19 January 2015 – Expansión
Uro Property, the Socimi that owns 1,150 Santander branches, has completed the remodelling of its management team ahead of its upcoming IPO. The real estate investment company has hired Simon Blaxland as CEO, who previously served as the Head of Investment for Europe at the firm, AEW Europe.
Blaxland has more than 25 years experience in the real estate sector, mostly in Spain. He has worked for companies such as Knight Frank, Prima Inmobiliaria, Credit Commercial de France (now HSBC), Goldman Sachs and GE Real Estate; and he founded the Exmoor Group in Spain, a company that specialises in bricks-and-mortar investments with venture capital funds.
Blaxland will join the former Chairman of Barclays España, Carlos Martínez Campos, who will take on the same role in the new listed company.
Recently, Uro Property also recruited the directors Justo Gómez López, former executive of Santander UK and Banesto, and James Preston, a venture capital fund manager in the real estate sector.
Control of banking
Uro Property is the successor of the old company Samos Servicios y Gestiones, which acquired 1,152 Santander branches for €2,040 million in 2007. Samos’ high level of indebtedness caused the creditor banks to capitalise some of its bonds at the end of last year. The new company is controlled by Santander, CaixaBank, BNP, Société Générale, Bayerische Landesbank and a group of British investors, led by Phoenix Life Assurance, which together own 91% of the equity.
Following the capitalisation of some of the debt, the company owes the banking sector €1,424 million in senior notes. The main creditors are BNP, Caixabank and Bayerische Landesbank, and the funds RMF Financial and Burlington Loan Management.
The company earns annual revenues of €125 million from rental income and expects to sell branches over the coming years.
Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga)
Translation: Carmel Drake