Sareb Sells €150M NPL Portfolio to Oaktree

30 December 2017 – Expansión

The bad bank has closed the sale of several non-performing loan portfolios during the last few days of the year. A week ago, it announced the sale of a package of loans secured by properties to Deutsche Bank, whose nominal value amounted to €375 million. That was its largest sale of the year.

And yesterday, Sareb reported that it has reached an agreement to sell the so-called Project Tambo to the US fund Oaktree for a nominal value of €150 million. The debt is secured by residential assets and land located in the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Cataluña, the Community of Madrid, País Vasco and the Community of Valencia.

Sareb has been advised by CBRE and Ashurst in this process, whilst Oaktree has awarded its mandate to JLL and Herbert Smith Freehills.

The bad bank, where the toxic assets of the rescued savings banks were parked, closed 2017 with a lower volume of transactions of this kind compared to 2016. Nevertheless, it has launched a trial to test an online sales channel, which may allow it to intensify its activity over the next few months.

Having said that, 80% of the revenues that Sareb obtains do not proceed from the institutional market, but rather from the direct sale of properties in the retail market.

In five years, Sareb has divested 27% of the 200,000 assets that it received initially and has repaid debt amounting to almost €13 billion. It has ten years left to liquidate the rest of its balance sheet. The entity’s cumulative losses amount to €781 million.

Original story: Expansión (by R. L.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cerberus Gets its Cheque Book out again to Buy NPLs from CaixaBank

4 December 2017 – Voz Pópuli

Cerberus is stepping on the accelerator in Spain. The US fund has starred in another major operation just days after acquiring a real estate portfolio from BBVA. One of Cerberus’s subsidiaries, Gescobro, has won an auction for €0.8 billion in non-performing loans and real estate from CaixaBank.

The fund has purchased part of that portfolio, known as Project Egeo, whilst the Norwegian group Lindorff has bought the rest, according to financial sources consulted by this newspaper.

Part (€0.5 billion – €0.6 billion) of this €0.8 billion portfolio comprises unsecured loans (credit cards, personal loans and others without any guarantee) and just over €0.2 billion relates to loans to SMEs secured by real estate.

This is Cerberus’s fourth operation in the Spanish financial and real estate sector in 2017 following the acquisition of Project Jaipur from BBVA (€0.6 billion in non-performing property developer loans; the purchase of the real estate arm of Liberbank, Mihabitans, for €85 million; and the acquisition of €13 billion in property from BBVA for €4 billion.

Strategic fit

The sale of Project Egeo, which is still pending the completion of the necessary paperwork, forms part of the routine divestment plans of the Catalan group. In this way, it is managing and controlling its default rate and complying with the regulatory requirements of the European Central Bank (ECB).

Currently, the group’s default rate stands at 6.4%, after falling by seven tenths in the last year. In total, its doubtful loans amount to €15.3 billion, of which €13.9 billion are in Spain. It has another €7.2 billion in foreclosed assets.

The firm that has won the auction, Gescobro, has been led by Iheb Nafaa until now, but he was recently poached by Servihabitat, the real estate company owned by TPG (51%) and CaixaBank (49%).

Meanwhile, Lindorff has been one of the main competitors in the bank debt market since 2012. More than a year ago, it expanded its real estate business with the purchase of Aktua, the former real estate arm of Banesto; and it strengthened its business through a merger with Intrum Justicia.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Puts Spain’s Largest Ever NPL Portfolio Up For Sale

7 November 2017 – Voz Pópuli

Sareb wants to star in the largest sale to date of non-performing loans in Spain. The company chaired by Jaime Echegoyen has put a portfolio of unpaid loans worth €2,600 million up for sale, according to financial sources consulted by Vozpópuli. It hopes to sell the portfolio before the end of the year and since it contains NPLs that are recognised off-balance sheet, all of the consideration paid will correspond to profits.

