Bloomberg News

Pramerica Said to Be in Talks to Buy Investa’s Ark Tower Stake

June 30, 2011

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- Prudential Financial Inc.’s real estate investment unit is in talks to buy a 50 percent stake in the Ark building in Sydney from Morgan Stanley-owned Investa Property Group, two people with direct knowledge of matter said.

Investa, which completed the 21-story tower last year, is seeking to raise about A$120 million ($129 million) from the stake sale to Prudential’s Pramerica Real Estate Investors, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the sale hasn’t completed. Investa’s unlisted Commercial Property Fund, which owns the other half of the 40 Mount Street building in North Sydney, will maintain its stake, one of the people said.

Pramerica, based in Parsippany, New Jersey, also agreed in April to buy an ownership stake in Investa’s 595 Collins Street building in Melbourne, and appointed Steve Bulloch, former head of property for Hastings Fund Management, in May to oversee its expansion into Australia, according to company releases.

The talks with Sydney-based Investa over the purchase of the Ark building stake are expected to conclude within the next month, one of the people said. The property is 89 percent occupied, and tenants include Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd., Vodafone Hutchison Australia and Australian Worldwide Exploration Ltd., according to Investa’s website.

Emily Lee-Waldao, a spokeswoman at Investa, and Damian Manolis, a managing director at Pramerica based in Singapore, declined to comment.

--Editors: Malcolm Scott, Linus Chua

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney on nsaminather1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net


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