The Real Deal New York

GreenOak, Bentall Kennedy to merge

Sun Life to take majority stake in new firm
By Konrad Putzier | December 19, 2018 12:00PM

GreenOak’s Sonny Kalsi and Sun Life’s Dean Connor (Credit: University of Pennsylvania and Western University)

Two major investors in New York’s real estate market are joining forces. Insurance and asset management company Sun Life Financial announced Wednesday that it plans to merge its real estate investment subsidiary Bentall Kennedy with GreenOak Real Estate.

Sun Life will own 56 percent of the combined company, Bentall GreenOak. GreenOak’s shareholders will own the remaining 44 percent, and are also set to receive $195 million in cash as part of the deal. Sun Life will also get an option to buy GreenOak’s stake seven years after the merger closes, the company said.

Founded by Morgan Stanley veterans Sonny Kalsi and John Carrafiell, GreenOak owns around $14 billion in real estate around the globe. The fund manager recently closed on the $280 million-plus acquisition of the Biltmore apartment tower in Manhattan in partnership with Slate Property Group. Slate and GreenOak previously partnered on the $390 million acquisition of the RiverTower apartment building in in 2016 and a condo conversion project on West 82nd Street.

New York-based GreenOak also has holdings in other major markets. Earlier this year it raised a $1.55 billion fund to target New York and expand into other cities including Seattle and Miami, where it purchased a Miami Beach office building for $38 million in February.

In Los Angeles, it’s currently in talks to buy the CalEdison building for $141 million, and owns the Santa Fe Lofts building nearby.

Sun Life bought Bentall Kennedy, whose holdings include 757 Third Avenue and 2 Rector Street, in 2015.