Singapore-based real estate fund manager ARA Asset Management Ltd has agreed to buy the bulk of a 23% stake in ASX-listed Cromwell Property Group from a Johannesburg investor, Redefine Properties Ltd.
The transaction is subject to approval of the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.
Cromwell manages $A11.2 billion of assets and operates in Australia, New Zealand & 10 European countries. In New Zealand, Cromwell owns 50% of syndicator & funds manager Oyster Property Group Ltd.
ARA has agreed to buy 19.5% of Cromwell for $A405.87 million at $A1.05/share, leaving Redefine with 3.06% of the Australian company.
Redefine chief executive Andrew Konig said: “For us, it is about optimising capital efficiency while still benefiting from future distributions & the redevelopment of certain quality assets in Australia.”
ARA manages $S40 billion of assets and recently embarked n a global expansion programme, establishing platforms in Europe & Japan.
Chief executive John Lim said: “Asia Pacific remains a focus for ARA even as the company expands its footprint globally. We entered Australia in 2015 and have been steadily increasing our investments in the market over the last 3 years. Australia continues to offer strong investment & capital-raising opportunities to support the growth of our funds platforms.
“We are attracted to the strength & depth of Cromwell’s platforms, track record of pursuing value-enhancing real estate strategies & strong corporate governance.”
ARA is one of the largest real estate investment trust managers in Asia ex-Japan, managing 5 listed reits – Fortune, dual-listed in Singapore & Hong Kong; Suntec & Cache Logistics Trust, listed in Singapore; and Hui Xian & Prosperity, listed in Hong Kong. The group also manages 6 privately held reits in South Korea and 9 private funds investing in Asian real estate, and provides property management services and convention & exhibition services, including managing the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Attribution: Cromwell, ARA, Redefine, Mingtiandi, Straits Times.