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European Banks Moving Toward Great Divestment, Black Says

Apollo Global Management LLC founder Leon Black said Europe’s banks are still willing to sell assets amid a dearth of such sales by the region’s lenders.

“It’s not like banks have a for sale sign on a lot of those assets,” Black said in a speech at the Super Investor conference in Paris today. “But they may do a deal if you can provide a holistic solution, give them the right sticker price and get it back in terms, or keep them on as stakeholders.”

Apollo is among hedge and private equity firms that have amassed an unprecedented 60 billion euros ($77 billion) to buy assets from lenders. They’ve been limited in deploying that money after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi cut interest rates three times to a record low and flooded the financial system with cash since taking over at the helm of the central bank last year, taking pressure off banks to sell assets at depressed prices.

“We see more deals happening in consumer loans and real estate, less in corporate private equity,” he said, noting that lenders in the region face negative growth for the next 18 months and potential zero growth for years to come.

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