Sareb Sells €150M NPL Portfolio to Oaktree

30 December 2017 – Expansión

The bad bank has closed the sale of several non-performing loan portfolios during the last few days of the year. A week ago, it announced the sale of a package of loans secured by properties to Deutsche Bank, whose nominal value amounted to €375 million. That was its largest sale of the year.

And yesterday, Sareb reported that it has reached an agreement to sell the so-called Project Tambo to the US fund Oaktree for a nominal value of €150 million. The debt is secured by residential assets and land located in the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Cataluña, the Community of Madrid, País Vasco and the Community of Valencia.

Sareb has been advised by CBRE and Ashurst in this process, whilst Oaktree has awarded its mandate to JLL and Herbert Smith Freehills.

The bad bank, where the toxic assets of the rescued savings banks were parked, closed 2017 with a lower volume of transactions of this kind compared to 2016. Nevertheless, it has launched a trial to test an online sales channel, which may allow it to intensify its activity over the next few months.

Having said that, 80% of the revenues that Sareb obtains do not proceed from the institutional market, but rather from the direct sale of properties in the retail market.

In five years, Sareb has divested 27% of the 200,000 assets that it received initially and has repaid debt amounting to almost €13 billion. It has ten years left to liquidate the rest of its balance sheet. The entity’s cumulative losses amount to €781 million.

Original story: Expansión (by R. L.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Project Normandy: Sabadell Sells NPL Portfolio To Oaktree

9 January 2017 – Catalunya Press

Oaktree, the US fund has won the latest auction of problem assets by Banco Sabadell, as part of Project Normandy. The US fund will pay €250 million for a portfolio of overdue real estate loans worth €950 million.

Oaktree will acquire the assets for a discount of between 25% and 30%, however, the finishing touches still need to be agreed for the operation, which means that it may not be formalised for another month or so.

Oaktree will absorb 500 loans to property developers, amongst others, than Sabadell inherited when it purchased CAM. The loans are secured by property developments, retail premises and land, but their borrowers ran aground following the outbreak of the crisis. Two different strategies are now being pursued: restructure the loan in exchange for a reduction below the price paid (above 25-30%); and/or acquire the assets by legal means and join forces with local property developers (in some cases the same developers whose assets are being repossessed) to carry out the project.

Thanks to Project Normandy, Sabadell has cleaned up more than €8,000 million of problem assets from its balance sheet, whereby reducing the balance from €26,000 million to less than €18,000 million.

In addition to Banco Sabadell, other entities such as Sareb have also closed divestments in recent weeks.

Original story: Catalunya Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Project Traveler: Sabadell Sells €364M NPL Portfolio To Bain

29 December 2016 – Vozpópuli

The fund Bain Capital Credit (formerly Sankaty) is consolidating its presence in the financial-real estate sector with its fourth acquisition this year. Within the last few days, the investor, which is one of the largest private equity funds in the world, has acquired a portfolio from Banco Sabadell: Project Traveler contains debt relating to 60 developments and hotels worth €364 million.

The entity chaired by Josep Oliu has received around €150 million from this operation, according to financial sources consulted. As such, Sabadell has removed some more non-strategic assets from its balance sheet, which were consuming capital and provisions. This bank is one of the most active in these types of sales as it continues to clean up its balance sheet.

With this acquisition, Bain Capital Credit brings to an end a record year for investment in Spain. The fund has been awarded four large banking portfolios (two from Sabadell, one from Cajamar and one from Bankia) with a combined value of €1,510 million. Given that the banks are selling their real estate debt at prices of between 0.3 and 0.4 times the nominal value, Bain must have spent more than €500 million on these purchases.

As such, the US fund has placed itself amongst the major players in the market for the purchase of distressed assets (those close to bankruptcy) from the banks, alongside Blackstone, Apollo, Goldman Sachs, Cerberus, Oaktree and Deutsche Bank.

“We continue to see Spain as one of the most attractive markets in Europe. We see potential for future investments in the south of Europe, particularly in the real estate sector and the field of unpaid loans”, said Fabio Longo, Director General and Head of European Business at Bain Capital Credit for the real estate sector and doubtful debt.

The other portfolio Bain purchased from Sabadell contained non-performing loans to property developers, with a nominal value of €415 million. Cajamar sold Bain a package of loans worth €511 million, with the special feature that they were all loans to real estate companies that had filed for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Bankia awarded Bain a batch of 2,500 homes with a combined appraisal value of €220 million. (…).

Copernicus provided financial advisory in this transaction; Aura REE, CBRE, Horwath and Cushman & Wakefield were the real estate valuations providers; Allen & Overy was the legal advisor.

