Paulson Buys Puerto Rico Office Building

Aug 19 2014 | 7:34am ET

Paulson & Co. is boosting its exposure to Puerto Rico, buying its first commercial property on the financially troubled island.

The New York-based hedge fund has bought a 16-story office building in the U.S. territory’s capital, San Juan. The 326,000-square-foot space in San Juan’s financial district, Hato Rey, was formerly owned by insurer American International Group, and is known as American International Plaza.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We remain optimistic about the future of the San Juan real estate market, including the office, residential and hotel sectors,” Paulson’s Michael Barr said.

American International Plaza counts AIG, Charles Schwab, KPMG, Oracle Corp, and UBS as tenants. Prior to its purchase, Paulson had focused on exclusive hotel and residential investments, buying three tony hotels and resorts in the San Juan area, as well as undeveloped land. The firm is said by Puerto Rican officials to plan some $1 billion in investments in the island over the next two years.

Paulson isn’t the only hedge fund profiting on Puerto Rico, however. The island’s bonds have rallied after its electrical utility won a restructuring reprieve, rewarding the 60 or so hedge funds that have bought up some $16 billion in Puerto Rican debt.

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