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CRANBURY, NJ-On behalf of its investor clientele, the London-based Strategic Real Estate Advisors, known as StratREAL, has picked up one of its biggest U.S. acquisitions to date, buying an 886,747-sf industrial facility here for a reported $67.79 million. The asset was sold by its developer, Rock-Cranbury LLC, an affiliate of the Rockefeller Development Group. The latter will continue to manage the sprawling property.

“The acquisition of this modern distribution building serves to confirm our confidence in the US real estate market and the positive long-term prospects in purchasing newly built-to-suit properties leased to major corporations on long-term leases,” explained StratREAL chairman Pierre Rolin in a prepared statement.

The major corporation in this case is Pearson Education, which occupies the entire facility. Pearson uses it for warehouse/distribution purposes for its various educational publishing endeavors. The facility was built specifically for Pearson, which occupied it last year as one of several “big box” industrial buildings that hit the New Jersey Turnpike Exit 8A submarket in quick succession (Volkswagen’s one million-sf distribution center nearby was the only one larger than the Pearson building). Pearson’s lease for the facility runs for a total of 20 years.

Pearson itself is UK-based, with its North American headquarters in New York City. Besides Pearson Education, the parent’s various holdings include the Financial Times Group, the Penguin Group and Prentice Hall. The company also has major divisions around the world, including Pearson Asia and Pearson Australia.

In the sale transaction, StratREAL was exclusively represented by Shearman & Sterling of the UK and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Further details of the transaction were not released.

StratREAL is an independent real estate investment and finance consultancy that advises private clients with their investment strategies. The firm currently has approximately $1.1 billion (about £750 million) for investment in real estate for overseas private clients. The firm’s clients currently have a total of about $3 billion (about £2 billion) in real estate asset management and performance reporting.

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