Blackstone wins auction for 6.4 billion euro Spanish loan portfolio-Reuters

(Reuters) – Blackstone has won the auction for a 6.4-billion-euro ($8.66 billion) portfolio of property loans belonging to Spain’s bailed-out Catalunya Banc, which is being prepared for a sale, two people familiar with the process said on Wednesday.

The U.S. private equity firm bid around 3.5 billion to 3.6 billion euros for the package of loans, one of those people and a third source close to the deal said.

Just under half of the loans are non-performing ones. Catalunya Banc was nationalized by the state when it struggled to cope with the aftermath of a real estate market crash. The government is close to selling the bank, after it has shed the portfolio.

Blackstone could not immediately be reached for comment.