INDUSTRY NEWS

Blackstone may sell share in Broadgate London office and retail comple

According to a new report, the US private equity group Blackstone may decide to sell its half stake in a major London office and retail complex.

Reuters has reported that the US firm’s partner, British Land, has claimed Blackstone may opt to push ahead with a deal that could potentially bring the firm a sevenfold return on its initial investment.

The American based asset management and financial services company originally bought its half stake in the 30 acre Broadgate site within the capital’s financial district from British Land in September 2009 – a deal worth £77m at the time.

According to the 2012 annual report from British Land however, that stake could now be worth more than £520.5m after debt.

Speaking to Reuters, British Land chief executive, Chris Grigg said the original sale had given the firm the opportunity to rebalance its London portfolio, specifically in key areas between the City and West End, as well as giving the company the chance to push forward with new developments.

He said: “One can always look back and say ‘if I knew then what I know now’, but we sold at the time to give us financial flexibility.”

Located in close proximity to Liverpool Street train station, work on the Broadgate development started more than 20 years ago – with the most recent work completed in 2008 with the construction of Broadgate Tower and 201 Bishopsgate.

More recently, Swiss bank, UBS, put pen to paper on £340m deal to set up its London headquarters in Broadgate with a new 700,000 sq ft scheme at 5 Broadgate.

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