Loan servicer Situs is to be bought by US private equity firm Stone Point Capital.
The business is being sold by Ranieri Partners and WL Ross & Co in a deal thought to be worth $200m. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of the year.
The company, which is the primary servicer for €24bn of European real estate loans and a further €700m of loans in special servicing, had appointed investment bank Raymond James to find a buyer for the business in October.
Stone Point Capital invests specifically in the global financial services industry and has stakes in businesses including Duff & Phelps, Eagle Point Credit Management and Enstar Group.
Founded in 1988, Situs was acquired in 2011 by Helios AMC, a joint venture between Lewis Ranieri’s Ranieri Partners and Deutsche Bank, although the latter no longer has any interest in the business. In 2012 the business expanded its European operation by buying Deutsche Bank’s European CMBS loan servicing platform DECO, which at the time had an outstanding balance of €6bn. It employs 60 people in Europe and 40 in the US.
As a result of the transaction Situs’s president Steve Powel will become chief executive of Situs, replacing Keith Johnson, and “lead the firm through its next phase of development”.
The company said that the partnership “will build on the strengths of Situs’ offerings by providing access to Stone Point’s broad network of relationships and the funding to capitalise on growth opportunities”.
Powel said: “[Stone Point’s] commitment as a strategic capital partner, along with the innovative solutions and services that Situs provides, will allow us to further expand our capabilities to benefit our clients. Given the current solid market conditions in our industry, I look forward to leading the Situs executive management team through this galvanizing high-growth stage.”
Chuck Davis, chief executive of Stone Point, said, “We have known Situs and its management team since 2010… With its diverse capabilities, strong track record and blue-chip client base, Situs is well positioned for growth as the market increasingly utilises outsourced commercial real estate services.”