China's Anbang Insurance in talks to buy first Canadian office tower -sources

Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:00pm EDT
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By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL Aug 25 (Reuters) - China's Anbang Insurance Group Co has made a firm offer to buy an office tower in Toronto's financial district, three real estate sources said, in its first Canadian building acquisition.

Anbang, which closed a deal to buy New York City's historic Waldorf Astoria hotel for $1.9 billion earlier this year, is conducting due dilligence on the acquisition of 70 York Street, a 17-story building in Toronto's financial district, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The building, which has HSBC Bank Canada as a tenant, is owned by Brookfield Canada Office Properties.

A Brookfield spokesman, who declined to comment on a deal with Anbang, confirmed that the building was put up for sale earlier in the year.

A Beijing-based spokeswoman for Anbang declined to comment.

The value of the deal was not immediately known.

The building is on land owned by a separate company, which has a long-term lease with Brookfield and may have right of first refusal on any sale, two of the sources said.

Slowing urbanization and a weakening economy in China have pushed Chinese companies to diversify abroad.   Continued...