Colony Capital, a private equity fund that specialises in real estate investments, is hoping to use a public fund that it is raising as a vehicle for an eventual public listing of its entire operation.

Tom Barrack, Colony’s founder, disclosed the plan to investors during a roadshow to raise funds for Colony Financial, a real estate investment trust, or Reit, that will list on the New York Stock Exchange.

At first, Colony would serve as the manager of Colony Financial, and its existing private equity funds would invest alongside the REIT in hopes of finding bargains in the depressed commercial real estate market.

However, Barrack has been telling investors that Colony plans to eventually list itself through the Reit, calling the fund 'a window to the public markets'.

Financial Times