State clearance has been granted for one of this year's biggest commercial property deals, with a high-rise Auckland CBD office block allowed to be sold to a foreign-owned firm for $144.5 million.
The Overseas Investment Office has cleared United States-controlled NZ Federal Ltd to buy 66 Wyndham St from Christchurch-based interests.
The purchaser, NZ Federal, is 80 per cent US, 9.6 per cent various overseas entities, 3.1 per cent United Kingdom and 2.4 per cent Canadian, then Japanese, French, Norwegian and German interests.
The office said a special-purpose vehicle of Invesco Real Estate Asia Fund III had been established to buy the building, owned by New Zealand's 66 Wyndham Ltd.
Companies Office records show 66 Wyndham is owned 43 per cent by Lynda Faye Bell and Oxford Street Trustees, 26 per cent by Stephen Robert Bell and Richard John Bell, 21 per cent by Canterbury Trustees and John Peter Smith and 7.5 per cent by Judith Ann Breach.
Glenn Shewan of Bell Gully was listed as the lawyer involved.
Auckland Council lists 66 Wyndham St as being valued at $120m: $50m land and $70m building.
The purchase had to go to the OIO because it involved the sale of "significant business assets". Purchases of assets in this country valued at more than $100m go before the OIO.
"The application intends to continue leasing the land to tenants as a commercial and retail space," the OIO said of the Chorus House sale.
Invesco says it is in 25 countries, manages assets of more than US$975.2 billion and has more than 7000 employees.
But a larger Auckland office block sale has been made already this year.
New Zealand's largest private developers, the Auckland-based family-owned real estate specialist Mansons TCLM, leased then sold a partly-built city office block for more than $247m.
Culum Manson said the business had sold 155 Fanshawe St, new commercial premises on the ex-Caltex service station near the Halsey St corner in the Wynyard Quarter opposite Victoria Park.
The sale to an overseas pension fund came after leasing that building as Kiwibank's new Auckland headquarters and to insurer Southern Cross, Manson announced on March 11.