KKR Buying Central Seoul Office Building From IGIS Asset Management

KKR Buying Central Seoul Office Building From IGIS Asset Management

Namsan Green Building Seoul, Korea

The 1994-vintage Namsan Green Building is just east of the Seoul Station railway hub

KKR has agreed to buy an office building in central Seoul on behalf of managed funds that include the buyout giant’s flagship Asia real estate vehicle.

KKR is acquiring the Namsan Green Building, a 57,574 square metre (619,721 square feet) office block in Jung district, for an undisclosed amount in a deal expected to be completed in May, the Manhattan-based private equity firm said Thursday in a release. KKR is making the investment primarily from its $1.7 billion Asia Real Estate Partners value-add and opportunistic fund.

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The seller’s identity was undisclosed, but the Seoul Economic Daily identified the owner of the Namsan Green Building as IGIS Asset Management, a longtime local partner of KKR. IGIS also lists the building in its real estate portfolio on the company website.

“Our investment in Namsan Green Building provides us with a unique opportunity to acquire a high-quality asset in a strategic location and add value by leveraging our real estate expertise to enhance its offerings for today’s modern office demands,” said David Cheong, KKR’s Asia real estate director.

Broadband Headquarters

Built in 1994, the Namsan Green Building is a four-minute walk east of Seoul Station, the main railway hub that connects to all major cities in South Korea. The building serves as the headquarters of SK Broadband, a subsidiary of SK Telecom, Korea’s largest wireless carrier and a division of the SK Group conglomerate.


KKR’s David Cheong

KKR’s previous office investments in the South Korean capital include the KRW 500 billion ($420 million) acquisition of the Namsan Square office tower from the National Pension Service in 2021 and the KRW 639.5 billion ($487 million) purchase of Shinhan Investment Corporation’s headquarters in 2022. KKR partnered with IGIS on both deals.

In KKR’s largest Seoul transaction, executed in 2018, the firm sold the K-Twin Towers to Samsung SRA for KRW 713 billion — the highest-ever price paid for an office in the city at the time.

“We remain confident in the long-term prospects of Korea’s office real estate market, where future supply is extremely limited and demand for office space continues to be resilient, and look forward to helping the country meet its office space needs,” Cheong said.

Steady Deployment

KKR has been on a tear with real estate deals, concentrating on South Korea’s cross-strait neighbour Japan.

Last December, the fund manager announced that one of its closed-end vehicles, KKR Real Estate Select Trust, had acquired 39 multi-family properties located in 15 popular residential submarkets across Tokyo.

In March, KKR teamed up with Hong Kong’s Gaw Capital Partners to buy the Hyatt Regency Tokyo from Odakyu Electric Railway for an undisclosed amount, giving the US firm its first hotel asset in Japan.

KKR’s Tokyo-listed REIT, Japan Metropolitan Fund Investment Corporation, has made several acquisitions of residential assets this year, most recently with the JPY 4.32 billion ($33 million) forward purchase of an under-construction apartment building in the capital city’s Taito ward.

KKR’s real estate team manages $65 billion in assets globally.

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