Shifting Investment Strategy Toward Real Estate Debt Acquisition

October 16, 2008

While real estate equity investment continues to be challenging during the current global financial turmoil, many investors have turned to acquiring real estate debt.  Gibson, Dunn’s real estate group and our clients have been in the forefront of forming funds and purchasing whole mortgage loans, so-called "B-pieces" of mortgage loans (as well as more junior pieces), mezzanine loans and CMBS bonds.

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s real estate group and funds formation group have been handling all aspects of real estate debt acquisitions.  To start, we have represented clients forming distressed debt funds as well as funds acquiring performing loans.  We have also represented borrowers buying debt on properties they already own to reduce leverage at an attractive cost. 

Gibson Dunn’s real estate lawyers are market leaders in terms of the purchasing of real estate debt, with billions of dollars of transactions globally in 2008.  These transactions have included the negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, the negotiation of intercreditor agreements and co-lender agreements, the negotiation of servicing arrangements and performing due diligence.  We have also represented the buyers of real estate debt in connection with their financing arrangements, with extensive experience in REPO financing as well as other types of secured term debt.

Working with our Financial Markets Crisis Group, we have an active dialogue with key players at the United States Treasury Department regarding TARP and other governmental rescue programs, including helping to facilitate acquisitions/sales of real estate debt for our clients.

Finally, working with our litigation and bankruptcy lawyers we are well equipped to advise our clients who buy loans encumbering distressed real estate or otherwise pursue a "loan to own" program.

With one of the largest international real estate groups working in tandem with our funds formation, tax/ERISA, insolvency, litigation and corporate finance groups across multiple jurisdictions and disciplines, we are unique among large law firms in the relative size, depth and breadth of our practice and the geographic diversity of our lawyers.  Our various disciplines led by our real estate lawyers in the United States, London, Paris, Munich, Dubai and Singapore work together seamlessly to handle all issues relating to real estate debt acquisitions.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson Dunn has assembled a team of experts who are prepared to meet client needs as they arise in conjunction with the issues discussed above.  Please contact

David J. Furman – New York (212-351-3992, [email protected])
Erin Rothfuss – San Francisco (415-393-8218, [email protected])
Alan Samson – London (+44 20 7071 4222, [email protected])
Jesse Sharf – Century City (310-552-8512, [email protected])
C. William Thomas, Jr. – Washington, D.C. (202-887-3735, [email protected])

© 2008 Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

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