In brief

Lloyds appoints Royal adviser

Lloyds Banking Group has hired JP Morgan Cazenove to sell a £1bn portfolio of distressed UK property loans, dubbed Project Royal. It will be a straightfor-ward disposal of loans backed by regional office, retail and industrial assets, rather than the sale of a stake in a fund, like RBS’s Project Isobel deal with Blackstone. Lone Star is among the parties preparing to bid, with interest also expected from Blackstone, Apollo Global Management, Starwood Capital, Westbrook Partners, Texas Pacific Group and Oak Tree.

Perella buys into Coeur Défense

Perella Weinberg Partners has bought about €275m of bonds secured against Paris’s Coeur Défense office complex from the German Bundesbank. The position is of a similar scale to one that Perella bought from Goldman Sachs in 2009, which it acquired at a substantial discount. The group now owns a vertical slice of the bonds in Lehman Brothers’ €1.6bn Windermere X11 CMBS, through which Coeur Défense was funded.

Iasci moves to SocGen

Société Générale has hired Pierpaolo Iasci as a pan-European real estate loan syndication director. He will sell positions in new originations as well as taking participations in other banks’ loans, with a focus on the UK, France, Germany and Italy. Iasci previously worked for Cairn Capital.

Aligned takes Townsend stake

US pension fund adviser Townsend Group has sold a 70% stake in the business to Aligned Asset Managers, part of private equity group GTCR. The sale is expected to help expand the business in London and Hong Kong.