Blackstone Includes its own RE Manager in the Popular Divestment Deal

3 May 2018 – La Información

Blackstone’s real estate platform, Anticipa, is going to collaborate with Aliseda – founded at the time by Popular – in the management of its voluminous property portfolio. The US fund acquired Anticipa in 2014 when it was awarded Catalunya Caixa’s portfolio, and it has just taken control of Aliseda, as part of the mega-operation signed with Santander. The Cantabrian group included the real estate platform, together with a dozen real estate companies, in the €30 billion gross portfolio of properties that it transferred to the new company, in which Blackstone owns 51% of the capital and Santander held onto the remaining 49%.

Blackstone decided not to merge the companies but they are going to collaborate together, according to information submitted to the market about the syndicated loan signed to close Popular’s transaction. The toxic exposure divested by Santander in the deal known as “Project Quasar” has been valued at €10 billion net, given that there was a provision cushion amounting to 63% of the original value in the case of the foreclosed assets and 75% in the case of the loans.

The transaction was structured with the contribution of 30% in capital and 70% in debt. The bank and the fund are going to contribute almost €3 billion in capital and the remaining almost €7.333 billion will proceed from a financial structure led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, together with Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Parlex 15 Lux, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Sof Investment. The operation has been advised by the law firm Allen & Overy, amongst others.

The “Neptune” portfolio constituted to obtain the financing includes Aliseda in the perimeter along with numerous real estate companies and stakes held in them by Popular, including Tifany Investments, Corporación Financiera ISSOS, Pandantan (Mindanao), Taler Real Estate, Vilarma Gestión, Marina Golf, Popsol, Elbrus Properties, Cercebelo Assets, Eagle Hispania, Las Canteras de Abanilla and Canvives. A large proportion of the assets transferred are plots of land, together with residential homes, industrial warehouses, commercial properties, offices, garages and almost €1 billion gross exposure in hotels.

This operation is going to allow Santander to dramatically reduce its exposure to foreclosed assets from €41.1 billion to €10.4 billion – a figure that is reduced to a net of €5.2 billion thanks to the provisions it has recognised amounting to 50% of the initial value – but enabling it to benefit from the divestments as a shareholder of the company receiving the portfolios with a 49% stake.

The plan includes the use of Socimis

The fund’s divestment plans include constructing or transferring some of the assets to Socimis, a vehicle that Blackstone has made use of for previous operations because it offers tax benefits such as avoiding the need to pay Corporation Tax if they distribute dividends. In gross terms, residential assets accounted for almost one-third of the perimeter of the original properties involved in the transaction.

After leaving the Popular portfolio in the hands of Blackstone, Santander still has €4 billion net in foreclosed assets and €1.2 billion in doubtful financing that it wants to get rid of soon. The bank plans to repackage the assets by batch and put them on the market, where half a dozen entities and Sareb are exploring how to get rid of almost €48 billion gross – the bad bank alone is looking for a buyer for the €30 billion whose sale is being managed by Haya Real Estate, and Sabadell has several batches up for sale amounting to almost €11 billion.

The Cantabrian group acquired Popular when it had closed the chapter to clean up its real estate and now it wants to return to that position quickly. It was its real estate division to leave behind the “red numbers” this year or by the early stages of 2019 at the latest.

Original story: La Información (by Eva Contreras)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tauro Real Estate Purchases 200 Flats In Madrid

25 April 2017 – Expansión

The real estate fund Tauro Real Estate now has more than 700 homes in its portfolio, located in Madrid and Barcelona, after it completed the acquisition of a building containing 200 apartments in San Sebastián de Los Reyes (Madrid). The complex, which is leased in its entirety, is located at number 11, Avenida Juncal and has a car park with 200 parking spaces, as well as a sports area with swimming pools and tennis and padel courts.

Tauro’s objective is to close the fund when its real estate portfolio contains 1,000 rental homes, including, in the case of Barcelona, tourist apartments. The cumulative investment will amount to between €200 million and €250 million.

Tauro’s investors include the Drago family, owner of the Italian publishing group De Agostini, and the firm is led by José María Xercavins (pictured above).

Original story: Expansión (by J. O.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Altamira Will Put 8,000 New Homes Up For Sale Before 2018

8 March 2016 – Expansión

The subsidiary of Apollo and Santander is in the process of constructing 217 residential developments across Spain.

Altamira Asset Management has started to construct more than 5,850 homes in the last three years and has delivered almost 4,700 completed homes in the last two years, as a result of its land development activity.