This operation has been baptised as Project Dune and is being advised by KPMG. Until now, the largest sale of an unsecured non-performing loan portfolio was completed by BBVA in 2014, when it sold a portfolio worth €1,700 million to Deutsche Bank.

Non-performing loans are credits that have been written off by the banks, which remove them from their balance sheets after recognising 100% provisions against them. In the case of Sareb, they are what is known in the market as mortgage tails: essentially, they are loans that remained uncollected following the execution of a real estate loan. These loans are purchased by opportunistic funds at significant discounts, of between 95% and 97%, which try to recover the maximum amount by taking the debtors to court. Since they are fully provisioned, the entire amount that Sareb receives from this sale will be recognised as profits.

Project Dune actually comprises two sub-portfolios: Pilat, containing 2,261 unsecured non-performing loans to 1,500 small- and medium-sized property developers, worth €2,442 million; and Kirbus, containing 115 loans secured by real estate, with a combined nominal value of €176 million.

In this way, the second sub-portfolio has almost 1,000 properties as collateral, of which around half are apartments, located primarily in Barcelona, A Corñua and Madrid. Half of the Dune portfolio is located in Cataluña, the Community of Valencia and Aragón.

On the basis of the prices that tend to be paid in this market, Sareb could end up generating revenues/gross profits of between €125 million and €175 million from this sale, depending on the degree of interest that the portfolio sparks amongst the funds and the level of competition between them.

Project Dune is not the only deal that Sareb has underway since it also has other portfolios worth more than €1,000 million on the market. The largest process currently in progress is known as Project Inés, containing €400 million, whose purchase is being finalised by Deutsche Bank. The bad bank typically uses these types of operations towards the end of the year to balance its budget and generate higher revenues to allow it to pay off some of its debt.

This sale is being coordinated by the prestigious portfolio team at KPMG, led by Carlos Rubí. Most of the team came from PwC and joined the firm in 2014.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bain Buys c. €1,000M In NPLs From Ibercaja & Caixa Geral

13 July 2017 – El Confidencial

Bain Capital Credit has set its sights on Spain and Portugal and has purchased a total of €1,000 million in non-performing loans from Ibercaja and Caixa Geral. On Wednesday, the entity announced the acquisition of a portfolio of loans from Banco Ibercaja, which constituted the ninth acquisition of a portfolio in Spain by Bain Capital since 2014. The portfolio has a nominal value of €489 million and contains non-performing bilateral and low-yield loans with first ranking lien over property developer assets. The collateral behind the loans primarily comprises plots of land in the most reputed cities in the country for the development of residential properties and by real estate assets.

“We are excited about the opportunity to strengthen our position in the property development sector through this investment”, said the Director and Head of European Business at Bain Capital Credit, Alon Avner. Similarly, the firm has said that Spain is one of the most attractive markets in Europe in terms of unsecured non-performing loans and real estate assets.

In addition, for the acquisition to be successful, Bain Capital has engaged Hipoges and Altamira Asset Management, both loan management specialists; Basico, Deloitte Real Estate and JLL, as providers of real estate valuations; and Allen & Overy, as legal advisors.

On a roll with its European expansion

With the aim of strengthening its presence in the European markets, the US private equity fund has also just made its debut in Portugal. Its first operation there has involved the purchase of a portfolio of non-performing and low-yield loans with a total outstanding balance of around €476 million, as well as some recovered real estate from Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the most important bank in Portugal in terms of assets.

The offer has come after the Portuguese Government allocated €2,500 million to these types of assets as a stimulus measure. “We see great potential in Portugal, especially in the markets for real estate and low yield assets. We hope to close more operations in the future”, said the Director and Head of the Real Estate and NPL business for Europe, Fabio Longo.

The portfolio mainly consists of bilateral loans, backed by real estate guarantees, to small and medium-sized companies, as well as to larger companies. The loan guarantees span a wide range of asset classes, such as residential complexes, both finished and in progress, industrial and tertiary real estate assets, and land. “This investment demonstrates our expertise when it comes to carrying out complex transactions that require dedication and close collaboration with the vendor”, added Longo.

