ACR Asset Management has reeled in one of Japan’s biggest developers, Mitsubishi Estate, to invest in a building in Beijing’s Zhongguancun area recently acquired by the GLP-backed real estate fund manager.
ACR, founded by former Cushman & Wakefield greater China CEO Edward Cheung, announced in a WeChat post that Mitsubishi Estate is taking an equity stake in Beijing Diamond Plaza, which the Shanghai-based firm had acquired in May.
“It’s a great pleasure to co-invest in the Beijing Diamond Plaza project with Mitsubishi Estate,” Cheung said in the post. “This cooperation proves that our business park investment strategy has won international investors’ recognition. It is with our utmost excitement that we join hands with our partner to explore future opportunities in the Chinese market.”
Mingtiandi understands that the Diamond Plaza stake sale represents the initial deal under a co-investment platform between Mitsubishi Estate and ACR, which is backed by logistics developer turned cross-sector fund manager GLP.
Close to Parity
Located in the Shangdi area of Beijing’s Haidian district, Diamond Plaza sits near the head offices and global R&D centres of some of China’s best-known IT groups, including the global headquarters of internet giant Baidu across the street.
ACR acquired the fully-occupied 22,000 square metre (236,806 square foot) building in Zhongguancun Software Park from private equity firm Sino-Ocean Capital for an undisclosed amount. The company has declined to release financial details of its agreement with the property development and investment division of Mitsubishi Corporation.
An ACR representative told Mingtiandi that the Japanese developer is buying “a substantial stake” that brings the venture close to an even partnership.
“As tech-based tenants have been accelerating growth post COVID-19, we believe that R&D properties in the Zhongguancun and Shangdi areas will benefit from rising leasing demand,” ACR said. “It would be a rare opportunity to invest in a property like Diamond Plaza, which promises stability and growth. A couple of investors share a similar view with us and would like to partner with us.”
The firm continues to look for investment opportunities in selected areas, including Beijing, the Yangtze River Delta and the Greater Bay Area.
Making Up for Lost Time
Since ACR’s founding less than two years ago, Diamond Plaza was the firm’s first major investment after a COVID-delayed start. Cheung’s former firm Cushman & Wakefield is understood to have advised on the acquisition.
Last year, ACR won agreements to provide asset management services for a pair of business park facilities in Shanghai, including GLP I-Park Shanghai Jing’an, a 30,000 square metre project at the North Hi-tech Park just north of the middle ring road in what was formerly known as Zhabei district.
The firm also manages GLP I-Park Shanghai Yunchuang, a commercial complex in Minhang district’s Pujiang town that includes four office buildings, two R&D facilities and a flexible shared office and event area.
While Cheung and his team are taking the lead at ACR, GLP is playing a top-level role. Ming Mei, GLP’s co-founder and chief executive, holds those same titles at ACR, and Teresa Zhuge, executive vice chairman of GLP China, also sits on ACR’s board.