Over a period of 100 days in 2018, Oxford launched a take-private bid for the 19-property, ASX-listed Investa Office Fund, won shareholder approval, secured over $2 billion in new financing and closed a $4.5 billion transaction. It marked our first investment in Australia and gave us immediate scale and presence in the market.
The complicated structure of the public entity had resulted in the stock trading at a discount to asset value. Investor interest in single property acquisitions remained very high, so we took advantage of the wholesale-to-retail arbitrage opportunity. Speed and scale worked to our advantage. Less than a year after acquiring them, we had sold the thirteen properties that didn’t meet our investment strategy and generated significant gains. The proceeds of the sales are being deployed to fund capital reinvestment in the remaining portfolio as well as future growth in the market via acquisition and development. We plan to hold the remaining six properties for the long term.
The speed, scale and creativity of this transaction demonstrate how we like to do business. We paired the expertise and scale of our global team and balance sheet with the market savvy and relationships of our local colleagues. We partnered with team members from the OMERS capital markets team to unlock a significant informational and access advantage. We did our homework to allow us to act with conviction.
We continue to put capital to work in the initial portfolio and have since made investments and launched development projects in Australia.