Canadian Oxford Properties bags Investa office REIT for A$3.4bn

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Oxford Properties, the real estate arm of Canadian pension fund OMERS, has taken over the Investa Office fund and its portfolio of 19 Australian assets for A$3.4bn (US$2.39bn), as the business sets out to build its exposure in the country.

The fund owns 492,386 sq.m. prime office real estate across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra valued at $4.5bn in total, the buyer said in a press release.

Oxford and Investa will manage the portfolio together and have renamed the investment vehicle Oxford Investor Property Partners.

“We see a lot of runway to grow our business in Australia, leveraging the immediate scale created by this transaction,” said Paul Brundage, head of Europe and Asia Pacific at Oxford Properties.

Oxford partially funded the transaction with a $2.2bn debt facility arranged and underwritten by a lending syndicate comprising Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ING Bank, Morgan Stanley and Westpac Bank.

The deal is OMERS’ second major investment in the country following the 50-year lease of the Port of Melbourne as part of the Lonsdale consortium in 2016.

The Canadian business also recently opened a regional headquarters in Singapore, adding to its head office locations in Toronto, New York, London, Luxembourg and Sydney.

The Oxford business continues to focus on office real estate globally, as well as build-to-rent residential assets and industrial warehouse properties.

Ashurst, Cushman & Wakefield and EY advised the buyer on the transaction.

Oxford Properties has more than C$50bn of assets under management.