The following players participated in the operations: Hipoges and Finangest, as loan management specialists; Aura REE, JLL and CBRE, as suppliers of real estate valuations; and Uría Menéndez Proença de Carvalho, a local law firm.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Carmen Alba)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Project Lane: Bankia Negotiates Sale Of €400M Secured Portfolio

13 June 2016 – Expansión

Project Big Bang paralysed the Spanish financial sector in 2015. At the time, Bankia tried to sell all of its foreclosed assets in a single transaction, including: 38,500 homes, 2,600 plots of land and 5,000 commercial premises, worth €4,800 million. A large number of funds were interested in the sale, but only Cerberus and Oaktree expressed their intention to submit binding offers. The prices and conditions did not match with Bankia’s expections and so it decided to suspend the operation at the end of the year. (…).

With all of those roadblocks, Bankia decided that it would maximise the value of its foreclosed assets by keeping them on the balance sheet and selling them off through the retail channel and in smaller portfolios, such as the case of Project Lane, see below. Even so, sources in the sector expect to see fresh attempts to sell large portfolios of foreclosed assets over the next few months and years, something that more than one entity has planned for 2016. To this end, the markets must improve further and provisions should be adjusted even more to the prices being offered by the funds. The Bank of Spain’s new accounting circular, which comes into force in October, is expected to help in this sense and to accelerate the divestment of the banks’ problem assets.

Project Lane

Now, Bankia is negotiating the sale of a portfolio of homes with three international funds, in an operation known as Project Lane. The entity is being advised by KPMG and is looking to transfer around 2,500 homes worth c. €400 million, according to financial sources.

The operation is in a very advanced phase, with binding offers due to be submitted next week. Bankia and its advisor have selected three funds, which according to the same sources, do not include Cerberus.

Initially, the US fund was the favourite buyer for the operation, on the basis that it knows the assets better than anyone else through Haya Real Estate, the former Bankia Habitat, which manages homes and real estate loans from Bankia. In fact, Cerberus was the fund that was closest to acquiring Big Bang, with an offer of around €2,100 million.

The portfolio of assets on sale as part of Project Lane primarily comprises homes, but also includes industrial and commercial assets, to a lesser extent. It is the largest sale of foreclosed assets that any of the banks have put on the market so far in 2016. Only Cajamar has explored this option in recent months, with Project Omeya – around €72 million -, as it waits to see what will happen during the second half of the year. The 2,500 homes on sale represent around 6% of the total haul that Bankia has on its balance sheet. The entity sold 9,200 properties through its branch network and Haya Real Estate last year. The aim is to try and repeat those figures in 2016.

Since the new management team, led by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri (pictured above), took over at Bankia, the nationalised group has been one of the most active in the sale of portfolios. Last year, it sold more than 80 batches of problem assets, which allowed it to decrease its doubtful debt balance from €20,000 million in 2013 to €12,500 million by March 2016. It has managed to do this thanks to higher provisions.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga and S. Arancibia)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Buys Núñez i Navarro’s Loans From Sareb

24 February 2016 – Expansión

A new operation has been signed between Banco Sabadell and Sareb. The entity led by Josep Oliu has acquired a portfolio containing thirteen loans, with a nominal value of €131 million from the bad bank. None of the loans are in arrears.

According to sources in the real estate sector familiar with the operation, the loans acquired by Sabadell were granted back in the day to the property developer Núñez i Navarro, by one of the (financial) entities that was later nationalised. Subsequently, the loans fell into the hands of Sareb. The real estate company, owned by the former President of Fútbol Club Barcelona, will make its loan repayments to Sabadell from now on and not to Sareb, which hereby makes progress in its process to divest its assets.

The thirteen loans are associated with 185 real estate collaterals in total, primarily commercial premises, offices, homes and land, located for the most part in the provinces of Barcelona and Tarragona. The amount paid by Sabadell to Sareb for this performing loan portfolio has not been disclosed, but the sources consulted say that the bank will obtain a return of 10% from the portfolio.

