UK, Middle East investors buy US office property for $123m

Arzan Wealth joins a growing number of Middle East investors parking capital in US real estate.

A joint venture comprising investment advisory firms from London and Dubai are betting on an office property thousands of miles from either of their respective domiciles.

90 North Real Estate Partners, a British real estate investment firm, and Arzan Wealth, a Kuwaiti private client advisory firm registered in Dubai, have teamed up to buy a 65-acre office property in the Philadelphia suburbs for $123 million, the partners said Friday. The joint venture bought the North American headquarters of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building material company, in Malvern, Pennsylvania from a group made up of E Kahn Development, J Loew Associates and AEGON USA Realty Advisors.

Saint-Gobain signed a long-term lease for the site last year with renewal options. Its campus includes a four-story, 277,335 square foot office building and a two-story, 43,891 square foot research and development building.

90 North has worked with other Middle East-based investors since 2012, closing three transactions this year in the UK and US. Low oil prices and geopolitical turmoil have led Gulf investors to look for real estate investments anchored by strong tenants to provide income generation, the firm said in a statement.

In 2015, $12.9 billion of Middle East capital has flowed to US property deals, compared with $4.9 billion in 2014, according to real estate data provider Real Capital Analytics. Sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority was responsible for $4.8 billion worth of that 2015 capital, buying 220 US properties over the year, according to RCA.