Westport targets $500m with focus on distress

The Westport, Connecticut-based firm looks to the emerging markets and US distressed opportunities as it raises its second real estate vehicle, WCP II.

Westport Capital Partners is targeting $500 million (€324.5 million) for its second real estate vehicle, WCP II.

The fund, which is believed to have held a first close on around $200 million, will target distressed opportunities in the US as well as continue the firm’s strategy of investing in India and Vietnam, according to people familiar with the matter. Westport declined to comment.

The Westport, Connecticut firm last year announced plans to develop a 60-acre residential complex in Hyderabad, India, in a deal worth more than $100 million. At the time, the firm said India’s demographics and a burgeoning middle-class were driving investments in the sector.

The credit crisis has seen many private equity real estate firms reassess their strategies, as they seek to take advantage of discounted debt.

As reported on PERE last week, Los Angeles’ Colony Capital has quietly lined up more than $1 billion in equity, with chairman and founder Tom Barrack believed to be targeting a hard cap of $2 billion. The fund is expected to invest in distressed property debt and operating companies with strong real estate components in the middle of the year.

WCP II is expected to invest in distressed debt as well as real assets.