July 16, 2018 / 12:46 PM / a year ago

Several foreign funds eyeing bids for Santander property portfolio - sources

MADRID, July 16 (Reuters) - Several foreign funds, among them Blackstone Group and Cerberus, are considering making bids for toxic real estate assets held by Spain's Banco Santander, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

The real estate asset portfolio has a gross value of around 5 billion euros ($5.86 billion), sources said, confirming an earlier report published by financial website elconfidencial.com.

Banco Santander declined to comment.

Despite a rebound in Spain's property market after a decade-long crisis, lenders are still racing to sell loans that went bad in the slump and often offer discounts of around 60 percent from the face value of the portfolios.

One of the sources said both Cerberus and U.S. funds Apollo and Lone Star were taking a look at the portfolio but have not made any final decision.

Blackstone was also analysing the portfolio, a different source said.

Cerberus and Blackstone declined to comment and Apollo and Lone Star were not immediately available for comment.

Though there is no deadline, one of the sources with knowledge of the matter said that the deal should ideally be closed before the end of July.

Santander sold control of a property with a gross value of 30 billion euros to Blackstone in August 2017, following its rescue of Banco Popular, with a discount of more than 65 percent. ($1 = 0.8535 euros) (Reporting By Jesús Aguado; editing by Paul Day and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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