Blackstone Group has emerged as the front-runner to buy a majority stake in Banco Popular’s property portfolio.
Earlier last month news broke that Banco Santander, which took over the portfolio when it acquired the troubled Banco Popular for the symbolic price of one Euro, was in talks to sell a 51 percent stake for $5.7 billion to bidders such as Blackstone, Apollo Global Management and Lone Star Funds.
The bids from Apollo and Lone Star fell apart, the New York Times reported Monday, and Blackstone has entered into exclusive talks with Banco Popular.
The portfolio includes about $21 billion worth of repossessed assets and $14 billion worth of non-performing loans.
Santander CEO Jose Antonio Alvarez on Friday said the bank was considering all offers, but could not comment before European authorities gave final approval for the banks’ takeover. [NYT] – Rich Bockmann