Macquarie Property expands further into Europe – with new joint venture and two acquisitions

07 September 2005

Macquarie Bank has acquired two office and business park assets in the UK in a joint venture with UK-based award winning office park developer, Akeler for a total consideration of approximately £150 million (A$360 million).

The acquisition, 85 per cent owned by Macquarie and 15 per cent by Akeler, will be funded by a combination of debt and equity. The impact on the Bank’s Tier 1 capital ratio is anticipated to be negligible.

The assets include:

  • Reading International Business Park - an eight hectare site with 34,806 square metres of office space completed in 2000/2001. The business park is fully leased to a global communication company for its European headquarters. Reading is west of London and the International Business Park is located near Junction 11 of the M4 Motorway.
  • The joint venture has also agreed to purchase Central Quay, Glasgow - 7,369 square metres of fully leased A grade office space completed in 2002, immediately to the west of Glasgow city centre, on the north bank of the River Clyde in the International Financial Services District.

In addition to the purchase of the assets, Macquarie and Akeler have established a 50:50 joint venture to manage and grow the portfolio. Announcing the joint venture, Head of Macquarie Bank’s Property Investment Banking business, Matthew Banks said: “Partnerships with best of breed operators like Akeler give our business a strong basis to grow in Europe and add to our global platform. The opportunity arose though our association with Macquarie Global Property Advisors (MGPA), which was established last year and which has given us a broad footprint across Europe.”

“The joint venture between Macquarie Property and Akeler will initially establish a wholesale fund and also explore other potential acquisitions within the office park sector. We’ll give further consideration to future options including a REIT, depending on the UK legislation, which is currently under review,” said Mr Banks.

“We have achieved considerable success for our investors with wholesale funds in Australia and internationally. Many major institutional investors are increasing their allocation to property and now including international property in their portfolio,” he said.

An Executive Director of Macquarie Bank’s Property Division, Graeme Wilson, said: “We will be seeking quality assets in the business park sector in the UK and Europe. Similar to our approach in Australia, quality assets with strict investment criteria will form the basis of any portfolio. Akeler’s development pipeline, as well as suitable third party assets, will be considered as further assets for the portfolio.”

Commenting on the joint venture, James Cole, Chief Executive Officer of Akeler said: “Akeler recognises the need to form a partnership with a strong global fund management and capital source, and Macquarie Bank fits this need perfectly.”

Macquarie Property has more than 350 staff worldwide. Macquarie Property Investment Banking is a market leader in Australia in wholesale investment management, capital raising, debt/transaction structuring, major project financing, property developments and asset disposals. More than $A24 billion in property assets is managed under the Macquarie brand across a portfolio of listed and unlisted property trusts, unlisted development funds and property investment syndicates, globally. Macquarie Global Property Advisors Limited is a joint venture with Macquarie focused on private equity real estate investment in Europe and Asia.

Akeler Background

Akeler is a private real estate investment and development company. The principal activity of Akeler is the development, management of and investment in office and business parks in the UK and Europe. Akeler was formed over 15 years ago and was purchased by Lend Lease Global Properties (a fund which is now managed by Macquarie Global Property Advisors as Global Property Fund No 1) in 2002 for £294 million from Security Capital European Realty SICAF. Akeler has a strong track record in the office and business park sector in the UK and a growing presence in Europe. Akeler's portfolio consists of 13 assets and a development pipeline of over 4 million square feet.

For further information, please contact:

Matthew Banks
Head of Macquarie Property Investment Banking
Tel: (612) 8232 3333

Robyn Turner
Senior Communications Manager
Macquarie Banking and Property Group
Tel: (612) 8232 6989

Erica Sibree
Investor Relations
Macquarie Bank Limited
Tel: (612) 8232 5008
Mobile: (614) 1302 6309

This document has been prepared by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 (MBL) without taking into account the personal objectives, financial situation or needs of particular individuals. Before acting, we recommend potential investors speak to a financial and/or other professional advisor.

Past performance is not a reliable indication of future performance. Due care and attention has been exercised in the preparation of forecast information, however forecasts, by their very nature, are subject to uncertainty and contingencies, many of which are outside the control of MBL. Actual results may vary from any forecasts provided.

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