Sareb, the company created a year ago to manage the assets resulting from the restructuring of the banking sector, has completed the sale of 6,400 properties up to mid November, which demonstrates real progress in the divestment process it was commissioned to carry out by the Spanish and European authorities in 2012. One year after its creation, the company has achieved over €2 billion in gross revenues.
Over this period, the company "has gone from being a project to becoming fully operative, with 190 employees, a solid business plan and very active sales channels". So stated its president, Belén Romana, today, at a conference held in Valencia organised by PwC and the newspaper Las Provincias, in which she reported on the firm's main achievements since it was founded on 28th November 2012.
"Sareb has shown that it is a valid means for completing the restructuring of the banking sector, driving the recovery of the property market and for divesting assets in the most efficient way possible", indicated Romana. "Sometimes we forget that we have succeeded in setting up the company in record time. We are pleased with what we have achieved so far and are confident that we will successfully handle the demanding task we have taken on".
Months of intense activity
Since the creation of Sareb, recalled its president, the firm has consolidated its structure and the necessary processes in order to sell its assets in the retail and institutional markets, as well as the individual asset market. For this purpose, in order to have a complete understanding of the portfolio it had acquired - €50 billion in development loans and foreclosed properties – in the first quarter of 2013 Sareb began the biggest due diligence ever carried out in Spain, which is now 80% complete.
In March Sareb began selling to individuals via the contributing banks, and a little later began to operate in institutional markets, which has been a driving force for foreign investment in Spain. Since its first institutional transaction in August, Sareb has had "an active role in the change in perception of foreign investors with regard to the Spanish property market", continued Romana.
Almost 900 million euros sold via the Bermudas sales process
Over the last few days, Sareb has closed two important deals in the "Bermudas" sales process, including the loans it held with publicly listed companies. It has agreed to sell its stake in the syndicated loan which Realia Business has with several banks, for a nominal sum of €437 million. This process, dubbed Elora, is the biggest divestment the company has made to date.
The second transaction, which was carried out over the past few days, known as Fado, was the sale of two loans it had with Metrovacesa, both with a nominal value of €80.5 million. Altogether, Sareb has disposed of loans with a nominal value of nearly €900 million via the Bermudas sales process.
The company currently has sales processes in the market on a range of assets - residential housing, office properties, country estates, plots of land ready for construction, unique houses and social housing - some of which will be completed before the end of the year.
In order to drive the sector and support SMEs, Sareb has also opened a direct line of negotiation with these companies, which has enabled it to receive to date requests to write off loans with a total nominal value of over €100 million.
Agreements with Autonomous Communities for affordable rents
Sareb is working with several Autonomous Communities to help them with their social housing policies. The company has committed to temporarily ceding up to 2,000 homes in order for the autonomous communities to use them for affordable housing. Since this initiative was announced, six autonomous communities have shown interest in participating in the project.
New independent board members
In terms of corporate governance, Sareb has appointed two new independent board members to the Board of Directors, José Poveda Díaz and Isidoro Lora-Tamayo Rodríguez, in place of Javier Trillo and Celestino Pardo, who left the company for personal reasons.
José Poveda has a PhD in Law and has been a member of the Property and Mercantile Registrars Association since 1996. Author of various legal publications, he was the Dean of the Registrars Association (Colegio de Registradores) between 1989 and 1997. Isidoro Lora-Tamayo, who has a degree in Law from the Complutense University of Madrid and has been a member of the Notaries Association since 1971, has been Dean of Granada's Notary Association, and the delegate for the General Notaries Council in Latin America for two decades.
Sareb's Board of Directors is comprised of 15 directors, five of which are independent; eight are proprietary (representing the company's main shareholders) and two executive directors.