National Australia Bank buys into Orchard Street

The Australian Bank buys a 75 percent stake in the London-based property manager, adding £4 billion of UK real estate to its assets under management in the process.

NAB Asset Management, the wealth management arm of National Australia Bank, has purchased an almost 75 percent stake in UK real estate investment manager Orchard Street Investment Management. No sale price was divulged.

The deal sees NAB Asset Management add to 12 owned, or majority-owned investment management businesses and £4 billion (€5 billion; $6.5 billion) to its existing $178 billion of assets under management.

NAB AM’s executive general manager Garry Mulcahy said in a statement on the transaction that the bank would leave its existing leadership of chairman Chris Bartram and managing partner Philip Gadsden intact to run the firm on a day to day basis.

He said of the deal: “The partnership is consistent with our strategy of identifying and partnering with the best investment talent from around the world to deliver for our clients. We have been looking for an opportunity to provide clients with access to this asset class.”

Orchard Street was founded by Bartram in 2004 and the firm has since grown a portfolio of property spanning the commercial asset classes of industrial, office and retail.

The firm said the transaction would provide it with a new, long term and aligned partner that was supportive of its existing strategy in the UK. Bartram said: “We are very pleased to welcome NAB Asset Management as a new partner as we celebrate our tenth year of operation. They bring with them significant investment expertise, a strong balance sheet and are a strong cultural fit for our business.”

The deal comes more than a year after National Australia Bank sold its 35 percent position in another private real estate investment manager, New York-based AREA Property Partners, to Ares Management, the Los Angeles-based alternative assets firm. It was part of the wider acquisition of AREA by Ares.