Mgmt. Buyout Turns Merrill Real-Estate Desk Into Private Equity Firm

Sep 15 2010 | 11:49am ET

Bank of America has spun off the former Merrill Lynch’s European real-estate proprietary investing business as an independent private equity firm.

Peakside Capital debuted following a management buyout led by Roger Barris, who leads the team. Peakside, which will have four offices throughout Europe, has bought BofA’s general partner interests in two global property funds with nearly €500 million in commitments. The Merrill Lynch European Real Estate Opportunity Fund has commitments totaling €261 million, and the Bosphorus Real Estate  Fund I has €204 million.

BofA will continue to invest in the funds, one of which still has uncommitted capital, including some from BofA.

The new firm also plans to raise money from institutional and high-net-worth clients, and will continue to manage some legacy European real-estate assets owned by BofA.

“Peakside will launch as a mid-sized manager with a strong track record, an experienced team and the investment capacity needed to take advantage of the opportunities that are rapidly emerging in real estate in Europe,” Barris said.

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