Irish-American billionaire Ellis Short's Kildare Partners has raised $2 billion (€1.8 billion) to invest in distressed European property loans.
Mr Short, the former vice-chairman of Dallas private equity giant Loan Star and owner of Sunderland football club, told the Financial Times that the fund will focus on investments in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal.
Kildare Partners' Irish business is headed by Emer Finnan, a former corporate financier with Investec and one-time finance director with EBS.
The firm is best known in Ireland for buying €100 million of loans from Lloyds Banking Group in 2014 that were linked to companies owned by Cork-based developer Michael O’Flynn. The same year, it acquired two shopping centres in the North – in Foyleside in Derry and Forestside in south Belfast – for a combined £135 million (€154.2 million).
Mr Short said that the $2 billion fund – attracting investors including the Texas Permanent School Fund and the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board – will be put to work in the next two to three years.