Carlyle bags first China real estate deal

Washington, DC-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group has acquired 110 villas in Shanghai, the group’s first property investment in China, according to local press reports.

The Carlyle Group has reportedly acquired 110 villas in Shanghai, the firm’s first investment in the Chinese property market. With the deal, the firm will own more than half of the 207 villas in the Zhongfang Forest Villa residential complex. It is located near the Qizhong Tennis Center on Kunyang Road in the city’s Minhang District.

According to local press reports, Carlyle paid $120 million (€91 million) for the units, with each villa costing somewhere between 7.5 million yuan and 9.5 million yuan.

Last year, the firm teamed up with Hong Kong-based private equity firm SAIF Partners to invest in a Chinese realty company, China Real Estate Network, which provides brokerage services in 29 cities throughout China.

Caryle has been active throughout the Asian real estate markets. Earlier this fall, a joint venture between the firm and real estate management firm SOW acquired the Omuta REX Shopping Center in Omuta City, located in the Fukuoka prefecture of Japan. That acquisition was made in conjunction with The Bank of Fukuoka and Japanese commercial developer Office Berkeley.

The joint venture between Carlyle and SOW was established earlier this year to invest in mid-seized retail centers in the regional cities of Japan and so far it has acquired five properties with a purchase price of more than ¥12 billion ($101 million; €81 million).

In 2005, Carlyle raised $410 million for its first Asia focused property fund, Carlyle Asia Real Estate Partners. The vehicle had a total estimated buying power of $1.5 billion and is looking at investments in China, Japan and Korea.