Friday, November 20, 2009

Barclays takes over Crescent Real Estate partnership

Ownership in some of the Dallas area’s most prominent office towers has changed hands.

Barclays Capital said Friday that it has taken ownership of Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate Equities Limited Partnership.

Crescent has stakes in 36 office buildings nationwide, including Dallas’ Crescent complex in Uptown and the Trammell Crow Center and Fountain Place towers downtown.

Barclays took over ownership of the Crescent assets after a unit of Morgan Stanley Real Estate was unable to meet debt payments on the properties.

Barclays said it has formed a partnership with former Crescent vice chairman John C. Goff to operate and own the real estate.

“Given his extensive knowledge of the Crescent portfolio, John is well suited to manage the company going forward,” Barclays executive Haejin Baek said in a statement.

Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley paid $6.5 billion two years ago to buy Crescent. But the investor was unable to meet $2 billion in debt payments due to Barclay’s this month.

Morgan Stanley had already taken hundreds of millions of dollars in value write-downs on the Crescent properties.

Crescent doesn’t hold all of the ownership in its high-profile Dallas buildings.

In 2004, it sold a 60 percent stake in the Crescent complex to a JPMorgan Chase & Co. subsidiary. JPMorgan Chase also bought a 76 percent share of downtown's Trammell Crow Center and Fountain Place.