American investment firm Blackstone has acquired an 80% stake in Australian property financing company La Trobe Financial for an undisclosed sum.

Under the terms of the agreement, Melbourne-based firm’s CEO Greg O’Neill will retain a 20% equity stake in the in the privately-owned firm.

O’Neill will continue to run the company as president and CEO, while the existing management and executive team will also remain unchanged.

Additionally, the firm will also retain its existing board and will appoint two additional representatives from Blackstone.

O’Neill said the opportunity for La Trobe to partner with Blackstone was the perfect fit for staff, customers and the business.

“The specialist credit space is experiencing a defining period of change and growth around the world right now and it is critical that we continue to build on our strong capital position, expand our networks and draw on global best practice,” O’Neill added.

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“We look forward to working closely with them over the coming years to expand and substantially grow our retail and institutional investment programs and our specialist lending offerings.”

La Trobe Financial manages investment mandates in more than AUD13bn, including a retail Credit Fund of almost AUD2bn and over AUD1bn of public RMBS bonds issued.

Blackstone managing director of tactical opportunities Malcolm Jackson said: “The calibre of the La Trobe management team, combined with their high quality loan origination and underwriting, both in the residential and commercial markets, and a strategy that is focused on realising growth opportunities at this important time in the cycle, means we look forward to a strong and productive partnership.”