REITS expand globally to drum up business

Vornado CEO Steven Roth

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Frustrated with the scarcity of properties for sale, some of the nation’s biggest real estate investment trusts are going global. Vornado Realty Trust, which previously focused mostly on investing in the U.S., has entered a bid for the global Dutch financial company ING Groep NV, according to the Wall Street Journal. ING generates management fees and could offer Vornado teams in Europe and Asia who would manage property and look for deals. An ING spokesperson declined to comment on Vornado’s involvement, but said the Dutch bank is “conducting an evaluation” of the REIT business, which has about $100 billion in assets. In addition to Vornado, private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and affiliates of CB Richard Ellis and Jones Lang LaSalle are among the firms still pursuing the business, people familiar with the matter said, with final bids due Dec. 1. Other U.S. office landlords, including Brookfield Office Properties and SL Green Realty, also did overseas deals in recent months. But overseas acquisitions have stirred controversy, with some investors and analysts skeptical about the amount of deals available for U.S. REITS outside the country. [WSJ]