Singapore's ARA Asset Management Ltd agrees to acquire Macquarie Group's Korea REIT unit
Singapore-based ARA Asset Management said it had given its approval for the acquisition of Macquarie Group Ltd's Korean unit, Bloomberg report. ARA Asset Management is an Asian real estate fund management firm that is focused on managing public-listed real estate investment trusts and private real estate funds, according to information on its website. It is listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited's main board. It is an affiliate of billionaire Li Ka-shing's Cheung Kong Holdings.
The report said the acquisition of Macquarie Real Estate Korea Ltd will enable ARA to expand in the Asian nation. Macquarie Real Estate Korea Ltd manages KRW 588.4 billion or $555 million of properties placed in two property trusts, a regulatory filing said. The ARA will also acquire a 10.02% equity stake in one of the REITs, the report said. No financial details were revealed in the regulatory filing.
In a statement, ARA Chief Executive Officer John Lim wrote, "The acquisition of this platform adds to ARA's current REITs platform and bolsters ARA's REIT management presence in the Asia-Pacific region." He added that it will also allow the firm to capitalize on the huge real estate opportunities in the fourth largest economy of Asia.
The report said ARA is looking to double its assets under management in the next five years after it attracted pension investors in the US. It will be concentrating on retail and office properties. Last month, the Bank of Korea said the growth of South Korea is set to increase its growth to its quickest pace in 2014 after three years as improvement is felt in Seoul and in the country's mid and southwest areas.
In the statement, ARA said its equity stake will make it an investor together with one of the biggest pension funds in Korea, the only investor in the second REIT, the report said.