Colony Financial to Join Real Estate Finance IPO Parade

| About: Colony NorthStar, (CLNS)

Colony Financial (CLNY) is another commercial real estate financing company planning to go public this week. The company joins Foursquare Capital (FSQR), Apollo Commercial (NYSE:ARI) and CreXus Investment Corp (NYSE:CXS) in targeting the distressed commercial mortgage debt market.

Business Overview (from prospectus)

We are a newly organized real estate finance company that will acquire, originate and manage a diversified portfolio of real estate-related debt instruments. We initially intend to focus primarily on acquiring, originating and managing commercial mortgage loans, which may be performing, sub-performing or non-performing loans (including loan-to-own strategies), and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. We also may acquire other real estate and real estate-related debt assets. We collectively refer to commercial mortgage loans, other commercial real estate-related debt investments, commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBS, real estate owned, or REO, properties and other real estate and real estate-related assets, as discussed below, as our target assets.

Offering: 25 million shares at $20 per share. Net proceeds of approximately $482.8 million will be used to acquire target assets in a manner consistent with our investment strategies and investment guidelines described in the prospectus.

Lead Underwriters: BofA Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

Financial Highlights:

As of the date of this prospectus, we have not commenced any operations and will not commence any operations until we have completed this offering and the concurrent private placement.


Our profitability depends, in large part, on our ability to acquire our target assets at attractive prices. We are subject to significant competition in acquiring our target assets. In particular, we will compete with a variety of institutional investors, including other REITs, specialty finance companies, public and private funds, commercial and investment banks, hedge funds, mortgage bankers, commercial finance and insurance companies, governmental bodies and other financial institutions. We may also compete with Colony Capital and its affiliates for investment opportunities. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Management and Our Relationship with Our Manager—There are various conflicts of interest in our relationship with Colony Capital and its affiliates, including our Manager, which could result in decisions that are not in the best interests of our stockholders.” In addition, there are several REITs with similar investment objectives, including a number that have been recently formed, and others may be organized in the future. These other REITs will increase competition for the available supply of commercial mortgage and other real estate-related assets suitable for purchase or origination. Some of our anticipated competitors have greater financial resources, access to lower costs of capital and access to funding sources that may not be available to us, such as funding from the U.S. Government, if we are not eligible to participate in programs established by the U.S. Government. In addition, some of our competitors are not subject to the operating constraints associated with REIT tax compliance or maintenance of an exemption from the 1940 Act. Furthermore, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of investments, or pay higher prices, than we can. Current market conditions may attract more competitors, which may increase the competition for our target assets. An increase in the competition for such assets may increase the price of such assets, which may limit our ability to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for our stockholders, thereby adversely affecting the market price of our common stock.

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