Maverick nabs $247M in Signature CRE loans

Blackstone, Rialto entity sell debt backed by office, multifamily, retail

Maverick Buys $247M in Signature Loans From Blackstone Venture
Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman and Jonathan Gray and Maverick's David Aviram and Ted Martell (Getty, Blackstone, Maverick Real Estate Partners)

Distressed debt player Maverick Real Estate Partners is snapping up a slice of the Signature Bank loans that a Blackstone venture bought late last year, Bloomberg Law reported.

The $247 million in debt Maverick will purchase is backed by eight properties including buildings in Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Blackstone, through a spokesperson, declined to comment. Maverick’s Ted Martell did not respond to a request for comment.

Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies, BREIT, Rialto Capital and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in December scored a 20 percent stake in a venture holding Signature’s $17 billion commercial real estate loan book. The winning bid was $1.2 billion.

The debt backed retail properties, market-rate multifamily and office buildings.

In January, the Blackstone team was shopping around $1.8 billion in performing loans, largely backed by apartment buildings, Bloomberg reported.

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It’s unclear if Maverick bought a piece of that debt, which would be a shift for the firm. Maverick’s usual game is picking up distressed loans on the cheap, then charging default interest at rates up to 24 percent, plus fees and legal costs. (It’s legal, but incenses borrowers; a lawyer for one foreclosed on by Maverick called its strategy “despicable.”)

The firm has acquired $800 million in distressed loans since 2010, according to Bloomberg Law, and has raised more than $167 million for a planned $500 million fund.

It’s considered among the most aggressive in dealing with delinquent borrowers, and its acquisitions run the gamut: construction loans and debt backed by co-ops, multifamily and office buildings. Last year, Joe Chetrit accused the firm of stealing over $20 million from him after foreclosing on a $110 million loan financing his West 34th Street hotel project.

Among the Signature loans, the most likely to be distressed are those backed by office properties. New York City office landlords from RXR to Kushner to Savanna have grappled with distressed debt.

Free-market multifamily, meanwhile, has benefitted from record-high rents and strong demand. Retail still faces some struggles after the pandemic.

It’s unclear how much of the $17 billion in debt in which the Blackstone venture bought a stake is backed by office properties or whether those loans are performing.

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