NY firms bite big into European real estate debt

Blackstone, Cerberus among equity funds to grab $56B in distressed loans, homes
July 14, 2014 06:05PM

The Blackstone Group, Cerberus Capital Management and other major Manhattan-based private-equity firms have acquired nearly $56 billion in distressed mortgages and homes from European financial firms, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield.

The amount sold by European firms has grown by 30 percent year-over-year. Blackstone, Cerberus and Oaktree Capital cracked the top five of buyers of the debt over the first two quarters of the year. Lone Star Funds, based in Texas, was the dominant buyer, with $15 billion.

“U.S. investors have raised an enormous volume of capital targeting opportunistic real estate,” Frank Nickel, executive chair of the European corporate finance group at Cushman, told Crain’s.

As of late last year, Blackstone was ramping up investment in Europe, where executive Jonathan Gray is shooting to raise $5 billion for distressed assets, and where the company has already begun snapping up underwater assets like apartment buildings in Madrid, as previously reported. [Crain’s]Mark Maurer