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By Junko Fujita
TOKYO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) provided most of the capital for a more than $1 billion purchase of Tokyo’s landmark property Meguro Gajoen from Mori Trust Co, in China’s largest investment in Japanese property, advisers said.
Earlier this week, LaSalle Investment Management, a property investment manager, said a fund it arranged bought Meguro Gajoen with money from a sovereign wealth fund, which it declined to name.
The property in west-central Tokyo includes two office buildings and houses the headquarters of Amazon.com Inc’s Japan operations. It also includes a lavish wedding hall that was built in the 1930s as a restaurant and bathhouse.
Mori Trust bought the complex in August from U.S. investment fund Lone Star for about 130 billion yen. The sale was one of Japan’s largest property transactions last year.
It then sold the property to CIC, said Masaki Murata, president of MA Platform Inc, an asset-management company for Mori Trust CEO Akira Mori.
“Mori Trust chose CIC because it wanted to develop a relationship with CIC,” Murata told Reuters. “In the future, Mori Trust could team up with CIC for investments.”
Cash invested by LaSalle into this fund is limited, Murata added. The Chicago-based firm’s main role was to structure the fund and act as an asset manager for the property, Murata said.
CIC officials were not immediately available for comment on the transaction.
A Tokyo spokeswoman for LaSalle declined to comment.
Mori Trust obtained the exclusive rights to negotiate to buy the property on June 19 from Lone Star, said Murata. The developer had been approached by investors from Japan and overseas about the sale of Gajoen, he said.
Mori Trust hired MA Platform as overall adviser for the deal, while it also hired advisory firm MK Trust Co, which brought in CIC as the investor.
Mori Trust had agreed to buy the property after Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd backed out due to a legal dispute over the ownership of the Meguro Gajoen complex. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by William Mallard and Prateek Chatterjee)