Banco Sabadell Sells Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios to Oaktree for €882 Million

5 August 2019

Banco Sabadell has agreed to sell its developer, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (Sdin), to the US-fund Oaktree. The sale, which includes a significant stock of land holdings, closed for 882 million euros and will generate an accounting gain of 23 million euros.

Sabadell split Sdin Residencial from the larger Solvia Real Estate before its sale to the Swedish group Intrum.

With this deal, Sabadell has practically eliminated toxic assets from its balance sheet, selling more than €12.5 billion in non-performing assets over the last year.

Thanks to the sales, Sabadell will now have a Tier 1 Common Capital Ratio of 11.6%, up from 11.2% in June. The bank hopes to reach 12% in 2020.

Original Story: Expansión – Sergi Saborit

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Sareb Opens Bidding to Other Servicers After Low Bids from Haya, Solvia, Altamira and Servihabitat

30 July 2019

Sareb has notified the four servicers that manage its €34 billion in real estate loans and assets that it will open up bidding on its management contracts to other potential bidders, after having received a round of offers that it considered insufficient. Haya Real Estate (Cerberus), Servihabitat (Lone Star), Solvia (Intrum) and Altamira (doValue) have been servicing the bad bank’s assets until now. Sareb mandated DC Advisory to manage the process as the bank looks to reduce the size of the commissions it has been paying to the four firms.

DC Advisory and Sareb have reportedly been in contact with smaller, specialised firms such as Hipoges, Finsolutia and Copernicus. The decision is a message to the four current servicers, letting them know that they may lose out on future contracts unless they improve their bids. Sareb is considering dividing some sections of its portfolio by geographical location, reducing the number of managers in each and streamlining its operations.

The process – known as the Project Esparta – sent shudders through the servicing sector and was a factor in the postponement of Haya Real Estate’s IPO last year.  Haya currently has the largest mandate, servicing 37% of the bad bank’s assets (2014). Altamira, in turn, manages 29%, while Servihabitat has 19% and Solvia 15%.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Jorge Zuloaga

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. Turner

Logistics Sector Booming in Spain

25 June 2019

The logistics sector in Spain is booming due to the public’s ever-growing use of e-commerce. Investments in the sector reached 2.4 billion euros last year. According to a report by Solvia, the real estate servicer recently acquired by Intrum, the sector grew by 20% between March 2018 and March 2019 as more than 7 million square meters of logistics spaces were taken on. Solvia also warned that supply is beginning to tighten in the larger Spanish cities.

The rental market for logistic assets is still strong as well. Rental income in Madrid and Barcelona is currently close to 5 and 6 euros per square meter, respectively. Profitability also remains high, with average gross return rates at 7.3%.

According to Solvia, Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Zaragoza and Valencia accounted for 50% of the sales of logistics assets in the last twelve months. Just in Madrid, buyers acquired more than one million square meters between March 2018 and March 2019.

Original Story: ABC – Guillermo Giné

Sareb Offers the Contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat & Solvia to its Rivals

17 June 2019 – El Confidencial

Sareb is on a mission to change its course. According to market sources, the bad bank chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured below) has decided to put its contracts with Altamira (owned by doBank), Servihabitat (Lone Star) and Solvia (Intrum) out to tender two years before their scheduled renewal.

Even though the contracts are not due to expire until the end of 2021, Sareb is putting them out to tender alongside that of Haya Real Estate, which is due to expire at the end of 2019. This represents a boost for Cerberus’s servicer, given that its competitors will now also have to focus on retaining their own contracts rather than just bidding for Haya’s.

In the event that Sareb awards the contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia to other entities, it will have to compensate the servicers since their contracts clearly establish early termination clauses.

Altogether, Sareb is looking at putting out to tender the management of €34 billion in loans and properties that it still has left in its portfolio. The four will have to submit their bids in the next few months, specifying which assets they want to manage and what commissions they will charge.

The largest mandate is that of Haya, which manages assets proceeding from Bankia, which accounted for 37% of the bad bank’s original assets. It is followed by Altamira, which manages the assets proceeding from Catalunya Banc, BMN and Caja 3 (29% of the total); Servihabitat, which manages the assets from NCG Banco, Liberbank and Banco de Valencia (19%); and Solvia,  which manages assets from Bankia (foreclosed), Banco Gallego and Ceiss (15%). Clearly, there is a lot at stake for these servicers.

Original story: El Confidencial (by J. Zuloaga & R. Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Moonlake Capital Launches a Vehicle to Invest €600M in NPLs

27 May 2019 – Eje Prime

Moonlake Capital is going to launch a vehicle to invest €600 million in large portfolios of non-performing loans in Madrid, Barcelona, the Costa del Sol, the Balearic Islands, Valencia and Sevilla.

