Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL) is branching into distressed real estate acquisitions outside of its core homebuilding operations. News of the move originally sent stock tumbling, from opening at 16.43 to around 16.35 at 9:30am EST. By 10am, the stock regained and pushed to 16.55. The new company, Gibraltar Capital and Asset Management, will be a wholly-owned Toll Brothers subsidiary and pursue a range of real estate acquisition and investment opportunities. “We are excited to launch Gibraltar Capital at a time when we believe there are many potential investments arising from the distress in the real estate industry,” said Toll Brothers CEO Douglas Yearley Jr., in a press statement. Yearley added: “These opportunities may include the acquisition and disposition of loan and property portfolios; the development of sites for sale to other builders; providing assistance to banks and developers in the workout of troubled real estate; and a myriad of other potential investments where our capabilities and capital access can add value.” The efforts will be led by Toll Brothers’ veterans Roger Brush and Michael LaPat. Brush brings 17 years of homebuilding and distressed acquisition experience. LaPat has more than 10 years of experience at Toll in mergers and acquisitions, and has served as a senior manager of the company’s finance group. Write to Diana Golobay. Disclosure: the author holds no relevant investments.

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