Situs has underwritten more than $125.3 billion in U.S and European commercial real estate (CRE) deals since 2012, according to the company’s website.
Ranieri Partners is seeking bids in the mid-$200 million range for Situs, the sources said. Raymond James is advising on the auction, they said.
The auction is attracting interest from strategics such as BlackRock, Wipro Ltd., and Cantor Fitzgerald, as well as some European firms, one of the sources said. Blackstone and Apollo Global Management are also taking a look, the person said. The auction may even attract the attention of middle-market PE firms, as well as consulting firms such as FTI Consulting or Accenture, the sources said.
Situs was purchased in 2011 by Hellios AMC, a commercial real estate debt and equity management service backed by Ranieri. Since then Situs has bulked up through two acquisitions: It bought Deutsche Bank’s London-based commercial mortgage loan servicing business in 2012 and acquired Real Estate Research Corp earlier this year.
Ranieri Partners was founded by Lewis Ranieri, who has been called the godfather of mortgage-backed securities. He was formerly vice chairman and ran the mortgage trading desk for Salomon Brothers, whose rise and decline were the subject of Liar’s Poker, the bestseller from Michael Lewis.
Blackstone, Apollo and Cantor declined comment. Executives for Ranieri, Situs, Raymond James, BlackRock and Wipro could not be reached for comment.
Photo of Ranieri courtesy of Reuters/Danny Moloshok