Canadian-based Oxford Properties has completed the $3.4 billion takeover of the Investa Office Fund acquiring a substantial 19 asset portfolio across Australia valued at approximately $4.5 billion.
Oxford, the real estate unit of Canadian pension fund OMERS, is a new player within the Australian market, initially buying the Port of Melbourne on a 50-year lease as part of a consortium with the Future Fund, QIC and Global Infrastructure Partners.
Oxford also partnered with builder Grocon to erect the $2 billion Barangaroo Central project in Sydney.
“Completing this transaction in just 100 days is a testament to our team’s ability to rapidly execute large-scale and complex transactions in markets across the globe,” Oxford head of Asia Pacific Paul Brundage said.
“We are also very pleased to have begun establishing our presence in Australia and are in the process of building our team on the ground.”
The portfolio, to be renamed as Oxford Investa Property Partners, will see Oxford act as the strategic asset manager and Investa Office Management providing investment, asset, property, project and management services across its the $11 billion office management platform.
“We look forward to working closely with Oxford as the new owner of OIPP and in its role as strategic asset manager to the portfolio,” Investa chief executive Jonathan Callaghan said.
“As manager of the OIPP portfolio, we’re very well placed to continue to deliver strong performance from the assets together with Oxford.”
Oxford has outlined its intentions to pursue further origination opportunities in Australia to expand its portfolio over time.
The Canadian company now intends to divest a number of non-core properties and has initiated select sale processes in order to reposition the portfolio and recycle capital growth as well as seeing out a number of major Sydney developments being undertaken by the fund.
In addition to expanding its portfolio of high-quality and well-located office properties, Oxford is also actively growing its exposure to build-to-rent residential and industrial properties.
Oxford will now invest close to $1.2 billion in equity to the IOF deal and also raised a $2.2 billion debt facility via the Commonwealth Bank, ING, Morgan Stanley and Westpac.
“Oxford invests for the long term in global gateway cities with a focus on best-in-class assets in high growth markets,” Brundage said.
“We see a lot of runway to grow our business in Australia, leveraging the immediate scale created by this transaction.”