Sareb slashes Corona to entice buyers

Spain’s bad bank Sareb is cutting the size of the first big commercial property portfolio it has brought to market in a bid to make it more saleable.

Launched in September, Project Corona was seven offices in Madrid with a value of between €350m and €500m. But Sareb now intends to remove three of these assets.

“It’s rumoured to be taking out the bad stuff to increase value,” said one adviser. Some 25 first-round indicative bids failed to meet Sareb’s reserve price.

Bidders are thought to include the likes of private equity firms that pursued Sareb’s first, €100m, residential portfolio, Project Bull. These included Lone Star and Apollo.

The winning bidder for Bull, H.I.G Capital, is also part of the Corona process, which Spanish agent Aguirre Newman is handling.

Another REO (bank-owned real estate) portfolio Sareb is selling through Deloitte is progressing. Project Abacus, a portfolio of 40 Madrid properties, received indicative bids in early October.

• Hypothekenbank has sold the upmarket ABC Serrano shopping centre in Madrid to IVA Capital Partners.