Hibernian forms partnership with hedge fund

The Atlanta-based private equity real estate firm, in a joint venture with Evolution Capital Management, will invest more than $250 million in US commercial real estate over the next two years.

Hibernian Pacific Holdings has formed a new partnership with Los Angeles-based hedge fund Evolution Capital Management to acquire more than $250 million in commercial real estate assets over the next 24 months. The partners plan to announce their first deal later this month.

Hibernian, which purchases distressed real estate assets from community and regional banks, said the new partnership will allow the firm to increase its internal capital, broaden its presence on the West Coast and build stronger relationships in private equity and financial services.

“Hibernian has hundreds of community and regional banks in its pipeline and a strong relationship with operating partners such as TriMont Real Estate Advisors and Raymond James, formerly Morgan Keegan, to name a few,” said Jason Joseph, the firm’s president and chief executive, in a statement. “Evolution is a strong investment advisor to have as we grow our asset portfolio.”

Hibernian targets cash-flowing, value-added office, retail, industrial and multifamily properties, as well as nonperforming loans, with a focus on the Southeast, Midwest and West regions of the US. The firm pursues individual transactions of at least $1 million in value and portfolio deals of more than $15 million, with a return objective that typically is in the mid-teens to the mid-twenties.

“Evolution was looking for a strong platform to utilise and grow our investment opportunities,” said James Freeman, managing director at the hedge fund. “Hibernian not only has a strategic deal sourcing relationship, which can provide direct access to a large pipeline, but also a unique debt structure that allows for bids that get the deal done yet generates very strong returns relative to what’s currently available in the marketplace.”

In 2010, Hibernian launched a $250 million commingled real estate fund, Hibernian Pacific Fund I, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The status of that fund could not be determined at press time.

Evolution was established in 2002 and focuses on alternative investments in equity, equity derivatives and real estate.