Ares Management LLC announced today that it has completed its acquisition of AREA Property Partners, L.P., a top-tier real estate management firm investing across North America, Europe, and India. As a result, the Ares Real Estate Group now has a total of $8 billion in committed capital under management, including the publicly traded real estate investment trust Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE:ACRE). As previously announced, Lee Neibart, AREA’s Chief Executive Officer, is now a Senior Partner of the Ares Real Estate Group. Mr. Neibart joins John Bartling, also a Senior Partner of the Ares Real Estate Group, as the Global Co-Heads of the Group. William Benjamin, AREA’s Head of Europe and India, is now a Senior Partner of the Ares Real Estate Group, and he will continue as Head of Europe and India Real Estate. "The closing of this transaction marks a significant enhancement to the Ares Real Estate Group and brings together some of real estate's most talented leaders—Lee Neibart and Bill Benjamin from AREA and John Bartling and Todd Schuster from Ares," said Tony Ressler, Senior Partner and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Ares Management. "With the combination of the Group's leadership who have extensive experience in making debt and equity investments in North America, Europe, and India, Ares is now better positioned to meet the real estate investing requirements of our large investor base, just as we have done the corporate asset classes of private equity, private debt, and tradable debt." "The Ares Real Estate Group, much like the rest of Ares' investment platform, can now offer sponsors and investors the ability to find opportunities up and down the capital structure and across a broad geography within our real estate platform," said Mr. Bartling. "These expanded offerings are further enhanced by the market insights, in both real estate and corporates, as well as the proprietary sourcing, deal flow, and distribution opportunities that come from being part of Ares Management."
"In the weeks since the transaction was announced, John and I have had many opportunities to meet with our investors and members of the Ares Real Estate Group to discuss our shared vision," said Mr. Neibart. "By joining Ares, our investors will benefit from its superior deal sourcing and access to market information as well as from its significant infrastructure. Additionally, we are excited to bring our equity investment discipline to Ares, which will forge a strong presence across the capital structure in real estate, just like Ares has demonstrated in its corporate investments."Ares Management was provided financial advisory services by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Hodes Weill & Associates acted as strategic advisor to AREA Property Partners. Legal representation for Ares Management was provided by Proskauer Rose LLP and for AREA Property Partners by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. About Ares Management LLC Ares Management LLC is a global alternative asset manager and SEC registered investment adviser with approximately $65 billion of committed capital under management and more than 600 employees as of March 31, 2013 and pro forma for the closing of the AREA Property Partners transaction. Ares is headquartered in Los Angeles with professionals located across the United States, Europe and Asia and invests across the capital structure – from senior debt to common equity. Ares’ investment activities are managed by dedicated teams in its Capital Markets, Private Debt, Private Equity and Real Estate investment platforms. Ares Management was built upon the fundamental principle that each platform benefits from being part of the greater whole. This multi-asset class synergy provides its professionals with insights into industry trends, access to significant deal flow and the ability to assess relative value.