Centerbridge Buys Ex-GMAC Resort Unit, Seeks Mortgage Biz

Sep 27 2010 | 2:29pm ET

“Vulture” may be too strong a word, but Centerbridge Capital Partners is feasting on the former GMAC.

The private equity firm has bought Ally Financial’s resort finance unit and is in the running to buy its mortgage unit. Ally is the former lending arm of General Motors; Cerberus Capital Management holds a 14.9% stake in the firm. The federal government owns 56.3%.

Terms of the deal, which closed on Sept. 13, for the resort unit were not disclosed. Centerbridge said it has founded a new subsidiary, Lantern Asset Management, to run the new business and seek further resort finance acquisitions. The new company will include several former GMAC employees and William Phillips, the former chief operating officer of Marriott Vacation Club International.

Centerbridge is also hoping to buy Ally’s Residential Capital unit, Reuters reports.  Final bids for that business are due in days. If Centerbridge hopes to walk away with both Ally units, it may have to fend off challenges from at least three other bidders, including Fortress Investment Group.

PennyMac, the controversial distressed mortgage firm led by former Countrywide Financial Corp. executives and backed by hedge fund Highfields Capital, is also reportedly interested in ResCap.


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