M&G Real Estate has purchased Fleet Place House – a 92,000 sq ft office building in the City of London for £111.7 million. The deal, which was made on behalf of an Asian separate account mandate, is the first direct acquisition in the UK as part of a broader strategy to invest in value-add opportunities.
Compared to many other global cities, the UK’s capital offers relative value, with current market dislocations presenting opportunities for investors. London has low levels of new Grade ‘A’ supply, a muted pipeline of new development and whilst overall transactional activity will be subdued versus previous years, Central London’s office market remains one of the most liquid and transparent globally.
M&G Real Estate plans to repurpose the 20-year-old building, located close to Thameslink, Crossrail and London Underground transport hubs, to create a sustainable, modern office environment with ESG credentials stretching years ahead – which will in turn provide a high security of income for its client. Plans include the provision of first-rate amenities to promote flexible working and staff wellbeing, including new changing room facilities, drying rooms, bicycle storage and e-bike/e-scooter spaces.
“The last six months have accelerated many ongoing trends in the office sector, accentuating the importance of top quality, future-proofed workplaces to attract and retain talent, provide space for collaboration and define organisational culture,” says TeckLeong Kee, Fund Manager, M&G Real Estate Asia.
“We have significant capital to deploy and look forward to doing more deals of this nature in the UK and Europe to secure attractive, long-term returns for our investors.”
Paul Crosbie, who leads M&G Real Estate’s UK value-add initiatives, adds: “We have a highly skilled team with a proven track record of creating state-of-the-art modern office accommodation in the UK – as demonstrated by our recent developments at 3 Snowhill in Birmingham and Haymarket in Edinburgh. This experience, coupled with our ability to source sizeable opportunities across the full risk spectrum of commercial real estate, enables our clients to achieve their financial objectives.”