Original story: Vozpópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deutsche Bank Sells €430M NPL Portfolio To Oaktree

21 October 2016 – Expansión

The Spanish subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, led by Antonio Rodríguez Pina, has cleaned up the majority of the non-strategic assets that it has been holding in its NCOU (Non-Core Operating Unit) division. According to sources at the entity, the portfolio includes non-performing loans to SMEs, residential mortgages that have been refinanced and structured credits, amounting to €430 million in total. According to a document submitted yesterday by Deutsche Ban SAE to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV), this transaction forms part of the bank’s strategy to “substantially reduce the assets of that division before the end of 2016”.

Sources familiar with the operation confirmed that the US fund Oaktree will be the buyer, following a competitive process in which, according to Deutsche Bank “the main investment funds and entities specialising in the sector have participated”.

According to data from Deloitte, Oaktree is, along with Lone Star and HSH, one of the largest buyers of problem assets, with more than €5,000 million in Europe, followed by other players such as Bain Capital, AnaCap and Apollo.

This operation will allow Deutsche Bank “to save costs in terms of the resources it dedicates to the management of this portfolio and, at the same time, reduce its capital requirement”, according to the statement submitted to the CNMV.

Robust results

Despite the delicate situation that the German parent company is facing at the moment, Deutsche Bank in Spain is reporting robust results. At the end of last year, it reported earnings of €91 million compared with losses in the previous year year, according to data from the AEB. Nevertheless, during the first half of this year, the bank has slowed its growth earning just €24.65 million, which represents a decrease of 32% with respect to the same period last year.

Original story: Expansión (by D. B.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Sells €1,000M NPL Portfolio To Grove & Lindorff

9 May 2016 – Expansión

Banco Sabadell is accelerating the clean up of its balance sheet / Over the last three years, the bank has sold non-performing debt portfolios worth more than €5,300 million.

Banco Sabadell is establishing itself as one of the most active entities in the sale of large debt portfolios, as it continues to clean up its balance sheet. The bank chaired by Josep Oliu has just closed its first major operation of the year, known as Project Corus, involving the sale of €1,000 million in non-performing loans, which it has already fully provisioned. This is the largest portfolio that Sabadell has brought onto the market to date; none of its previous operations have exceeded €800 million.

The portfolio has been acquired by a consortium comprising Grove Capital Management and Lindorff, which have paid around 5% of the global amount of the loans acquired, in other words, around €50 million. This figure will be recorded as pure profit in Sabadell’s income statement.

The Corus portfolio comprises unsecured doubtful loans relating to consumer debt and credit cards. Grove has acquired €800 million of the portfolio, which it will now manage to try to recover the maximum amount possible. The fund is owned by Blenheim Chalcot and Encore Capital Group – one of the largest collection companies in the world – at the end of 2015, it bought another NPL portfolio, containing €400 million in doubtful debts, from Santander.


Meanwhile, the Norwegian company Lindorff has purchased the remaining €200 million of the Corus portfolio. This fund has also just acquired 94% of the real estate company Aktua, which manages homes and debt on behalf of BMN, Ibercaja and Santander.

It is not the first time that Lindorff has acquired assets from Sabadell. In 2014, the company acquired the bank’s debt recovery division for €162 million, and incorporated the workforce into its own business.

Over the last three years, the bank led by Jaume Guardiola has transferred debt portfolios exceeding €5,300 million to clean up its balance sheet. (…).

By amount, Project Corus is the largest portfolio that Sabadell has put up for sale to date, but it will soon be overtaken by Normandy, a portfolio containing €1,700 million of doubtful real estate loans that the bank is currently evaluating.

Meanwhile, Sabadell has already put another operation on the market, known as Pirene and advised by KPMG, containing €460 million of problem assets linked to property developers.

Original story: Expansión (by Sergi Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander Sells €400M NPL Portfolio To Grove

28 December 2015 – Expansión

Santander is cleaning up its balance sheet. Within the last few days, the entity chaired by Ana Botín (pictured above) has completed the transfer of a portfolio of non-performing loans amounting to €400 million to the Grove group, a subsidiary of the US entity Encore.

The operation represents one of the last divestments in the banking sector in 2015 after those signed (in recent weeks) by Bankia, which sold €650 million corporate loans to Deutsche Bank; and by CaixaBank, which sold €800 million doubtful developer loans to TPG and Goldman Sachs.

Santander’s sale forms part of Project Hungaroring, which initially included €700 million non-performing loans to SMEs. In the end, the perimeter has been reduced to €400 million.

This is one of the largest operations involving the sale of non-performing (unsecured) loans in 2015, given that entities have been more focused on getting rid of assets linked to the real estate market, such as mortgages and doubtful loans to property developers.


