Bloomberg News

RBS Said to Sell Stake in U.K. Real Estate Loans to Blackstone

July 01, 2011

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc agreed to sell a stake in a group of U.K. commercial-property loans with a face amount of 1.4 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) to Blackstone Group LP, said two people briefed on the plan.

Blackstone, based in New York, plans to buy a 25 percent stake in the loans and take over management of the assets to try to recover as much value as possible, according to one of the people with knowledge of the agreement, who asked not to be named because it wasn’t announced publicly.

The portfolio comprises 30 loans backed by collateral including auto showrooms, nursing homes, pubs and parking garages, one of the people said. The largest loan was made to Pendragon Plc, the biggest independent operator of franchised car dealerships in the U.K., according to the person.

Christine Anderson, a Blackstone spokeswoman, declined to comment on the deal, which was reported yesterday by the Financial Times.

Andy Cameron-Smith, an RBS spokesman, declined to comment when contacted by telephone yesterday.

Blackstone, the world’s largest private-equity firm, prevailed over bidders including Lone Star Funds and Starwood Capital Group Global LLC, according to one of the people with knowledge of the matter.

--Editors: Josh Friedman, Kara Wetzel

To contact the reporters on this story: Hui-yong Yu in Seattle at hyu@bloomberg.net; Jason Kelly in New York at jkelly14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net; Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net


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