Cerberus Cools Off Negotiations With BBVA Due To Political Climate

10 October 2017 – Eje Prime

The negotiations between Cerberus and BBVA are being cooled down by the political climate in Spain at the moment. The banking entity acknowledged a couple of weeks ago that it was holding negotiations with Cerberus Capital regarding the sale of its real estate business in Spain. Now, according to sources close to the process, the political instability could lead to a reduction in the price of that portfolio.

Conversations between the two parties were already very advanced; they just needed to agree the price, but then the events of 1 October in Cataluña threw the cat amongst the pigeons on the markets and unleashed an instability that could end up dictating the future of the operation, according to El Confidencial.

Sources at BBVA have declined to comment on how the Catalan market may affect the closure of the sale of the entity’s real estate subsidiary, but observers in the sector speculate that it could trigger a reduction in BBVA’s price expectations. Nevertheless, they don’t rule out that the entity will wait for the waters to temper before resuming the process.

The bank will need an offer of, at least, €8,760 million to be able to transfer its entire portfolio to Cerberus without recording any losses. Nevertheless, the entity indicated that it could not say whether the negotiations will end in an agreement or not, or what the terms and conditions of such an agreement might be.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Unicaja Negotiates The Sale Of Its RE Arm With Haya & Apollo

29 December 2016 – Vozpópuli

(…). In recent months, the Málaga-based entity has accelerated the divestment of its investment companies to make some cash ahead of the challenges that it faces over the coming months. First came the sale of Iberdrola and now, Unicaja is in advanced negotiations to sell its real estate arm to Haya Real Estate, the platform owned by the US fund Cerberus in Spain, or Altamira, owned by Apollo (85%) and Santander (15%), according to financial sources consulted by Vozpópuli. Sources at the entity say that the final decision has not been taken yet.

Through this operation, Unicaja wants to replicate the sales carried out by the large banks in 2014: Santander with Altamira, CaixaBank with Servihabitat and Popular with Aliseda. Through those deals, the banks recorded combined profits of more than €2,000 million.

It is critical that the Málaga-based entity generates profits at the moment for two reasons: the tax blow that it is going to suffer, due to the upcoming rise in Corporation Tax (CT); and the need to accumulate capital to pay back the public aid it received for Banco Ceiss (€604 million), over the next year; it has asked Brussels for more time in this regard. This would be an alternative solution to the entity’s debut on the stock market and would allow it to repay the contingent convertible bonds (CoCos) from the Restructuring Fund (Frob), which is what Ibercaja has done; yesterday, that entity repaid €163 million to the public fund. With this, the former savings banks avoid the blow for their shareholders that a debut on the stock market in the current environment would mean, although that comes at the price of them not being able to get rid of their shares.

Subsidiary up for sale

In the case of the real estate arm, the name of the subsidiary that Unicaja is negotiating the sale of is: Gestión de Inmuebles Adquiridos (GIA). It is a platform that administrates and sells the group’s foreclosed residential assets, and it has around 40 employees. It recorded turnover of €108 million in 2015, up by 5% compared to a year earlier.

Overall, GIA lost €114 million last year, because Unicaja recognised its real estate provisions in that company. In theory, this operation would only involve the sale of the management of the assets, not their title, although a small portfolio of around €50 million could also form part of the sale, according to sources close to the deal.

The entity, led until this year by Braulio Medel (pictured above, who continues to control the Foundation that owns 90% of the bank), does not have one of the largest exposures to property in the financial sector. It has foreclosed assets with a net value of €1,051 million, according to the figures as at June, which include provisions, meaning that they have a combined appraisal value of €2,690 million. (…).

The market also expects Unicaja to get rid of some of its other stakes, such as Deoleo, in which it holds a 10% shareholding and Reyal Urbis, in which the Foundation controls just over 4%. (…).

Original story: Vozpópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Acciona Delays IPO Of RE Subsidiary Due To Political Uncertainty

11 May 2016 – El Confidencial

Acciona has decided to delay the decision regarding the possible IPO of its real estate subsidiary on the basis that the current “political uncertainty does not favour” the operation, according to the Chairman of the company, José Manuel Entrecanales (pictured above).

“We will wait for a reasonable period of time or we will proceed with the most viable alternative”, he said with respect to the different options that the company is analysing for its new company Acciona Real Estate, the subsidiary into which it has segregated all of its real estate assets, worth around €630 million and primarily comprising homes for rent in Madrid.

The group was weighing up the partial sale of this new company, either by opening it up to a new partner or by listing it on the stock exchange, but “the current political uncertainty does not seem to favour the latter option”, said Entrecanales in a speech to Acciona’s General Shareholders’ Meeting. Nevertheless, the group will push ahead with its goal of reducing the debt linked to these assets.

The group completed the constitution of this real estate subsidiary at the beginning of the year. It was created with assets worth €60 million and debt amounting to €190 million.

63% of the assets comprise 1,382 homes for rent, most of which (73%) are located in Madrid, as well as several retail premises associated with those homes.

Another 22% of Acciona Real Estate’s portfolio comprises tertiary assets, such as four office buildings that it owns in Madrid and Barcelona, two hotels in Marbella and Barcelona, respectively, a 50% stake in the Arturo Soria Plaza shopping centre in Madrid and 54 retail outlets. The portfolio is completed with a batch of 16 plots of land, which are ready to develop, covering a surface area of around 155,000 sqm.

Original story: El Confidencial

Translation: Carmel Drake