Banks appointed to sell portfolio as analyst questions €300m loans

Risanamento, Italy’s third-largest property company, has appointed two banks to sell a €1bn (£782m) property portfolio to help stave off refinancing problems and ensure it does not default on its debts.

Shares in Milan-based Risanamento, which is led by majority shareholder, chairman and chief executive Luigi Zunino (pictured), fell more than 23% last Thursday after the publication of an analyst’s note.

The report from Dutch bank Kempen & Co released that day said Risanamento had €200m (£157.5m) that needed to be financed and €70m-€100m (£55m-£78.7m) that could be ‘called at any time’.

Analyst Martijn Geers said: ‘It appears that scenarios are thinkable where Zunino or Risanamento get into default.’

The note said: ‘For 2008 Risanamento has a total of €200m of loans that require refinancing and furthermore has a €70m-€100m revolving credit facility. In theory the latter might be called in at any time, which we perceive as being the most serious risk for Risanamento.’

Risanamento confirmed its debt for 2008 was €100m (£78.7m) but said repayment might be deferred by a further year and a half.

The group’s total debt is €2.4bn (£1.87bn).

Risanamento spokesman Karim Ladjeri said Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca had been appointed to sell its €1bn (£782m) trading portfolio, comprising 30 properties in Italy and three in France. They include development sites, offices, retail and industrial properties, producing a total annual income of €15m (£11.7m).

Ladjeri said: ‘The problems we are suffering are the big issues that are affecting the entire banking system. Today we are trying to react.’

The portfolio can be sold as individual properties or as portfolios and the company already has under offer two Milan offices in its trading portfolio at €200m (£156m). The sales are expected to complete within two months.

Neither of its flagship schemes the mixed-use Milano Santa Giulia and Sesto San Giovanni on the edges of Milan nor its investment portfolios in New York and Paris, would be sold.

Risanamento’s portfolio is valued at €5.5bn (£4.3bn). Its market capitalisation is €440m (£346m).