LaSalle buys stake in Japan REIT for $133m

The firm has become just the latest global firm to grab a slice of Asia’s largest REIT market as Japan continues its economic recovery.

LaSalle Investment Management Japan plans to buy a 32.8 percent stake in a Japanese real estate investment trust for $133 million (€94.4 million). The REIT, e-Asset Investment Corporation, is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and has 22 office, commercial and residential properties worth 64.8 billion yen ($575 million).

As part of the deal,  LaSalle will buy out an asset management firm of the REIT, Asset Realty Managers, for an undisclosed amount. In turn, e-Asset will acquire two shopping malls from LaSalle for 57.6 billion yen. Asset Realty Managers will change its name to LaSalle Investment Advisors as of November 19.  e-Asset will officially be re-named after approval at the general meeting of investors scheduled for next January. Hirotaka Uchiyama, Representative Director of LaSalle, will join the board of directors of Asset Realty Managers as a non-executive director.

Hirotaka Uchiyama, management director of LaSalle Investment Management's Japan unit LaSalle, told a press conference the firm aims to expand the REIT's asset to around 300 billion yen over three to five years and focus on office and commercial properties.

LaSalle is the second global firm this year to buy a stake in a Japanese REIT. Earlier this year, GE Real Estate acquired a 35 percent stake in LCP Investment Corp.

LaSalle’s Japanese unit manages about 580 billion yen in Japanese real estate, while the global firm manages over $47 billion in real estate globally.