AREA, Europa, RREEF buy 153 Spanish bank branches

A trio of private equity real estate firms have clubbed together to acquire a second portfolio of bank branches from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria.

RREEF Europe, AREA Property Partners and Europa Capital have purchased a second portfolio of bank branches in Spain from Spanish commercial bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA).

The trio have clubbed together to buy 153 branches and two offices operated by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in a sale and leaseback transaction.

No sales figure was divulged by either side of the transaction although according to news agency Europa Press, the portfolio was sold for €364 million. Citing sources close to the deal, the news agency said BBVA made a capital gain worth €240 million from the deal which sees BBVA lease the properties back for a term of 30 years and which includes a buy-back option.

It is the second time RREEF, AREA and Europa have acted in concert to buy and leaseback assets from BBVA.

The first deal was done last September. In that instance, they acquired three landmark office assets and 944 bank branches located throughout Spain. The group did not reveal how much it paid for the assets, but BBVA said it had sold them for €1.15 billion. 

Spezialfonds in Germany is the vehicle that made the investment on behalf of RREEF, which is the alternative assets fund manager of Deutsche Bank. Europa Capital is a London-based private equity real estate firm, while AREA is a private equity real estate business headquartered in New York.