CBRE snaps up ING property arm for $1.1bn

CB RICHARD ELLIS looks set to become the world’s largest real estate investment manager (REIM) after it yesterday announced its plan to buy ING’s European and Asian property businesses for $1.1bn (£681m).

New York-listed CBRE said yesterday that the cash purchase will improve its foothold in Europe and create a firm with $97.4bn of assets under management.

The enlarged CBRE will overtake ING as the world’s biggest property investor by assets, and is poised to replace AXA as the largest in Europe.

“With these transactions we continue to deliver on our strategic objectives of reducing exposure to real estate, simplifying our company and further strengthening our capital base,” said ING chief Jan Hommen.

The sell-off will also help ING pay down €5bn (£4.2bn) of state aid following a government bailout in 2008.

The $1.1bn deal to buy the REIM and some of ING’s equity interest in the funds is expected to close in the second half of 2011, and will be funded by CBRE’s cash pile as well as undrawn credit facilities.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch advised CBRE, while Morgan Stanley advised ING.