As a result, during 2015, non-performing loan portfolios worth around €3,000 million have been transferred in 2015, such as the portfolio sold by Sabadell (€800 million) to Aiqon; the portfolio sold by CaixaBank (€780 million) to Cerberus; the portfolio sold by Cajamar (€640 milion), also to the US fund; the portfolio sold by Ibercaja (€200 million) to Seer Capital; and BMN’s portfolio (€350 million), which has just been sold to Link Financial. Popular was also recently sounding out the sale of a portfolio worth just over €300 million.

Even so, the figure of around €3,000 million in non-performing loan sales in 2015 is significantly lower than previous years. In 2013, €12,000 million of loans were transferred and in 2014, the figure reached around €15,000 million.

Project Hungaroring is the first major operation performed by Santander this year. The group launched two projects during the first half of the year: Project Formentera, with €170 million of hotel debt; and Project Mamut, with €800 million overdue mortgages. Nevertheless, the latter was suspended during the summer following the change in the market due to the Greek and Chinese crises.

Santander had a default rate of 6.61% in Spain at the end of September, compared with an average of 4.5% for the group as a whole. Its real estate balance sheet has grown by €5,600 million in the last year, due to the inclusion of its stake in Metrovacesa.

The financial institution began to divest from property in 2013, with the sale of 85% of its real estate platform Altamira, to the US fund Apollo for €664 million.

In order to continue its sale of these assets, Santander has hired the Spanish director of Morgan Stanley, Javier García Carranza, as the Deputy General Manager and Head of Restructuring, Real Estate, Investments and Private Equity.


The purchasing fund, Encore, is one of the main groups operating in the recovery business on the global level. It is conducting the operation through its subsidiary Grove, which recently acquired a loan management platform in Spain, called Lucania. Encore is listed on the Nasdaq with a market capitalisation of US$ 760 million (€695 million).

Another company owned by this US group, Cabot Credit Management Group, also made its first investment in Spain recently, with the purchase of Gesif from the US fund Elliott.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ibercaja Sells €210M NPL Portfolio To Seer Capital

6 July 2015 – Expansión

On Friday, Ibercaja closed the sale of a portfolio of non-performing loans, worth €210 million, to the US fund Seer Capital. The operation generated gross profits of almost €10 million for the Aragonese entity.

The portfolio contained doubtful unsecured loans, which were all fully provisioned, as well as non-performing loans.

Like other institutions, Ibercaja has accelerated the sale of problematic loans in recent years to devote its resources to productive assets and obtain profits on loans that it has already written off.

Ibercaja sold a similar portfolio in 2013, worth €540 million, to the US fund Yorvik and Savier Asset Management, owned by Javier Botín.

This is the first transaction that Seer Capital has undertaken in Spain. The fund was created in 2008 by Philip Weingord, former director of Deutsche Bank. The US firm manages assets worth €1,806 million, including mortgages, syndicated loans, SME loans and consumer finance with some kind of default (non-payment).

Other divestments

Moreover, Ibercaja Banco has refocused its strategy in recent months to take on a more active role in the market. Thus, the entity has engaged KPMG as an external advisor to perform the preparatory work towards an IPO in the coming years. The entity has until the end of 2018 to list on the stock exchange and so it has recently begun to explore that option in more detail.

In addition, a few weeks ago, the entity began a process to transfer the majority of the properties on its balance sheet. In total, the Aragonese group has put €800 million of foreclosed assets up for sale, including 6,900 residential units; 1,300 commercial premises and industrial buildings; and 600 plots of land. The transaction, known as Project Kite, is being advised by N+1.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Z.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA Gauges Investor Appetite For Two Big Portfolios

29 June 2015 – WSJ

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA is sounding out investor appetite for two large portfolios of non-performing debt and real estate assets, according to sources briefed on the potential deals, as Spain’s economic recovery helps banks shed more of their bad loans.

BBVA, Spain’s No. 2 bank by market value, has spoken with investors in recent weeks to gauge their interest in the purchase of a portfolio that could contain around €1 billion worth of non-performing real estate loans and repossessed property assets and another portfolio that could contain between €500 million to €1 billion worth of nonperforming consumer, business and real estate loans.

BBVA has not sent investors “teasers”—documents that lay out details of an operation—because the parameters of the potential deals are still being designed, and the portfolios may not materialize, some of the sources said.

One source said that BBVA could formalize the sale of the two portfolios in September, and that the large size of the potential deals indicates that the portfolios could be partitioned and sold to various investors.

A spokesman for BBVA declined to comment.

Amid strong demand for Spanish real-estate assets, BBVA has hired KPMG LLP to oversee the sale of its loan-recovery unit. (…). A spokesman for KPMG also declined to comment.


The potential sale by BBVA follows efforts by other Spanish lenders to sell real estate assets. They are encouraged by an economic growth rate—forecast by the Bank of Spain to reach 3.1% this year—that is outpacing that of other major eurozone countries.

