Kennedy Wilson Holdings Co. on Wednesday said that it acquired Bank of Ireland Real Estate Investment Management, which manages commercial real estate on behalf of the Irish bank’s clients.

The Beverly Hills real estate investment and services firm said the deal is its first purchase of a European business and will increase its assets under management by $2.3 billion to a total $9.7 billion. Kennedy Wilson has until now invested mainly in the United States and Japan.

The deal, carried out in partnership with the Irish real estate management firm’s senior management, will result in establishment of a new entity, Kennedy Wilson Europe. The company will operate from Dublin and London, and serve as the base for Kennedy Wilson to expand its asset management and real estate investment business in Europe. Peter Collins, who had been managing director of the Irish bank’s real estate management outfit, will head the new entity.

“Kennedy Wilson has identified opportunities for growth throughout Europe including an initial focus on Ireland,” said Chief Executive William McMorrow in a statement. “We have worked with financial institutions through all real estate cycles in Japan and the United States, and we look forward to working with the European banks and financial institutions.”

Shares closed down 16 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $11.34 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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