Viking Partners Launches Second Fund

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor Private equity real estate investment firm Viking Partners L.L.C., based in Blue Ash, is striving to take full advantage of the continued distress in the commercial mortgage market by starting its second fund. It plans to raise $50 million. The [...]

Private equity real estate investment firm Viking Partners L.L.C., based in Blue Ash, is striving to take full advantage of the continued distress in the commercial mortgage market by starting its second fund. It plans to raise $50 million.

The company was founded in March 2009 by Steven Miller and Bret Caller–successful real estate entrepreneurs with extensive experience in acquisition, development, leasing and property management–to create wealth for investors participating in the firm’s private placements. It specializes in real estate investments, distressed debt acquisitions, commercial real estate leasing and investor relations, and is currently or has been involved in projects across the United States.

Viking Partners started its first fund In April 2010, making seven acquisitions in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Georgia and Colorado, with an eighth on the way. Viking recently paid $9.9 million for the debt on a shopping center in Marietta, Ga., and in Cincinnati it acquired the Milford Kroger Center for $3.5 million and Shoppes of Deerfield South in Mason at a price in the low $2 millions.

Viking looks for property near large, populated areas, purchases the debt at a discount and then either works out a payment plan with the owner or takes possession of the property. It then seeks to improve its properties, bring in new business and then sell. The Shoppes of Deerfield South, for instance, is curently up for sale. By Jan. 31, Miller and Caller plan to sell another three assets.

Recently, the company hired Symmes Township resident Ryan Lucas as asset manager for operations. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, he will be in charge of overseeing the general portfolio operations for Fund I, future investments, asset-level strategic plans and asset dispositions and financing.

When fully invested, Fund I will have almost $40 million in assets. It has a transaction range of $1 million to $25 million, with a minimum investment of $250,000. A minimum investment amount has not yet been established for Fund II.