Apollo to pick up Citigroup real estate arm

March 10, 2010 10:59AM

Apollo Management has struck a deal to buy Citigroup’s real estate investment arm, Citi Property Investors, effectively tripling the value of Apollo’s real estate assets, according to Bloomberg news. Its purchase of Citi Property will yield 65 real estate investments valued at $3.5 billion for the private equity investment firm. Ironically, it’s this real estate portfolio that Apollo real estate sector head Joseph Azrack helped assemble as Citigroup’s property investment director from 2004 to 2008. Matthew Anderson, a partner at research firm Foresight Analytics, said that Apollo may have brought Citigroup a certain comfort in the deal. “Having it go to Apollo is in a certain sense returning it to the previous management,” Anderson said. Citigroup’s move to sell comes on the heels of mounting pressure from federal officials, who have urged the company to shed some of its assets. The Treasury Department currently maintains a 27 percent ownership of the company.