Monday, May 9, 2011

Asset Revitalization Solutions, a loan-investment shop in Austin, Texas, has acquired an $18 million portfolio of distressed mortgages, primarily on commercial properties, from a Florida bank.

The portfolio marks the first acquisition for the firm, which is partnered with Shay Investment Services, a Miami broker-dealer. The bank, whose identity could not be learned, was advised on the asset sale by Gray & Associates of Millersville, Md.

Asset Revitalization is led by Cathy Vann, its chief executive, who also heads Ontra Cos., which during the 1990s helped the RTC manage and liquidate some $15 billion of assets. After RTC was folded into the FDIC, Ontra went on to invest in some $3.5 billion of assets in partnerships with capital sources.

Vann formed Asset Revitalization with Jeff Price, who was a founding member of AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp., which was an active buyer of loans during the RTC era, and Jay McEntire, an investment-banking professional.

Asset Revitalization has been actively bidding on loans and portfolios of loans and is aiming to eventually build a $1 billion portfolio of distressed assets. CV Starr & Co., a New York insurance company led by Maurice Greenberg, who was chairman and chief executive of American International Group until 2005, is a capital partner.

To help manage its recently acquired assets, Asset Revitalization has hired Clay Reese, a former senior vice president with EverBank of Jacksonville, Fla., to head its newly opened Jacksonville, Fla., office.

“We are enthusiastic about the long-term prospects in Jacksonville and look forward to making additional investments in Florida,” Vann said.

The portfolio it bought is a mixed bag that includes loans against land and residential properties. That’s okay with Asset Revitalization. “When it comes to portfolio purchases, we’re agnostic,” Vann said. But when the firm is pursuing individual loans, it prefers those backed with commercial properties. It has no geographic preference.

The company, like other investors in distressed loans, prices assets at levels that would provide it and its capital partners with internal rates of return of 18-21 percent.

Reprinted with permission from Commercial Real Estate Direct
Copyright© 2011