Colony Capital goes public

The Los Angeles-based real estate and investment firm has completed its combination with its publicly-traded mortgage real estate investment trust, Colony Financial.  

Colony Capital is now a public company, joining the ranks of The Blackstone Group, Oaktree Capital Group and other listed private equity firms that invest in real estate. The Los Angeles-based real estate and investment firm has finalized its roll-up into its publicly-traded mortgage real estate investment trust, Colony Financial.

The transaction was approved by a majority of Colony Financial shareholders yesterday. The REIT now has been renamed Colony Capital and will continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the same ticker symbol, CLNY. 

The listed entity will now hold and conduct Colony Capital’s real estate and investment management business and operations. Colony Capital’s executive chairman Thomas Barrack and chief executive Richard Saltzman will lead the combined company. Both Barrack and Saltzman have signed five-year employment agreements with the public company. 

“This combination allows Colony Capital to expand its unique global culture and brand by utilizing its strong balance sheet to create bespoke investment products and platforms in real assets and at opportunistic points in cycles and geographies,” Barrack said in a statement.    

Added Saltzman: “The transaction is seamless for Colony’s employees. It is business as usual with minimal integration logistics as everyone already works together as a team, albeit previously across separate legal entities.” 

As a public company, Colony Capital will continue to act as a general partner or sponsor of private equity funds and other investment vehicles, as it had as a private company. Additionally, the company plans to invest primarily through its general partner positions rather than just directly in assets. “The company expects to generate more accretive economics for its shareholders while simultaneously providing substantially greater alignment for limited partners and other investors in those funds and vehicles,” Colony said in its statement today. 

Colony Capital and Colony Financial announced their plans to combine into a single company in November. Colony Capital’s interests in Colony American Homes, its single-family rental business, are not included in the transaction. 

Founded in 1991 by Barrack, Colony Capital has raised more than $24 billion of equity across 49 investment vehicles. The company operates in 14 offices in 10 countries and has more than 300 employees. 

Check out the PERE Global Investor Forum in Los Angeles for our keynote interview with Thomas Barrack on April 30.