Ares Management to Acquire AREA Property Partners

Ares Management has signed a definitive agreement to acquire AREA Property Partners. Ares Real Estate Group will now have $8 billion of committed capital and more than 70 investment professionals.

Mike Ratliff, Senior Associate Editor

Global alternative asset manager Ares Management L.L.C. has announced that it has signed a definitive to acquire AREA Property Partners L.P. While terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the deal also includes for the acquisition of the minority stake in AREA Property Partners L.P. held by National Austrialia Bank.

The move, unsurprisingly, will bring some title changes to AREA’s top staff. Lee Neibart, CEO of AREA, will become a senior partner of the Ares Real Estate Group. He will join John Bartling, a senior partner of the Ares Real Estate Group, as the a global co-head of the group. William Benjamin, AREA’s head of Europe and India, will become a senior partner of the Ares Real Estate Group and continue on as head of Europe and India real estate.

William Mack, founder of AREA, will be stepping down as chairman of AREA to focus on managing his family’s real estate initiatives, investments and philanthropic pursuits. Richard Mack, North America CEO of AREA, will become a senior advisor to the Ares Real Estate Group.

The acquisition brings the committed capital in Ares Real Estate Group to $8 billion.  Upon closing the group will have more than 70 investment professionals.

“Our expanded offering, along with the significant resources and collaboration from across Ares management, will make the Ares Real Estate Group a truly differentiated manager with global investment capabilities across the capital spectrum—from debt to equity,” Bartling said in a prepared statement.

As part of the deal, all existing AREA investment vehicles will continue to be managed by legacy AREA professionals. Hodes Weill & Associates acted as strategic advisor to AREA, while J.P. Morgan Securities L.L.C. provided financial advisory services to Ares Management in connection with the transaction.

More to come.