Starwood-led Group Likely To Win Corus Assets

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A group of investors including Starwood Capital Group and private equity firm TPG are the likely winner of the auction for assets of failed Corus Bank, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) is running the auction, which is being watched for its potential impact on the commercial real estate market.

The consortium likely to win is made up of Starwood and TPG, which would have significant equity stakes in the Corus assets, with billionaire investor Wilbur Ross and Perry Capital having smaller stakes, the source said.

Bids were put in at noon on Sunday, said Ross, chairman and CEO of private equity firm WL Ross & Co, at the Reuters Restructuring Summit earlier this week.

The condominium loans and other assets have a face value of roughly $5 billion but the likely deal will be at a significant discount to the assets, the source said.

Ross, who founded his firm in 2000 and is known for distressed investing, said earlier this week that the FDIC was offering financing for the deal, but declined to give any details about the terms.

Related Companies had also made an offer, a source previously told Reuters. Sources previously told Reuters that other possible bidders for Corus’ assets included private equity firm Lone Star Funds and real estate investment firm Colony Capital LLC.

Long controlled by the Glickman family, Chicago-based Corus Bank crumbled under the pressure of bad loans on commercial real estate and condominium developments in Arizona, southern California, southern Florida and Nevada.

On Sept. 11, the FDIC seized the bank, a unit of Corus Bankshares (CORS.PK), and sold its deposits to MB Financial Inc (MBFI.O), leaving the bulk of its assets to be sold later in a private placement.

The private equity firms and an FDIC spokesman declined to comment.

(Reporting by Megan Davies; Additional reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Richard Chang)