Ivanhoé Cambridge announces first direct investment in Australia

Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:32pm EDT
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By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL, April 13 (Reuters) - Ivanhoé Cambridge, the real estate arm of Canada's second-largest pension fund, said on Monday it has partnered with Blackstone Property Partners Asia to buy a 25 percent stake in a Sydney office building, marking its first direct-investment in Australia.

Ivanhoe Cambridge said it acquired the interest in the 42-storey office tower complex Liberty Place from Lasalle Investment Management for A$240 million ($181.97 million). The remaining 75 percent stake is still owned by Australian property investment firms GPT Group and ISPT.

Large Canadian pension funds are keen to acquire long-life revenue-generating assets around the world. In addition to real estate, they have made big bets on assets such as ports, farmland and hydro-electric power projects.

Ivanhoe Cambridge, which holds more than C$42 billion in assets for Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, has eyed Asia and Australia as part of its global expansion strategy.

"Ivanhoe Cambridge continues to explore the possibilities of increasing our investments in Australia and in other parts of the AsiaPacific region in 2015," said Rita Rose Gagne the fund's executive vice president of growth markets in a statement.

($1 = 1.3189 Australian dollars) (Reporting By Allison Lampert; editing by Gunna Dickson)