ING Real Estate is pleased to announce the Australian listed ING Office Fund has today agreed to acquire a 20% interest in the ING Dutch Office Fund for €267.5 million. Earlier in 2006, already eight new Dutch institutional investors acquired an interest in the fund while one existing investor increased its shareholding. These transactions represented 7% of the capital of ING Dutch Office Fund.
The interests were acquired from two existing investors among which ING Insurance. When the transaction with the Australian fund is completed, ING Insurance will have reduced its interest in the ING Dutch Office Fund in 2006 from 73% to 49%. ING Insurance will reinvest the proceeds in other European real estate markets as part of its strategy to reduce its exposure to the Dutch market.
The transactions broaden the investor base of ING Dutch Office Fund significantly. When completed, the fund will have 25 investors. Mr. Jan Vermaas CEO of the ING Dutch Office Fund said: "I am very pleased to welcome our Australian ING Office Fund as the ninth new investor in the Fund since the beginning of the year. The number of new investors and the substantial amounts they are investing are a vote of confidence in both the Dutch office market as well as in the Fund's capabilities to deliver superior returns. Investors clearly recognise the high quality of the Fund's core office portfolio and the effectiveness of its active asset management strategy."
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr Tino Tanfara, CEO of the Australian ING Office Fund said: "The investment gives us an immediate weighting to the key Dutch office markets at what we believe is an ideal entry point in the office market cycle. Not only are the office market fundamentals in the Netherlands improving, but office yields in the Netherlands are generally higher than in other major office markets in Europe providing a material yield premium to the 10 year eurobond with strong total return prospects."
The ING Dutch Office Fund is an unlisted fund targeted at institutional investors. The Fund has consistently outperformed the ROZ/IPD benchmark since 1999. With assets under management of €1.67 billion it is the largest unlisted office fund in the Netherlands. The portfolio includes 78 properties consisting of over 734,000 m² of office space, the majority of which is located in the four major office markets of the Netherlands: Amsterdam, Utrecht, the Hague and Rotterdam.
Source: ING Real Estate