Apollo Management has signed a letter of intent to acquire Citi Property Investors, the real estate investment unit of Citigroup, in a bid to triple the value of its property assets.

Reportedly, the Citi unit’s portfolio of assets includes 65 investments in 26 countries across Asia, Europe and the US.

Matthew Anderson, partner at Foresight Analytics in Oakland, California, said that the deal indicates a recovery in global commercial property prices that have plummeted 41% since their peak in 2007.

Mr Anderson said: “Having it go to Apollo is in a certain sense returning it to the previous management. It’s an opportune time to be doing the bidding since generally prices are depressed globally, not just in the US.”

The New York-based bank, which is 27% owned by the US Treasury Department, has been under pressure from regulators to sell assets to strengthen its balance sheet. According to the company website, Citi Property Investors employs more than 90 professionals and manages about $12.5bn in gross real estate assets as of June 2009.