Front Yard Residential Corp., a provider of single-family rental housing, is being taken private by alternative investment management firm Pretium and a group of its investors and funds managed by the Real Estate Equity and Alternative Credit strategies of Ares Management Corp. The all cash transaction values Front Yard at $2.4 billion.
When the deal closes, Pretium says it will be the second-largest owner and operator of SFR properties in the US with a portfolio of more than 55,000 rentals. It also notes that this is the industry’s first public-to-private transaction.
Front Yard had been under pressure to liquidate by at least two of its investors—Ocwen Financial and Altisource Portfolio Solutions. The investors argued that Front Yard has not performed satisfactorily and that its stock share should be much higher, according to a report in Mortgage Professional America.
Scale is the answer to the company’s woes, according to Don Mullen, Chairman and CEO at Pretium. “We firmly believe that scale is paramount to outperformance and continuing to create meaningful liquidity for SFR investors is necessary to ensure robust valuations and the continued flow of institutional capital into the SFR asset class,” he said in prepared remarks.
Rockpoint Forms Another Single-Family Rental JV
The single-family rental market is seeing an uptick in activity as investors gravitate to its strong business case. As another example, Rockpoint Group, a global real estate investment management firm, just announced it has formed an exclusive $250 million joint venture with Resicap, an owner and operator of single-family rental homes based in Atlanta, GA. Together, Rockpoint and Resicap expect to acquire, renovate, and lease 4,500-5,000 single-family rental homes at affordable price points in suburban neighborhoods in the Southeast US, Florida, and Texas.
Rockpoint also recently announced a $375 million joint venture with Dallas-based Invitation Homes.
And in August, Blackstone re-entered the single family rental home space with a $300 million preferred equity investment in Toronto-based Tricon Residential.
The Front Yard transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
RBC Capital Markets, LLC is serving as financial advisor to Pretium. BofA Securities is serving as financial advisor to Ares. Sidley Austin is serving as M&A legal counsel, Fried Frank as partnership legal counsel, and Hunton Andrews Kurth as special tax and financing counsel to Pretium. Latham & Watkins is serving as legal counsel to Ares.
Margaret Whelan of Whelan Advisory Group exclusively advised Rockpoint Group and Resicap on their venture.