Strong interest

The offer submitted by Sabadell, through its specialist Real Estate Finance arm, won an auction in which ten investors participated, mainly investment funds specialising in the purchase of debt. The law firm Ashurst advised the Catalan bank, whilst Sareb was supported by the advisory firm Irea and the law firm Baker & McKenzie. Given that Sabadell forms part of Sareb’s Board of Directors, the bank’s offer was subject to “internal rules governing conflicts of interest”, said the bad bank yesterday. The FROB holds a 45% stake in Sareb and Spanish banks own the remaining 55%.

Sabadell, through Solvia, also manages assets on behalf of Sareb, with a gross value of €13,000 million. In November, Sareb also engaged Solvia to manage the construction of ten real estate developments.

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia Reduced Its Doubtful Loans By €2,000M In 2015

11 January 2016 – Expansión

The BFA-Bankia group reduced its doubtful debt balance by more than €2,000 million in 2015 through the sale of several loan portfolios. According to the entity, these operations allowed the bank to improve the quality of its balance sheet, raise liquidity and free up resources to grant new credit.

During the year, the bank completed four major operations involving the sale of loan portfolios with a total value of almost €2,800 million.

In May, BFA-Bankia agreed the sale of a portfolio of doubtful property developer loans amounting to €558 million to the fund Sankaty. Some of those loans were secured by real estate collateral.

A month later, the bank sold a portfolio of loans secured by hotel assets amounting to €383 million. The portfolio contained 91 operations in total, linked to 45 assets, and was sold to Bank of America and the investor Davidson Kemper.

In September, the bank closed the largest of its operations, by selling a portfolio of loans linked to the real estate sector amounting to €1,206 million, of which €986.8 million was secured. The purchasers in this case were the funds Oaktree and Chenavari.

In the last few weeks, BFA-Bankia has transferred a loan portfolio amounting to €645.1 million, all granted to the business sector and partly secured by real estate collateral, to Deutsche Bank.

Sources at Bankia highlight that, in order to maximise the prices obtained, a competitive process has been adopted for all of the portfolio sales between prestigious institutional investors and financial institutions.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

BFA-Bankia Sells €645M Loan Portfolio

4 January 2016 – Expansión

As a result of this operation, the entity has reduced its doubtful debt balance by €414.3 million (€410.5 million relates to Bankia and €3.8 million relates to BFA).

BFA-Bankia has sold a loan portfolio amounting to €645.1 million. All of the loans had been granted to the business sector and some had been secured by real estate collateral, according to a statement issued by the group on Tuesday 22 December 2015.

Through this operation, BFA-Bankia was seeking to achieve two objectives, namely: to increase liquidity and free up resources to grant new loans; and to reduce its default rate by selling off doubtful debts.

In fact, with the sale of this portfolio, the group has reduced its doubtful loan balance by €414.3 million, of which €410.5 million relates to Bankia and €3.8 million to BFA.

Of the total loan portfolio sold, €564.3 million came from Bankia’s balance sheet and another €80.8 million from BFA’s.

The group explained that this operation will have a “minimal (positive) impact” in terms of capital and that, to maximise the price obtained, the sale has been conducted as a competitive process between “first tier” institutional investors and financial entities.

“The entity is continuing to move forward with its commitment to divest all of its non-strategic assets”, the group said.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA Gauges Investor Appetite For Two Big Portfolios

29 June 2015 – WSJ

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA is sounding out investor appetite for two large portfolios of non-performing debt and real estate assets, according to sources briefed on the potential deals, as Spain’s economic recovery helps banks shed more of their bad loans.

BBVA, Spain’s No. 2 bank by market value, has spoken with investors in recent weeks to gauge their interest in the purchase of a portfolio that could contain around €1 billion worth of non-performing real estate loans and repossessed property assets and another portfolio that could contain between €500 million to €1 billion worth of nonperforming consumer, business and real estate loans.

