Santander partners with Blackstone to create 2nd biggest property company in Spain

Eugenia Jiménez
Santander partners with Blackstone to create 2nd biggest property company in Spain

Spanish group Banco Santander has struck a deal with the American investor Blackstone, through which Santander will transfer 51% of former bank Banco Popular’s property business to a new company, affecting the transfer of some €30bn worth of assets plus the full capital of Aliseda.

Santander will reportedly receive around €5bn for the transaction, an amount corresponding to the 51% of the value of the portfolio, while Blackstone will pilot the new company as it owns the majority of the capital. The deal is expected to complete in the first half of 2018, and affects some €12.6bn of land assets, €8bn in residential property, €2.1bn of commercial property, €1.5bn of industrial warehouses and €800m of hotel assets.

Aliseda is the property management business of Banco Popular as it existed before the bank’s dissolution and subsequent sale to Santander.

The joint venture – in which Santander will own 49% and Blackstone the remaining 51% – will become in the second largest property company in Spain, surpassed only by Sareb. Currently some 70% of the 12,000 properties managed by Blackstone in Spain target the rental market, predominantly in the metropolitan areas of Madrid and Barcelona. Blackstone acquired exposure to the Spanish residential property market through the acquisition of its subsidiary Anticipa Real Estate, previously known as CatalunyaCaixa Inmobiliaria.

In contrast, the deal with Santander is intended to expedite the renting of residential properties previously owned by Banco Popular, before it went bust, most of them based in Andalusia and Valencia.