GIC to buy Tokyo property for $1.3 bln from Lone Star-sources

TOKYO/SINGAPORE, April 9 Wed Apr 9, 2014 4:32am EDT

TOKYO/SINGAPORE, April 9 (Reuters) - Singapore state investment firm GIC Pte Ltd will buy a Tokyo property from U.S. investment fund Lone Star Funds for some 134 billion yen ($1.3 billion), the highest price since Japan's real estate market recovery accelerated last year, three people with direct knowledge of the sale told Reuters.

Lone Star had put up the property, called Meguro Gajoen, for auction late last year for at least 96 billion yen. The property comprises a complex of office towers, with the Japanese unit of Amazon.com Inc its main tenant.

GIC was chosen from three final bidders, which included a consortium of New York-based real estate investment firm Aetos Capital Real Estate LP and China's sovereign fund China Investment Corp, two of the people said.

A GIC spokeswoman in Singapore declined to comment. Lone Star officials were also not immediately available to comment.

Japan's real estate market is rebounding as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's aggressive reforms start to pull the economy out of 15 years of deflation.

Land prices in the three largest cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya rose for the first time in six years last year and declines slowed elsewhere, a government survey showed last month.

GIC has been buying up real estate in developed markets as property prices recover from lows hit during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

In January, it partnered with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and U.S. real estate firm Related Companies to buy $1.3 billion worth of Manhattan office space from Time Warner Inc.

Prior to that deal, GIC partnered British Land Co Plc to buy London office and retail space from U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group LP. ($1 = 102.1100 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Junko Fujita in TOKYO and Saheed Azhar in SINGAPORE; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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