Starwood Property Trust Inc. plans to sell its European real estate loan servicing business Hatfield Philips International and has chosen Situs Group LLC as the preferred bidder, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
HPI, which manages about 11.3 billion pounds ($14.8 billion) of loans in 15 countries, will bolster the European business of Houston-based Situs, which was acquired last year by private-equity firm Stone Point Capital LLC, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been finalized. Representatives of Starwood and Situs declined to comment.
About 21.6 billion euros ($24.5 billion) of European commercial real estate loans were sold in the first half of 2016, compared with about 34.9 billion euros for the whole of 2015, according to data compiled by Deloitte LLP. Sales in the region may reach 80 billion euros in 2016 as Italian loan disposals increase, broker Cushman & Wakefield Inc. said in April.
HPI manages loans on behalf of third parties including banks, commercial mortgage-backed security holders and buyers of soured loans such as Cerberus Capital Management LP. Starwood acquired HPI via its 2013 takeover of LNR Property LLC for about $1.1 billion.