Forum Partners to buy Credit Suisse Euro loan book

The private equity real estate firm run by Russell Platt is reportedly also taking on the Credit Suisse staff who manage the loans.

London-based private equity real estate firm Forum Partners has reportedly agreed to buy Credit Suisse’s European loan book as well as the team that manages it.

The firm hopes to take over roughly SFr 2.7 billion (€1.9 billion; $2.3 billion) of commercial property loans, which had been lined up for securitisation through the CMBS market before the property crash three years ago, according to Property Week.

Last year the Swiss bank sold an estimated €2 billion portfolio of loans to Lone Star Funds, and in 2008 sold a portfolio to GE Real Estate for €642m.

Forum Partners specialises in providing growth capital to property companies, but has been expanding into other areas, most notably acquiring the global property securities business from Citi last year.

It also accelerated plans to invest in distressed debt in the US by acquiring a 50 percent stake in American Mortgage Capital Group. Based in Chicago, American Mortgage was established in 2007 to focus on buying pools of distressed residential whole loans.

In an interview with PERE last November, founder Russell Platt said Forum had been looking for ways to profit from the banking crisis and the rapid build up of problem real estate loans on the books of financial institutions. Beginning in 2008, through its third European fund, Forum established a strategic relationship with a UK loan servicing specialist known as Crown Westfalen.

Crown manages NPLs for banks or opportunistic buyers, and last year it structured a facility for Crown to invest side-by-side with buyers of NPLs. This play could be expanded beyond the UK, Platt said in the interview.