REAL ESTATE

Sam Zell Bets on Brazil

Might the future of your local newspaper depend on a housing project in Brazil? Ailing real estate mogul and Tribune Company owner Sam Zell has invested in a controversial housing development project in Brazil. His real estate private-equity firm, Equity International Properties, has a stake in the $15 billion government program to create one million low-income homes there. The program has been widely criticized for its reliance on private money, and the possibility that the new homes will create urban sprawl in the country. Half of Equity International Properties’ invested capital is in Brazil.