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ORLANDO-CNL Macquarie Global Growth Trust Inc. is offering $1.5 billion worth of common shares following the formation of the international REIT earlier this year. The shares, at $10 each, will be available to investors through select broker-dealers, rather than on the open market.

Locally based CNL Financial Group Inc. launched the non-traded entity in January with Macquarie Group Ltd., headquartered in Sydney, Australia. Both parties have worked together over the past year and a half to form the REIT, which will focus on value-add opportunities in the office, industrial, multifamily and retail sectors.

“We believe right now is the perfect time to raise money to buy real estate on a global basis,” Curtis McWilliams, president of CNL Macquarie Global Growth Trust, tells GlobeSt.com. “There are some opportunities that are available now and will become available.”

Although up to 30% of the funds may be put into properties outside the US, McWilliams says the trust’s management sees far greater investments stateside, particularly in the southern tier. The focus will be on markets hit hardest in the current economic downturn, he says.

The focus of the growth-oriented REIT will be properties that require repositioning or redevelopment, face time-sensitive deadlines, are located in markets undergoing positive changes, needing new leasing or management strategies and having deferred maintenance needs, McWilliams says. A time frame of five to 10 years has been set for investment and acquisitions, he adds.

CNL Financial Group was founded in 1973 and has formed or acquired companies with more than $23 billion in assets, including hotel, retail, restaurant, senior housing and lifestyle properties such as golf courses and resorts. Its CNL Securities Corp. subsidiary will serve as managing dealer for the share offering.

Macquarie, established in 1969, manages at least $189 billion in total assets worldwide and provides banking, financial, advisory, investment and fund management services. It has real estate operations in North America, Australia, Europe, Asia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

Working with Macquarie allows CNL Financial, which has largely been a domestic investor in commercial real estate, to expand its reach worldwide, McWilliams says. “They are a strong, best-in-class company and we have a very good, solid relationship,” he says.

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