M&G acquires office block in Seoul

Investors are convinced the US$1 billion move makes sense as demand for space is being revved up by a buoyant IT sector and consolidation of financial services

M&G Real Estate, one of the world's leading financial solutions providers for real estate investors, has acquired Centropolis Towers, a prime twin tower office building in Seoul, South Korea for US$1.04 billion.

M&G Real Estate led the transaction, which will be completed in September, on behalf of two of its property strategies in joint venture with two South Korean pension funds. Centropolis Towers, located in Seoul's Jongno-Gwanghwamun central business district (CBD), is due to be completed this month, and some commentators believe it will become one of the most highly specified prime office schemes in the city.

"We are delighted to be working with our South Korean joint venture partners to help them meet their investment objectives, whilst expanding our real estate portfolio in South Korea. We are seeing a rise in demand for high quality assets in South Korea as domestic and international investors allocate more capital for commercial real estate," comments Chiang Ling Ng, CEO and CIO of M&G Real Estate, Asia.

Ng believes Seoul's office market, particularly the central business district, is in an early upcycle with limited future supply of prime office space. This results in intense competition for best in class assets, and Ng insists Centropolis is well-positioned to benefit from this trend.

M&G Real Estate maintains demand for office space is being driven by the growing IT sector, the consolidation of financial firms relocating and an expanding co-working sector.

The two towers, will each comprise 26-storeys and a combined 134,399 sq. m of floor space, and are close to excellent transport networks providing access to Seoul's major districts and wider metropolitan area. Prime features include larger than average ceiling height and floor plates, 28 elevators and a dust purifying air conditioning system. The towers are also expected to obtain a 'Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

Tony Brown, head of M&G Real Estate, adds: "For a long time we have seen a trend in global real estate for large institutional investors to partner with established real estate solutions providers like ourselves through joint ventures and separate accounts."


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8 Aug 2018

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