Success in asset management: expertise or method?

Increase in the valuations”, “Growth in the local property market”, “Foreign investments in luxury housing”… These are the recent headlines we are seeing in the media. Is the Real Estate market really recovering?

The acquisition of Prime Assets by equity funds has been booming over the last 12 months. Privileged, exclusive, affluent areas where there is some certainty- if it is possible to have certainty about anything-, that the business developed around those assets is going to have public or customers.

But what happens with “bad banks”? Those large Real Estate land portfolios hosting businesses that are close to, or already reaching, bankruptcy. These are the so-called toxic assets, the ugly ducklings of Real Estate. These distressed assets carry a more-than-considerable debt, with the alarming threat of the loss of numerous direct and indirect jobs that the operation of the assets would entail, as well as the writing-off of the past investment that was made and of the loans that were received.

“The financial situation of these assets may be the consequence of many factors, independent, or rather inherent, to the property boom; perhaps a disproportionate investment made in shopping malls, hotels or other economic activities that exceeded and still exceed the demand in the surrounding environment; perhaps an unfortunate approach to the activity or poor guidance thereof; maybe mismanagement by the administrators who did not have an in-depth knowledge of the area they operate in; or a combination of all these, and other factors.”

These assets have two decisive key factors in common: high debt and very limited resources, the result of a gradual and continuous deterioration of the asset. This is where we talk about Distressed Asset Management, and where Eneas can play a decisive role.

The preparation of a feasibility plan for the distressed asset is far from a standard Business Plan for a profitable asset. The management of these assets is conditioned by debt, the limiting of available cash, a limited income and the existence of payment obligations to suppliers, whose service contracts are probably not tailored to the needs of the asset, have not been traded professionally and have an undesirable maturity date.

These limitations require intelligent management of the available resources. This is where Eneas, through analysis and negotiation, good management of working capital and rationalization of expenditure supported by the Eneas Cost Optimization division, achieves the redirection of the assets, with each of the repositioning actions having their own prior and comprehensive investment analysis. This Distressed Asset Management is reflected in budgets adapted to the priority needs of the asset, a detailed update of revenues and expenses and a precise liquidity plan.

In short, when it comes to implementing the feasibility plan of the asset Eneas’ work not only ensures its optimal management, but also transparency in all actions to be carried out and complete alignment of interests with the entities owning the asset. The goal to be achieved is clear: maximize the recovery of the value of the asset.

This work can be culminated in our Investment Banking area: once the asset has been refloated and geared towards profitability, we offer a highly qualified and complete assessment of its sale, since we are able to apply the high quality M&A standards to the Real Estate sector.

While efficient asset management consists of a methodology that is quite well established within the Real Estate field, with regards to the management of distressed assets it is just not enough to simply apply the methodology or certain guidelines. Distressed Asset Management requires skill, experience and an in-depth knowledge of both the Real Estate sector and of the business that is taking place within the asset, as well as of its services and a strong negotiation stance. This is where Eneas, supported by its Cost Optimization and Investment Banking areas, adds value. The management of these assets is a challenge we are happy to undertake as it matches the recognizable DNA of Eneas, characterised by Excellence, Innovation and Perseverance, as Juan Carlos Smith stated in his letter on behalf of the partners in our previous edition.

“Each asset is different, requires a different approach and is a challenge: to turn something worthless into a profitable asset.”

As is reflected in the following quote: “to achieve something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done”, we at Eneas rely on our experience and apply our DNA to provide a unique and customized solution that adds value to each asset, in order to maximize a future target sales price and achieve a profit that is, at today’s date, unimaginable.