31 May 2017 – Voz Pópuli
CaixaBank is accelerating the sale of Project Tramuntana, one of the largest divestments that the Spanish bank is currently working on. The entity chaired by Jordi Gual is looking to sell off almost €600 million in unpaid loans linked to real estate developments.
The three funds that have progressed through to the final round of the process are: Cerberus, Deutsche Bank and Bain Capital, according to financial sources consulted by Vozpópuli. Those funds have reportedly put offers on the table of around €200 million for the portfolio during the non-binding offer phase.
They now have one more week to analyse all of the loans in the portfolio before submitting their binding offers, given that the cut-off date that was initially stipulated for this sales process was 8 June. With this, CaixaBank wants to be certain about who has won the bid by the middle of next month, so as to have all of the paperwork ready to close the agreement before the end of the first half of the year and whereby include the results in its half-year accounts.
CaixaBank sold the second largest volume of problem assets in Spain in 2016 (€2,100 million), after Banco Sabadell (€2,800 million) and ahead of Abanca (€2,100 million), Sareb (€1,400 million) and Bankia (€1,100 million), according to data from Deloitte.
Project Tramuntana is almost a replica of an operation closed last year, Project Carlit, in which CaixaBank sold a portfolio of loans worth €850 million to Goldman Sachs. In addition, the entity sold hotel loans to Apollo.
Of the buyers left in the running, Cerberus is the one that most urgently wants to purchase the portfolio, given that it did not win any of the processes that it participated in last year. The US fund needs to accumulate assets in order to leverage its two platforms in Spain, Haya Real Estate, which it purchased from Bankia, and Gescobro.
Bain Capital, meanwhile, was the largest buyer of bank portfolios in Spain last year, acquiring real estate assets and debt worth €1,700 million from Sabadell, Bankia, Cajamar.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank also had a busy year. On the one hand, it bought assets from several entities, such as the case of the Ocean portfolio, from Bankia, but it also sold the majority of the problem assets held by its own bank in Spain. They were purchased by Oaktree, which forced the entity chaired by Antonio Rodríguez Pina to recognise a provision amounting to €68 million.
Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)
Translation: Carmel Drake