CPPIB Nets Almost $1 Billion Selling 45% Interest in 1221 Avenue of the Americas

Rockefeller Retains 55% Stake

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) sold its 45% ownership interest in 1221 Avenue of the Americas for $1.03 billion. CPPIB said it pocketed net proceeds of $950 million before closing adjustments.

CPPIB only identified the buyer as a “global institutional investor.” However, sources familiar with the transaction told The Real Deal that China Investment Corp., a Chinese sovereign wealth fund, bought the stake through Atlanta-based investment manager Invesco Ltd. The acquisition, along with news that Shanghai-based Shenglong Group has submitted plans for an up to $1 billion residential project in downtown Los Angeles, is the latest signal that Chinese capital continues to pour into U.S. real estate, despite capital controls by the Chinese government intended to slow outbound investment.

Invesco officials could not be reached for confirmation.

The transaction values 100% of the entire Manhattan office property at $2.29 billion.The Rockefeller Group and CPPIB originally acquired the 50-story, 2.6 million-square-foot Midtown office tower standing in Rockefeller Center property in May 2010 for $576 million.

The Rockefeller Group maintains its 55% ownership interest following the sale and will continue to manage the asset.

"Valuations in the Manhattan office market have increased significantly since our acquisition of 1221, and we feel this is an opportune time to monetize our position in the property,” said Hilary Spann, managing director and head of U.S. real estate investments for CPPIB. "Manhattan remains a target market for us, and we continue to pursue new investment opportunities here and in other key U.S. real estate markets."