BBVA has not sent investors “teasers”—documents that lay out details of an operation—because the parameters of the potential deals are still being designed, and the portfolios may not materialize, some of the sources said.

One source said that BBVA could formalize the sale of the two portfolios in September, and that the large size of the potential deals indicates that the portfolios could be partitioned and sold to various investors.

A spokesman for BBVA declined to comment.

Amid strong demand for Spanish real-estate assets, BBVA has hired KPMG LLP to oversee the sale of its loan-recovery unit. (…). A spokesman for KPMG also declined to comment.

Background

The potential sale by BBVA follows efforts by other Spanish lenders to sell real estate assets. They are encouraged by an economic growth rate—forecast by the Bank of Spain to reach 3.1% this year—that is outpacing that of other major eurozone countries.

Bankia SA has recently received non binding offers for €4.8 billion of property, including 38,545 residential units, 4,938 commercial units and 2,589 plots of land throughout Spain, according to a deal document sent to investors by Credit Suisse Group AG in April. Spain spent €22.4 billion in European Union funds to bail out Bankia in 2012. (…)

Spanish lender Banco de Sabadell SA sold its unpaid debt management and collection unit last July to Norwegian debt collection company Lindorff Group.

Major investors, such as Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital Management, have stepped up their presence in Spain’s property market, as the economic recovery has helped to buoy real estate prices in some cities. (…).

Blackstone Group also bought the real estate servicer of bailed-out lender Catalunya Banc SA, and paid €3.6 billion to buy €6.4 billion of home loans issued by the bank.

Apollo, TPG, Cerberus Capital Management LP and Sabadell were selected in December by Spain’s “bad bank” to market and sell billions of property assets on its behalf, a contract that brings commissions and insight into the real-estate market.

Investors and analysts expect the real-estate servicers to consolidate in coming years as investment funds continue to seek high returns while they whittle down the amount of foreclosures and bad loans they oversee.

Original story: WSJ (by Jeannette Neumann)

Edited by: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Considers Selling 1,000 Homes To Overseas Funds

11 March 2015 – Expansión

‘Project Eurostars’ / The Catalan group is sounding out investors to assess their interest in the portfolio, which mainly comprises homes on Spanish coast.

The Spanish bank wants to widen the ‘drain’ through which it is offloading property from its balance sheet. As well as leveraging on the intense activity in their sales networks, financial institutions are looking to take advantage of the interest shown by overseas funds by packaging up batches of homes. One of the first groups to join this trend is CaixaBank, which has been sounding out the market in recent weeks regarding the sale of a portfolio of 1,000 homes known as Project Eurostars; Expansión has had access to the corresponding sales prospectus.

The group chaired by Isidro Fainé (pictured above) has handed over the management of this transaction, whose information was first distributed to funds at the end of February, to the real estate consultant JLL. According to the timeline proposed initially, investors should have submitted their non-binding offers yesterday and the process should close by the end of the month.

The Eurostars portfolio comprises 1,091 real estate assets, with an estimated combined value of €103 million. The majority of the portfolio is made up of 807 homes, primarily located on the Mediterranean coast, with an average value of €122,000. The portfolio also includes 250 parking spaces, 26 store-rooms and 5 shops.

The homes are concentrated in Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia, Alicante, Granada, Cádiz, Navarra and Tenerife.

In the information that has been distributed, the advisor JLL highlights two key features that it hopes will appeal to foreign investors: the improvement in the real estate market, with an 18% increase in (the volume of) house sales between 2013 and 2014; together with “the positive economic outlook and increasing volume of investment”, with investors allocating €23,000 million to Spanish property in 2014.

The homes to be sold are currently held on the balance sheet of the Building Centre, a subsidiary of CaixaBank, after being foreclosed.

The group sold 13,794 properties in 2014, i.e. 27% more than in 2013 and the volume of foreclosed assets increased by 12%, to reach almost €15,000 million in gross terms.

Original story: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake