Tilden Park Acquires 2,500 Homes from Coral Homes

4 January 2020 The fund Tilden Park has paid between 100 and 150 million euros to acquire 2,500 flats from Coral Homes, a company owned by Lone Star (80%) and CaixaBank (20%). Tilden was founded by Josh Birnbaum, a former director at Goldman Sachs who became famous for his bets against the US sub-prime mortgage market, as depicted in the film “The Big Short.” The homes were part of the Kingfisher Project.

The fund made its first investment on the Iberian Peninsula in November when it acquired 1,800 toxic loans and 180 REOs from BPI, a subsidiary of CaixaBank in Portugal.

El fondo Tilden Park ha adquirido 2.500 pisos a Coral Homes, una compañía propiedad de Lone Star (80%) y CaixaBank (20%), por entre 100 y 150 millones de euros. Tilden fue fundado por Josh Birnbaum, un exdirector de Goldman Sachs que se hizo famoso por sus apuestas contra el mercado hipotecario de alto riesgo en los Estados Unidos, como se muestra en la película “The Big Short”. Las casas eran parte del Proyecto Kingfisher.

El fondo realizó su primera inversión en la Península Ibérica en noviembre cuando adquirió 1.800 préstamos tóxicos y 180 REO de BPI, una filial de CaixaBank en Portugal.

Original Story: El Confidencial – J. Zuloaga

Translation/Summary: Richard D. Turner

Sareb to Sell Portfolio of Unfinished Developments

4 January 2020 Sareb is looking to finalise the sale of Project Esla, a portfolio of collateralised developer loans that it put on market almost two years ago. Esla is the first project of partially-built developments that the bad bank has attempted to sell.

The financial institution is reportedly creating a Bank Assets Fund (FAB) to sell the portfolio, the second time it has done so. The vehicle was designed for Sareb, with the advantage that it is taxed at a rate of just 1%, compared to a normal rate of 25%. The Spanish government created the structure to entice institutional investors to acquire the bad bank’s toxic assets.

An unnamed firm and Sareb are said to have already reached an agreement to sell the portfolio for approximately 150 million euros, including the necessary investments to complete the developments.

En español

Sareb está buscando finalizar la venta de Project Esla, una cartera de préstamo promotor con garantía que lanzó al mercado hace casi dos años. Esla es el primer proyecto de urbanizaciones parcialmente construidos que el banco malo ha intentado vender.

Según los informes, la institución financiera está creando un Fondo de Activos Bancarios (FAB) para vender la cartera, la segunda vez que lo ha hecho. El vehículo fue diseñado para Sareb, con la ventaja de que está sujeto a una tasa de solo el 1%, en comparación con una tasa normal del 25%. El gobierno español creó la estructura para atraer a los inversores institucionales a adquirir los activos tóxicos del banco malo.

Se dice que una empresa no identificada y Sareb ya han llegado a un acuerdo para vender la cartera por aproximadamente 150 millones de euros, incluidas las inversiones necesarias para completar los desarrollos.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Ruth Ugalde

Translation/Summary: Richard D. Turner

Sareb Chooses Haya Real Estate to Manage €8.4-Billion Real Estate Portfolio

5 November 2019 – Sareb announced that it has opted to renew its management contract with Haya Real Estate. Haya had already been acting as a servicer for a portfolio of loans and real estate worth €8.4 billion (net book value as of 12/31/18). The new contract will last for 30 months.

The contract is part of Sareb’s new business strategy whose ultimate goal is to “preserve or improve the value of its assets.” DC Advisory advised Sareb on the deal.

Original Story: Cinco Dias – A. Simón

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Lone Star to Sell Portfolio of 2,500 Homes Held by Coral Homes

28 October 2019 – Lone Star is looking to sell a portfolio of 2,500 homes held under its subsidiary Coral Homes, which the fund acquired from CaixaBank. Lone Star’s deal with CaixaBank included the acquisition of a roughly €7-billion portfolio of foreclosed homes through Coral Homes, in which the fund has an 80% stake. CaixaBank owns the remaining 20%.

The sale, known as the Kingfisher Project, is in an advanced phase. Interested parties are expected to submit binding offers within the next few weeks.

Original Story: El Confidencial – J. Zuloaga & R. Ugalde

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Spain’s Banks Look to Sell €19 Billion in Real Estate Assets and NPLs in 2019

21 October 2019 – Although the pace of sales has fallen in recent years, Spain’s banks are continuing their efforts to reduce their exposure to non-performing loans and foreclosed real estate assets left over from the financial crisis of the first half of this decade. In the year to date, those banks have sold portfolios of toxic assets worth a total of more than €7 billion. Another twelve other transactions worth approximately €11.7 billion, however, are on course to conclude by the end of this year.

Sabadell has been particularly active, having sold €2.55 billion in portfolios such as Greco and Rex. Unicaja and Ibercaja have also sold assets worth more than €1.5 billion. Santander is currently negotiating the sale of another two portfolios.

Spain’s financial institutions are expected to end the year with total sales of nearly €19 billion, compared to 41.7 billion euros last year, down by more than half.

Original Story: El Español – María Vega

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Santander to Sell Two Portfolios of Land and NPLs Worth Nearly €6 Billion

21 October 2019 – Santander is finalising plans to sell two major portfolios of NPLs and REOs, worth a total of approximately 6 billion euros. The bank has already contacted major potential investors to prepare themselves to analyse two portfolios: €2.7 in NPLs, called the Project Atlas, and another €3 billion in land.

Santander has been analysing the portfolios since the spring of this year. The bank is looking to increase the pace at which it is reducing its exposure to the Spanish real estate market. According to publicly available data, Santander had €12 billion worth of NPLs and another €10 billion in foreclosed properties as of June.

These would be the financial institution’s largest divestments since 2017, when it sold €30 billion in assets it had inherited from Banco Popular to Blackstone. Market sources believe that the bank will only finalise the sale during the first quarter of 2020, due to its size and complexity.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Jorge Zuloaga & Ruth Ugalde

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Sabadell Set to Sell €10bn of Toxic RE in June After Receiving Deluge of Binding Offers

25 May 2018 – El Confidencial

Banco Sabadell has entered the home stretch of its mission to sell all of its toxic property, a rapid process that is expected to be completed in June. The entity has received a deluge of binding offers for the four portfolios that it currently has up for sale – Coliseum, Challenger, Makalu and Galerna – which have a combined gross value of more than €10 billion.

The first two portfolios contain foreclosed assets (REOs) and include Cerberus, Blackstone, Lone Star and Oaktree as potential buyers (in the final round); meanwhile, the other two portfolios comprise secured loans with real estate collateral (NPLs) and their potential buyers include Deutsche Bank, Lone Star, Bain Capital and Oaktree, according to confirmation from several market sources.

These proposals are now with the Steering Committee, which means that, once that body has given its verdict, the process will be passed to the Board of Directors, chaired by Josep Oliu (pictured above, right), which is the body that has to ratify the name of the winner.

In theory, this ruling is going to be issued within a matter of weeks, in June and, in any case, before August. Sources at the entity have declined to comment on either the finalists or the calendar.

Portfolios and the FGD

Having chosen the names of the winners, Sabadell will be able to close the sale of Challenger, the largest of all of these portfolios, with a gross volume of almost €5 billion; it is the only one that does not need approval from the Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGD), given that all of the assets contained therein come from the Catalan entity itself.

By contrast, the €2.5 billion in properties that comprise Coliseum come from the former entity CAM – Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo – and, therefore, need to be approved by the FGD, since it would have to cover 80% of the losses. The same applies to Makalu (€2.5 billion in loans) and Galerna (€900 million).

The need to receive this approval means that it is likely that the entity will have to wait until next year to deconsolidate all of these toxic assets, although it will be able to sign a sales agreement conditional upon that authorisation, like BBVA did in the case of the sale agreed with Cerberus last year to transfer all of its property, some of which is also subject to the FGD’s approval.

By contrast, this year, Sabadell could remove almost €5 billion in the form of Challenger from its perimeter, a step forward in terms of fulfilling the requirements of the European Central Bank (ECB), which is putting pressure on Spanish entities to remove the impact of a decade of real estate crisis from their balances sheets.