Thus, on the basis of the developments that it current has underway in various phases, Altamira estimates that it will put more than 7,948 homes onto the housing market over the next three years.

It currently has 217 developments in progress across all of the autonomous regions, which include 7,948 homes in total, figures that place it at the head of the ranking of the market for new property developments in Spain.

Of these developments, 102 are in the construction phase and include 4,480 homes, of which 49% have already been sold, according to internal data from the company.

Another 33 developments, containing 808 homes, are in the marketing phase, with 21% sold; the construction work will start at these sites once at least 30% of the homes have been sold.

A third group of developments (82 units containing 2,660 homes) are in a preliminary management phase, waiting for the marketing phase to start, which is expected to happen within the next six months.

Altamira’s Director of Business Development, Francisco Moreno, stressed that these figures mean that Altamira is “the largest manager of real estate developments in Spain and one of the largest in Europe”.

“We are leaders in the development of land and the construction of new homes in Spain and we want to continue to promote this business line with new investors and land owners who want to develop profitable projects”, he added.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

RR de Acuña: Spain Still Has 1.6M Unsold Homes

19 October 2015 – ABC

A common remark between experts in the real estate sector is that the market will not fully recover until the residue of unsold homes originated during the boom years has been fully absorbed. The actual number we are talking about is difficult to quantify. In July, the Ministry of Development said that the number of unsold new homes decreased last year to 535,734 properties, 5% fewer than during 2013.

In the context of a strong slow down in the sale of new homes (down by -36.6% until July), the number of unsold second-hand homes becomes particularly important when we want to determine how long it will take the sector to absorb the legacy left over from the real estate bubble.

A few weeks ago, the real estate consultancy RR de Acuña y Asociados published this year’s version of its annual statistics on the Spanish real estate market, in which it indicated that this excess amounts to 1.6 million homes. Specifically, the consultancy firm estimates that the balance of unsold new homes amounts to 502,000 (261,000 fewer than in 2011) and the balance of unsold second hand homes amounts to 1.15 million, 189,000 units more than four years ago. Of all of those homes, 688,000 are located in metropolitan areas, 331,000 in coastal regions and 657,000 in other regions, where there is “no demand whatsoever”, a cutting finding from the study.

Two-speed market

On the basis of these figures, taking into account the stock of homes and the current demand volumes, the report estimates that it will take an average of six years to absorb this stock. However, the variation by geographical region is significant: in the areas along the east coast, especially in Valencia, Castellón, Murcia and Almeria, the estimated time for the absorption of the real estate stock ranges between 6.5 and 10 years. Whereas, in Madrid, the País Vasco (Vizcaya and Vitoria) and certain parts of Cataluña, such as Barcelona and Gerona, the time is notably less, ranging between 1.5 and 3.5 years.

“Spain continues to be a two-speed market….” Says Fernando Rodríguez de Acuña, Project Director at RR de Acuña y Asociados. Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga and Alicante account for most operations: together they accounted for 39.4% of all activity during the second quarter of the year. The capital (Madrid) is particularly significant, as it accounted for 14% of all transactions. (…).

What needs to happen to completely drain off this stock of homes? The report forecasts that this excess will decrease by 120,000 homes over the next two years, albeit at a slow pace. Growth in potential demand depends on the financial institutions completely eliminating “the credit restrictions”, as well as the ability of “solvent” potential buyers to take on debt. The study points out that “half of the jobs created in 2014 were temporary, part time and poorly paid”. Rodríguez de Acuña says that “salaries need to be doubled to achieve the right balance” and he cites a study performed recently by his firm, which concludes that almost 60% of people cannot currently afford to buy an average home.

Original story: ABC (by L. M. Ontoso)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia Offers More Than 3,500 Homes With Discounts Of Up To 50%

12 February 2015 – El Economista

Bankia has put more than 3,500 homes up for sale across Spain with discounts “in many cases” of up to 50%, which means that 80% of the homes to be offered by the entity until the end of March have an average price of less than €80,000.

The homes, all of which are second hand, are located in urban and coastal areas, ranging from large capital cities, to metropolitan areas and small towns, said Bankia in a statement.

Valencia is the autonomous region with the largest supply of housing, with more than 1,300 properties for sale, followed by Cataluña, with 800; more than 300 properties will be available in Castilla-La Mancha; 200 in the Canary Islands; and more than a hundred in other autonomous regions such as Madrid, Andalucía and Murcia.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake