AEW and Swiss Re are among a group of buyers acquiring five office buildings in Australia owned by the Singapore-based TrustCapital Advisors (TCA) for a total of AUD728m (€466m).
In July, IPE Real Asset reported that TrustCapital is looking to sell AUD700m worth of Australian offices. Carving up of the portfolio is Australia’s largest single commercial property disposal this year.
AEW has acquired 50 Pitt Street in Sydney CBD for AUD165m while AMP Capital, acting for Zurich-based reinsurer Swiss Re, has bought 469 LaTrobe Street in central Melbourne for AUD161m.
PA Realty, a joint venture between MEC Group, an industrial Japanese group, and Hong Kong-based CLSA Real Estate, has picked up two office buildings in Collins and Bourke Streets in Melbourne CBD for a total of AUD296m.
The fifth property, an office tower in Brisbane was sold to Australian Unity, a domestic fund management group, for AUD106m.
TCA earlier this year sold two other office buildings: 50 Marcus Clarke Street in Canberra to Korea’s Mirae for AUD321m and 50 Ann St in Brisbane to the listed Propertylink for AUD145m.
Proceeds from the sale of all seven TCA assets totalled AUD1.19bn.
TCA still owns one asset in Australia, the Australian Taxation Office building in Collins Street, Melbourne, which it acquired for AUD280m on behalf of a separate account investor in 2013.
The Singapore-based manager began acquiring Australian office buildings in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Chris Cheah, one of the founders of TCA and a key driver in the creation of closed-end Australian office funds, told IPE Real Assets: “We are delighted with the outcome of our investments.
“Australia has been a very good investment destination. And, of course, in hindsight our timing was ideal. Our job is obviously to do our best for our investors.”
“Of course, we will look at new funds and new strategies,” he said. “And for the right investment and strategy we will go back to Australia. Australia should be a long-term investment destination for major global investors.
“But property prices have gone up and returns will not be as attractive as before. However, if one is prepared to accept lower returns, it is still a relatively safe and good place to invest.”