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Ontario Teachers-led group snaps up real estate consultancy DTZ

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Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, TPG Capital and PAG Asia have agreed a AUD1.2bn (€832m) cash offer to buy property advisory company DTZ.

DTZ’s current owner, Australian services firm UGL, said it expected the deal to close in September, resulting in DTZ to change ownership three times in as many years.

Prior to going into administration in 2011, DTZ was 52% owned by Saint Georges Participations, controlled by the French Mathy family.

UGL managing director and chief executive Richard Leupen said the decision to sell DTZ was due to diverging operational and strategic priorities and financial requirements.

OTPP, which as of year-end 2013 had CAD139bn (€94.4bn) of net investments, has a 22% allocation to real estate.

Investments are made through the plan’s Cadillac Fairview subsidiary, which has a North American portfolio of more than CAD23bn.

In the UK, OTPP has invested in the country’s HS1 high-speed rail link between London and the Channel Tunnel.

Private equity firms PAG Asia and TPG, meanwhile, have both previously invested in the real estate sector.

TPG has closer ties to Canadian institutional money, having worked with Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate arm of the Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

The firm, which has invested in real estate since 2009, has also run separate accounts for New Jersey’s state pension fund.

It has recently targeted distressed property in Europe.

PAG’s Real Estate division manages opportunity and core-plus property funds in Japan and China and across Asia-Pacific.

The firm has made both direct and indirect investments in opportunistic, value-added and core-plus real estate.

DTZ’s strength in Asia has been noted in previous years by observers, making it an attractive proposition to those looking to increase exposure to the Asia-Pacific region.

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