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D.E. Shaw in talks to buy Italian NPL business from GS — Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S. investment firm D.E. Shaw has started exclusive talks to buy the Italian non-performing loan business of Archon, a real estate unit of investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N), two sources close to the matter said.

The New York-based firm will have about two weeks to negotiate exclusively the purchase of a 2-billion euro ($2.1 billion) portfolio of Italian non-performing property loans as well as the platform and staff to manage it, the sources said.

D.E. Shaw, which had $36 billion in investment capital as of March 1, did not respond to requests for comment. Goldman Sachs had no comment. KPMG, which is advising Goldman on the deal, had no comment.

The move by D.E. Shaw highlights international investors’ growing appetite for Italian assets at a time when reform efforts in the country gather momentum and there are tentative signs its economy could leave a three-year recession.

Investment firms Fortress (FIG.N), Pimco and Bayview Asset Management were also in the running for the Italian arm of Archon.