SocGen’s €1.2bn sale joins list of banks’ debt disposals

AXA set to buy French and German performing loans at 15% discount

Société Générale’s agreement to sell around €1.2bn of performing French and German loans to AXA Real Estate Investment Managers is the latest of a series of debt sales by European banks.

AXA was chosen as preferred bidder to buy the loans at around a 15% discount, Costar reported last week. AXA declined to comment. The loans, mostly secured against French and German assets,were originated between 2005 and 2008.

Germany’s central bank is set to offload the €238.78m Portfolio Green: two German property loan portfolios securitised by Lehman Brothers, in Excalibur.

The CMBS was one of three Lone Star did not want when it bought Excalibur’s whole loans, with a face value of almost €1.4bn, in a two-part deal in January and April.

Lloyds Banking Group has been driving activity in the UK and Ireland. It is selling its €360m Project Prince non-performing Irish loan portfolio to Kennedy Wilson and Deutsche Bank for around €61m, or 18 cents on the euro, and £809m of distressed Australian property loans to Blackstone and Morgan Stanley.

Cerberus and Varde were  the runners up on the Prince portfolio; Blackstone and Morgan Stanley beat an investor team made up of Goldman Sachs, Brookfield and GIC Real Estate at a cut-price 47p on the pound.

Lloyds also officially launched its second UK non-performing loan portfolio sale, Project Harrogate (or Project Royal II), which has a £625m nominal value. JPMorgan is advising.

Meanwhile, Allied Irish bank, advised by Citigroup, will seek offers next month for Project Pivot, 115 small UK loans secured by 251 properties, worth a nomi-nal £397m. Over 25% are hotels and leisure assets; 60% of the loans were due last year or this.

It is also marketing €675m worth of Irish office loans in the project Kildare portfolio.