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Oaktree to buy Sabadell’s Project Normandy

Oaktree Capital Management has been selected by Spain’s Banco Sabadell to buy a portfolio of real estate loans valued at around €950 million, according to Spanish press reports.

Oaktree Capital Management has been selected by Spain’s Banco Sabadell to buy a portfolio of real estate loans valued at around €950 million, according to Spanish press reports.

The portfolio, known in the market as Project Normandy, is to be sold to Oaktree for €250 million, according to a report in Spanish publication Catalunya Press. After selling project Normandy, the Catalonian bank will have shifted more than €8 billion of non-core loans from its balance sheet, reducing the outstanding balance from €26 billion to below €18 billion, the report said.

SabadellIn its European Distressed Real Estate Market report, published in September 2016, real estate investment banking firm Evercore said that Project Normandy at the time had a circa €1.1 billion NPL face value and was secured mainly by residential assets. The face value had been reduced from €1.7 billion.

As part of the deal, Oaktree will acquire 500 property developer loans which Sabadell inherited when it bought nationalised savings bank CAM back in 2011. The loans are secured by developments, retail properties and land.

In October 2016, Oaktree was identified as the buyer of a €430 million Spanish non-performing loan book, sold by Deutsche Bank. The portfolio contained residential mortgages as well as SME debt and structured credits which were held in the non-core operating unit.

Oaktree has been a significant buyer of loan portfolios in the Spanish market. In July 2015, it partnered with hedge fund Chenavari to buy Bankia’s €918 million Portfolio Mast, which comprised 4,300 unpaid residential mortgages. Oaktree also bought the €178 million Portfolio Board, which contained loans to SMEs and real estate developers, secured on commercial property assets. The sales formed part of Bankia’s Project Wind non-core disposal programme.

In June 2015, Oaktree bought the Project Gaudi loan portfolio from German bad bank FMS Wertmanagement. The portfolio consisted of 16 of FMS’s 18 Spanish CRE loan positions and assets. Oaktree bought the bulk of the loans for around €260 million, after purchasing the largest asset in the portfolio – Bilbao’s 1.35m sq ft Megapark Barakaldo – for about €150 million.

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