Lone Star to start lending in Japan

The US private equity firm sees an opportunity in Japan amid moves by major banks to cut their exposure to property, according to a report.

Lone Star is to start extending loans for real estate deals in Japan, according to Reuters.

The US firm will originate debt through Star Finance, an un-named source rold the newswire. 

The move comes as Japanese banks such as Mizuho Financial Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and overseas banks such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch reportedly cut their exposure to senior loans after being hit by the subprime loan crisis.

Lone Star hired Michael Griffin, a former real estate securitisation banker at Morgan Stanley in Japan to lead the firm's effort to find deals to finance, said Reuters.

In Asia, the firm has been investing in non performing loans as well as real estate. It has offices in Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei.
In 2004, the firm closed Lone Star Fund V on $5 billion (€3.1 billion) to target real estate and financial assets globally.