ING sells real estate holdings for $1 billion to CBRE
The world's largest commercial real estate firm got even larger Tuesday morning. CB Richard Ellis is buying three real estate investment management businesses from Dutch insurance conglomerate ING Group. The move marks ING's desire to exit its real estate business. "With these transactions we continue to deliver on our strategic objectives of reducing exposure to real estate, simplifying our company and further strengthening our capital base," said Jan Hommen, CEO of ING Group. CB Richard Ellis is paying $940 million for ING REIM Europe, ING REIM Asia and Clarion Real Estate Securities. Clarion is ING REIM's U.S.-based manager of listed real estate securities. However, CB Richard Ellis will not acquire ING’s U.S.-based private market real estate investment management company. ING is selling that unit to New York private equity house Lightyear Capital for $100 million. ING Real Estate Development and ING Real Estate Finance are not impacted by the transactions disclosed in Tuesday's announcement and will continue to be part of ING Bank. According to the CB Richard Ellis' website, the firm plans to finance the acquisitions with ready cash and its secured credit facility, representing about $1.15 billion in value. Following the completion of the acquisitions, CB Richard Ellis’ net debt is expected to be less than 2.25 times EBITDA, as calculated under its secured credit facility, well within its 3.75 times maximum allowable covenant leverage ratio. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @JacobGaffney.