Apollo wins the name battle in real estate space

Apollo Real Estate Advisors has changed its name to Area Property Partners, effective from January next year, following Leon Black’s decision to expand his Apollo Global buyout shop into the real estate space.

Apollo Real Estate Advisors has agreed to change its name to Area Property Partners from January next year to make way for Leon Black’s new real estate operations.

This summer, PERE exclusively revealed that Apollo Global Management was planning to start its own real estate platform and had hired former Citi Property Investors president and chief executive officer Joseph Azrack to lead the operations.

At the time, people familiar with the situation said Apollo Global would attempt to brand its real estate arm with the Apollo moniker, despite the existence of Apollo Real Estate Advisors, which it helped set up with Bill Mack in 1993. Black, sources said, had ambitions to rival the likes of Morgan Stanley Real Estate and Blackstone Real Estate.

Today, Mack and senior partner Lee Neibart said Apollo Real Estate would become AREA Property Partners from January 15, marking a “new chapter” in the history of the 15-year-old firm.

“We have far exceeded the expectations we set for ourselves back in 1993,” said Mack in a statement.

Apollo Real Estate was established in 1993 by William Mack and Leon Black to take advantage of distress in the real estate market, with Apollo Global managing partners initially managing Apollo Real Estate funds and exerting some managerial control, according to an SEC filing. That affiliation ended in 2000, with Apollo Global managing partners having only “minority interests” in the real estate firm.

Mack said the name change was made with the agreement of both firms, but that it would not effect AREA’s management, investments or operations. AREA would continue to operate from its Time Warner Center headquarters in New York, as well as six other offices in the US, Europe and India.

Mack went on to say AREA had “enjoyed a constructive relationship with Apollo Global”, with Neibart adding the firm would continue to raise funds and expand its “geographic footprint” in the future.