Blackstone Is Lead Bidder in Signature Bank Property-Loan Sale



(Bloomberg) — Blackstone Inc. is the frontrunner to win a roughly $17 billion portfolio of commercial-property loans from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s sale of Signature Bank debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

Regulators seized the failed bank in March and have been marketing loans backed by retail, industrial, office and apartment buildings. FDIC officials are now in final discussions to declare Blackstone’s bid as bringing the lowest costs to the agency, some of the people said.

Such deals can be complex. While bank regulators are still hammering out the final nuances of the arrangement, the exact terms are in flux. As with all transactions that aren’t finalized, it’s possible another bidder triumphs or that the loan pool is divvied up among suitors.

Blackstone is in talks to partner with Rialto Capital, which would help service the loans, some of the people said.

A Blackstone spokesperson didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. An FDIC representative declined to comment. A representative for Rialto didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

The FDIC has sought to offload roughly $33 billion of Signature’s real estate loans after the bank collapsed earlier this year. Signature had been a big lender to apartment landlords in New York City, with a portion of loans backing buildings that have rent-stabilized or rent-controlled units. Those rent-stabilized apartments aren’t part of the Blackstone deal.

Commercial real estate owners have come under pressure from a rise in borrowing costs that’s pushing down property values and stifling transactions. With the market largely frozen, investors have been watching the Signature sale closely in an attempt to get a better indication of pricing.

The bidding process had lured finance companies including Starwood Capital Group and Brookfield Asset Management Ltd. While it’s unclear exactly how many bidders sought out each portfolio, many companies had planned to team up with other firms for offers.

A team from Newmark Group Inc. led by Doug Harmon and Adam Spies are working with the FDIC on the sale. A representative for the brokerage declined to comment.



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Edmund Shing, PhD

Global Chief Investment Officer
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Edmund has over 29 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.  He previously held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London from 2015 to 2020, and has been Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management since November 2020.

Edmund is responsible for piloting our investment strategy and will continues to rollout out recommendations and themes with actionable advice that brings our expertise to our clients and support to our client-facing teams.  In this time of change, his expertise in following and anticipating markets is a true value added for both our customers and those at Wealth Management who serve them.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology.  He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst. He has also authored the book “The Idle Investor” published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing 3 simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

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