EXCLUSIVE: Kildare hires from H.I.G. Capital

Kildare Partners, the new $2 billion private equity real estate firm of Ellis Short, has hired a new partner in its London HQ to boost its European acquisitions program.

Kildare Partners, the European private equity real estate platform of former Lone Star Funds veteran Ellis Short, has made a senior hire to boost its European acquisitions platform. The London-based firm, which closed its debut fund on $2 billion in May, has recruited nonperforming loan and distressed real estate dealmaker Chris Zlatarev as a partner. He previously worked with Miami-based global private investment firm H.I.G. Capital and its credit affiliate, Bayside Capital.

Zlatarev also worked as a deal professional at AIG Global Real Estate and hedge fund Värde Partners Europe, where he stayed for four years until August 2011. He next joined Bayside Capital as head of European NPL acquisitions, but he quit a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Kildare has burst onto the private equity real estate scene in Europe from a standing start. It was founded by Short in early 2013 to target distressed real estate across Western Europe combining debt and equity investments and has since grown considerably. 

Short, who was president of Lone Star until retiring in 2007, doubles as Kildare’s founder and chief investment officer. Other partners and senior members of the team include Jay McClennan, Louis Paletta, Paul Patel, Ginger Quillen, Rupert Fraser, Emer Finnan and Ryan Horstman.

Zlatarev’s role is thought to be similar to that of Fraser, who also is a partner and senior managing director responsible for Europe and the UK. Zlatarev is expected to boost the team by sourcing investment deals and structuring joint ventures.

Deals struck by Kildare to date include a €1 billion loan book called the Mars portfolio from Deutsche Bank. That loan book contained debt behind 26 office and hotel assets in Germany. Its previous owner was Eurocastle Investment, the listed property company managed externally by Fortress Investment Group. Eurocastle originally paid €2.1 billion for the assets in 2007 from DB Grundbesitz-Invest, an open-ended fund managed by Deutsche Bank. At that point, there were almost twice as many assets.

More recently, Kildare is said to have bought Foyleside shopping center in Derry, Ireland.