Goldman to launch $3bn property debt fund

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Giant US investment bank Goldman Sachs is looking to raise capital for a new fund which will lend to property companies in the US and Europe, as it continues its post-credit crunch transformation.

The private equity arm of the bank is understood to be looking to raise up to $3bn for the fund, which would look to step into the gap in property lending being left by banks.

The move would see Goldman follow in the footsteps of firms like Starwood Capital and Fortress, private equity-style investors moving into property lending because they are attracted by the high potential returns.

Goldman has raised property debt funds before – in 2008 it raised $2.6bn for a mezzanine debt fund that has been active principally in the US. But this would be the first time it had raised equity specifically for senior debt.

Goldman’s property investment division, the Real Estate Principal Investment Area, has been reinventing itself following the credit crunch, when top of the market losses in some of its Whitehall series of funds saw the majority of investors’ equity wiped out.

It is understood that the division’s global co-heads, Jim Garman and Alan Kava, are keen to make Goldman more of a debt specialist rather than straight property investment buyer, lending money and buying portfolios of distressed loans.

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