(WASHINGTON DC – July 16, 2014) –Korea-based Samsung SRA Asset Management Co. Ltd., the real estate investment management arm of Samsung Life Insurance Co., Ltd., made its first real estate investment in the United States. Samsung SRA and its investors made a US$97.5 million preferred equity investment in Portals III, a 500,000 square feet, 10-story office building located in Southwest DC and owned by Republic Properties Corporation. The investment was part of a recapitalization of the asset with Korea Exchange Bank refinancing the senior mortgage loan in the amount of US$160 million.
“Our investment in Portals III marks a milestone for Samsung SRA. This is a major step in our strategy which is to invest in high-quality properties in key US cities that have potential long-term growth. We are very pleased to have our footprint on the map and anticipate more to come,” remarked John Oh, CEO of Samsung SRA.
“In a remarkably short time, we established a relationship which allowed us to replace and simplify the capital structure of the project to the mutual benefit of all involved,” Republic Properties President Steven A. Grigg said in a statement. “Even though the transaction is about a quarter of billion dollars, it came down to a mixture of old-fashioned personal relationships that were built on mutual objectives being satisfied in the context of fundamentally sound real estate.”
Korea Exchange Bank, acting through its subsidiary KEB NY Financial Corp., syndicated the loan with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Four Korean institutional investors co-invested along with Samsung SRA.
Samsung SRA was advised by Squire Patton Boggs LLP lawyers Hwan Kim, Allan Goldstein, and George Schutzer in Washington DC, and Jon Ziefert and Brian Halberg in New York.