Ladder Capital Files to Raise $200 Million in IPO

Ladder Capital Corp., a commercial real estate lender backed by TowerBrook Capital Partners LP and GI Partners LLC, filed to raise $200 million in an initial public offering in the U.S.

The figure is a placeholder used to calculate fees and may change. Ladder plans to use the proceeds to expand its loan origination and commercial real estate businesses and to repay debt, according to today’s filing. Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are managing the offering.

Real estate companies are raising funds after property prices rebounded from the worst crash since the Great Depression. U.S. commercial real estate prices have recovered almost 75 percent of their losses since bottoming in December 2009, led by a recovery in the largest cities, according to the Moody’s/RCA Commercial Property Price index.

Ladder is approaching the IPO market after seeking a buyer and failing to strike a deal because it sought a premium to book value that potential acquirers couldn’t match, a person familiar with the matter said on Dec. 12. Ladder Capital Realty Finance Inc., a real estate investment trust formed to buy commercial mortgages, filed for an IPO in 2009 only to cancel the sale.

Among newly listed companies, brokerage Re/Max Holdings Inc. is up about 46 percent since it raised $253 million in an October IPO, while Empire State Realty Trust Inc., a real estate investment trust whose properties include Manhattan’s Empire State Building, has gained about 18 percent after it raised $929.5 million on Oct. 1.

Ladder has originated $5.4 billion in commercial real estate loans in the five years through September, most of which it sold through securitizations, the filing shows. As of Sept. 30, Ladder had $2.5 billion in total assets and $1.2 billion in book value.

Ladder is selling Class A shares, which the company is applying to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LADR.

(Corrects nature of earlier IPO filing in fourth paragraph of story dated Dec. 24.)
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