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Cerberus wins €400m Van Lanschot loan book

Cerberus Capital Management has bought a portfolio of mainly non-performing commercial property loans valued at almost €390m from Dutch bank Van Lanschot. Cerberus is believed to have paid around €260m for the portfolio, or 66% of the face value of the portfolio.

Cerberus Capital Management has bought a portfolio of mainly non-performing commercial property loans valued at almost €390m from Dutch bank Van Lanschot.

Cerberus is believed to have paid around €260m for the portfolio, or 66% of the face value of the loans.

The loans were made to companies and individuals and secured mainly on business premises, offices and some residential assets, almost all of which are located in the Netherlands.

Van Lanschot has been reducing its exposure to commercial real estate since 2013 and had just under €1.8bn of the loans on its book at the end of 2014. About €389m were reported as non-performing.

The bank, based in the southern Netherlands city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, said that following the sale to Cerberus, the impaired ratio of its overall €11.3bn corporate loan book, 5.8% at the end of last year, will fall by more than 2.5%.

Karl Guha, Van Lanschot chairman
Karl Guha, Van Lanschot chairman

The deal will result in a one-off charge of €23m before tax and is expected to have a marginally positive impact on Van Lanschot’s core capital position.

Karl Guha, chairman of Van Lanschot, said the competitive bidding process “allows us to benefit from market opportunities in this segment.”

Cerberus’s purchase signals another win for the private equity firm, which has been the most aggressive of the US investors scooping up European loan books.

The New-York based investor has bought about 20 European portfolios of mainly non-performing loans valued at more than €27bn since the start of 2013, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

This year alone it has acquired assets valued at more than €6bn, often at significant discounts as low as 23% of nominal value.

Two weeks ago, it purchased a Royal Bank of Scotland portfolio of buy-to-let residential mortgages, which had a gross asset value of £549m, for £225m.

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