MORRISTOWN, NJ-Jackson Hole, WY-based Convergence Investments,an investment, consulting and development firm, has partnered withthe locally based Hampshire Cos. to close the gap betweendistressed debt and commercial paper funds and publichomebuilders.

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Convergence has historically focused on distressed landopportunities in master planned communities, primarily inaccessible East Coast markets where demand is driven bydemographics, which require experienced acquisition and projectmanagement resources to realize deal value. Hampshire, meanwhile,has more than 50 years of experience in acquiring, developing,leasing, managing, financing and disposing of real estate.

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“The Hampshire philosophy is opportunistic, and this partnershipallows us to add a very specific and niche residential real estatecomponent to what we do," says Jeffrey Hanson, a principal at thefirm. "Convergence’s strategy is based on their expertise ingetting real estate property ready for sale to nationalhomebuilders, with whom they have been working with for years. Ifyou are watching the market, you know national homebuilders arestockpiling cash and eager to take advantage of any finishedproduct that arises from current state of distress."

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“We have found over the years that a homebuilder is not in thebusiness of buying raw land, and a landowner is not in the businessof turning land to lots," says Convergence founder and presidentColby Cox. "Furthermore, there are a number of funds that invest inresidential real estate as well as a long list of nationalhomebuilders. However, there are very few people in the middledoing what we do. With hundreds of half finished communitiescurrently on the east coast and homebuilders stockpiling billionsin cash, we believe strongly in our strategy and ability toexecute."

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