Barcino Increases its Share Capital by €10M

25 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Barcino is injecting cash into its Socimi to continue its progress in the Spanish real estate sector. The manager has increased the entity’s share capital by €10.3 million through the issue and launch into circulation of the same amount of shares with a nominal value of €1 each, according to a statement filed by the company with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

The Socimi, which has been listed on the MAB since December, is in the middle of growing its residential portfolio. A month ago, the company invested €2 million in the purchase of around twenty assets in Barcelona, the city in which it has focused all of its operations. Most of its buildings are rental homes, although the manager also owns office properties and commercial premises spread over the metropolitan area of the Catalan capital.

Previously, two days before the end of 2017, the Socimi spent €1.6 million on a residential building on Calle Girona. The company’s Board of Directors comprises Mateu Turró, as the President of the company, and Francesc Ventura and Ralph Weichelt, who both serve as members.

At its stock market debut, Barcino was worth €19.1 million. Specialising in real estate investment and management, the Socimi is controlled (50.01%) by Barcino Management and is managed by a company linked to Vistalegre Property Management.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Repurchases 51% of Servihabitat from TPG for €176M

8 June 2018 – Expansión

The financial institution, which until now owned 49% of the real estate firm, is going to restore control of 100% of the firm four years after it sold the majority stake to TPG.

CaixaBank has announced an agreement with the fund TPG to repurchase 51% of the real estate manager Servihabitat for €176.5 million. With this operation, which will return full control over the real estate subsidiary to the financial institution, CaixaBank wants to enjoy “greater flexibility and efficiency in the management and marketing” of its real estate assets “as well as a reduction in its costs”.

The operation, which still needs to be approved by the competition authorities, will have a negative impact of around 15 basis points on CaixaBank’s first level capital ratio (CET1 fully loaded) and of around €200 million on the bank’s income statement this year.

Nevertheless, the entity chaired by Jordi Gual expects the impact to be positive over the next few years, amounting to around €45 million per year.

The financial institution sold 51% of Servihabitat to TPG in 2013, in an operation that valued the real estate subsidiary at €370 million and which generated a gross gain of €255 million for CaixaBank, which retained control of the remaining 49%.

The agreement between CaixaBank and TPG included a clause whereby Servihabitat would manage La Caixa’s real estate assets for a decade. Less than five years after that agreement was announced, CaixaBank has decided to recover 100% of the share capital of its real estate servicer.

In January, Iheb Nafaa was appointed as the CEO of Servihabitat to replace Julián Cabanillas, who had been linked to the firm for two decades, and who had served as the most senior executive for the last twelve years.

Nafaa is an Engineer in Statistics, Econometrics and Finance from the École Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Économique in París (France) and has extensive experience as a director of companies such as BNP Paribas, GE Capital and Gescobro.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Díaz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone & Apollo Vie For BBVA’s Remaining RE

18 October 2017 – Expansión

BBVA’s real estate portfolio is sparking a lot of interest in the market. The bank is holding exclusive negotiations with Cerberus to sell its real estate manager Anida along with around €4,000 million in foreclosed assets and non-performing real estate loans. But, other investment funds do not want to miss out on the assets that they consider to be juicy and so are setting their sights on the rest of the portfolio.

Financial sources indicate that other funds, such as Apollo and Blackstone, have expressed their interest in the loans and assets linked to the property that do not end up being included in the perimeter of the portfolio sold to Cerberus. BBVA has a gross exposure to the real estate sector in Spain of €20,190 million, and so Cerberus will be acquiring around 20% of the total. The entity currently has a coverage ratio of 57% over its real estate exposure after recognising provisions amounting to €11,431 million in total, according to data as at June, the date of the most recent audited accounts. Moreover, according to sources familiar with the deal, during the negotiations, Cerberus has communicated to BBVA its intention to purchase more than the aforementioned €4,000 million in doubtful loans and foreclosed assets.

Advanced phase

The conversations with Cerberus began before the summer and are now in a very advanced phase. The operation is expected to close before the end of the year, explain sources in the sector.

BBVA’s real estate activity is grouped around Anida. The bank is one of the few entities that retained full control over its real estate business. During the crisis, several banks sold their managers to specialist funds to accelerate the divestment of their problem assets. BBVA’s plans now involve the deconsolidation of its real estate risk.

Some of the sources indicate that Cerberus decided to bid aggressively to acquire Anida after failing to get past the first round of the bidding for Popular’s toxic real estate. Its desire is so great that even the most senior figure at the firm, John Snow, met with the President of BBVA, Francisco González, to make their interest clear. In fact, Cerberus is hoping to acquire 100% of Anida, according to sources in the sector.

More than a dozen large international funds are currently buying real estate assets and loans in Spain. They include Blackstone, which reached an agreement with Santander to acquire 51% of the company created for shelving Popular’s problem assets. Meanwhile, Bain Capital is holding exclusive negotiations with Liberbank to purchase a portfolio of property worth €700 million.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz and R. Sampedro)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Servihabitat Recorded Revenues Of €285M In 2016, Up By 15%

29 May 2017 – Expansión

The loan and real estate manager owned by the fund TPG and CaixaBank recorded revenues of €285 million last year, up by 14.8%. Servihabitat managed sales amounting to €1,645 million, up by 11%.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meridia Buys A Logistics Centre In Ribarroja For €8.6M

23 February 2016 – Expansión

The fund has been given the green light by both the judge and Sareb after it submitted an offer for the 27,400 m2 logistics platform, which was constructed by Mafort and Bancaja, and which had an appraisal value of €15.7 million.

The large funds and Socimis are continuing their hunt for industrial assets to rent out…at bargain prices. The logistics centre that the property developer Mafort and Bancaja jointly developed in Ribarroja now has a new owner, in the form of the real estate fund manager Meridia Iberian Real Estate.

The fund has made an offer of €8.65 million for the property, which has been approved by the judge who is overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings of the (property development) company.

In addition, the fund has managed to obtain the approval of the owner of the mortgages, Sareb, which inherited the financing that Bancaja granted back in the day – which was then taken over by Bankia. Although formally, a ten-day window has been opened, during which time any interested party may submit a higher bid, all indications show that Meridia will become the new owner of this platform, given that it has already reached an agreement with Sareb.

Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A)

Translation: Carmel Drake

German Fund ‘Freo’ Plans To Invest €120M In Spain

3 November 2015 – Expansión

The German fund, Freo Group, plans to invest €120 million in the Spanish real estate market over the next year. To this end, it has opened a subsidiary in Spain, headquartered in Barcelona, and today, it will open an office in Madrid.

Freo Group is a private capital fund manager that also has its own investment vehicle. Founded in Frankfurt twenty years ago, the group has offices in Europe’s major cities and is currently expanding its operations into the USA. The group focuses on the investment, development and management of real estate assets.

The change in the cycle in Spain’s economy has encouraged the group to invest here now and it has hired Daniel Mayans (pictured above, right), the former Asset Management Director at GE Capital Real Estate in Spain, as the CEO of the Spanish subsidiary.

The management team of the Spanish subsidiary will focus on buying office buildings in Madrid and Barcelona, although they do not rule out the acquisition of shops and other retail premises. “Between 40% and 60% of our purchases will be financed through bank debt”, said Daniel Mayans. The period between the purchase and subsequent sale of these assets will be between five and six years.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake