Toll Brothers Inc., the largest luxury U.S. home builder, has formed a subsidiary to invest in distressed real estate.

The subsidiary, Gibraltar Capital and Asset Management LLC, will "pursue a broad range of real estate acquisition and investment opportunities," Toll Brothers said Monday.

The unit's businesses may include the acquisition and disposition of loan and property portfolios, the development of sites for sale to other builders and providing assistance to banks and developers in the workout of troubled real estate, Douglas Yearley, Toll's chief executive, said in a press release.

Toll, of Horsham, Pa., joins Lennar Corp. of Miami in investing in distressed real estate and loans to move beyond its traditional home building business. In February, Lennar bought part of a $3.05 billion portfolio of loans acquired by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. from failed banks.

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