NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc. (NYSE: NSAM) is buying a majority stake in GTCR-backed the Townsend Group for $380 million.

Townsend, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, provides investment management and advisory services focused on real estate, with more than $180 billion under management or advisement. The business has been owned by Chicago private equity firm GTCR since 2011.

GTCR has sold a few other businesses lately, including Capella Healthcare to Medical Properties Trust Inc. (NYSE: MPW), and AssuredPartners to Apax Partners. The firm won Mergers & Acquisitions M&A Mid-Market Private Equity Firm of the Year award for 2013 in part due to the Leader's Strategy, under which GTCR teams with industry experts to build companies.

The buyer, which is picking up an 85 percent stake in the business, is a New York-based asset manager that also focuses on real estate. NorthStar expects the acquisition to expand its asset management capabilities, according to chairman David Hamamoto.

NorthStar has obtained a $500 million financing commitment from Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc. that it will use to fund the deal, plus repurchase common stock.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is NorthStar's financial adviser on the deal. Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised GTCR. 

The transaction follows a handful of other asset management transactions. Earlier in October, Hellman & Friedman LLC agreed to buy a majority stake in Edelman Financial Services. In September, Mizuho Financial Group agreed to pick up a stake in asset manager Matthews International Capital Management.

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