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Varde, Kennedy Wilson to Manage Banco Popular Real Estate

Banco Popular Espanol SA agreed to sell the management of its real estate to Varde Partners and Kennedy Wilson Holdings Inc. as Spanish banks seek specialists to handle assets that piled up in a property crash.

Varde and Kennedy Wilson will control a new company that will handle real estate-linked loans with a net value of 9.35 billion euros ($12.6 billion) and assets valued at 6.5 billion euros, the Madrid-based bank said in a statement to regulators today. Popular, which didn’t disclose the terms, said the transaction is scheduled to close in coming weeks.

Investors are seeking to profit from Spain’s real estate crash that caused more than 180 billion euros of assets linked to real estate to sour. Banco Santander SA, Spain’s biggest lender, last week reached a preliminary agreement to sell Altamira, a unit that handles its loan recoveries and markets real estate, to Apollo European Principal Finance Fund II.

Popular hired KPMG in September to find a buyer for its property business, known as Aliseda. Varde specializes in credit, distressed and special-situations investing. Kennedy Wilson is a real estate and investment-services firm based in Beverly Hills, California.

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