Investment firm D E Shaw is reportedly in negotiations to acquire the Italian non-performing loan (NPL) business of Archon, a real estate arm of investment bank Goldman Sachs.
The New York-based firm has about two weeks to negotiate exclusively the purchase of a €2bn (£1.4bn, $2.1bn,) portfolio of Italian non-performing property loans as well as the platform and staff to manage it, Reuters reported.
Rival US investment firms Fortress Investment Group, Pimco and Bayview Asset Management are also in the race to acquire the Italian arm of Archon, the news agency added.
Pursued by Reuters, D E Shaw, which had $36bn in investment capital as of 1 March, did not respond to requests seeking comment.
Goldman Sachs had no comment.
KPMG, which is advising Goldman on the deal, had no comment.
Archon, a global property investment services and asset management firm, handles acquisitions, development, management, financing and disposition of real estate investments, including mortgage loans secured by real estate, according to its website.
Archon employs over 1,300 professionals, according to its Linkedin profile.
D E Shaw's interest in Archon's NPL business signals international investors' growing appetite for Italian assets at a time when reform efforts in the nation gather momentum and amid tentative signs Italy could exit a three-year recession.
Goldman Sachs acquired Archon in 2000, fully integrating it as an in-house platform exclusive to Goldman.
Archon Group was originally floated as a joint venture between Goldman and J E Robert Co and was one of the most prolific buyers of distressed assets from the Resolution Trust Corporation.