Carlyle buys Shanghai office tower for $267 million

HONG KONG Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:55am EDT

A general view of the lobby outside of the Carlyle Group offices in Washington, May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A general view of the lobby outside of the Carlyle Group offices in Washington, May 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Carlyle Group (CG.O) has acquired a Shanghai office building, Central Plaza, for $267 million from Singapore-listed real estate fund Forterra Trust (FORE.SI), Forterra said on Wednesday.

Private equity buyers are increasing their focus on commercial real estate in China, with Blackstone Group L.P. (BX.N) buying the 50,000-square-meter Huamin Imperial office tower and 5-star hotel complex valued at around $1.1 billion.

Carlyle, a U.S.-based private equity firm with $170 billion in assets under management, acquired the building at a discount of around 8 percent to its value at the end of 2012.

Central Plaza, which has a 19-storey grade A office tower, is located in Shanghai's central business district and had an occupancy rate of 99.8 percent on December 31.

Forterra said the money from the sale of Central Plaza would go to complete another Shanghai office project, repay debt and boost liquidity.

(Reporting by Stephen Aldred; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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