Charter Hall has acquired a A$780m (€499m) office portfolio in Australia from Korean fund manager AIP Assets.

The portfolio of four buildings is being acquired in an equal joint venture between Charter Hall Long WALE REIT (CLW) and three unlisted direct property funds managed by Charter Hall Direct.

The portfolio – all of which have the Australian government as anchor tenant – offers a total net lettable area of 69,503sqm and is located in the suburban areas of Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Albury, a regional NSW city.

Avi Anger, CLW’s portfolio manager, told IPE Real Assets the trust would fund its share of the acquisition partly with capital from a fully underwritten entitlement offer to raise A$250m.

He said that, in addition to a 50% stake in the portfolio, CLW also acquired a convenience retail outlet in Queensland. Its total acquisition cost for the two transactions was A$415m.

This was the second purchase for Charter Hall Direct Funds in a month. Earlier, it bought two industrial facilities on a sale-and-leaseback arrangement for A$141m.

Charter Hall Direct’s CEO, Steven Bennett, told IPE Real Assets that the latest acquisition would lift the assets under management of Charter Hall’s direct funds to “about A$7.5bn”.

“Over the past 5 years, Charter Hall group has transacted on A$10bn in sale-and-leaseback acquisitions,” he said.

Both Anger and Bennett said a key investment criteria for their funds was the security and longevity of government tenancies.

As an example, they said, the NSW government had today committed to taking more space at a new, jointly-owned office park in Macquarie Park in Sydney’s North, purchased for A$250m.

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