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CBRE completes purchase of ING's real estate investment business

October 31, 2011 |  7:31 pm

CBRE Group Inc. on Monday completed a $900-million acquisition of ING Group's real estate investment management arm in Europe that makes the Los Angeles company the global leader in that business.

The ING real estate investment operations in Europe are being merged with CBRE Group’s existing real estate management business. The combined entity -- including Netherlands-based ING’s similar business in Asia that was acquired by CBRE on Oct. 3 -- will operate as CBRE Global Investors, headquartered in Los Angeles.

Investment managers raise money from pension funds, universities and other institutional investors and buy commercial real estate such as offices, warehouses and shopping centers on their behalf. The properties produce income for their owners through rents and could be sold at a profit.

In addition, investment managers collect fees for creating and managing the real estate portfolios for their clients. Analysts consider the asset management business less volatile than the transaction brokering business, which rises and falls with sales and leasing activity in the market.

With the ING acquisition, “we have completed the most transformative transaction in our industry since the purchase of Trammell Crow Co. in 2006,” said Brett White, chief executive of CBRE. “Our expanded investment management business will enhance our service offerings for institutional investors in commercial real estate, and provide us with another source of stable revenues.”

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--Roger Vincent

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