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EAST DUNDEE, IL-Backed by a $150-million investment from Principal Enterprise Capital, ML Realty Partners is on the prowl for acquisition or build-to-suit opportunities in the Chicago, Houston and Austin, TX markets, and perhaps beyond. Launched as ML Capital Ventures LLC last year, the company formed by former McShane Corp. president Michael Luecht has changed its name along with an ownership structure that also includes ML Realty Partners employees.

ML Capital Ventures built a portfolio worth more than $20 million in its first year. “This kind of accelerates things,” Luecht tells GlobeSt.com.

ML Realty Partners already is looking at various Chicago area industrial deals, Luecht says, and the company’s activity will tend to be more toward acquisitions, he indicates. The company’s basic mission has not changed since Luecht launched ML Capital Ventures, but it now has greater financial leverage with Principal Enterprise Capital on board.

“Unlike other funds out there, though, we’re about growing a company,” Luecht says. “We don’t have any urgency demanded by (Principal Enterprise Capital).”

ML Realty Partners’ new investor is a subsidiary of Des Moines, IA-based Principal Financial Group. “Running a larger format real estate company again is where Mike Luecht belongs, and that is why we are pleased to be his partner,” says Principal Enterprise Capital president Dan Schulte in a statement. “He will hold the investment discretion locally, which is needed to remain nimble while growing ML Realty Partners.”

Luecht tells GlobeSt.com he prefers to keep ML Realty Partners private.

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