RW Kline Breakup Creates CMBS Shop for Cushman & Wakefield

RW Kline Cos., of Scottsdale, Ariz., has been sold and split into three pieces, and one of those parts will find a new home at Cushman & Wakefield Inc. as North America’s largest CMBS debt restructuring practice.

RW Kline Cos., of Scottsdale, Ariz., has been sold and split into three directions, and one of the results reportedly will be North America’s largest CMBS debt restructuring practice, as part of Cushman & Wakefield Inc., RW Kline announced Monday.

Robert Kline

Robert Kline

R.W. Kline Advisory Services L.L.C. and R.W. Kline Capital L.L.C. are being merged into Cushman &  Wakefield Inc. RW Kline CEO Robert W. Kline will oversee capital markets, primarily in the West, and carry the title of senior managing director of Cushman & Wakefield’s Equity, Debt and Structured Finance Group.

He will also be involved in CMBS nationwide, Kline told Commercial Property Executive, adding that the combined Cushman/Kline business will focus on upcoming CMBS maturities, which will likely include a significant volume of loan assumptions.

RW Kline Cos. had five vertical operations with 60 associates and 11 offices. The companies have facilitated more than 600 note sales, acquisitions and more than $8.7 billion in restructurings. The capital markets team at RW Kline Capital L.L.C. placed more than $3.1 billion in capital in the CRE markets in the past 18 months.

Cushman & Wakefield’s enhanced CMBS advisory practice will focus on CMBS debt maturities, assumptions, restructurings and rescue capital in North America. Members of the existing Kline teams will be blended into Cushman & Wakefield offices.

R.W. Kline Capital Fund 1 is being taken over by an undisclosed, large offshore investment firm and will be renamed RWK Capital Funds L.L.C. It will continue to focus on equity and co-invest in CRE ventures across North America, Asia and Europe.

Last spring, R.W. Kline Properties L.L.C. was sold to an unidentified offshore investment fund, in a transaction that was not publicized.

“We had hit a ceiling” and weren’t able to grow without a major infrastructure expansion, Kline told CPE. Partnering with Cushman gives RW Kline that leg up, as well as a “one-stop shop,” he explained, and in return Cushman gets a bigger capital markets presence in the western United States.

“We’ve been playing the major leagues with a Wiffle Ball bat,” he concluded, “but now we have a Louisville Slugger.”