Solvia is being left out of the sale

At the end of the first quarter, the entity held €14.9 billion in problem assets, down by 17.6% compared to a year earlier, with an average coverage ratio of 55.2% (56.6% for doubtful debt and 53.7% for foreclosed assets), a percentage that serves as a reference for the funds when calculating their offer prices.

With the sale of all of these portfolios, the entity would reduce its real estate exposure to less than €5 billion.  Since the beginning of the crisis, that exposure has been managed by Sabadell’s own servicer: Solvia.

Some of the finalist funds had asked the entity to include Solvia in the transaction, according to Voz Pópuli, but in the end, that possibility has been ruled out by the bank, as it considers that the valuation of its asset manager is higher than the price that would be offered by funds.

In addition, as El Confidencial revealed, the servicer has created its own property developer, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios, which has €1,252 million in managed assets and which is also finalising an agreement with Oaktree to create a joint venture promoter.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Funds Acquired €60bn of Banking ‘Assets’ in 2017

3 January 2018 – El Economista

International funds’ appetite for Spanish real estate is proving insatiable. And that was reflected in the final days of 2017, which saw a frantic year-end in the market for the sale by banks of debt portfolios secured by real estate collateral. On the basis of the operations that were underway during the final months of the year and the transactions that were actually closed, it is estimated that debt with a gross book value around €60 billion was sold in 2017, compared to €22 billion in 2016. Of that total volume, Blackstone was, undoubtedly, the great star, with its acquisition of the largest real estate portfolio ever sold in Spain and one of the largest ever sold in Europe.

The US fund agreed with Santander to purchase 51% of all the toxic assets – doubtful loans and foreclosed properties – from Popular, which had a gross value of €30 billion. A record operation in Spain, which the bank chaired by Ana Botín closed to clean up the balance sheet of the recently acquired entity.

Cerberus was the other major purchaser of 2017, after it acquired Anida and BBVA’s real estate assets with a gross value of €13 billion, through the creation of a joint company in which the fund will hold a majority 80% stake and BBVA will retain a 20% share.

Those two operations are a clear reflection of the dynamic role that funds are playing in the Spanish real estate market, given that in addition to having provided the impetus for the new generation of property developers, they are also serving as the main clean-up tool for financial institutions. “The funds have played a fundamental role, given that they have put a price on the portfolios and have provided capital to execute purchases”, explains Manuel Ángel González Mesones, Partner in Corporate Finance for the Financial sector at KPMG in Spain, who states that in the primary market – the sale of portfolios directly by the banks – property developers, the other great consumers of debt with real estate collateral “have not been particularly active, given that their criteria are very selective”. Nevertheless, “the large property developers have been buying foreclosed assets in a selective way for years from both financial institutions and different market players, such as Sareb and funds that have acquired those assets through the purchase of portfolios”.

In this sense, Emilio Portes, Director of Financial Advisory at the real estate consultancy firm JLL, highlights that, although the role of the funds has been key, the property developers have also played their part, by converting themselves into “instrumental vehicles for the funds in terms of the development of the land acquired in portfolios such as NPLs – doubtful loans – and REOs – foreclosed assets”. Thanks to that intense activity in which, in addition to Blackstone and Cerberus, other players have also featured, including Bain, Goldman Sachs, Oaktree, De Shaw, Deutsche Bank, Lone Star and Apollo, the banks have managed to decrease the volume of toxic assets relating to the real estate sector by almost half in one year, from more than €132 billion to around €75 billion. To that figure, we have to add the €40 billion sold by Sareb, which means that the total clean up figure amounted to €115 billion by the end of 2017.

That figure is still well below the almost €400 billion that was reached at the height of the crisis, but it also well above the less than €10 billion that was registered before the burst of the bubble (…).

More moderate operations in 2018

According to González, “Activity will continue to be significant, but due to the size of the entities that still have assets let to sell, I don’t think that we will see such large operations this year. The focus will certainly be more on transactions with nominal values of between €500 million and €2,000 million, although that could lead to an equally successful year…”.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake