Starwood, TPG Win Corus Bank Assets

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A group of investors led by Starwood Capital Group and private equity firm TPG have won the auction for assets of failed Corus Bank, in a deal that will see them invest about $554 million, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) is running the auction, which is being watched for its potential impact on the commercial real estate market. A deal is likely to be announced on Tuesday.

The consortium will have a stake of 40 percent in the assets; while the FDIC will hold the remaining 60 percent, the source said.

The consortium is led by Starwood, a real estate investment firm, and TPG, one of the world’s largest private equity firms which has investments in firms such as Harrah’s Entertainment. The two will each have a 40 percent stake in the consortium’s overall share of the assets.

The other members of the consortium are billionaire investor Wilbur Ross and Perry Capital, which have smaller stakes, the source said.

The price values the assets of Corus at about $2.5 billion, the source said. The condominium loans and other assets had a face value of roughly $5 billion but any deal had been expected to be at a significant discount to the assets.

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

Ross, who founded his firm in 2000 and is known for distressed investing, said previously 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 the 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.

TPG, formerly Texas Pacific Group, has been burnt in the past by one financial investment — its investment in savings and loan company Washington Mutual Inc was wiped out by a move in September 2008 by the U.S. government to close and sell WaMu’s banking assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N). (Additional Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Hans Peters)