A consortium comprising Iberian and British-based firms has pulled off one of the largest property deals of the year in Europe.
Drago Real Estate Partners, which invests in the Iberian Peninsula, and Sun Capital, run by UK entrepreneur Hugh Osmond has teamed up to make the acquisition of 1,152 Banco Santander branches in Spain for €2.04 billion ($2.9 billion).
BNP Paribas and Allied Irish bank provided financing to the purchasers, according to a statement issued by Drago, which is managed by Mare Nostrum Capital Managers. Mare Nostrum has already built up a significant portfolio of residential and commercial properties and is led by Luis Iglesias and Oleguer Pujol.
Sun Capital Partners is a specialised provider of long term capital and management. The third member of the purchasing consortium is Pearl Group, backed by Sun Capital.
Earlier this year, Banco Santander announced its intention to sell most of its freehold property in Spain, dividing it into five portfolios, one of which was its domestic bank branch network. The bank is part of a consortium buying Dutch bank ABN Amro for €71 billion.