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Minority firm part of $1.85 billion FDIC asset sale

An article by Ling-Ling Wei in today's Wall Street Journal noted that: "A partnership between Tom Barrack's Colony Capital LLC and a minority-owned investment firm won the bidding for a $1.85 billion portfolio of distressed commercial real-estate loans auctioned off by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The deal, the second-largest bulk sale of commercial-property debt under a public-private partnership, is expected to be announced Wednesday by the FDIC.

This deal is the first public-private setup in which a minority-owned firm has taken a stake, albeit a small one, during this economic downturn. Cogsville, an African-American-owned firm, contributed $16 million to the $218 million investment, for a 7% stake in the portfolio.

Over the past year, there have been complaints on Capitol Hill and among smaller financial firms, especially those owned by minorities and women, about the lack of minority-firm participation in various public-private investment programs.

'A lot of …