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Aviva appoints Freehills for latest property deal

Aviva appoints Freehills for latest property deal

Aviva Investors is establishing the Pioneer Clarence Property Trust and acquiring a $30 million property at 80 Clarence Street, Sydney, assisted by law firm Freehills.

AVIVA Investors Asia Pte Ltd (Aviva Investors) is establishing the Pioneer Clarence Property Trust and acquiring a $30 million property at 80 Clarence Street, Sydney, assisted by law firm Freehills. 

Freehills’ funds management partner Matthew Stutsel led the deal team advising Aviva Investors together with partners Michael Back from Brisbane and Simon Taskunas from Singapore. The Freehills team included property senior associate, Julie Jankowski and funds management solicitor, Carolyn Tsung.

Tax advisers Simon Clark and Josh Cardwell from Greenwoods & Freehills Pty Limited structured the deal.

Partner Matthew Stutsel said: "This was an interesting transaction because of the interplay between the tax and legal issues in Australia and those that apply in the UK in relation to the OEIC. The experience of our integrated team structuring foreign investment helped smooth the way for Aviva Investors."

"Despite the increase in Australian interest rates and our foreign exchange rate, this acquisition shows there are still opportunities available for property investment. Australia remains very attractive for foreign investment."

Aviva Investors is the global asset management business of Aviva plc. The company delivers investment management solutions, services and client-driven performance to clients worldwide. Aviva Investors operates in 15 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and the United Kingdom. 

Aviva Investors manages over A$43 billion in real estate assets globally (at 30 June 2009). 

Aviva Investors is continuing to explore growth opportunities across the world and expanding the Aviva Investors business in Asia Pacific and the US. This transaction is evidence of Aviva Investors’ confidence in the Australian property market. The Asia Pacific Property Fund was established in late 2008 and this is its second investment in direct property.  

Aviva plc is the world’s fifth largest insurance group (based on gross worldwide premiums for the year ended 31 December 2008), serving 50 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. 

Aviva plc’s principal business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of A$50.1 billion for the six months to 30 June 2009 and funds under management of A$722 billion at 30 June 2009, of which Aviva Investors manages A$456 billion.

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