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Investa Assumes Management Rights, Renames ING Office Fund

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Investa Property Group, a real-estate firm owned by Morgan Stanley, has agreed to take over the management of an Australian commercial property fund from ING Groep NV’s real-estate arm.

ING Real Estate Investment Management Australia will pay Investa annual management fees, starting at A$8.6 million ($8.8 million) for the period to June 30, 2012, to manage ING Office Fund, Sydney-based Investa said in an e-mailed release. The fund will be renamed the Investa Office Fund, while its Australian stock exchange ticker stays unchanged, Investa said.

ING Groep, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, last month agreed to sell most of its real-estate investment management unit to CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. for $940 million to shrink its balance sheet. Unitholders of ING Industrial Fund agreed earlier this month to sell their holdings to a group led by Goodman Group, Australia’s largest industrial property trust.

The deal leaves ING Healthcare Fund, ING Entertainment Fund and the ING Community Living Fund in ING’s hands as it seeks to exit its real-estate fund management business in Australia. IOF has A$1.6 billion under management in Australia, and A$2.6 billion when its overseas assets are included.

Investa will own or manage a total of 60 assets valued at about A$8.3 billion following the transaction, it said. Investa will also purchase a 2.5 percent stake in IOF currently owned by ING entities, ING said in a statement. ING Management Ltd. will remain the responsible entity for the IOF assets, with plans for Investa to replace or acquire it with shareholder approval in future, the company said.

IOF shares added 3.5 percent to 59.5 Australian cents at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net;

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