The new vehicle will operate as a servicer for the fund and so will manage and divest the portfolio of properties that the banks were left with after their owners were unable to keep up the repayments on their mortgages.

As such, the investment group created in 2016 and headquartered in Madrid will enter the market to compete with the likes of Servihabitat, Altamira, Solvia and Haya Real Estate, amongst others.

In parallel, Moonlake is also planning to create a joint venture with an as yet unidentified investor to develop a 2.5 million m2 project in Málaga’s technology park, involving the construction of 5,000 homes, 110,000 m2 of industrial warehouses and 30,000 m2 of commercial premises.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Marta Casado Pla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sareb Launches Project Esparta to Shake Up its Servicer Arrangements

17 May 2019 – Cinco Días

Sareb has launched a new operation called Project Esparta, through which it is seeking to turn its existing strategy on its head.

The bad bank’s aims with this initiative are multiple: to create sub-portfolios into which to classify its assets; to renegotiate the contracts with its servicers to recover the services transferred to them; to delay sales and assume the stock of assets to generate added value; to create regional centres; and to equip itself with its own technological infrastructure. The overall objective is to professionalise sales and enhance the value of its assets.

As a result, Sareb is going to start renegotiating the contracts that it has with Haya, Altamira, Solvia and Servihabitat to recover some of the activities assigned to those servicers. Haya’s contract is due to expire on 31 December 2019 and according to the bad bank, it may be renewed in part or in whole, or the portfolio under management may be put up for tender. The contracts with Altamira, Solvia and Servihabitat are due to terminate in 2021.

Haya was hoping to make its stock market debut this year, but it will have to put those plans on hold until its future with Sareb is resolved.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Ricardo Sobrino)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Completes the Sale of its Platform Solvia to Intrum

24 April 2019 – Cinco Días

Banco Sabadell and Intrum have definitively closed the operation whereby the entity chaired by Josep Oliu has sold 80% of its real estate platform Solvia to the Swedish group, more than four months after it was initially announced, having obtained the corresponding approvals.

The operation values 100% of the company at €300 million and so Sabadell will receive €240 million for the 80% stake, an amount that may increase by another €40 million depending on the evolution of the business.

The bank will record a gain of €138 million as a result of the sale and its capital ratio will improve by 15 basis points.

The entity is also waiting to complete the sale of its property developer Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (SDIn) during the next quarter. The funds Cerberus and Oaktree have made it through to the final round of that operation, according to sources.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A. G.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Solvia Joins Forces with Orion Capital & Will Manage an Asset Portfolio Acquired from Goldman

8 April 2019 – Idealista

Solvia has joined forces with Orion Capital, which has entrusted the servicer with managing the portfolio that it purchased from Goldman Sachs at the end of last year.

The portfolio has a nominal value of €400 million and contains loans originated by CaixaBank. As such, Solvia will lead the sales process for all of the real estate assets included in the portfolio and for the properties that are recovered as solutions are found to the non-payment of loans.

Original story: Idealista 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Cerberus Puts Haya Real Estate up for Sale for c. €1.2bn

15 March 2019 – Eje Prime

Cerberus had been planning to list Haya Real Estate on the stock market but it suspended that operation in light of the political instability in the country, amongst other reasons. Instead, the US fund has decided to put the servicer up for sale.

The asking price is €1.2 billion and the advisor Rothschild has already made contact with possible interested parties. They include DoBank, which acquired Altamira in January for €412 million; the Swedish company Intrum, which purchased 80% of Solvia in December; and the fund manager Centricus.

Haya’s contract with Sareb is due to expire at the end of this year and the bad bank is understood to be considering not renewing the agreement as part of a wider strategic rethink.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sareb Hires DC Advisory to Overhaul its Servicer Contracts

15 March 2019 – El Confidencial

Sareb is determined to change track. The entity chaired by Jaime Echegoyen  (pictured below) has taken the decision to cut back the contracts that it currently has with its servicers (Haya, Altamira, Solvia and Servihabitat), in an overhaul of the work that is currently carried out by those platforms.

The timing is perfect, given that Haya’s contract is due to expire at the end of this year and the rest of the agreements mature in 2021. To this end, the bad bank has engaged the advisory firm DC Advisory (previously Montalbán) to help it redefine the servicers’ contracts. The business generates commissions of around €100 million per year.

Sareb is keen not to renew the existing contracts with lower commissions but rather to design a completely different model with new conditions and perimeters. The options range from assuming more of the work itself in-house to organising the out-sourcing of the portfolios by region.

The pressure is on for Sareb to divest its assets given that the entity itself has an expiry date and the current climate is ideal for undertaking operations.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde & J. Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake