Investa raises $750 million to fund 60 Martin Place upgrade

Investa raises $750 million to fund 60 Martin Place upgrade
Investa raises $750 million to fund 60 Martin Place upgrade

Property manager Investa Office Management Pty Ltd has raised $600 million in equity and another US$150 million through a US private placement as it seeks to fund the redevelopment of 60 Martin Place in Sydney and pay down borrowings or acquisitions.

Investa’s flagship wholesale fund, Investa Commercial Property Fund (ICPF), acquired a 50 percent stake in 60 Martin Place with construction on the 40,000 sqm office redevelopment for $900 million underway and due for completion mid-2019. 

ICPF has also bought office buildings over the past 18 months with recent acquisitions totalling around $750 million, including a 75 percent interest in 420 George Street, Sydney and a further 50 percent stake in 1 Market Street, Sydney, taking its ownership in this building to 100 percent.

It said market conditions would continue to strengthen in the Sydney office market as vacancy tightens and the withdrawal of existing buildings gathers momentum, resulting in a reduction in incentives and delivering double digit effective rental growth over the last 12 months. 

“We are delighted with the significant recent equity commitments by investors. It repositions the balance sheet following a series of quality acquisitions in a very tight market, ensuring ICPF is well placed to fund the redevelopment of 60 Martin Place,” said Jason Leong, ICPF’s new fund manager.

“The new investments complement our portfolio and increase our tactical weighting to the well positioned Sydney CBD office market. The fact that there was further equity demand that was unable to be accommodated is a strong endorsement of the Fund and the quality of the assets.”

The firm said the A$600 million in new equity was received from both new and existing investors. ICPF will pay down its debt and move it back into the low end of its targeted gearing range. 

ICPF said its $4.1 billion prime office portfolio was arguably Australia’s highest quality portfolio, attracting more than $2.2 billion in new equity since 2010. 

The fund also finalised its debut issuance into the US Private Placement market, issuing US$150 million of 12 and 15 year notes, with US$75 million issued for each tenor. It offered a margin of US Treasury Rate (‘T’) +175 basis points for the 12 year and T+190 basis points for the 15 year. 

“This issuance is part of the fund’s broader debt strategy which is to diversify sources and maturity of borrowings and extend our overall debt maturity profile in a cost effective manner,” Leong said.

ICPF is rated A- by Standard & Poor’s. National Australia Bank was the sole lead agent for the private placement.

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