Helios AMC Acquires The Situs Companies

US special servicer owned by Lewis Ranieri’s company, Ranieri Partners, has acquired global real estate advisory firm, The Situs Companies.

Helios AMC, the US special servicer sponsored by Ranieri Partners, has bought global real estate advisory firm, The Situs Companies.

Helios, whose owner is Ranieri Partners, the private investment firm of mortgage-backed securities pioneer Lewis Ranieri, said in a statement that the combined company would employ more than 400 professionals and would be headquartered in Houston, Texas. In total, it would operate from 12 offices across the US and Europe.

The enlarged firm is to operate as The Situs Companies, which for the past 26 years has offered commercial real estate services, including strategic advisory, due diligence, valuation services, loan servicing, asset management, variable and dedicated back office outsourcing, plus brokerage.

Helios chief executive offer, Keith Johnson, will serve as head of the enlarged platform.  The Situs Companies’ co-founder Ralph Howard will become president of Europe, while Steve Powel becomes president of North America and co-founder Martin Bronstein becomes president of Situs Asset Solutions.  The Helios AMC principals, led by Eric Lindner, co-founder and executive managing director, and John Maute, co-founder and managing director, will continue in their current roles, overseeing the distressed asset acquisition and special servicing business.

Johnson said in a statement today: “We feel we have created the most comprehensive services platform in the industry focussed on commercial real estate.”

“Helios’ sponsorship allows us to maintain our top-tier position as a third-party provider of services, which was the primary consideration when selecting a strategic partner,” said The Situs Companies’ Powel.

It is the second time in as many weeks that Ranieri made the headlines of the financial press for real estate investments. His real estate vehicle, Ranieri Real Estate Partners, announced its first major deal at the end of September. Ranieri Real Estate Partners and private equity funds affiliated with WL Ross & Co. teamed up to buy Deutsche Bank's multifamily origination subsidiary, Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage (DBBM).