Apollo Real Estate Said to Seek Sale of Manila Office Towers

Billionaire Leon Black’s Apollo Global Real Estate is selling its controlling stake in five office towers in one of Manila’s prime business districts, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Apollo’s portfolio includes office buildings in Bonifacio Global City, a business district in the Philippines’ capital, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. The towers, built by The Net Group, have a gross leasable area of 147,000 square meters (1.6 million square feet), or about a quarter of the office supply in the business district as of 2011, according to a marketing document obtained by Bloomberg News, which cited an estimate from a unit of Colliers International.

Strong demand combined with the growing outsourcing industry is expected to drive growth for the Philippine office market, the sales document showed. Bonifacio Global City is positioned to benefit from the tight office supply in the other two central business districts, Makati and Ortigas Center, according to the document.

“Most of the office demand comes from outsourcing and it’s growing,” said James Lago, Manila-based head of research at PCCI Securities Brokers Corp. “The expansion of the domestic businesses where banks are fighting tooth and nail for available branch locations is adding to the demand.”

HSBC, JPMorgan

Carlos Rufino, the president of Manila-based Net Group which owns a 10 percent stake in the five towers, said his company is open to retaining its stake in the buildings, declining to elaborate. Melissa Mandel Kvitko, a spokeswoman at Rubenstein Associates Inc., which represents Apollo, declined to comment.

The towers on sale include the Net Plaza, Net Quad, Net Cube, Net Square and Net One Center which are fully leased, the document showed. The tenants include Accenture Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to the marketing document.

Apollo Global Real Estate, which has about $9 billion of assets, is the property investment arm of New York-based Apollo Global Management LLC, a global alternative investment manager with $113 billion in assets run by Black, who was a co-founder of the company.

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