La Vanguardia announced on Sunday that the Spanish savings bank Caixa Catalunya is selling 824 of its bank branches in an effort to raise cash. That is nearly 70% of all its locations (1200 buildings across Spain).
In an article on Reuters.com one can read how “The bank wants to strike a deal with potential buyers to continue to rent the branches, with a buy-back option for 10, 15 and 20 years, and wants to sell them in lots of 5 million euros, which would include 10 to 15 premises, the paper said.”
Selling of nearly 70% of its real estate assets, makes one wonder – is the company on the verge of collapse and trying to save it’s assets before going under? Or is it just a measure to inject liquidity into the company?
The shocking part of this whole situation is that Caixa Catalunya is not the only bank selling of real estate premises, the article on Reuters confirms how Santander has already gotten a head start: “Other Spanish banks have also closed leaseback deals on their property, notably Spain’s largest bank Santander which has sold more than 1,150 of its branches and other buildings and its headquarters complex at Boadilla del Monte on the outskirts of Madrid”.
Anyone fancy buying a bank? Business buyers must be desperate to get their hands on some of these “prime properties” especially considering the banks want to buy them back in 10, 15 and 20 years. Or perhaps not?