Chinese And Brazilian Investors Buy General Motors Building Stake

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Chinese real estate developer Zhang Xin and Brazil’s Safra banking group acquired a 40 percent stake, for about $1.4 billion, in General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) New York building. The deal was completed last week, says a report from WSJ by Eliot Brown.

Chinese And Brazilian Investors Buy General Motors Building Stake

Based on the price paid for the 40 percent of the building, the full 2 million-square-foot (185,800-square-meter) tower is valued at about $3.4 billion. The value is the highest for a U.S. property since 2008.

About the General Motors’ building

The marble clad, 50-story tower is located at 767 Fifth Ave. near the southeast corner of Central Park. Tower is one of the most popular commercial spaces in the U.S. and at the street level has an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) store.

The General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) Building was constructed in 1968 and was designed by architect Edward Durell Stone. The building covers the full block between Fifth and Madison Avenues and 58th and 59th Streets. The building has also been rented by Estée Lauder Cos., Icahn Enterprises and the law firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges

Parties involved

Zhang is the founder and chief executive officer of Soho China Ltd. (410), which is China’s biggest developer in Beijing. M. Safra & Co. is the New York-based investment firm of Brazil’s Safra family. The Brazilian group bought the stake through one of its entities called Sungate Trust.

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS)’s U.S. Real Estate Opportunities Fund were the sellers. The Fund handles investment of Sovereign wealth funds of Kuwait and Qatar; and Meraas Capital LLC, a Dubai-based private-equity firm.

The deal was handled by brokers for CBRE Group Inc (NYSE:CBG). The remaining 60 percent of the stake is held by Boston Properties, Inc. (NYSE:BXP).

There have been no comments from either of the parties yet.

Another deal nearby

Also, in another separate deal, private equity group Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) sold its 600,000 sq ft 650 Madison Avenue office and retail block to a joint venture between investment firm Highgate Holdings, and retail developer Crown Acquisitions. The deal is expected to be worth $1.3 billion.

In 2008, the private equity firm bought the 27-storey glass-fronted tower for $680 million. The deal, if completed, will be the biggest single building sale in US. The earlier was the $1.8 billion purchase made by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), in 2010, of a 2.9 million square feet building at 111 Eighth Avenue.

The managing director and head of US real estate at Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG), Robert Stuckey said “This was one of the best office and retail investments made during the financial crisis.”

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