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Cerberus Buys German Shopping-Mall Portfolio From Wells Fargo

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July 22 (Bloomberg) -- Affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management LP, the private-equity firm led by Steve Feinberg, bought nine German shopping malls known as the Phoenix portfolio from Wells Fargo & Co. for an undisclosed price.

The malls have 92,000 square meters (990,000 square feet) of space and the deal allows Wells Fargo to remove the non-performing loans linked to the properties from its balance sheet, according to a statement from Cerberus and Acrest Property Group GmbH today. Acrest will operate the properties for Cerberus, which manages assets and loans valued at more than $20 billion.

Cerberus is weighing an initial public offering of its German retail-property assets after hiring three banks to manage the sale, people with knowledge of the plan said in April. Affiliates of the New York-based firm also bought 10 German shopping malls out of receivership for about 224 million euros ($295 million) in a deal earlier this month. Those properties are mainly leased to Kaufland and were linked to the Epic (Drummond) CMBS.

The acquisitions give Cerberus “the opportunity to inject fresh capital and spearhead the turnaround of the properties,” senior managing director Lee Millstein said in the statement. “We look forward to further developing and fully leasing these properties in order to drive additional value for all stakeholders.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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