BlackRock Doubles Down on Property

BlackRock Doubles Down on Property

Commercial News » Asia Pacific Commercial News Edition | By WPJ Staff | May 21, 2013 11:27 AM ET

BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm, is buying Singapore-based property investment firm MGPA in a move that will establish its presence in Asia and almost double its global real estate holdings.

The deal will give U.S.-based BlackRock control of $12 billion worth of property assets, including many high-profile developments in Asia, such as the Asia Square towers in Singapore's Marina Bay and The Intermark complex in Kuala Lumpur. About two-thirds of MGPA's holdings are in Asia.

No purchase price was announced for the deal, which is 56 percent owned by Australia's Macquarie Group.

"This is an important step in the evolution of our Asia based investment capabilities and is aligned with the growth of our Asia-Pacific franchise," Mark McCombe, chairman of BlackRock in Asia-Pacific, said in a statement.

The deal will give BlackRock access to the economic growth in the region and the expanding middle class, Mr. McCombe told reporters.

"There's no doubt that the Asean region has a lot of opportunity," Mr. McCombe told the Wall Street Journal, citing Manila, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur as potential growth markets.

BlackRock currently manages about $13 billion worth of property assets, primarily in the United States and U.K.

MGPA was founded in 1999 and has completed more than 130 deals in Asia, according to the company statement. The BlackRock deal is scheduled to close in the third quarter.

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