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NEW YORK CITY-Locally based, iStar Financial Inc., a finance company focused on the commercial real estate industry, closes on its previously announced transaction with Santa Monica, CA-based, Fremont Investment & Loan, a subsidiary of Fremont General Corp. As GlobeSt.com previously reported in May, iStar will now acquire the commercial real estate lending business of Fremont in a $1.9-billion, all-cash transaction.

“The combination of Fremont’s and iStar’s commercial real estate organizations expands our geographic reach, almost doubles the number of our employees and creates one of the strongest construction lending and direct loan origination platforms in the industry,” says Jay Sugarman, iStar’s chairman and CEO.

After giving affect to the Fremont transaction, iStar has nearly $20 billion in assets under management and 350 real estate professionals in 11 regional investment offices throughout the US plus its European subsidiary based in London.

“These transactions provide a major turning point for Fremont General. The transaction with iStar allows us to exit our existing commercial real estate lending business while retaining an earning asset that provides a bridge to the development of new lending businesses,” notes Louis Rampino, CEO of Fremont.

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