GLOBAL - ING Group has agreed to sell most of its real estate investment management business (ING REIM) with CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) in a €770m deal.
The acquisitions include substantially all of the ING REIM's operations in Europe and Asia, as well as Clarion Real Estate Securities (CRES), its US-based global real estate listed securities business.
In addition, ING will sell as much as €77m of its equity stake in existing ING REIM funds, it said.
CBRE said the two businesses would complement each other with CBRE Investors having focused primarily on value-add and separate accounts, while ING REIM has concentrated on core funds and global listed real estate securities funds, with the exception for Asia, where ING REIM manages value-add and opportunity funds.
There is also expected to be little overlap in the companies' client bases, with a majority of CBRE Investors' clients being US-based and the majority of ING REIM's based in Europe.
Brett White, chief executive at CBRE, said: "ING REIM, when combined with our existing global investment management operations, will provide us with a significantly enhanced ability to meet the needs of institutional investors across global markets with a full spectrum of investment programs and strategies.
"Our firms fit together well and our investment programme offerings are highly complementary. The combined enterprise will further diversify our revenue sources and as the global market leader, we will redefine success in real estate investment management."
Jan Hommen, chief executive at ING Group, said: "With these transactions, we continue to deliver on our strategic objective of reducing exposure to real estate, simplifying our company and further strengthening our capital base."
Pieter Hendrikse, chief executive of ING REIM Europe, will lead the European fund management operations when the companies are finally merged.
ING's existing European business also announced it had acquired a shopping centre in Stockholm for €82m for its European Shopping Centre Fund, one of a number of core European funds managed by the company.
"Tyreso is an excellent first investment for this Fund which forms a critical element of our strategy to access future rental and capital market growth for our clients," Hendrikse said.
In a separate transaction, ING will also sell Clarion Partners - its unlisted property investment manager in the US - to its management in partnership with US private equity firm Lightyear Capital for €77m.
Clarion Partners has €16.5bn of assets under management.
ING said its Australian business (ING REIMA), with €4.8bn of assets under management, is not included in the deal, adding that it would withdraw gradually from its activities in country.
Officials said ING Insurance would continue its asset management mandate with CBRE.
ING's Real Estate Development and Finance business will be unaffected by the announced transactions and continue to be part of ING Bank, the company said.
ING expects to complete both transactions within the last six months of 2011, subject to regulatory approval.