Qatar Investment Authority invests $1.3bn in LA office portfolio

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has bought a US office portfolio for more than $1.3bn (€1.2bn).

The Middle Eastern investor bought four office assets in the sub-markets of Los Angeles through a joint venture with local partner Douglas Emmett.

QIA declined to comment on the transaction or the fund’s specific investment plans for North America.

However, a spokesman noted that “real estate has featured prominently” in QIA’s asset mix.

QIA last year announced plans to invest $35bn across all asset classes in North America by 2020.

Los Angeles is rapidly emerging as a major US destination for QIA capital.

In January, Qatar Airways began daily non-stop passenger service between Los Angeles International Airport and Hamad International Airport in Doha.

Qatar Airways, the world’s third-largest international cargo carrier, also began cargo service to LA during 2015 and added a fourth cargo flight in January.

Douglas Emmett, a self-managed REIT, has significant holdings in class A office and multifamily properties in LA and Honolulu.

The REIT plans to retain 20-30% of the equity in the joint venture, according to a statement.

The JV has taken a non-recourse $580m interest-only loan with a seven-year term, with a floating rate of LIBOR plus 1.4%, fixed at 2.37% for five years through an interest-rate swap.

The LA transaction marks QIA’s second major deal in the US since the fund opened its first US office in New York in September.

In late October, QIA entered a joint venture with a subsidiary of Brookfield Property Partners to take a 44% stake in the mixed-use Manhattan West development in New York City.

Brookfield estimates the total value of the development on completion and stabilisation at $8.6bn.

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