PropertyEU - May 19, 2010
French insurer AXA Real Estate is taking part in a consortium that is bidding for EUR 1.8 bn worth of property from Siena-based bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS). Under the sale-and-leaseback plan, the Italian bank would retain a 30% stake in the portfolio with the rest split between Italian property company Sansedoni (40%), AXA Real Estate (20%) and investment bank Mediobanca (10%).
MPS expects to post a capital gain of EUR 443 mln from the sale which is aimed at boosting the bank's capital and liquidity ratios. During the presentation of the bank's first-quarter results, Chief Executive Alberto Vigni said he was 'confident' that the deal would be completed this year.
The lender is currently discussing the sale and leaseback of the property with the Bank of Italy. The operation will see MPS transfer the assets to a new company, Perimetro Gestione Proprietà Immobiliari, which will be seeking new investors in the coming months.
The sale of MPS' real estate was first announced in late 2008 but came to a halt last year due to a change in legislation introduced by the Bank of Italy.
MPS is also working on two other real estate asset disposals. In March, MPS put around 370 bank branches worth around EUR 700 mln on the market and said it was planning to sell around EUR 500 mln worth of properties consisting of 266 branches no longer strategic.
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