Ares Management LLC signed a definitive agreement to acquire AREA Property Partners L.P., a real estate investment management firm with investments across North America, Europe and India. The deal includes the acquisition of the minority stake held in AREA by National Australia Bank. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
As a result of the acquisition, Lee Neibart, currently CEO of AREA, will become senior partner of the Ares Real Estate Group. Along with John Bartling, Ares’ senior partner, he will serve as global co-head of the firm. Williams Benjamin, who currently heads the Europe and India divisions for AREA, will become senior partner and continue in his current role as leader of the international divisions.
“The combination, which will result in the Ares Real Estate Group having approximately $8 billion of committed capital and more than 70 investment professionals upon closing, will benefit our respective employees, investors and real estate partners,” said John Bartling in a statement. “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 capability across the capital spectrum—from debt to equity.”
All existing AREA investment vehicles will continue to be managed by legacy AREA investment professionals in their presdent capacities. William Mack, founder of AREA, will be stepping down as chairman to focus on actively managing his family’s real estate initiatives, investments and philanthropic pursuits. Richard Mack, North America CEO, will become a senior advisor to the Ares Real Estate Group.