Insur Refinances €100 Million in Outstanding Debts

20 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Inmobiliaria del Sur (Insur) took advantage of favorable market conditions to refinance its outstanding debt this week. The firm refinanced 100 million euros of debt, equal to 60% of its total net liabilities, at significantly better conditions, freeing up over 35 million euros over the next five years. Insur owns rental properties, including offices, commercial premises and car parks.

Insur Patrimonial arranged the refinancing in an operation involving a total of 11 banks, led by Santander. Those banks include Caixabank, BBVA, Unicaja, Sabadell, Bankinter and Novo Banco. In addition to the €100 million, the firm also borrowed another €10 million to acquire an office building in Seville for redevelopment into a hotel to be leased to Hotusa.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Carlos Pizá de Silva

Photo: F. Ruso

Santander Invites NBOs For Popular’s Assets & Aliseda By End Of July

6 July 2017 – Voz Pópuli

It could be the largest real estate operation of the last few decades in Spain. Santander has revolutionised the world of the major investments funds with the express sale of all of Banco Popular‘s property, after engaging Morgan Stanley to coordinate the sale.

The bank chaired by Ana Botín may sell all of Popular’s real estate assets and loans, worth €30,000 million, in one go. The process is going faster than investors expected. Santander and its advisor have given the funds it has invited to participate until the end of the month to submit their non-binding offers (NBOs). And the prices being floated amount to around €5,000 million, according to financial sources consulted.

Blackstone, Apollo and Lone Star are already working on the process and Cerberus may join them shortly. They are the largest opportunistic funds present in Spain, with the most financial muscle to be able to handle an operation of this kind. That is why they have been chosen. However, the doors to new investors have not been closed.

The idea is that the buyer will acquire a 51% (or higher) stake in a joint company together with Santander and that that company will hold Popular’s €30,000 million assets. These assets are provisioned at 69%, and so they have a net value of almost €9,250 million. We calculate therefore that to acquire 51% of these assets and loans, plus take over Aliseda (which Santander repurchased last week), the buyer will have to pay around €5,000 million.

The key, after the summer

In addition to the bids for the 51% stake, experts are not ruling out the possibility that one of the funds will go off piste and put a proposal on the table for a smaller package of assets. Santander is open to all ideas at this stage. The group plans to first listen to the proposals, analyse them over the summer and then negotiate the small print between September and December.

This is the operation that the large opportunistic funds have been waiting for since 2011. Those investors arrived in Spain during the worst period of the crisis with the purchase of small loan portfolios and real estate platforms, with their sights set on the hope that large opportunities would arise some day, such as in this case with Popular.

In fact, they have been complaining for a couple of years that the portfolios coming onto the market are too small (ranging between €500 million and €1,000 million) for their appetite, given that other types of competitors have emerged that have caused prices to soar and have left them without any assets.

It is also worth considering that the funds that are participating in this process raised capital at the end of last year to invest in Southern Europe. Specifically, €15,000 million. As such, they have liquidity to handle operations such as Popular’s.

The three funds and Cerberus starred in major acquisitions in Spain during the crisis. Blackstone acquired Catalunya Banc’s macro-portfolio of doubtful mortgages amounting to €6,400 million. Apollo purchased Altamira, several portfolios and Evo Banco. And Lone Star secured Project Octopus (€4,500 million in large real estate loans), purchased Neinor and listed it on the stock market, and has recently agreed to acquire Novo Banco in Portugal.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Banco de Portugal Chooses Lone Star To Buy Novo Banco

5 January 2017 – ABC

The Board of Directors of Banco de Portugal has selected the US fund Lone Star to participate in the final negotiations to purchase Novo Banco. Its decision is based on the fund’s €770 million proposal, which would be accompanied by a subsequent injection of an equivalent amount to strengthen the bank’s capital.

But Antonio Costa’s Socialist Government will have the last word, and so the complex process is far from complete. Even so, it is clear that Lone Star’s offer is the most attractive, after the bid from the Chinese giant Minsheng was deemed to lack the necessary financial guarantees.

Lone Star’s only competitor in the bidding was an alliance between two other US private equity funds, Apollo and Centerbridge, whose most senior managers travelled to Lisbon to try to complete their negotiations against the clock.

The major difficulty stems from the fact that Lone Star is shielding itself through the creation of a commission bridge that holds Novo Banco’s non-strategic assets. Novo Banco is the cleaned up heir of the now extinct entity Espírito Santo. That situation is something that concerns the Portuguese Finance Minister, Mário Centeno, to such an extent that he has even raised the possibility of nationalising the entity.

In any case, the proposal from Lone Star falls well below the figure required for the operation to be considered a success by the Portuguese State, given that it put €4,900 million on the table in 2014 to avoid the total collapse of the entity when Espírituo Santo went bankrupt that same year.

Original story: ABC (by Francisco Chacón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Buys 1 Shopping Centre In León And 2 In Lisbon

13 May 2015 – El Economista

The US fund Blackstone is keeping its eyes fixed on the Iberian Peninsula. This was evidenced yesterday by the announcement that it had acquired three shopping centres in Spain and Portugal.

Specifically, it has purchased Espacio León (located in the province of the same name), which has a leasable surface area of 37,000 square meters. This transaction was closed through the purchase of CG Malls Europe’s shares in that shopping centre.

The other two are Almada Forum, which has a leasable surface area of 59,000 square metres and Forum Montijo with 42,000 square metres, which are both located in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

Through this transaction, the US fund has acquired leasable surface area of more than 138,000 square metres.

The properties will be managed by Multi Corporation, a company that Blackstone bought two years ago, which specialises in the management of real estate assets. Multi is currently the owner and manager of 25 real estate assets in Spain and Portugal.

As such, Blackstone is continuing to consolidate its position in the Iberian market. The US fund has made several purchases in the Portuguese territory in recent months.

Last December, the company acquired part of a portfolio from Novo Banco’s fund manager for €220 million, which became the latest real estate transaction of the year (in Portugal).

Two months ago, Blackstone also acquired Alverca Park (also in Portugal), which covers more than 60,000 square metres and contains offices and retail space.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake