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Varde Partners and Guber Banca Acquire Italian NPL Portfolio worth EUR734m

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A group of investors led by Värde Partners and Guber Banca, working with Barclays as their financial institution partner, have acquired a non-performing loan portfolio originated by 22 mutual, rural, and cooperative banks spread throughout Italy.

The gross book value (GBV) of the portfolio is approximately EUR734 million. The portfolio comprises more than 1,300 positions, most of which are secured. The loans were originated mainly in the Northeast and in the Northwest of Italy.
 
The portfolio was purchased by a securitisation vehicle issuing multi-tranche notes. The senior notes (70 per cent) will be underwritten by the seller banks and the junior notes will be majority financed by Värde Partners. Guber Banca will hold a minority share of the notes and will also act as servicer of the portfolio.
 
This transaction follows the previously announced acquisition of a EUR1.397 billion GBV NPL portfolio in July 2018.
 
Francesco Guarneri, CEO of Guber Banca, says: “We are very pleased to have successfully completed the second tranche of the deal with CCB (Cassa Centrale Banca) which has reached a total of EUR2.1 billion (adding the first tranche with the second one), a market deal without any Government guarantee.”
 
Francisco Milone, Partner and Head of European Real Estate at Värde Partners, adds: “Italy is an incredibly important market for our firm. Värde’s deep expertise investing in NPLs across the globe combined with our local team in Italy and relationship with Guber support our activity in the Italian NPL market”.
 
Centrale Credit & Real Estate Solutions (CCRES) – part of Gruppo Cassa Centrale Banca Credito Cooperativo Italiano – and Banca IMI (Intesa Sanpaolo Group) acted as advisors of the sellers, coordinating both the origination and sale processes. CCRES and Banca IMI acted also as arrangers in projecting a new securitization to be managed through a multi-originator platform for the securitization of NPLs originated by cooperative banks. Such platform confirms to be a valid instrument to support cooperative banks struggling to sell their NPLs.
 
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP acted as legal advisor for the buyers.

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