Ivanhoe Venture Said to Buy Stake in NYC News Corp. Tower

Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate unit of Canada’s largest pension-fund manager, and a partner agreed to buy a stake in 1211 Avenue of the Americas, a Manhattan skyscraper that houses the headquarters of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., a person with knowledge of the deal said.

Ivanhoe Cambridge teamed with Chicago-based Callahan Capital Partners on the deal for the 49 percent stake, which values the building at $1.75 billion, said the person, who asked not to be named because the details are private. The 45-story tower was acquired by a group led by Beacon Capital Partners Inc. in 2006 for $1.52 billion, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc., a New York-based research firm that tracks commercial-property sales.

Recent deals for midtown Manhattan skyscrapers have approached or exceeded peak levels reached in 2007, before the credit crisis caused values to plummet. In the past two weeks, buyers agreed to pay about $2,100 a square foot, a record, for 650 Madison Ave., and a 40 percent stake in the General Motors Building was acquired at about $1,700 a square foot. RXR Realty agreed to buy a 49 percent share of Worldwide Plaza for $660 million, more than its owners paid for the entire tower in 2009, two people briefed on the deal said last week.

The deal for 1211 Avenue of the Americas was brokered by Eastdil Secured LLC’s Doug Harmon and Adam Spies, who also led the transactions for 650 Madison and Worldwide Plaza. Martha Wallau, an Eastdil spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the pending News Corp. building transaction, which was reported earlier today on the website of the Wall Street Journal.

Rockefeller Center

Alex McCallum, a spokesman for Boston-based Beacon Capital, and Sebastien Theberge, an Ivanhoe Cambridge spokesman, declined to comment. The company, based in Montreal, is a unit of Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec.

The 1.94 million-square-foot (180,000-square-meter) tower, which sits diagonally across from Rockefeller Center, has about $950 million of debt on it, the person with knowledge of the deal said. In late 2011, Beacon pulled the property off the market after bids came in below a targeted $1.9 billion, three people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. A partial-interest sale was among alternatives the closely-held investment fund was considering, those people said.

Ivanhoe Cambridge last week said it purchased Seattle’s Wells Fargo Center for $390 million, and in November, it paid more than $360 million for a 49.9 percent stake in 1411 Broadway, a 40-story office tower in Manhattan. In March it bought 73 office buildings in California’s Silicon Valley.

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