PROPERTY

Banks embark on realty sale

Banks embark on realty sale

Large property portfolios, with a total number of more than 3,000 assets and valued at more than 1.5 billion euros, are about to change hands through deals in the local market, driven by the aim of banks to rid their financial figures of their burden and to boost revenues.

They concern properties lenders have obtained by way of auctions in the last couple of years and whose sale they are now considering, either directly to interested investors or through their real estate management subsidiaries.

In the next few weeks Alpha Bank will choose its preferred investor for the sale of a property portfolio worth over €500 million, combined with the transfer of its Alpha Astika Akinita subsidiary. This is the so-called “Project Skyline,” which has attracted four suitors: Prodea Investments with parent company Invel, the Dimand Real Estate-HIG consortium, and investment funds Brook Lane Capital and Davidson Kempner.

Their interest mainly regard the assets to be transferred to Alpha Astika Akinita, which the bank will concede and hold on to a minority stake in. They include some 50 top-quality properties valued at about €280 million, such as the landmark Alpha building on Aiolou Street in Athens.

The investor to be chosen will control both the majority and the management of Alpha Astika Akinita, introducing a business plan to be agreed on in the context of the tender.

Piraeus Bank’s “Project Terra” is even greater in value: The process that started last fall has just entered its second stage, pertaining to the transfer of approximately 2,300 properties with a total value in excess of €800 million, the biggest realty portfolio to change hands in Greece. The package incorporates 125 assets that Piraeus Bank itself uses and have a combined value of €307 million.

National Bank is also planning to selle a package of properties valued close to €100 million over the next few months. The market expects this portfolio to concern mainly residential and possibly some commercial assets, although no final decision on the portfolio has been made yet.