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MSREI commences sales process for Investa

The property arm of the New York-based investment bank has confirmed it has appointed advisers for the sale of the Investa Property Group business in Australia.  

New York-based Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI) has officially announced the start of the sales process for the Investa Property Group, laying to rest mounting speculation about the future of the massive office portfolio in Australia.

In a statement released today, the firm said that it has appointed two joint financial advisors, UBS and Morgan Stanley’s Australia division to “explore strategic alternatives around its holding in Investa Property Group (IPG).”

The Investa Property Group has two divisions – Investa Office division and Investa Land. Investa Office includes the balance sheet assets known as the Investa Property Trust (IPT), which owns stakes in landmark assets in Sydney’s central business district, and the office platform called Investa Office Management Holdings. The platform provides services for the listed Investa Office Fund, which according to the company website has $3.1 billion in assets under management and in which MSREI has a minority stake; the Investa Commercial Property Fund, with $2.4 billion in AUM; and the balance sheet assets under IPT. 

Investa Land has a portfolio comprising 14 residential and industrial land developments on the east coast of Australia. 

The details of how MSREI is going to structure its exit is not fully known yet. The firm, however, did mention in the statement that prospective bidders would be offered the opportunity to secure the management services of the office platform. 

Campbell Hanan, chief executive officer of Investa Office, Cameron Holt, chief executive officer of Investa Land and Jonathan Callaghan, managing director of IPG are understood to be working closely with MSREI and the advisers to determine best options.

The property arm of the New York-based investment bank acquired Investa Properties at the pinnacle of the global financial crises for A$4.7 billion (€3.2 billion; $3.6 billion) in 2007. After including debt, the offer valued the Sydney-based company at $6.6 billion, making it one of the biggest corporate stories in the private real estate investment market in Asia in the last decade.