Cliff Rudolph joined Hicks Ventures in Houston this month after leaving the Novati Group in Fort Worth.
The real estate veteran is in the process of relocating back to the city where he
spent 40 years handling assets for heavyweights such as Hines
, Century Development and Rubloff
— where he
20 years ago.
, who has a similar track record in arranging transactions, pack more impressive credentials than most bargain-basement shoppers in a shaky real estate market (see box).
says the firm plans to acquire troubled office buildings and hospitality properties, clean them up, then sell them for a profit in three to five years.
"We're primarily focused on distressed assets," he
"Everybody's chasing the distressed assets."
In addition to purchasing properties, Hicks Ventures
is also in the market to buy discounted debt.
says the firm will use so-called "loan to own" transactions to buy debt on troubled assets for a price of cents on the dollar, with the goal of taking ownership of the property when the borrower can no longer cover the payments.
will kick off the shopping spree here and eventually spread to Dallas, Austin and other markets.
"It makes more sense for us to start in Houston because it's our back yard," Rudolph
Under the partnership arrangement, Rudolph
finds the deals and Hicks
is the money man.
says three unidentified private equity hedge funds lined up by Hicks
have agreed to provide acquisition capital on a deal-by-deal basis.
will make up the difference using some money from high-net-worth individuals, Rudolph
says, with a goal of achieving 20 percent returns on investments.
first deal as a Hicks Ventures
partner could happen within 90 days if the firm is selected as the winning bidder on an unnamed asset.
says Hicks Ventures
has a distinct advantage in coming off the sidelines with a clean slate.
A lot of firms focused on the same business have to contend with distressed properties in their existing portfolios.
: "We have no troubled assets we have to do deal with.
, Worked in Houston for 40 years before moving north in 2001 for a position at Crescent Real Estate Equities LLC.
While in the Bayou City he worked for real estate firms such as Hines, Century Development and Rubloff.