SEB in ¥8.5bn Japan exit

The Cordea Savills-owned Europe and Asia-focused real estate investment firm has sold two properties in Japan as part of its ongoing liquidation of its German real estate fund.  

SEB Asset Management, the Europe and Asia-focused real estate investment subsidiary of the Scandinavian bank SEB Group, has sold two office properties in Japan for a combined value of ¥8.5 billion (€61.8 million; $71 million)
The two properties were among the first buys made by SEB Asset Management when it made its foray into Japan in 2007.

The 32,829 square feet Hamamatsucho Center Building is located in Tokyo and its seven floors are fully-leased to a total of eight companies. The Shin Osaka Center Building, a 66,090 square feet office property, is located in Osaka and is occupied by retail businesses on the ground floor and office tenants on the remaining floors.

The buyer is believed to be a local Japanese real estate investment trust (REIT), but the firm declined to disclose the name. The properties will be officially transferred by next month.

“The fund management decided to sell the properties due to the current demand situation in Japan and the age of buildings,” said Choy-Soon Chua, SEB’s Investment managing director, responsible for SEB Asset Management’s Asia business. “Japan nevertheless remains a key market. We are currently assessing further potential investments for our institutional investors.”

The two properties were acquired by SEB Asset Management via SEB ImmoInvest, the firm’s German open-ended real estate fund which is currently in the process of existing its investments.

In 2012, the firm officially announced plans to dissolve the fund following liquidity issues created by the global financial crises. The capital raised via the fund was invested in a total of 132 properties globally with a value of €6 billion, and the firm expects to complete all exits by 2017, according to a company statement. In the first half of 2015, the firm sold nine properties globally via the fund.

Earlier this year, SEB Asset Management was acquired by Cordea Savills, the real estate investment management business of the property services firm Savills for around €21.5 million in a deal that has made Cordea one of the world’s biggest real estate investment management businesses with more than €17 billion of assets under management across Europe and Asia.

In an interview with PERE in April, Justin O’ Connor, the chief executive officer of Cordea Savills, said SEB’s Asia business was an important component behind the firm’s decision to pursue the acquisition.

SEB Asset Management has invested more than €2.2 billion in the Asia Pacific region since 2006.