(Source: The Independent

The hedge fund tycoon who made billions of dollars from betting against sub-prime mortgages is close to launching a new fund that will make a profit when property prices rebound.

It is understood that Paulson & Co, the alternative asset manager set up by John Paulson in 1994, is going through the final regulatory hurdles before its distressed property vehicle starts fundraising.

A spokesman for Paulson & Co, which currently manages almost $29bn (£19bn) in assets, declined to comment.

Mr Paulson announced the plan to invest in property in his end-of-year letter to investors. The Real Estate Recovery Fund will have a “private-equity format,” Mr Paulson said, and lock investors in for a lengthy period.

The company has hired Mike Barr to oversee the new fund, assisted by Jonathan Shumaker. Both arrived from Lehman Brothers’ real estate private equity team.

“Given the continued downward pressure on housing process and lack of capital in the real estate sector, there will be numerous investment opportunities going forward,” Mr Paulson said.

Mr Paulson, who was relatively unknown until his bet against sub-prime mortgages paid off spectacularly, was listed this year by Forbes magazine as the 74th richest person in the world.

Read Nick Clark’s full article “Paulson bids to make new killing in real estate market” in The Independent (May 19, 2009).

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