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Blackstone, Lone Star, Starwood eye £5bn Commerzbank property loans

12 Mar 2013

blueprint_real_estate_170sqA trio of real estate-focused private equity heavyweights are reportedly planning to bid up to £5bn for the UK property loan business of Commerzbank.

Blackstone, Lone Star and Starwood are all interested in a deal for Eurohypo according to the FT, which cited several people familiar with the process.

It said the deal would be the largest portfolio of loans sold by a bank in Europe since the 2008 financial crisis.

Private equity firms have been circling the loan assets of European banks, but the institutions have sold the packages more slowly than expected.

Riskier asset classes such as equities and property should experience decent medium term growth in the UK following a turgid 2012 according to research by professional services firm Ernst & Young in November.

The firm said it expected property assets under management growth to accelerate gradually from about two per cent in 2012 to 4.5 per cent next year, and on to between seven per cent and nine per cent in 2014 to 2016.

That push will come as the UK economy gathers pace and property prices strengthen, the firm’s ITEM Club Financial Services report said, adding it expected investors to increasingly return to asset classes offering higher yields than government bonds.

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