Several months after buying Investa Property Group, China Investment Corporation (CIC) is hoping to acquire the AUD3.1bn (€2.1bn) Investa Office Fund (IOF), according to market sources.
The sovereign wealth fund is thought to be working with listed developer Mirvac and a third party – which could be Blackstone – to buy the listed vehicle that owns 22 Australian office assets.
IOF is already under a takeover offer from listed Australian property company Dexus.
Last year, CIC bought Investa Property Group, owner of nine office towers, from Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI).
Last week, MSREI finalised the sale of the last piece of the Investa business – the management rights to both IOF and the unlisted Investa Commercial Property Fund (ICPF) – for AUD90m to ICPF.
The purchase of IOF would conclude MSREI’s long-running exit from the Investa business.
Mirvac, which has recruited the former chief executive of Investa Property Group, Campbell Hannan, to head its commercial division, is already managing CIC’s Investa portfolio on a minimal fee of 20 basis points, according to industry sources.
Blackstone was among a large field of contenders for the Investa office portfolio when MSREI opened for bids more than a year ago.
Blackstone has signalled its intention to grow its Australian portfolio rapidly, and is familiar with CIC – once a shareholder in the US investment bank – and Mirvac, with which it has done several deals.