Alternatives snap up €850m in discounted Spanish real estate

Hayfin and Blackstone are among several private firms to buy almost €850 million in assets from Spanish bad bank, Sareb, in late 2014.

Sareb, the state-controlled asset manager set up to reorganise the Spanish banking sector, has sold a number of real estate portfolios with €847 million par value in the final weeks of 2014, according to a statement.

Two real estate loan books including the €259 million Agatha portfolio and the €140 million Olivia portfolio have been sold to investors including London-based private debt firm Hayfin.

A consortium led by Hayfin acquired 38 performing loans from the Agatha portfolio with par value of €194 million. The sub-portfolio is secured by 29 rented apartment blocks primarily located in Madrid. The other part of the portfolio, comprised of 10 rented housing developments also located in Madrid with par value €65 million, was acquired by investment firm D.E. Shaw. Irea acted as financial advisor to Sareb on the sale while Ashurst acted as legal advisor.

Hayfin also purchased the Olivia portfolio comprised of seven performing loans with par value of €140 million and secured by residential and retail properties located in the province of Valencia. Irea acted as financial adviser to Sareb while Hernandez-Echevarria (HEYD) acted as legal advisor.

A third portfolio, known as Meridian, with par value of €133 million was also sold to Cerberus, according to local media reports. The book is secured by 26 hotel properties in Spain, comprised of more than 2,700 income-producing rooms. The properties are located in six different regions, with the largest number of properties in the provinces of Valencia, Barcelona, Alicante, Almeria and Cadiz. Irea again acted as financial advisor while Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira acted as legal advisor.

As well as the loan disposals, funds managed by Blackstone have bought four office buildings in Madrid from Sareb with a par value estimated to be more than €81 million, according to the Sareb statement. The properties were held in a bank asset fund known as Corona and 100 percent-owned by Sareb. All properties are located in the northern area of Madrid, have a total area of around 40,000 square meters and with an average occupancy rate of more than 90 percent. Aguirre Newman and Clifford Chance acted as advisors to Sareb on the transaction.

Sareb is also in the process of finalising the sales project known as Kaplan, through which it plans to dispose of performing and non-performing loans linked to small and medium-sized developers with par value of €234 million. The majority of these loans are secured by residential and land assets.