Carlton Opens LA Office to Focus on REO Sales

New York-At a time when most other businesses are being severely affected by the credit crisis, the Carlton Group, an international real estate investment bank, has expanded its loan sale, equity advisory and merchant banking business into the City of Angels.

Carlton's West Coast office will provide all of its lines of business with a primary focus of transacting loan and REO sales for its institutional clients.

Chairman Howard Michaels said this is one of the "hottest businesses" at Carlton since most of its clients are clamoring for the ability to acquire performing and non performing assets at discounted loan prices from financial sellers.

Los Angeles and the West Coast have always been a great source of business, said Mr. Michaels. "Some of our largest transactions have occurred on the West Coast as demonstrated by Carlton's $1.5 billion financing of the Cababie family acquisition of the Arden portfolio as well as the acquisition and sale of Bank of America Tower in San Francisco. These two transactions alone represented over $3 billion in business."

Many of the company's clients who reside on both coasts have been requiring a greater presence by Carlton to service its West Coast friends and clients.

Carlton has hired Shlomi Ronen, Farzin Emrani and Steven Yazdani as managing directors of Carlton's Los Angeles office located in Century City. Messrs. Ronen, Emrani and Yazdani previously worked together at Los Angeles-based real estate investment banking firm George Smith Partners, and have been involved in placing and/or closing over $2 billion in debt and equity financing transactions.

Carlton has been in the accelerated disposition business continuously since 1991, having sold in excess of $14 billion of loan and REO assets.

Mr. Michaels said the West Coast office is already off to a quick start and is currently marketing a $170 million portfolio of notes and REO assets in California and Nevada for a West Coast financial institution.

In addition to selling notes and REO assets for banks, the group will focus on providing Carlton's equity and debt recapitalization services to REITs and other institutional clients who are seeking cash through recapitalizations.

The company will also access capital for high net worth developers and investors looking to recapitalize positions to generate capital to buy their loans back from financial institutions at a discount.

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