ASX-listed company sells off Japanese property portfolio

By Melissa Coade|06 August 2017

One of the last remaining Aussie real estate investment trusts to have a stake in real estate in Japan has sold its Japanese portfolio to a private equity firm.

Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu (Astro Japan Property Trust); Ashurst, Morrison & Foerster, Nishimura & Asahi (Blackstone); Johnson Winter & Slattery, White & Case (Spring)

Deal: ASX-listed Astro Japan Property Trust (Astro) has sold its portfolio of Japanese retail, office and residential properties to Blackstone.

Value: A$1.1 billion

Area: Finance

Key players: The HSF team advising Astro was led by partner Justin O’Farrell (pictured). Senior associate Brock Colville and graduate lawyer Curtis Vella assisted with the deal.

Rintaro Hirano, a partner of law firm Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, advised Astro on the Japanese aspects of the deal.

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Deal significance:  Private equity firm Blackstone has purchased Astro’s Japanese portfolio comprising retail, office and residential properties for A$1.1 billion.  

Astro is an ASX-listed property group focused on the Japanese real estate market. According to lead HSF partner Justin O’Farrell, who advised the group, it is also the last remaining of the Australian real estate investment trusts (A-REITs) to have invested in Japanese real estate.

“The cross-border requirements for dealings with this kind of vehicle have always presented their fair share of intellectual challenges, and this deal has been no exception,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“The A-REIT and real estate markets remain very active, and Herbert Smith Freehills continues to be at the forefront of deals in this area,” he said.

HSF said that earlier this year Mr O’Farrell had also advised another major property fund in a scheme for its buyout.

ASX-listed company sells off Japanese property portfolio
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