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NEW YORK CITY-Three years after merging its activities with Transwestern Commercial Services LLC, real estate merchant banking firm the Prescott Group Inc. has reestablished itself as an independent entity, based here. The firm’s principals expect to expand the firm’s scope as well as its geographical reach.

While it was never acquired by Transwestern, Prescott formed an alliance with the Chicago-based firm in 1999. Armed with its newly reclaimed autonomy, the operation will continue to provide services to investors, institutions, corporations, investment managers, family groups and developers. Moreover, Prescott managing directors Theodore R. Gamble Jr. and Susan L. Stupin will also focus more intently on arranging the firm’s investments as a principal in assets and operating entities with a group of institutional and private investors. Prescott’s new headquarters will be at 445 Park Ave.

“We left Transwestern because we wanted to expand our activities as a principal and as an advisor,” Stupin tells GlobeSt.com. “We are seeing significant cross-border capital flows and international real estate activity and in our new role as an independent entity we expect to be able to fully capitalize on the volume of business that we’re seeing with offshore sources both in the US and in Europe.”

“We see tremendous opportunity over the next few years as principal, advisor, and intermediary as assets and companies are recapitalized and cross-border capital flows increase,” adds Gamble.

Prescott’s corporate real estate activities also will include financial advisory services and credit-back sales and financings. “Owned corporate real estate is a significantly undervalued asset on corporate America’s books, representing roughly 20% of a typical corporate balance sheet,” states Stupin. “Corporations are more focused than ever on ways to enhance returns and redirect capital to their core businesses. We are projecting continuing growth in our business of helping corporations unlock the value of their owned real estate.”

Lodging will be another significant service area for Prescott, both as an advisor and intermediary as well as through the provision of investment services pertaining to the recapitalization and sale of hotel assets and portfolios. “The hotel sector has been relatively overlooked by investors in the past 18 months with last year’s transaction pace significantly reduced as properties experienced declines in occupancy and operating profits,” Gamble notes. “With early signs of improving hotel performance, we are seeing an increased pace of agency assignments, including asset sales of full-service properties and portfolios and selected premier resort properties, as serious hotel investors are selectively reentering the marketplace.”

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