Australia’s NAB buys $6.4bn investment firm

National Australia Bank’s asset management arm has acquired London-based Orchard Street

NAB Asset Management has acquired a 75 percent stake in Orchard Street Asset Management, a £4 billion ($6.4 billion; €5 billion) real estate investment firm based in London.

Orchard is focused on commercial property assets within the United Kingdom, and NAB’s investment comes just months after it sold $1 billion worth of distressed loans from its UK commercial real estate portfolio. NAB has now invested in 13 investment boutiques. 

“The partnership is consistent with our strategy of identifying and partnering with the best investment talent from around the world to deliver for our clients. We have been looking for an opportunity to provide clients with access to this asset class,” NAB Asset Management executive general manager Garry Mulcahy was quoted as saying in Australian local media.

National Australia Bank is one of Australia’s top four banks with a market capitalisation of A$77 billion ($67 billion; €54 billion), according to the firm.

As well as Australian institutions looking offshore, the domestic market is increasingly buoyant of late, including in the real estate sector.

In June, private equity firms TPG and PAG were joined by Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in an agreement to acquire DTZ for A$1.22 billion, Private Equity International reported earlier.

DTZ, a global property services business, was sold by its Australian owner UGL, with former chief executive of global property services firm CBRE, Brett White, joining the buyout and intending to sit on the board of directors before becoming executive chairman of DTZ in March 2015.