INDUSTRY NEWS

China’s sovereign wealth fund looking to buy £800m London offices

A trio of Asian investors are looking to buy an £800m business park from Blackstone.

In what would be the UK’s highest value property deal since the start of the financial crisis, China Investment Corporation (CIC), and government-backed funds from both Korea and Malaysia are all battling out for the prime London offices.

People familiar with the process have told the Financial Times that all three parties are looking to invest in the 1.1m sq ft development known as Chiswick Park business park – located five miles outside of central London.

Blackstone originally bought the property from a consortium of Aberdeen Asset Management, Schroders and Stanhope early in 2011 for a sum of £480m.

CIC also owns a 9.6% stake in Blackstone due to a $3bn investment into the private equity group prior to its first public offering in 2007.

This latest move comes soon after research from real estate research firm, Real Capital Analytics, showed London as the number one location in the global office market.

In November, the $410bn CIC fund acquired Deutsche Bank’s £245m City of London headquarters, working in partnership with Invesco, the asset manager.

Overseas investors see London as a stable investment providing higher yields when compared with the relatively slow grow in the Asian-Pacific area. London also has reputation as a safe haven and returns that beat the initial costs of financing.

Asian investors have accounted for around 45% of deals in the City this year; in total some £3.5bn has been spent by Asian investors in popular locations such as the City, Docklands and West End since 2010.

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