Blackstone Group L.P, a private equity and asset management firm based in the U.S, will acquire a 51% stake in Spanish bank, Banco Popular, making it the largest investors in Spanish real estate, reports the Financial Times.
Banco Popular was saddle by €37 billion in toxic assets, following the economic crisis which struck nearly ten years ago now. In June, the European authorities declared the bank was ‘failing or likely to fail’ and put the lender in resolution.
Santander, the largest bank in the eurozone in term of market capitalization, bought Banco Popular for €1, a deal which went through earlier this month. The job of offloading property assets and levelling the balance sheets has now begun.
As part of Blackstone’s deal, the loans were valued at €10billion, despite their gross book value of €30billion.
Spain has experienced some of the strongest growth in the eurozone, the country’s economy is expected to grow by 2.6% this year, ahead of Germany (1.8%) and France (1.5%), according to the International Monetary Fund.
Other investment firms are looking to benefit from Spain’s economic recovery; funds have raised $300bn in capital to buy up the bad debts of the continent’s banking sector, according to Deloitte.
Tags: Banco Popular, Blackstone, Santander, Spanish Banking Sector