Cerberus Is Said to Weigh IPO for Spanish Property Firm Haya

Updated on
  • Share sale for Haya could take place as early as this year
  • U.S. buyout firm seeking to tap into Spain’s property rebound

Cerberus Capital Management LP is considering an initial public offering for Haya Real Estate to tap into a resurgence of investor interest in Spain’s property market, according to people familiar with the matter.

The private equity firm is seeking to sell shares in the Madrid-based property-management company as early as this year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The size of the potential IPO hasn’t yet been decided, they said. Deliberations are at a preliminary stage and Cerberus may still decide against a transaction, according to the people.

Representatives for the New York-based buyout firm and Haya declined to comment.

The IPO plans mirror other real estate public offerings underway in Spain amid a recovery in the commercial property market. Metrovacesa, owned by Spain’s largest lender, Banco Santander SA, and rival Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, is set to return to the stock exchange with an IPO planned for February. Testa Residencial Socimi SA could also list in Madrid as early as the first half of this year, people familiar with the matter said in November.

Founded in 2012, Haya focuses on the management of real estate debt and property assets, according to its website. The company posted a profit of 14.4 million euros ($17.7 million) on revenue of 138.1 million euros for the first nine months of 2017. It employed about 650 people, had a network with more than 2,400 commercial real estate brokers and about 40 billion euros of assets under management in December 2016.

Spanish banks have been offloading soured real estate assets to meet stricter capital requirements and focus on lending after the nation’s property market crashed in 2007, and private equity firms including Blackstone Group Plc and Bain Capital LP have been active buyers.

In November, Cerberus agreed to buy foreclosed assets from BBVA with a gross book value of 13 billion euros, almost half of which are located in the troubled Catalonia region. Blackstone in August paid around 5 billion euros for a majority of Banco Popular Espanol SA’s real estate assets, which had a face value of about 30 billion euros after Banco Santander bought the ailing bank. Meanwhile, Bain and Oceanwood Capital Fund Management LLP bought non-performing loans backed by real estate with a face value of 602 million euros from Spanish lender Liberbank SA.

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