Singapore’s ARA Asset Management closes $460m worth property deals in H1

Singapore. Photo by cegoh/pixabay

Warburg Pincus-backed ARA Asset Management Ltd, one of the largest Asian real estate fund managers, has announced the close of over $460 million worth real estate transactions in the first half of 2019 by its private funds division, ARA Private Funds (APF).

This marks a strong, acquisitive year for APF, which acquired a well-located office building in Singapore’s fringe CBD and a B-Grade office building in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD earlier this year, the company said in the announcement.

APF now has a further $700 million of pipeline assets, subject to due diligence, scheduled to be signed by the final quarter of 2019. These include two office buildings in prime locations in their respective markets, a landmark community retail mall and a co-living space.

“Our robust pipeline highlights our ability to source attractive deals, especially off-market opportunities, in key gateway cities of Asia Pacific where we have ‘boots-on-the-ground’ and a well-established investment track record, enabling competitive advantages and the ability to deploy investor capital judiciously,” said David Kim, Acting CEO of ARA Private Funds.

He added that going forward, APF will continue its de-risked value-add strategy, seeking underperforming, undervalued income-generating assets in the deep, liquid gateway markets in the Asia-Pacific.

As of June 30, 2019, gross assets managed by ARA Group and its associates crossed $61 billion spread over 100 cities in 23 countries.

At our Singapore PE-VC Summit in September, ARA’s Group CEO and Co-founder John Lim said that the firm is exploring a dual stock market listing, including one in Singapore, in the next two to three years.

ARA Group and its associates have grown their assets under management to S$83 billion from S$36 billion ($26.2 billion) in 2017 when Lim partnered with Warburg Pincus and China’s AVIC Trust to take the firm private, in a deal that valued ARA at S$1.8 billion.

In March, ARA confirmed that its subsidiary is acquiring a 19.5 per cent stake in Australia-listed real estate investor and manager Cromwell Property Group from Redefine Properties.

Earlier, the real estate fund managers entered into a sale and purchase agreement to acquire an office building in Korea. The acquisition will be made via ARA’s new private real estate fund in Korea managed by ARA Korea (REF) Limited with undisclosed financial details.