Starwood Capital Group, a private investment firm focused on global real estate, has agreed to acquire a 10.7% equity stake in real assets manager ESR for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is a structured transaction alongside ESR’s co-founders, Stuart Gibson and Charles de Portes. Gibson will stay on as co-chief executive officer and an executive director of the company and Portes will remain a non-executive director.

As part of the Starwood Capital deal, all outstanding debt on the co-founders’ holding company loan will be paid off.  

ESR has some $156bn (€143.7bn) worth of assets under management making it the world’s fifth-largest real estate manager by managed assets. In November 2021 it acquired Singapore-based ARA Asset Management for $5.2bn making it the largest real estate manager in the Asia-Pacific region.

ESR focuses on the new economy sectors of logistics, data centres and alternatives, The company has a fully integrated development and investment management platform extending across key APAC markets, including Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, Southeast Asia and India.

Barry Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital, said: “ESR is the leading real estate platform in Asia Pacific with important market positions in logistics and data centres, which are key growth areas for Starwood Capital.

Sternlicht added that having recently partnered with ESR in Australia, ”we are very pleased to expand and strengthen our relationship through this transaction”.

Gibson, executive director, group co-founder and co-CEO of ESR Group, added: “We believe Starwood Capital’s support will allow ESR to continue to focus on delivering for our customers, shareholders and capital partners.”

Jeffrey Perlman, non-executive chairman, ESR Group, added: “We are very pleased to welcome Starwood Capital as a key shareholder and partner of ESR Group.

”Starwood Capital’s scale, global track record in public and private real estate and access to capital is highly complementary to the ESR’s strategy. We believe this is a strong vote of confidence in ESR and its prospects going forward.”

Since its inception in 1991 Starwood Capital has raised over $75bn of capital and has $115bn of assets under management.

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