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China Life Insurance Buys Controlling Interest In 48 U.S. Buildings, Moves Deeper Into Secondary Markets


China Life Insurance Group, one of China's largest insurance companies, has acquired a 95% stake in a U.S. portfolio of 48 properties valued at $950M.

St. Louis-based private equity firm ElmTree Funds will keep the remaining 5% of its 5.5M SF portfolio. Properties include an industrial building leased by Catepillar Inc. in Seguin, Texas, and a FedEx distribution center in Staunton, Virginia.  

The deal signals a shift in how foreign investors approach U.S. markets, as buyers start to target assets in secondary and tertiary markets over trophy assets in top markets like New York and San Francisco due to high prices, the Wall Street Journal reports

ElmTree managing principal Jim Koman told the WSJ foreign capital is increasingly flowing into these secondary and tertiary markets, which can produce yields up to 3% higher than trophy assets.

ElmTree will continue to manage the properties.