China Life buys New York tower for US$1.6b

The Manhattan acquisition is the state-owned Chinese insurer’s first major deal in New York and third in the US

Insurance News

By Louie Bacani

China’s biggest life insurer continues its streak of real estate deals in the US with the acquisition of the 1285 Sixth Avenue office tower in New York City.
China Life Insurance Group has partnered with New York’s RXR Realty to take an undisclosed equity stake in the skyscraper for $1.65bn, according to a report by Mingtiandi, a Chinese real estate intelligence website.
The 51-storey tower is just a block away from Times Square and from its previous owners, JP Morgan Asset Management and AXA Financial.
The report said the building’s prominent tenants include UBS Group AG and the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
According to Mingtiandi, 1285 Sixth Avenue is China Life’s first major deal in Manhattan and the third in the US. Last year, the insurer invested US$1bn into logistics developer GLP’s US warehouse portfolio.
The state-owned Chinese insurer also invested US$250mn into Tishman Speyer’s Pier Four development project in April 2015.
China Life also acquired a 70% stake in an office tower on Canary Wharf in London for $1.35bn in 2014. It also purchased a Kowloon office project last November for US$755mn.
One of the big five Chinese insurers, China Life has $362bn in total assets as of 31 December 2015, Mingtiandi reported.

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