Macquarie Office Trust targets Principal

Tuesday 20 July 2004

Macquarie Office Trust, a real estate investment fund managed by Australia's biggest investment bank, proposed buying Principal America Office Trust, valued at A$813 million ($903 million), to expand in the US market.

By The Landlord

Sydney-based Principal, which owns 11 office towers in nine US cities, said that Macquarie Office submitted a takeover proposal. No agreement has been reached, according to Macquarie Office, which owns 24 Australian properties and in December bought stakes in two offices in the state of Delaware.

A merger would create a business with assets of A$2.9 billion as Australian real estate trusts combine to reduce costs.

Mergers among Australian property companies have more than tripled to $26 billion so far this year from the year-earlier period. That includes Westfield Holdings' decision last month to merge its trusts and form the world's biggest owner of shopping malls.

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