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Portugal is the favorite destination to the new Kildare fund with 2,000 million

Portugal is the favorite destination to the private equity fund created by Ellis Short in 2013, and whom raised $2bn to invest in the European distressed property debt market, held by banks.

The information was provided by the businessman, in an interview to Financial Times, confirming that Kildare joins the likes of Lone Star, Blackstone and Oaktree Capital, who have in the last years raised capital to invest in European property.

According to this newspaper, this represents the largest fund of its kind raised in Europe this year, due to the capital amount raised and at a record pace of conclusion, three months faster than the director’s previous Kildare European Partners, which closed in 2014. The new fund, which saw all previous investors returned to the fund, has also added 10 new investors, including the Texas Permanent School Fund and the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board.

The fund will target European markets exclusively, focusing mainly on the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal — the latter being of particular interest to the company, Mr. Short said.  Mainly focuses on the two South European countries, this director acknowledges that besides being a small market - more obvious in the case of Portugal - “it’s also tough to buy in that markets because of the weaker creditors’ rights. That’s why we are focused on the real estate deals rather than the debt deals.”

The new capital is expected to be deployed within two to three years, said Mr. Short, whose international reputation among the real estate investment grew after being vice-chairman at Lone Star, where he worked from 1994 to 2007. His visibility in Europe increased by becoming the owner of Sunderland football club.

According to Kildare Partners website, Ana Tavares – she worked for JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Merril Lynch – will be the responsible for investment in Portugal.