SNS Property Finance to offload non-Dutch loanbook

Dutch property lender SNS Property Finance is retrenching to its home market and selling its non-Dutch loanbook, a mixture of performing and non-performing loans.

A €2.4bn European portfolio is up for sale, mainly comprising loans in Germany, France and Spain. Cairn Capital is thought to be advising SNS Property Finance.

Dutch loans account for 73% of the €13.2bn loan-book, and North American loans a further 9%. The sector split between residential, office and retail loans is fairly even.

One high-profile loan is an €81m development loan SNS Property Finance made in 2008 with Postbank for Heron International’s 450,000 sq. ft. Heron Parc Lille leisure, retail and office scheme in France.

Lone Star is one potential buyer, while Goldman Sachs is also understood to be interested, most likely on behalf of its Whitehall International 2008 fund, a $2.3bn, opportunistic vehicle.

In the second half of 2009, SNS Property Finance posted a €128m net loss and wrote down the value of its loans by €265 following a €91m loss and €153m write-down in the first half.

SNS Property Finance said its biggest write-downs were in the US and Spain, but the Dutch loan-book generated a profit.

SNS Property Finance is part of SNS Reaal and was formed through its parent company’s 2006 purchase of Bouwfonds Property Finance, from ABN AMRO, for €840m. The asset management and development divisions of the business were bought by Rabobank.