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Citigroup Sells Real Estate Investment Unit

The beleaguered ""Citigroup Inc."":http://www.citigroup.com, who has repeatedly assured administration officials that it is ""getting back to banking basics,"" has found a buyer for its real estate[IMAGE]

investment business. Private equity firm Apollo Management LP has agreed to purchase ""Citi Property Investors"":https://citigrouppropertyinvestors.com/reinst/, a unit of the bank's Citi Alternative Investments group.

The dollar amount attached to the transaction has not been disclosed, as final negotiations are still being ironed out. Reportedly, the companies expect to close on the deal deal within the next few months.

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Citi Property Investors manages approximately $12.5 billion in gross real estate assets in some 26 countries, according to the company's Web site. The division employs more than 90 asset managers and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong, as well as a presence in Mumbai and a representative office in Shanghai.

The acquisition is expected to more than triple the value of Apollo’s real estate holdings. The transfer puts the portfolio of 65 investments in some 26 countries back into familiar hands. Joseph Azrack now serves as Apollo’s global head of real estate, but previously, he was over Citi Property Investors, from 2004 to 2008, and helped assemble the portfolio.

The real estate investment unit was shuffled into the New York-based bank’s Citi Holdings â€" which according to Citi officials basically serves as a holding pen for the businesses the company plans to sell or restructure. The North American fund of Citi Property Investors has lost an average of 28 percent in value each year since 2007, according to some of its investors.

Citigroup is still 27 percent-owned by the federal government and American taxpayers. The bank has faced mounting pressure from Treasury officials to sell off some of its assets in an effort to clean up and stabilize its balance sheet.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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