Liberty Capital Asset Management, an asset management company which specializes in the acquisition of distressed mortgages said Thursday that it has executed an agreement with an affiliate of New York-based Silar Advisors LP to invest up to $50 million to acquire defaulted subprime mortgage pools. Silar also will acquire a 6.7 percent interest in Liberty, and an option to purchase additional equity within the next 60 days, under a separate agreement that both companies said extends their partnership. Las Vegas-based Liberty holds over 4,500 properties in 23 states. "The addition of Silar as a strategic partner to Liberty is a significant step forward for us in this space," said Liberty chairman & CEO Michael A. Barro, in a statement. "We have spent months working out the details of this venture and we are pleased with the integration of our respective organizations." Silar Advisors is led by Robert Leeds, who held leadership positions in mortgage finance and investment at Fortress Investment Group, Nomura and Goldman Sachs. He spent 14 years at Goldman before working as a managing director at Nomura from 2001 to 2004; he was a managing director at Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG) until May of 2006. The firm isn't the only one, of course, that's looking to acquire non-performing subprime notes in an attempt to restructure and reperform; as the crisis has worn on, the number of firms looking to enter or expand their presence in this market has grown dramatically. While most are expecting a slow first quarter in the whole loan trading market due to uncertainty over the incoming Obama administration, most funds that HousingWire has spoken with suggest they see an active market emerging by Q2 2009. Write to Paul Jackson at Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.