Clifford Chance secures SAREB’s €60bn asset sale

The firm outbids Spanish heavyweights and, in an unusual move, is joined by a losing bidder for the contract

The creation of SAREB – the ‘bad bank’ for the €60bnworth of distressed real estate assets of Spain’s banks
– sees its fi rst legal appointment.
A Cliff ord Chance consortium has landed the lead role for the provision of fi nancial, legal, real
estate and other related advice on the divestments of SAREB’s toxic assets, following a competitive tender
process that was against fi rms including Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, Garrigues, Freshfi elds and Uría
It is a high-profi le win, as the Cliff ord Chance consortium was selected ahead of these Spanish
heavyweights. In an unusual move, Cuatrecasas has since been added to the Cliff ord Chance consortium,
with the fi rm highlighting Cuatrecasas’ previous experience as a factor in its inclusion.
Cuatrecasas has joined the legal team to provide a legal due diligence over the assets owned by SAREB,
Cliff ord Chance told Iberian Lawyer.
Cuatrecasas previously advised the FROB on the legal structure of SAREB and sett ing up of the
company, the issuance of bonds, the purchase of assets and the management agreement with the assigning
entities. “This legal review is part of the overall review and valuation of the portfolio which is being carried
out by other major consultants coordinated by Clifford Chance.”
Alongside real estate services provider CB Richard Ellis, the Cliff ord Chance consortium is made up of
13 fi rms including Broseta Abogados, Deloitt e Legal, Gómez-Acebo Pombo, Pérez Llorca and Ramón y Cajal,
as well as valuations provider Gesvalt, Estate Agents Savills and Knight Frank, and accounting fi rm KPMG.
The SAREB instruction, led by Carlos Portocarrero, a Real Estate Partner in Cliff ord Chance’s Madrid offi ce,
will see the group draw up plans over the next four months for the disposal of roughly €60bn of real estate
Some say that this move raises a question as to why Cuatrecasas has joined a team that already includes
a number of heavyweight domestic fi rms, with speculation as to whether the off er to join came from
Cliff ord Chance or from SAREB itself.
It would make sense, say lawyers, to have a global player within the consortium, given that SAREB
will likely have international investors looking at its divestments.
On the other hand they would need to maintain a strong Spanish law element to also deal with investors
from the domestic market.