The North American fund is a regular of this kind of operation. In Europe a few months ago it acquired the assets of Bradford&Bingley and three years ago it acquired the mortgage portfolio of Catalunya Bank for 4.123 billion euros, so that BBVA could advance the integration of the financial business of the old Catalan savings bank.
Although there is considerable appetite in the market, it will still be a major challenge for Santander to complete this major sale this month.
The decision is conditioned by two motives: the pressure from supervisors – they are threatening penalties because of the new provisioning rules – and the great appetite of investment funds, who have acquired 67 billion euros of housing assets in the last five years.
Following the steps of Caixabank and Sabadell
Financial entities have made the headlines this summer for accelerating this type of operations. Catalan banks have been the main example.
On 28 June Caixabank announced that it was offloading 7 billion euros of its toxic assets. It placed its housing business in an operation structured in two parts: 80% of housing assets and the subsidiary Servihabitat, repossessed on 8 June.
Sabadell, for its part, finalized the sale of its toxic property assets shared between four portfolios: Challenger, the largest, with assets valued at 5 billion euros; Coliseum and Makalu of 2.5 billion euros and Galerna, already sold to Axactor for 900 million euros.