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KKR Eyes Spanish Bank Investment, Managing Sareb Assets

Henry Kravis Co-Chief Executive Officer of KKR & Co. LP
Henry Kravis Co-Chief Executive Officer of KKR & Co. LP. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

KKR & Co., the private-equity firm run by billionaires Henry Kravis and George Roberts, is interested in investing in a Spanish lender and may seek to manage assets of the country’s bad bank.

“We would very much like to share in the capital of a financial institution, and we are following the process of the restructuring of all the banks in detail,” Jesus Olmos, the firm’s Spanish head, said in an interview in Madrid. KKR would like to “be there” if opportunities arise in a second wave of consolidation among former savings banks, he said.

Investors from Apollo Global Management LLC to George Soros have purchased Spanish banking assets as the economy began pulling out of a six-year slump. Soros Fund Management LLC was among firms that bought shares in nationalized lender Bankia as part of a 1.3 billion-euro ($1.8 billion) stake sale by the government in February. Apollo bought Banco Santander SA’s real estate servicing platform Altamira and an 80-branch bank hived off from the bailed-out Galician lender NCG Banco SA.

KKR would also consider teaming up with a Spanish partner to manage part of the 50 billion euros of property assets and real estate held by Spain’s bad bank, known as Sareb, Olmos said. Formed in 2012 to house the soured real estate of banks that took 41 billion euros of European bailout aid, Sareb plans to hire three or four companies to manage its assets.

Liberbank SA is the latest Spanish bank to seek investor help to bolster its capital. The Madrid-based bank formed from merging three former savings banks yesterday named Deutsche Bank AG to co-ordinate a planned capital increase.

KKR’s investments in Spain include the Portaventura amusement park near Barcelona and the solar-power producer T-Solar Global SA. The firm entered into a refinancing agreement with steelmaker Grupo Alfonso Gallardo SL in April and last year it provided about 320 million euros of rescue financing for building-materials manufacturer Uralita SA.

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