CaixaBank’s real estate business, which had a gross value of 12.8 billion euros. The fund also acquired the bank’s servicer, Servihabitat.

For its part, Bain Capital, which owns the developer Habitat, has also been one of the most active investors in debt portfolios. One of its more recent operations, known as the Shell Project, involved the acquisition of some €700 million in NPLs to developers from Kutxabank.

Original Story: Eleconomista.es – Alba Brualla

Photo: Getty

Translation: Richard Turner

Kutxabank Sells 18,000-Square-Meter Plot of Land in Madrid to Top Gestión Madrid

23 March 2018 – EjePrime

The company will build a development with 154 publicly protected homes on the land, located in Alcalá de Henares.

The Basque Kutxabank is selling its real estate holdings. The bank sold the 18,173-square-meter site to Top Gestión Madrid, which has already announced that it will build a development with 154 publicly protected homes (Vppl – subsidised housing) on the land, located in Alcalá de Henares.

The plot, located in ​​Espartales Norte, belonged to the Basque savings bank Kutxa, which incorporated the land into Kutxabank when the three main Basque financial institutions merged in 2012.

The apartment blocks that were designed for the development have seven floors each with penthouses and will be built following the principles of sustainable architecture. The venture is a response to the currently elevated demand for residential assets in the Henares Corridor.

For Top Gestión Madrid, a newly created company, the operation involves “continued growth, while reinforcing the geographical diversification of our portfolio of land,” its general-director, María Emilia Alarcón stated. The company’s portfolio consists of fifteen ventures in various stages of development, including completed projects, works in progress and those about to go on sale, in Madrid and Andalusia.

Original Story: EjePrime

Translation: Richard Turner

Lone Star Aspires To Become The Largest Property Developer In Spain

12 February 2015 – Cinco Días

The American fund plans to make the most of the land and assets it acquired last year from Kutxabank and Eurohypo

“We are working to become the leading residential developer in Spain, the largest home builder in the country”, said the European Director of the American fund Lone Star, the Argentinian Juan Pepa, on Wednesday. “We are buying land directly”, he said, explaining that although “in 2012, everyone said that land was worthless”, we are now beginning to see opportunities for obtaining profits from its development.

“We do not regard ourselves as a foreign investor, but as an industrial agent that invests its dividends in the construction of homes”, said Pepa, claiming that 50% of the group’s efforts in Spain over the next decade will focus on the creation of thousands of jobs in the sector, which suffered significant job cuts during the crisis. Pepa was speaking at the presentation of a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) about trends in the real estate sector in Europe, which show that the appetite for residential assets is growing.

To achieve its objectives, Lone Star will rely on the two large transactions that it has signed since entering the Spanish market in 2012: the mega-purchase of Eurohypo’s assets and the acquisition of Kutxabank’s real estate arm, Neinor; these were the two largest transactions in their respective fields during the crisis.

The first transaction, signed with JP Morgan last spring, enabled Lone Star to purchase Eurohypo’s mortgage portfolio from Commerzbank for €3,500 million, when the bank valued the portfolio on its own books at €4,500 million. The acquisition will allow the fund to access significant portfolios of land and property that serve as collateral for the loans.

The second transaction, which was signed last December, for €930 million, gave the fund control of Kutxabank’s property management platform, including 90 dedicated employees, as well as 50% of the entity’s real estate assets. The assets mainly comprise land, as well as some completed developments primarily located in the Pais Vasco, Madrid, Barcelona, Murcia and Andalucía.

“The cycle in Spain is just beginning” said Juan Pepa, who spoke about a promising period lasting 10 years…; it is “becoming increasingly difficult to enter the market” and exit as a winner. “We almost missed out completely in Spain” he admits, explaining that the fund arrived in the country in 2012 but did not invest until last year, even though 2013 was “a very good year to make investments”.

For PwC partner Enrique Used, Lone Star’s project is a clear example that investments made two years ago are now beginning to bear fruit,  “cranes are the best sign that activity is returning”. In this context….we are beginning to detect interest from new investors – although interest from opportunistic funds is still evident – and the appetite for residential assets is growing, in the face of the thriving office market.

Meanwhile, the vice-president and CEO of the Alternative Investment Market (Mercado Alternativo Bursátil or MAB), Jesús González, said that he expects to see six new real estate investment companies (Socimis) float their shares before the summer.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Juande Portillo)

Translation: Carmel Drake