Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has agreed to acquire Asia Square Tower 1 in Singapore from BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) for S$3.4 billion (US$2.45 billion). This marks the largest single-tower real estate transaction in Asia Pacific to date, and the second largest single-tower real estate transaction globally.
Asia Square Tower 1, an award-winning landmark office building, offers 43-stories of space totaling over 1.25 million square feet of net lettable area. The property has received the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environment Core & Shell (LEED-CS) Platinum certification, whichthe highest accolade for environmental sustainability, and boasts column-free floor space of up to 35,000 square feet. Citibank has been the anchor tenant since the building’s completion in 2011. Together with Asia Square Tower 2, the complex is a world-class integrated development located in Singapore’s Marina Bay business and financial district.
At the end of last year, Malaysia’s Pavilion Real Estate Investment Trust (Pavilion REIT) (KLSE: PREI) acquired the luxury Intermark Mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), for RM160 million ($37.33 million).
“We value our strong partnership with Qatar Investment Authority, and are delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with them on this landmark real estate transaction,” said Mark McCombe, BlackRock’s Global Head of Institutional Client Business and Head of BlackRock Alternative Investors. “Singapore remains well-positioned as a gateway city offering premium commercial real estate opportunities to long-term international investors.”
“We are proud to have developed Asia Square from the ground up after the land acquisition in Marina Bay, and leased the property to an excellent tenant base,” said John Saunders, Head of APAC for BlackRock Real Estate. This premier office project is testament to BlackRock’s strong capability in real estate development and management to meet the needs of tenants and investors seeking core assets. We are very pleased with the sale, and look forward to working closely with Qatar Investment Authority to maintain the pre-eminent status of Asia Square.”
JLL and CBRE are joint sole advisors for this transaction for BlackRock.
Qatar Investment Authority was founded by the State of Qatar in 2005 to strengthen the country’s economy by diversifying into new asset classes. Building on the heritage of Qatar investments dating back more than three decades, its growing portfolio of long-term investments help complement the state’s huge wealth in natural resources.
Headquartered in Doha, and now with a subsidiary in New York, QIA is structured to operate at the very highest levels of global investing. QIA has a strong track record of investing in different asset classes, including listed securities, property, alternative assets and private equity in all the major capital markets as well as the newer emerging markets.
BlackRock is one of the global leaders in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients. At March 31, 2016, BlackRock’s AUM was US$4.737 trillion. BlackRock helps clients around the world meet their goals and overcome challenges with a range of products that include separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors. As of March 31, 2016, the firm had approximately 13,000 employees in more than 30 countries and a major presence in global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa.
BlackRock Real Estate is the dedicated real estate investment group within BlackRock and invests in strategies across the risk and return spectrum, providing access to all major property types. The business manages over US$21 billion of private and public real estate equity and debt on behalf of investors worldwide in 17 offices across 11 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe and the US.
The real estate platform, together with the infrastructure business, combines to form the BlackRock Real Asset group. The integrated create a group of more than 300 professionals located across 22 offices and managing over US$30 billion of client assets as of June 1, 2016.