Bankia SA has recently received non binding offers for €4.8 billion of property, including 38,545 residential units, 4,938 commercial units and 2,589 plots of land throughout Spain, according to a deal document sent to investors by Credit Suisse Group AG in April. Spain spent €22.4 billion in European Union funds to bail out Bankia in 2012. (…)

Spanish lender Banco de Sabadell SA sold its unpaid debt management and collection unit last July to Norwegian debt collection company Lindorff Group.

Major investors, such as Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital Management, have stepped up their presence in Spain’s property market, as the economic recovery has helped to buoy real estate prices in some cities. (…).

Blackstone Group also bought the real estate servicer of bailed-out lender Catalunya Banc SA, and paid €3.6 billion to buy €6.4 billion of home loans issued by the bank.

Apollo, TPG, Cerberus Capital Management LP and Sabadell were selected in December by Spain’s “bad bank” to market and sell billions of property assets on its behalf, a contract that brings commissions and insight into the real-estate market.

Investors and analysts expect the real-estate servicers to consolidate in coming years as investment funds continue to seek high returns while they whittle down the amount of foreclosures and bad loans they oversee.

Original story: WSJ (by Jeannette Neumann)

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Sareb Expects To Complete 22 Housing Developments In 2015

11 May 2015 – El Economista

The Asset Management Company for Bank Restructurings (Sareb) expects to finalise (the construction of) 22 housing developments during the course of the year; in the meantime it will study the selection of 60 other construction works with a view to their completion.

Sources at the so-called ‘bad bank’ have explained to Europa Press that the developments that will be completed this year are located in (the autonomous communities of) Cataluña, Valencia, Galicia, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Madrid and Cantabria, and they have indicated that “in theory” they will be available for sale.

In 2014, the company approved the launch of 52 housing developments and 30 of those obtained their First Occupancy Licence during the year. Investments in real estate assets during the year amounted to €35.6 million, primarily focused on the urbanisation of land and plots (of land) and on the progression and finalisation of work in progress.

Specifically, 19 developments were approved in Cataluña, 17 in Valencia, four in Galicia, three in Cantabria, three in Castilla y León, two in Castilla-La Mancha, two in Madrid, one in Extremadura and one in La Rioja. Of those, it is expected that the following developments will be completed this year: nine in Cataluña, five in Valencia, two in Galicia, two in Castilla y León, one in Extremadura, one in Madrid and two in Cantabria.

Maintain the rate of property sales

Sareb has set itself the objective of maintaining the rate of property sales at close to 15,000 in 2015 and retaining its position amongst the five largest players in the market. It is also seeking to increase the quality of services through its new “servicers”.

The ‘bad bank’ is looking to intensify its offer to those investors that specialise in adding value, as well as to sell a “wide range” of portfolios to institutional investors during the year.

The company generated income of €1,115 million during 2014, thanks to sales to specialist investors. It also closed eleven major transactions, primarily involving loans, which accounted for 84% of its wholesale transactions (during the year).

In this way, Sareb closed the sale of the following portfolios: ‘Kaplan’ (loans to SMEs secured by residential property and land); ‘Crossover’ (land in Alicante, Baleares, Barcelona and Madrid); ‘Dorian’ (rental housing); ‘Klaus’ (loans to SMEs); and ‘Pamela’ (loans secured by buildings in Madrid).

Other transactions included the sale of ‘Agatha’ (loans and rental property); ‘Aneto’ (loans secured by residential property and land); ‘Olivia’ (loans secured by residential and commercial property); ‘Meridian’ (loans secured by tourist assets); and ‘Corona’ (offices leased in Madrid).

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sankaty Finalises Purchase Of 40 Large Loans From Bankia

6 May 2015 – Expansión

During 2015, Bankia has become an important focus point for international funds. Along with the sale of properties amounting to €4,800 million, the nationalised entity has launched three other large sales processes to divest non-strategic assets: one contains hotel debt – Project Castle; another involves problem mortgages – Project Wind; and the third includes large loans to real estate companies – Project Commander. The last of these is likely to close first, since the US fund Sankaty, a subsidiary of Bain Capital, is now in exclusive negotiations to seal the purchase and may sign an agreement in the next few days.

If the agreement comes to fruition, the investor will acquire 170 loans granted to 39 companies linked to the property sector. Of those, 31 are property developers that have filed for bankruptcy or liquidation. The portfolio include several loans granted to companies such as the Catalan firm Promociones Habitat.

Most of the loans are syndicated and bilateral, secured by rural land and industrial warehouses. The nominal value of the portfolio amounts to €500 million. Sankaty already acquired one portfolio from Bankia last year, together with the hotel investment giant Starwood. They paid the bank €400 million for hotel and real estate loans.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake