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Ayala tops bidding for 5 Apollo towers

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Posted on Jul. 01, 2013 at 12:02am
[ manilastandardtoday.com ]
Property developer Ayala Land Inc. is close to acquiring five office buildings in Bonifacio Global City owned by Apollo Global Real Estate of US billionaire Leon Black.
A highly-placed source said Ayala Land submitted the highest bid to acquire Apollo’s stake in the five office buildings with a total gross leasable area of 147,000 square meters.
The source said Ayala Land’s bid was P5 billion higher than the next offer, which was submitted by Robinsons Land Corp.  The source did not specify the exact bids of Ayala Land and Robinsons Land.
Both groups earlier expressed interest in bidding for Apollo’s stake in the five office towers.
Apollo is selling its controlling stake in the five office towers in one of Manila’s prime business districts. The towers were built by The Net Group of businessman Carlos Rufino.
Rufino, president of the Net Group, which owns a 10- percent stake in the five towers, said earlier his company was open to retaining its stake in the buildings, while declining to elaborate.
Apollo Global Real Estate, which has about $9 billion of assets, is the property investment arm of New York-based Apollo Global Management LLC, a global alternative investment manager with $113 billion in assets run by Black, who was a co-founder of the company.
The towers on sale include the Net Plaza, Net Quad, Net Cube, Net Square and Net One Center which are fully leased. The tenants include Accenture Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Strong demand combined with the growing outsourcing industry is expected to drive growth for the Philippine office market, the sales document showed. Bonifacio Global City is positioned to benefit from the tight office supply in the other two central business districts, Makati and Ortigas Center, according to the document.
Both Ayala Land and Robinsons Land are both bullish about the office space sector and are aggressively pursuing their expansion plans.
Ayala Land said earlier it was expanding its portfolio of office buildings with the opening of 60,000 square meters last year, bringing its total available office space to 509,000 square meters.
Strong demand from the business process outsourcing industry has been boosting the growth of the office space sector, supplemented by increasing requirements from the headquarters of multinational companies.
Meanwhile, Robinsons Land is set to complete two office buildings with a combined leasable space of 40,000 square meters. These new office buildings will add 41 percent to its current inventory and end the year with 273,000 square meters.
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