Trio of firms buy Spanish banks for €1.1bn

RREEF Alternative Investments, AREA Property Partners and Europa Capital has completed the sale-leaseback acquisition of a significant majority of Spanish property assets owned by bank, BBVA.

An alternative asset manager owned by Deutsche Bank and two private equity real estate firms have acquired property from Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in a sale and leaseback transaction. 

RREEF Alternative Investments, AREA Property Partners and Europa Capital said they had acquired the assets comprising three landmark office assets and 944 bank branches located throughout Spain, which will all be leased back to BBVA.

The group did not reveal how much it paid for the assets. BBVA said it had sold them for €1.15 billion. 

Ismael Clemente, head of RREEF Spain, said in a statement the assets provided strong cash flow from a “very highly-rated tenant”.

John Robertson, head of structuring of UK and Continental deals at AREA Property Partners, said teaming with RREEF and Europa was a repeat of a deal in UK real estate. In 2000, they were all part of a consortium which acquired the Oldham Estate group of London offices, including the famous Centre Point building.

Noel Manns, a principal at Europa Capital, said BBVA was a “high quality covenant” in uncertain times. “This transaction demonstrates the commitment from Europa to the Spanish investment market,” he added.