Prime Finance has entered the CMBS b-piece market, circling its first two subordinate bond investments from CMBS deals led by Wells Fargo and Citigroup. The deals should be announced in the next few weeks. Prime is a private commercial real estate finance company that originates primarily bridge loans on transitional income-producing properties as well as provides mezzanine loans and preferred equity. The firm also acquires performing, sub-performing and distressed debt.
Recently, the firm set up a b-piece platform with an eye toward compliance with the new risk retention rules (see our 4.15.16 News Article for details). Being the first out of the gate, Prime Finance should get a jump on its competitors in terms of any learning curve. The company will figure out and comply with the rules, and possibly book excess returns before the competition heats up.
Prime does not have a special-serving operation, so it is teaming up with LNR Partners on the two deals. LNR is the largest CMBS special servicer and active investor in CMBS b-pieces. LNR will be the special servicer of the transactions and will hold a minority stake in the transactions.