Rabobank's Bouwfonds IM sells €4bn portfolio

By Paul Norman - Monday, March 05, 2018 13:47

Bouwfonds Investment Management, part of Dutch bank Rabobank and a subsidiary of Rabo Real Estate Group, has sold a €4bn slice of its portfolio, principally via a management buy-out financed by Amsterdam-headquartered investor CommonWealth Investments.

The real assets investment arm, which at the end of 2016 managed €5.9bn of real estate and infrastructure assets, said the sale was in line with the strategy of Rabo Real Estate Group to cut back its activities in fund and asset management.

Dutch bank Rabobank had previously sought to sell Bouwfonds IM before putting the sale on ice as the Dutch commercial real estate market recovered.

Rabobank, the Netherlands’ largest mortgage lender, announced plans in 2015 to cut up to €150bn from its balance sheet and shed 9,000 jobs by 2020.

Rabobank had assets of €675bn on its balance sheet at the end of June 2015.

The latest sale comprises:

• Management buy-out, financially supported by Commonwealth Investments BV.

• Recapitalisation of the shares of IEF Capital Berlage

• Transfer of shares of CIF Fixed lines and CAIW to EQT Infrastructure and the sale of tower assets to TenneT

• Sale of Business Unit Agri

Jaap Gillis, CEO of Bouwfonds IM said: ‘We have now completed the disposal of important parts of our portfolio. During this successful operation, the interests of our customers, employees and parent company Rabobank were always our priority. Marnix Boessenkool, CFO of Bouwfonds IM: ‘As a result of this successful divestment, Bouwfonds IM’s portfolio has been cut back from over €6.3bn in 2015 to €2.1bn now.’

“On March 5th, Bouwfonds IM has transferred in a management buy-out various activities to the managers responsible for the relevant business units, financially supported by Commonwealth Investment B.V. The transaction concerns all activities of the business unit Parking, most of the activities of the business unit Residential and the German communication infrastructure fund (BCIF II).

“We are convinced that through this management buy-out, we can serve the interests of our customers, employees and other stakeholders in the best possible manner. The team that will be leading the new company has been responsible for these funds for a number of years and is in an excellent position to successfully continue these activities,”

In November 2017, IEF Capital (a joint venture of Bouwfonds IM & IEF) and CBRE Global Investors announced that a consortium headed by CBRE Global Investors, consisting of three Dutch institutional investors and the CBRE Dutch Retail Fund, have recapitalised the shares in IEF Capital Berlage Zuid and IEF Capital Berlage HB ll.

In November 2017, Bouwfonds IM also announced that it had transferred parts of its indirect interests in the company CIF I: Fixed lines (via Rabo Bouwfonds Communication Infrastructure Fund C.V. – specialised in the field of communication and infrastructure), and CAIW – to EQT Infrastructure. CIF I is a coaxial and fibre infrastructure company that supplies broadband access to more than 350,000 households in the Netherlands. CAIW Holding is a provider of cable tv, digital telephony and internet access.

Separately, Bouwfonds IM also transferred its indirect interests of the telecommunication towers from CIF l to TenneT.

Marnix Boessenkool said ‘We are delighted that in the second half of 2017 in particular, we were able to achieve and prepare these results. The phasing out and management buy-out, which involved many parties, was a complex operation which required great precision and dedication from our organisation. This is a great result for both Bouwfonds IM and Rabo Real Estate Group’.

Bouwfonds IM will continue the remaining activities with the existing management board consisting of Jaap Gillis, Marnix Boessenkool and Rudolf Thomeer.

Rabobank will continue to support the company and ensure a smooth transfer to the new owners.

A decision on the buyer of Rabobank’s €1.5bn Project Purple commercial real estate loan portfolio is expected imminently.

Rabobank’s Netherlands CRE portfolio is made up of 800 loans, of which 80% are performing by volume. However, a high number of the loans have a loan to value of more than 100% according to a KMPG note.

Four parties have made it through to a second round of bidding:

• CarVal Investors, which teamed up with Arrow to buy the real estate financing arm of RNB Hypotheebank, part of Dutch cooperative bank Rabobank, including its €1.7bn real estate loan portfolio, in 2016

• Davidson Kempner

• Goldman Sachs

• Lone Star Funds and JP Morgan Asset Management, which re the partners that bought Propertize, the Dutch State-owned real estate bad bank and its €5.2bn Project Swan portfolio, for a purchase price of €895.3m as well as assuming €2.35bn of guaranteed debt, at the end of 2016.

pnorman@costar.co.uk

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