Blackstone Group LP (BX) socked away some $4 billion in 2009, in anticipation of the eventual bargain basement investment sale that would ensue in Europe. Well, the doors have opened now, and some of Europe’s leading lenders are cutting loose real estate, as well as corporate and consumer loans at heavily discounted prices. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, there will be some $82 billion worth of unwanted assets going on the block. And according to Marc Lasry, CEO of Avenue Capital Group LLC, “Europe is a happy hunting ground” with assets priced at 40 to 50 percent of par value. For independent investors, it’ll certainly be worth keeping an eye on the most active buyers of these assets, as they’re expected to return as much as 20 percent to the purchasing bank, which will certainly contribute to share-price appreciation.
Distressed Asset Discounts Abound in Europe Today
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