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Varde Partners, Barclays and Guber Banca acquire EUR1.4bn non-performing loan portfolio

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Värde Partners, Barclays investment bank and Guber Banca have jointly acquired a portfolio of non-performing loans originated by 53 cooperative banks, rural banks and popolari banks spread throughout Italy. The gross book value (GBV) of the portfolio is EUR1.397 billion.

Centrale Credit & Real Estate Solutions (CCRES), part of Cassa Centrale Banca Group, acted as advisor, coordinating the sale process.
 
The portfolio comprises more than 9,000 positions, with 39 per cent of the portfolio secured and the remaining 61 per cent unsecured. The loans were originated mainly in the North-East and in the North-West of Italy.
 
The portfolio was purchased by FUTURA SPV, a securitisation vehicle pursuant to Law 130/1999; the vehicle has issued single-tranche notes, the majority of which has been underwritten by a company majority owned by Värde and financed by Barclays Bank plc, and a minority part of the notes will be held by Guber Banca.
 
Guber Banca will also act as servicer and sub-servicer of the portfolio.
 
Francesco Guarneri, CEO, Guber Banca, says: “In our 27-year history, we have built unique expertise in the valuation and management of non-performing loans. We have developed proprietary technologies and implemented highly structured processes based on historical curves differentiated by asset classes. In a very competitive market with short lead times, it is essential for due diligence on the NPL portfolios to integrate the traditional methodologies of analysis with new tools based on digital technologies. This is, in fact, the first acquisition of a NPL portfolio achieved with mainly digital due diligence.”
 
Francisco Milone (pictured), Partner – Head of European Real Estate at Värde Partners, says: “We are pleased to partner with Barclays and Guber on this transaction. We initially invested in Guber in 2017 knowing they would play a big role in our longer term strategy to invest in NPLs in Italy. Värde has deep expertise investing in stressed and distressed loans and with dedicated people and resources on the ground, we remain committed to growing our presence in Italy. Our strength lies in our ability to close complex transactions while the market in Italy is experiencing more volatility and uncertainty.”
 
Adeel Khan, Head of Global Credit and Co-Head of Markets at Barclays, says: “We are very excited to have worked with Guber and Varde on this transaction. We have been investing and expanding our Leveraged Credit Trading and Special Situations financing capabilities to be able to support our clients across products and geographies. This transaction is also a testament to our commitment to Italy.”
 
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has acted as legal advisor for Värde Partners, Barclays Bank Plc and Guber Banca; Banca IMI has advised CCRES.
 

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