Top NPL buyers ready to shop more

NPL Chart of the Week: 26 April 2019

Cerberus Capital Management, the biggest NPL buyer in Europe, is going to pour more money into the market.

The private equity giant announced it had raised USD 5.1bn (EUR 4.5bn) for its first dedicated NPL fund, Cerberus Global NPL Fund.

Since 2015, Cerberus has completed 44 deals in Europe with a total volume of EUR 84.3bn, according to the Debtwire NPL Database.

The fund has dominated the Irish market since its inception, buying EUR 23.2bn of loans since 2013, almost 30% of the total traded.

In Spain, Cerberus has amassed an even greater volume of NPLs and REOs– EUR 35.6bn – but has been narrowly beaten by the Blackstone Group, which bought EUR 39.4bn during the same time period.

Blackstone is also raising fresh money and is approaching EUR 10bn for its latest European fund, which will be the third-largest real estate fund ever, according to PERE.

Lone Star Funds has also been a significant player in both markets, buying EUR 28.2bn in both combined. In February, Lone Star closed its eleventh opportunity fund, for USD 8.2bn (EUR 7.2bn).

However, with less than EUR 15bn live transactions total in Ireland and Spain, these markets have matured past their peak in terms of NPL opportunities. The question is, where will the funds look to spend their billions?

Both Lone Star and Cerberus have been looking at portfolios in Greece, the rising star of Europe, but have yet to make sizeable acquisitions.

Cerberus has also expressed interest in more distant pastures in the multi-trillion dollar global NPL markets, citing “compelling opportunities” in China, India and Braz

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