British Land purchases Paddington London office development for £470m


British Land has announced it has acquired assets including a large bulk of Paddington Central – a major 1.2 million sq ft London office led mixed use development – for £470m.

The Real Estate Investment Trust (REIM) also said the investment of funds it raised in March as part of a massive £500m share scheme would boost the firm’s earnings a lot earlier than it first envisioned.

In total, the firm raised almost £1bn in March as on top of the 500m share sales, British Land also sold its London office block, Ropemaker Place, for a reported £472m: It has now invested a vast bulk of the funds raised, with the Paddington site taking the total investment figure to £750m.

The firm has snapped up three existing buildings in the area, accounting for around 610,000 sq ft of office space let out to major firms including AstraZeneca and Nokia as well as purchasing an area mainly for the development of offices.

This compromises of two sites of 355,000 sq ft of consented London office space, located in close proximity to Paddington train station.

British Land chief executive, Chris Grigg, said: “We are delighted to have bought into Paddington Central.

“It is an investment which plays to our asset management and development strengths, is in line with our strategy of increasing exposure to London and replenishing the development pipeline, and one we expect to generate strong returns.

“This is the most significant acquisition we have made since the equity placing in March and we are confident that investment of those proceeds will now be accretive to 2014 earnings, ahead of our original objective.”

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