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SYDNEY-Locally based Macquarie Office Trust is buying an 80% stake in two class A CBD office buildings in Wilmington, DE, marking the Australia-listed property trust’s first offshore investment.The interest was acquired from Plymouth Meeting, PA-based Brandywine Realty Trust, which retains a 20% interest. The buildings were valued for the transaction at $112.8 million. Macquarie Office Trust’s stake equals $90.2 million. As part of the transaction, Macquarie Office Trust and Brandywine jointly obtained $74.5 million of five-year fixed rate mortgage debt on the properties.

The two buildings, 1 and 3 Christina Centre, have a combined 632,797 sf that is fully leased. The credit card subsidiary of Bank One Corp. leases 91% of the space. Macquarie Office Trust says the average lease term in the buildings is 11 years and that the initial income yield on the investment will be 9%.

“We are very pleased with the enhanced earnings our Trust will derive from this acquisition,” says Macquarie Office Trust CEO Simon Jones. “We are excited about increasing Macquarie Office Trust’s exposure to the North American markets.”

Brandywine, which retains a 20% interest in the buildings, says the transaction is generating for the company $105 million of cash proceeds in the transaction, and on an ongoing basis will receive fees for leasing, property management and construction management, as well as incentive payments if certain performance measures are achieved.

Until now, Macquarie Office Trust’s ownership consisted of 22 properties across Australia. The trust is managed by Macquarie Property Investment Management, a unit of Macquarie Bank Ltd., Australia’s largest listed investment bank. Macquarie Capital Partners, a related entity, initiated the US transaction and served as a financial advisor to Brandywine Realty Trust.

In November, Macquarie Bank Ltd. and Developers Diversified Realty formed Macquarie DDR Trust, a community center property trust is now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The trust acquired from DDR an 81% interest in a portfolio of community centers in the US whose combined value is upward of $700 million. DDR retained a 14.5% effective ownership interest and MBL acquired the remaining 4.5%. Similar to Brandywine, DDR remains responsible for all day-to-day operations of the properties and will receive fees for property management, leasing, construction management, acquisitions, due diligence, dispositions (including outparcel sales) and financing.

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